•  322
    The folk on knowing how
    with John Bengson and Jennifer C. Wright
    Philosophical Studies 142 (3). 2009.
    It has been claimed that the attempt to analyze know-how in terms of propositional knowledge over-intellectualizes the mind. Exploiting the methods of so-called “experimental philosophy”, we show that the charge of over-intellectualization is baseless. Contra neo-Ryleans, who analyze know-how in terms of ability, the concrete-case judgments of ordinary folk are most consistent with the view that there exists a set of correct necessary and sufficient conditions for know-how that does not invoke a…Read more
  •  321
    Know-How and Concept Possession
    Philosophical Studies 136 (1). 2007.
    We begin with a puzzle: why do some know-how attributions entail ability attributions while others do not? After rejecting the tempting response that know-how attributions are ambiguous, we argue that a satisfactory answer to the puzzle must acknowledge the connection between know-how and concept possession (specifically, reasonable conceptual mastery, or understanding). This connection appears at first to be grounded solely in the cognitive nature of certain activities. However, we show that, c…Read more
  •  266
    Reasonable Disagreement and Rational Group Inquiry
    Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 4 (3): 352-367. 2007.
    According to one widely held view, a belief is fully justified only if it holds up against the strongest available counterarguments, and we can be appropriately confident that it does hold up only if there is free and open critical discussion of those beliefs between us and our epistemic peers. In this paper I argue that this common picture of ideal rational group inquiry interacts with epistemic problems concerning reasonable disagreement in a way that makes those problems particularly difficul…Read more
  •  192
    Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action (edited book)
    Oxford University Press USA. 2011.
    Knowledge how to do things is a pervasive and central element of everyday life. Yet it raises many difficult questions that must be answered by philosophers and cognitive scientists aspiring to understand human cognition and agency. What is the connection between knowing how and knowing that? Is knowledge how simply a type of ability or disposition to act? Is there an irreducibly practical form of knowledge? What is the role of the intellect in intelligent action? This volume contains fifteen st…Read more
  •  187
    Against A Posteriori Functionalism
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (1): 83-106. 2010.
    There are two constraints on any functionalist solution to the Mind-Body Problem construed as an answer to the question, “What is the relationship between the mental properties and relations (hereafter, simply the mental properties) and physical properties and relations?” The first constraint is that it must actually address the Mind-Body Problem and not simply redefine the debate in terms of other, more tractable, properties (e.g., the species-specific property of having human-pain). Such moves…Read more
  •  116
    Perhaps it is a pity that the Theory of Knowledge and the Theory of Conduct have fallen into separate compartments. (It certainly was not so in Socrates’ time, as his interest in the relation between eidos and technê bears witness.) If we studied them together, perhaps we might have a better understanding of both. H.H. Price, Thinking and Representation..
  •  100
    A Note on the Relationship Between Mates' Puzzle and Frege's Puzzle
    Journal of Semantics 19 (2): 159-166. 2002.
    In this note I argue that, relative to certain largely uncontroversial background conditions, any instance of Mates’ Puzzle is equivalent to some instance of Frege’s Puzzle. If correct, this result is surprising. For, barring the radical move of rejecting the possibility of synonymous expressions in a language tout court, it shows that there is no strictly lexical solution to at least some instances of Frege’s Puzzle. This forces the hand of theorists who wish to provide a semantic (rather than …Read more
  •  87
    The Problem of Doxastic Shift may be stated as a dilemma: on the one hand, the distribution of nominal complements of the form 'the φ that p' strongly suggests that 'that'-clauses cannot be univocally assigned propositional denotations; on the other hand, facts about quantification strongly suggest that 'that'-clauses must be assigned univocal denotations. I argue that the Problem may be solved by defining the extension of a proposition to be a set of facts or, more generally, conditions. Given …Read more
  •  25
    “Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”.
  •  7
    Nonpropositional Intellectualism
    In John Bengson & Marc A. Moffett (eds.), Knowing How, Oxford University Press. pp. 161-195. 2011.
  •  4
  •  1
    On the face of it, Plato’s dialogue the Cratylus has a clear and narrowly linguistic subject matter, specifically, the debate between conventionalism and naturalism in the theory of meaning. But why should this topic be of sufficient interest to Plato to warrant an entire dialogue? What philosophically was at stake for him in these seemingly recherché questions about language? I argue that at least one major motivation is a defense of Platonistic epistemology and, in particular, Plato’s Theory o…Read more
  • Communication, Meaning and the Attitudes: Toward a General Theory of Content
    Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder. 2003.
    It is a platitude that people use language for the purpose of communicating their thoughts. However, in much of the contemporary literature, this constraint on a general theory of content has inadvertently given way to a spate of technical proposals tailored to account for a single philosophical context . At the end of the day, however, our approach to such problems must be incorporated into what we know to be a highly integrated theory of mind and language---a theory that, on the one hand, iden…Read more