•  87
    In some ways, someone suffering from the delusion that his or her spouse has been kidnapped and replaced with an imposter appears to believe that he or she eats dinner with an imposter every night. But the imperviousness of delusions to counter-evidence makes it hard to classify them as beliefs, and easier to classify them as imaginings. Bayne and Pacherie want to use Schwitzgebel’s dispositional account of belief to restore confidence in the doxastic character of delusion. While dispositionalis…Read more
  •  84
    Diminished rationality and the space of reasons
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4). 2008.
    Some theories of language, thought, and experience require their adherents to say unpalatable things about human individuals whose capacities for rational activity are seriously diminished. Donald Davidson, for example, takes the interdependence of the concepts of thought and language to entail that thoughts may only be attributed to an individual who is an interpreter of others’ speech. And John McDowell's account of human experience as the involuntary exercise of conceptual capacities can be a…Read more
  •  76
    Showing by avowing
    Acta Analytica 25 (1): 35-46. 2010.
    Dorit Bar-On aims to account for the distinctive security of avowals by appealing to expression. She officially commits herself only to a negative characterization of expression, contending that expressive behavior is not epistemically based in self-judgments. I argue that her account of avowals, if it relies exclusively on this negative account of expression, can't achieve the explanatory depth she claims for it. Bar-On does explore the possibility that expression is a kind of perception-enabli…Read more
  •  63
    Delusions and Not-Quite-Beliefs
    Neuroethics 5 (1): 29-37. 2012.
    Bortolotti argues that the irrationality of many delusions is no different in kind from the irrationality that marks many non-pathological states typically treated as beliefs. She takes this to secure the doxastic status of those delusions. Bortolotti’s approach has many benefits. For example, it accounts for the fact that we can often make some sense of what deluded subjects are up to, and helps explain why some deluded subjects are helped by cognitive behavioral therapy. But there is an altern…Read more
  •  58
    Davidson’s Fear of the Subjective
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (3): 509-532. 2006.
    According to Donald Davidson, any philosophy of mind that appeals to propositional content is doomed to become an account of the mind as a private theater. But Davidson’s own work on thought-attribution can be used to make propositional content safe. This paper uses Davidson’s negative reaction to Gareth Evans’s works on perceptually based demonstrative thought to tease out a way of talking about propositional content that doesn’t slide into subjectivism. It also explains why Davidson saw Evans …Read more
  •  55
    Delusions and Dispositionalism about Belief
    Mind and Language 26 (5): 596-628. 2011.
    The imperviousness of delusions to counter-evidence makes it tempting to classify them as imaginings. Bayne and Pacherie argue that adopting a dispositional account of belief can secure the doxastic status of delusions. But dispositionalism can only secure genuinely doxastic status for mental states by giving folk-psychological norms a significant role in the individuation of attitudes. When such norms individuate belief, deluded subjects will not count as believing their delusions. In general, …Read more
  •  46
    Managing Mismatch Between Belief and Behavior
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (3): 261-292. 2014.
    Our behavior doesn't always match the beliefs attributed to us, and sometimes the mismatch raises questions about what our beliefs actually are. I compare two approaches to such cases, and argue in favor of the one which allows some belief-attributions to lack a determinate truth-value. That approach avoids an inappropriate assumption about cognitive activity: namely, that whenever we fail in performing one cognitive activity, there is a distinct cognitive activity at which we succeed. The indet…Read more
  •  36
    Modeling Expressing on Demonstrating
    Journal of Philosophical Research 36 43-76. 2011.
    We can increase our understanding of expression by considering an analogy to demonstrative reference. The connections between a demonstrative phrase and its referent, in a case of fully successful communication with that phrase, are analogous to the connections between an expressible state and the behavior that expresses it. The connections in each case serve to maintain a certain status for the connected elements: as actions of persons; or as objects, events, or states significant to persons. T…Read more
  •  31
    The Problem of Perception
    Journal of Philosophy 101 (1): 44-53. 2004.
  •  6
    Modeling Expressing on Demonstrating
    Journal of Philosophical Research 36 43-76. 2011.
    We can increase our understanding of expression by considering an analogy to demonstrative reference. The connections between a demonstrative phrase and its referent, in a case of fully successful communication with that phrase, are analogous to the connections between an expressible state and the behavior that expresses it. The connections in each case serve to maintain a certain status for the connected elements: as actions of persons; or as objects, events, or states significant to persons. T…Read more
  •  6
    Diminished Rationality and the Space of Reasons
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4): 601-629. 2008.
    Some theories of language, thought, and experience require their adherents to say unpalatable things about human individuals whose capacities for rational activity are seriously diminished. Donald Davidson, for example, takes the interdependence of the concepts of thought and language to entail that thoughts may only be attributed to an individual who is an interpreter of others’ speech. And John McDowell's account of human experience as the involuntary exercise of conceptual capacities can be a…Read more
  • Presence of Mind: Belief, Perception, and Expressivity
    Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. 2002.
    A theory about mental content must attend both to language and to our identities as language-users in order to avoid either ignoring the normative structure of thought or misrepresenting communicability as an optional aspect of the mental. Accordingly, attending to language helps to ensure that our theories about mental content are good ones. But extreme versions of this strategy can seem to make all appeals to mental illegitimate, and so hobble our understanding of subjectivity and linguistic c…Read more