•  1101
    Evidence, pragmatics, and justification
    Philosophical Review 111 (1): 67-94. 2002.
    Evidentialism is the thesis that epistemic justification for belief supervenes on evidential support. However, we claim there are cases in which, even though two subjects have the same evidential support for a proposition, only one of them is justified. What make the difference are pragmatic factors, factors having to do with our cares and concerns. Our argument against evidentialism is not based on intuitions about particular cases. Rather, we aim to provide a theoretical basis for rejectin…Read more
  •  841
    Epistemologists often claim that in addition to belief and disbelief there is a third, neutral, doxastic attitude. Various terms are used: ‘suspending judgment’, ‘withholding’, ‘agnosticism’. It is also common to claim that the factors relevant to the justification of these attitudes are epistemic in the narrow sense of being factors that bear on the strength or weakness of one’s epistemic position with respect to the target proposition. This paper addresses two challenges to such traditionalism…Read more
  •  501
    Knowing what things look like
    Philosophical Review 126 (1): 1-41. 2017.
    Walking through the supermarket, I see the avocados. I know they are avocados. Similarly, if you see a pumpkin on my office desk, you can know it’s a pumpkin from its looks. The phenomenology in such cases is that of “just seeing” that such and such. This phenomenology might suggest that the knowledge gained is immediate. This paper argues, to the contrary, that in these target cases, the knowledge is mediate, depending as it does on one’s knowledge of what the relevant kind of thing looks like.…Read more
  •  465
    Epistemology: An Anthology (edited book)
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2000.
    This volume represents the most comprehensive and authoritative collection of canonical readings in theory of knowledge. It is ideal as a reader for all courses in epistemology
  •  410
    Having False Reasons
    In Clayton Littlejohn & John Turri (eds.), Epistemic Norms, Oxford University Press. pp. 59-80. 2014.
  •  396
    On Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3): 558-589. 2007.
    We argue, contrary to epistemological orthodoxy, that knowledge is not purely epistemic -- that knowledge is not simply a matter of truth-related factors (evidence, reliability, etc.). We do this by arguing for a pragmatic condition on knowledge, KA: if a subject knows that p, then she is rational to act as if p. KA, together with fallibilism, entails that knowledge is not purely epistemic. We support KA by appealing tothe role of knowledge-citations in defending and criticizing actions, and by …Read more
  •  375
    Perceptual reasons
    Philosophical Studies 173 (4): 991-1006. 2016.
    The two main theories of perceptual reasons in contemporary epistemology can be called Phenomenalism and Factualism. According to Phenomenalism, perceptual reasons are facts about experiences conceived of as phenomenal states, i.e., states individuated by phenomenal character, by what it’s like to be in them. According to Factualism, perceptual reasons are instead facts about the external objects perceived. The main problem with Factualism is that it struggles with bad cases: cases where perceiv…Read more
  •  362
    Looks and Perceptual Justification
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1): 110-133. 2018.
    Imagine I hold up a Granny Smith apple for all to see. You would thereby gain justified beliefs that it was green, that it was apple, and that it is a Granny Smith apple. Under classical foundationalism, such simple visual beliefs are mediately justified on the basis of reasons concerning your experience. Under dogmatism, some or all of these beliefs are justified immediately by your experience and not by reasons you possess. This paper argues for what I call the looks view of the justification …Read more
  •  357
  •  330
    Memory and epistemic conservatism
    Synthese 157 (1): 1-24. 2007.
    Much of the plausibility of epistemic conservatism derives from its prospects of explaining our rationality in holding memory beliefs. In the first two parts of this paper, I argue for the inadequacy of the two standard approaches to the epistemology of memory beliefs, preservationism and evidentialism. In the third, I point out the advantages of the conservative approach and consider how well conservatism survives three of the strongest objections against it. Conservatism does survive, I claim,…Read more
  •  262
    This paper is a critical response to Eli Hirsch’s recent work in metaontology. Hirsch argues that several prominent ontological disputes about physical objects are verbal, a conclusion he takes to vindicate common sense ontology. In my response, I focus on the debate over composition (van Inwagen’s special composition question). I argue that given Hirsch’s own criterion for a dispute’s being verbal – a dispute is verbal iff charity requires each side to interpret the other sides as speaking t…Read more
  •  262
    Dogmatism, Underminers and Skepticism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3): 533-562. 2013.
  •  251
    Weak deflationism
    Mind 106 (421): 69-98. 1997.
    Is truth a substantial feature of truth-bearers? Correspondence theorists answer in the affirmative, deflationists in the negative. Correspondence theorists cite in their defense the dependence of truth on meaning or representational content. Deflationists in turn cite the conceptual centrality of simple equivalences such as ''Snow is white' is true iff snow is white'' and 'It is true that snow is white iff snow is white'. The apparent facts to which these theorists appeal correspond to some of …Read more
  •  243
    Knowledge in an uncertain world
    Oxford University Press. 2009.
    Introduction -- Fallibilism -- Contextualism -- Knowledge and reasons -- Justification -- Belief -- The value and importance of knowledge -- Infallibilism or pragmatic encroachment? -- Appendix I: Conflicts with bayesian decision theory? -- Appendix II: Does KJ entail infallibilism?
  •  234
    Sosa on epistemic value: a Kantian obstacle
    Synthese 197 (12): 5287-5300. 2018.
    In recent work, Sosa proposes a comprehensive account of epistemic value based on an axiology for attempts. According to this axiology, an attempt is better if it succeeds, better still if it is apt (i.e., succeeds through competence), and best if it is fully apt, (i.e., guided to aptness by apt beliefs that it would be apt). Beliefs are understood as attempts aiming at the truth. Thus, a belief is better if true, better still if apt, and best if fully apt. I raise a Kantian obstacle for Sosa’s …Read more
  •  234
    Advice for fallibilists: put knowledge to work
    Philosophical Studies 142 (1): 55-66. 2009.
    We begin by asking what fallibilism about knowledge is, distinguishing several conceptions of fallibilism and giving reason to accept what we call strong epistemic fallibilism, the view that one can know that something is the case even if there remains an epistemic chance, for one, that it is not the case. The task of the paper, then, concerns how best to defend this sort of fallibilism from the objection that it is “mad,” that it licenses absurd claims such as “I know that p but there’s a chanc…Read more
  •  215
    There is pragmatic encroachment on some epistemic status just in case whether a proposition has that status for a subject depends not only on the subject's epistemic position with respect to the proposition, but also on features of the subject's non-epistemic, practical environment. Discussions of pragmatic encroachment usually focus on knowledge. Here we argue that, barring infallibilism, there is pragmatic encroachment on what is arguably a more fundamental epistemic status – the status a prop…Read more
  •  209
    A limitation on agency in judgment
    Synthese 200 (2): 1-21. 2022.
    To many, judgment has seemed a locus of cognitive agency, a kind of cognitive mental act. In one minimal sense, judgment is something one does. I consider whether judgment is more robustly agential: is it a kind of action done with an aim? The most attractive version of this sort of position takes judging that p to affirming that p with an alethic aim, an aim such as affirming truly. I argue that such views have unacceptable consequences. Acts done with aims, in general, can be based only indire…Read more
  •  182
    Discussion. Reply to Kovach
    Mind 106 (423): 581-586. 1997.
  •  182
    Contextualism and Subject-Sensitivity
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3): 693-702. 2012.
    Contribution to a symposium on Keith DeRose's book, The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context.
  •  177
    What the deflationist may say about truthmaking
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3). 2003.
    The correspondence theory of truth is often thought to be supported by the intuition that if a proposition (sentence, belief) is true, then something makes it true. I argue that this appearance is illusory and is sustained only by a conflation of two distinct notions of truthmaking, existential and non-existential. Once the conflation is exposed, I maintain, deflationism is seen to be adequate for accommodating truthmaking intuitions
  •  174
  •  172
    Scott Soames: Understanding truth (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2). 2002.
    Consider Soames’ Version 1 of the liar paradox.
  •  167
    No objects, no problem?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4). 2005.
    One familiar form of argument for rejecting entities of a certain kind is that, by rejecting them, we avoid certain difficult problems associated with them. Such problem-avoidance arguments backfire if the problems cited survive the elimination of the rejected entities. In particular, we examine one way problems can survive: a question for the realist about which of a set of inconsistent statements is false may give way to an equally difficult question for the eliminativist about which of a set …Read more
  •  163
    Epistemic Norms for Waiting
    Philosophical Topics 49 (2): 173-201. 2021.
    Although belief formation is sometimes automatic, there are occasions in which we have the power to put it off, to wait on belief-formation. Waiting in this sense seems assessable by epistemic norms. This paper explores what form such norms might take: the nature and their content. A key question is how these norms relate to epistemic norms on belief-formation: could we have cases in which one ought to believe that p but also ought to wait on forming a belief on whether p? Plausibly not. But if …Read more