•  1605
    Clines, Clusters, and Clades in the Race Debate
    Philosophy of Science 81 (5): 1053-1065. 2014.
    Although there once was a general consensus among race scholars that applying race categories to humans is biologically illegitimate, this consensus has been erased over the past decade. This is largely due to advances in population genetics that allow biologists to pick out genetic population clusters that approximate some of our common sense racial categories. In this paper, I argue that this new ability really ought not undermine our confidence in the biological illegitimacy of the human race…Read more
  •  1259
    Game Theory and the Self-Fulfilling Climate Tragedy
    Environmental Values 26 (2): 203-221. 2017.
    Game theorists tend to model climate negotiations as a so-called ‘tragedy of the commons’. This is rather worrisome, since the conditions under which such commons problems have historically been solved are almost entirely absent in the case of international greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, I will argue that the predictive accuracy of the tragedy model might not stem from the model’s inherent match with reality but rather from the model’s ability to make self-fulfilling predictions. I the…Read more
  •  1116
    Plausible Permissivism
    with Michael G. Titelbaum
    Abstract. Richard Feldman’s Uniqueness Thesis holds that “a body of evidence justifies at most one proposition out of a competing set of proposi- tions”. The opposing position, permissivism, allows distinct rational agents to adopt differing attitudes towards a proposition given the same body of evidence. We assess various motivations that have been offered for Uniqueness, including: concerns about achieving consensus, a strong form of evidentialism, worries about epistemically arbitrary influen…Read more
  •  861
    When Rational Reasoners Reason Differently
    with Michael G. Titelbaum
    Different people reason differently, which means that sometimes they reach different conclusions from the same evidence. We maintain that this is not only natural, but rational. In this essay we explore the epistemology of that state of affairs. First we will canvass arguments for and against the claim that rational methods of reasoning must always reach the same conclusions from the same evidence. Then we will consider whether the acknowledgment that people have divergent rational reasoning met…Read more
  •  730
    The Uniqueness Thesis
    with Michael G. Titelbaum
    Philosophy Compass 11 (4): 189-200. 2016.
    The Uniqueness Thesis holds, roughly speaking, that there is a unique rational response to any particular body of evidence. We first sketch some varieties of Uniqueness that appear in the literature. We then discuss some popular views that conflict with Uniqueness and others that require Uniqueness to be true. We then examine some arguments that have been presented in its favor and discuss why permissivists find them unconvincing. Last, we present some purported counterexamples that have been ra…Read more
  •  487
    No harm done? An experimental approach to the non-identity problem
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association. forthcoming.
    Discussions of the non-identity problem presuppose a widely shared intuition that actions or policies that change who comes into existence don't, thereby, become morally unproblematic. We hypothesize that this intuition isn’t generally shared by the public, which could have widespread implications concerning how to generate support for large-scale, identity-affecting policies relating to matters like climate change. To test this, we ran a version of the well-known dictator game designed to mimic…Read more
  •  431
    A pluralistic account of epistemic rationality
    Synthese 195 (8): 3571-3596. 2018.
    In this essay, I aim to motivate and defend a pluralistic view of epistemic rationality. At the core of the view is the notion that epistemic rationality is essentially a species of practical rationality put in the service of various epistemic goals. I begin by sketching some closely related views that have appeared in the literature. I then present my preferred version of the view and sketch some of its benefits. Thomas Kelly has raised challenging objections to a part of the view, which I then…Read more
  •  204
    A Counterexample to the Uniqueness Thesis
    Philosophia 43 (2): 403-409. 2015.
    In this essay, I present a straightforward counterexample to the Uniqueness Thesis, which holds, roughly speaking, that there is a unique rational response to any particular body of evidence
  •  188
    Unifying Group Rationality
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6 517-544. 2019.
    Various social epistemologists employ what seem to be rather distinct notions of group rationality. In this essay, I offer an account of group rationality that is able to unify the dominant notions present in the literature under a single framework. I argue that if we employ a teleological account of epistemic rationality, and then allow that there are many different epistemic goals that are worth pursuing for various groups and individuals, we can then see how those seemingly divergent understa…Read more
  •  150
    A New Group Dutch Book Argument
    Ratio 30 (2): 122-136. 2017.
    In this essay, I repair the group Dutch Book argument presented by Donald Gillies. I then examine what additional assumptions would be needed for the argument to generate genuinely normative prescriptions for groups of inquirers. Although the resulting norms will apply to fewer groups than Gillies originally intended, they are still an important addition to the normative landscape in social epistemology.
  •  125
    A More Fulfilling (and Frustrating) Take on Reflexive Predictions
    Philosophy of Science 78 (5): 1249-1259. 2011.
    Even though social scientists continue to discuss the problems posed by self-fulfilling and self-frustrating predictions, philosophers of science have ignored the topic since the 1970s. Back then, the prevailing view was that the methodological problems posed by reflexive predictions are either minor or easily avoided. I believe that this consensus was premature, ultimately relying on an overly narrow understanding of the phenomenon. I present an improved way to understand reflexive predictions …Read more
  •  103
    Shared Intention is not Joint Commitment
    with Seumas Miller
    Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (2): 179-189. 2018.
    Margaret Gilbert has long defended the view that, roughly speaking, agents share the intention to perform an action if and only if they jointly commit to performing that action. This view has proven both influential and controversial. While some authors have raised concerns over the joint commitment view of shared intention, including at times offering purported counterexamples to certain aspects of the view, straightforward counterexamples to the view as a whole have yet to appear in the litera…Read more
  •  70
    Social media platforms have been rapidly increasing the number of informational labels they are appending to user-generated content in order to indicate the disputed nature of messages or to provide context. The rise of this practice constitutes an important new chapter in social media governance, as companies are often choosing this new “middle way” between a laissez-faire approach and more drastic remedies such as removing or downranking content. Yet information labeling as a practice has, thu…Read more
  •  66
    In Knowledge in a Social World, Alvin Goldman presents a framework to quantify the epistemic effects that various policies, procedures, and behaviors can have on a group of agents. In this essay, I show that the framework requires some modifications when applied to agents with credences. The required modifications carry with them an interesting consequence, namely, that any group whose members disagree can become more accurate by forming a consensus through averaging their credences. I sketch a …Read more
  •  43
    A New Use of ‘Race’: The Evidence and Ethics of Forensic DNA Ancestry Profiling
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (3): 237-253. 2014.
    Recent advances in population genetics have made it possible to infer an individual's ancestral origin with a high degree of reliability, giving rise to the new technology called ‘DNA Ancestry Profiling’. Bioethicists have raised concerns over using this technology within a forensic context, many of which stem from issues concerning race. In this article, I offer some reasons why we ought to allow forensic scientists to use DNA Ancestry Profiling to infer the race or ethnicity of perpetrators — …Read more
  •  5
    Deceptive Omissions, Half-Truths, and the Moral Exemplar in Clinical Ethics
    American Journal of Bioethics 21 (5): 33-35. 2021.
    In “Deception and the Clinical Ethicist,” Christopher Meyers argues that clinical ethicists sometimes ought to actively help deceive patients or their families, all...
  • Norms of Group Rationality
    Dissertation, University of Wisconsin at Madison. 2012.