Emory University
University Of Hradec Kralove
  •  5
    Anthropology without Belief: An Anti-representationalist Ontological Turn
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (6): 586-609. 2020.
    Rejecting the category of belief is one of the most striking and profound ideas to emerge from the ontological turn. This essay will argue that the rejection of belief is best understood as part of a broader rejection of representationalism. Representationalism regards thought, speech, and intentionality as depending primarily on the mind’s ability to manipulate beliefs, ideas, meanings, or similar contents. Some central strands of the ontological turn thus participate in the philosophical proje…Read more
  •  149
    Handbook of Philosophy of Anthropology and Sociology (edited book)
    with Stephen P. Turner
    Elsevier. 2006.
    This volume concerns philosophical issues that arise from the practice of anthropology and sociology. The essays cover a wide range of issues, including traditional questions in the philosophy of social science as well as those specific to these disciplines. Authors attend to the historical development of the current debates and set the stage for future work.
  •  208
    Who are ‘We’? Dissolving the Problem of Cultural Boundaries
    Modern Schoolman 84 (2/3): 205-215. 2007.
  • Semantics, Culture, and Rationality: Toward an Epistemology of Ethnography
    Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1990.
    The problem of apparent irrationality is the central concern of this essay. How is an ethnographer to respond when she comes across beliefs or behavior which seem crazy, foolish, or irrational? The first Chapter attempts to make the question precise and to get a clear view of what makes apparent irrationality problematic. It argues that the issue is an epistemological problem about an ethnographer's grounds for rejecting her current theory and adopting a revised theory. ;The contemporary debate …Read more
  •  661
    Inference, Explanation, and Asymmetry
    Synthese (Suppl 4): 929-953. 2018.
    Explanation is asymmetric: if A explains B, then B does not explain A. Tradition- ally, the asymmetry of explanation was thought to favor causal accounts of explanation over their rivals, such as those that take explanations to be inferences. In this paper, we develop a new inferential approach to explanation that outperforms causal approaches in accounting for the asymmetry of explanation.
  •  43
    Inferentialist-Expressivism for Explanatory Vocabulary
    In Ondřej Beran, Vojtěch Kolman & Ladislav Koreň (eds.), From rules to meanings. New essays on inferentialism, Routledge. 2018.
    In this essay, we extend earlier inferentialist-expressivist treatments of traditional logical, semantic, modal, and representational vocabulary (Brandom 1994, 2008, 2015; Peregrin 2014) to explanatory vocabulary. From this perspective, Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) appears to be an obvious starting point. In its simplest formulation, IBE has the form: A best explains why B, B; so A. It thereby captures one of the central inferential features of explanation. An inferentialist-expressiv…Read more
  •  55
    Many epistemologists take Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) to be “fundamental.” For instance, Lycan (1988, 128) writes that “all justified reasoning is fundamentally explanatory reasoning.” Conee and Feldman (2008, 97) concur: “fundamental epistemic principles are principles of best explanation.” Call them fundamentalists. They assert that nothing deeper could justify IBE, as is typically assumed of rules of deductive inference, such as modus ponens. However, logicians account for modus p…Read more
  •  49
    Is there such a thing as a language?
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (2): 163-190. 1992.
    ‘There is no such thing as a language,’ Donald Davidson tells us. Though this is a startling claim in its own right, it seems especially puzzling coming from a leading theorizer about language. Over the years, Davidson’s important essays have sparked the hope that there is a route to a positive, nonskeptical theory of meaning for natural languages. This hope would seem to be dashed if there are no natural languages. Unless Davidson’s radical claim is a departure from his developed views, the Dav…Read more
  •  16
    Uncovers the methodological principles that govern interpretive change
  •  5
    Relativism and the Possibility of Criticism
    Cogito 12 (2): 155-160. 1998.
  •  10
    Naturalism and Normativity. Columbia Themes in Philosophy
    Nursing Philosophy 13 (3): 230-231. 2012.
  •  18
    Further reflections on the sensible foundation: Replies to Leavitt and Griffin
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (4): 665-672. 1991.
  •  25
    Relativism and the social scientific study of medicine
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (2): 195-212. 1993.
    Does the social scientific study of medicine require a commitment to relativism? Relativism claims that some subject (e.g., knowledge claims or moral judgments) is relative to a background (e.g., a culture or conceptual scheme) and that judgments about the subject are incommensurable. Examining the concept of success as it appears in orthodox and nonorthodox medical systems, we see that judgments of success are relative to a background medical system. Relativism requires the social scientific st…Read more
  •  129
    The politics of explanation and the origins of ethnography
    Perspectives on Science 8 (1): 29-52. 2000.
    : At the turn of the twentieth century, comparative studies of human culture (ethnology) gave way to studies of the details of individual societies (ethnography). While many writers have noticed a political sub-text to this paradigm shift, they have regarded political interests as extrinsic to the change. The central historical issue is why anthropologists stopped asking global, comparative questions and started asking local questions about features of particular societies. The change in questio…Read more
  •  39
    No strings attached: Functional and intentional action explanations
    Philosophy of Science 66 (3): 313. 1999.
    Functional explanation in the social sciences is the focal point for conflict between individualistic and social modes of explanation. While the agent thought she was acting for reasons, the functional explanation seems to reveal the hidden strings of the puppet master. This essay argues that the conflict is merely apparent. The erotetic model of explanation is used to analyze the forms of intentional action and functional explanations. Two explanations conflict if either the presuppositions of …Read more
  •  390
    Methodological triangulation in nursing research
    with Margaret Moloney and Sandra Dunbar
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 31 (1): 40-59. 2001.
    Methodological triangulation is the use of more than one method to investigate a phenomenon. Nurse researchers investigate health phenomena using methods drawn from the natural and social sciences. The methodological debate concerns the possibility of confirming a single theory with different kinds of methods. The nursing debate parallels the philosophical debate about how the natural and social sciences are related. This article critiques the presuppositions of the nursing debate and suggests a…Read more
  •  4
    Is There Such a Thing as a Language?
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (2): 163-190. 1992.
    ‘There is no such thing as a language,’ Donald Davidson tells us. Though this is a startling claim in its own right, it seems especially puzzling coming from a leading theorizer about language. Over the years, Davidson’s important essays have sparked the hope that there is a route to a positive, nonskeptical theory of meaning for natural languages. This hope would seem to be dashed if there are no natural languages. Unless Davidson’s radical claim is a departure from his developed views, the Dav…Read more
  •  20
    When IRBs Disagree: Waiving Parental Consent for Sexual Health Research on Adolescents
    with Judith Greenberg
    IRB: Ethics & Human Research 24 (2): 8. 2002.
  •  182
    Reasons, causes, and action explanation
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3): 294-306. 2005.
    To explain an intentional action one must exhibit the agent’s reasons. Donald Davidson famously argued that the only clear way to understand action explanation is to hold that reasons are causes. Davidson’s discussion conflated two issues: whether reasons are causes and whether reasons causally explain intentional action. Contemporary work on explanation and normativity help disentangle these issues and ground an argument that intentional action explanations cannot be a species of causal explana…Read more
  • _Normativity and Naturalism in the Social Sciences_ engages with a central debate within the philosophy of social science: whether social scientific explanation necessitates an appeal to norms, and if so, whether appeals to normativity can be rendered "scientific." This collection brings together contributions from a diverse group of philosophers who explore a broad but thematically unified set of questions, many of which stem from an ongoing debate between Stephen Turner and Joseph Rouse on the…Read more
  •  17
    Relativism and the possibility of criticism
    Cogito 12 (2): 155-160. 1998.
  •  19
    Philosophy and the mirror of nature: Thirtieth-anniversary edition
    Nursing Philosophy 11 (3): 209-211. 2010.
    No Abstract
  •  33
    Norms and explanation in the social sciences
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (2): 223-237. 1998.
  •  131
    Relativism and the Ontological Turn within Anthropology
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (1): 3-23. 2013.
    The “ontological turn” is a recent movement within cultural anthropology. Its proponents want to move beyond a representationalist framework, where cultures are treated as systems of belief that provide different perspectives on a single world. Authors who write in this vein move from talk of many cultures to many “worlds,” thus appearing to affirm a form of relativism. We argue that, unlike earlier forms of relativism, the ontological turn in anthropology is not only immune to the arguments of …Read more