•  105
    Wright Back to Dretske, or Why You Might as Well Deny Knowledge Closure
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3): 570-611. 2015.
    Fred Dretske notoriously claimed that knowledge closure sometimes fails. Crispin Wright agrees that warrant does not transmit in the relevant cases, but only because the agent must already be warranted in believing the conclusion in order to acquire her warrant for the premise. So the agent ends up being warranted in believing, and so knowing, the conclusion in those cases too: closure is preserved. Wright's argument requires that the conclusion's having to be warranted beforehand explains trans…Read more
  •  112
    speaking there are only two sorts of opposition to be found here. One is the opposition between motion and rest, together with the opposition between ...
  •  7
    Stroud’s Carnap
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2): 276-302. 2002.
    In “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” Carnap drew his famous distinction between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ questions of existence, pronouncing the former meaningful and the latter meaningless. In The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism, Barry Stroud understands Carnap to be applying the verification criterion of meaningfulness in order to refute Cartesian skepticism. I suggest that Stroud misrepresents both Carnap’s aim and method. Carnap was responding to critics who suggested that his …Read more
  •  1
    Against Knowledge Closure
    Cambridge University Press. 2019.
    Knowledge closure is the claim that, if an agent S knows P, recognizes that P implies Q, and believes Q because it is implied by P, then S knows Q. Closure is a pivotal epistemological principle that is widely endorsed by contemporary epistemologists. Against Knowledge Closure is the first book-length treatment of the issue and the most sustained argument for closure failure to date. Unlike most prior arguments for closure failure, Marc Alspector-Kelly's critique of closure does not presuppose a…Read more
  •  126
    Should the empiricist be a constructive empiricist?
    Philosophy of Science 68 (4): 413-431. 2001.
    Van Fraassen does not argue that everyone should be a constructive empiricist. He claims only that constructive empiricism (CE) is a coherent post-positivist alternative to realism, notwithstanding the realist's charge that CE is arbitrary and irrational. He does argue, however, that the empiricist is obliged to limit belief as CE prescribes. Criticism of CE has been largely directed at van Fraassen's claim that CE is a coherent option. Far less attention has been directed at his claim that empi…Read more
  •  232
    Bas van Fraassen claims that constructive empiricism strikes a balance between the empiricist’s commitments to epistemic modesty – that one’s opinion should extend no further beyond the deliverances of experience than is necessary – and to the rationality of science. In “Should the Empiricist be a Constructive Empiricist?” I argued that if the constructive empiricist follows through on her commitment to epistemic modesty she will find herself adopting a much more extreme position than van Fraass…Read more
  •  687
    Seeing the Unobservable: Van Fraassen and the Limits of Experience (review)
    Synthese 140 (3): 331-353. 2004.
    Van Fraassen maintains that the information that we canglean from experience is limited to those entities and processes that are detectable bymeans of our unaided senses. His challenge to the realist, I suggest, is that the attemptto inferentially transcend those limits amounts to a reversion to rationalism. Under pressurefrom such examples as microscopic observation, he has recently widened the scope of thephenomena to include object-like experiences without empirical objects of experience.With…Read more
  •  61
    Pretending to see
    Philosophical Psychology 19 (6): 713-728. 2006.
    There are three distinct projects - ontological, phenomenological, and conceptual - to pursue in the philosophy of perception. They are, however, rarely distinguished. Failure to distinguish them has resulted in their being pursued as one. Their completion then requires that they admit of the same solution, while accommodating the existence of misperception and the scientific facts concerning the perceptual process. The lesson to learn from misperceptions and those facts is, however, that no suc…Read more
  •  188
    Faced with interminable combat over some piece of philosophical terrain, someone will inevitably suggest that the contested ground is nothing more than a philosophically manufactured mirage that is therefore not worth fighting for. Arthur Fine has long advocated such a response—the ‘Natural Ontological Attitude,’ or NOA—to the realism debate in the philosophy of science. Notwithstanding the prima facie incompatibility between the realist’s and anti-realist’s positions, Fine suggests that there i…Read more
  •  97
    Stroud’s Carnap
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2): 276-302. 2002.
    In “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” Carnap drew his famous distinction between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ questions of existence, pronouncing the former meaningful and the latter meaningless. In The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism, Barry Stroud understands Carnap to be applying the verification criterion of meaningfulness in order to refute Cartesian skepticism. I suggest that Stroud misrepresents both Carnap’s aim and method. Carnap was responding to critics who suggested that his …Read more
  •  22
    The NOAer’s Dilemma: Constructive Empiricism and the Natural Ontological Attitude
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (3): 307-322. 2003.
    Faced with interminable combat over some piece of philosophical terrain, someone will inevitably suggest that the contested ground is nothing more than a philosophically manufactured mirage that is therefore not worth fighting for. Arthur Fine has long advocated such a response—the ‘Natural Ontological Attitude,’ or NOA—to the realism debate in the philosophy of science. Notwithstanding the prima facie incompatibility between the realist’s and anti-realist’s positions, Fine suggests that there i…Read more
  •  127
    Knowledge externalism
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3). 2006.
    A popular counterexample directed against externalist epistemological views is that of an agent (Lehrer's "Truetemp" for example) whose beliefs are clearly neither justified nor known but that were generated in the manner that the externalist requires, thereby demonstrating externalism to be insufficient. In this essay I develop and defend an externalist account of knowledge – essentially an elaboration of Fred Dreske's information-theoretic account – that is not susceptible to those criticisms.…Read more
  •  7
    Stroud’s Carnap
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2): 276-302. 2002.
    In “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” Carnap drew his famous distinction between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ questions of existence, pronouncing the former meaningful and the latter meaningless. In The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism, Barry Stroud understands Carnap to be applying the verification criterion of meaningfulness in order to refute Cartesian skepticism. I suggest that Stroud misrepresents both Carnap’s aim and method. Carnap was responding to critics who suggested that his …Read more
  •  233
    Why safety doesn’t save closure
    Synthese 183 (2): 127-142. 2011.
    Knowledge closure is, roughly, the following claim: For every agent S and propositions P and Q, if S knows P, knows that P implies Q, and believes Q because it is so implied, then S knows Q. Almost every epistemologist believes that closure is true. Indeed, they often believe that it so obviously true that any theory implying its denial is thereby refuted. Some prominent epistemologists have nevertheless denied it, most famously Fred Dretske and Robert Nozick. There are closure advocates who see…Read more
  •  188
    On Quine on Carnap on Ontology
    Philosophical Studies 102 (1). 2001.
    W. V. Quine assumed that in _Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology Rudolf Carnap was attempting to dodge commitment to abstract entities--without either renouncing quantification over them or demonstrating their dispensability--by wielding the analytic/synthetic distinction against ontological issues. Quine's interpretation of Carnap's intent--and his criticism of it--is widely endorsed. But Carnap objected, I argue, not to abstract entities, but to his critics' suggestion that empiricism implies …Read more