•  8378
    Conversational Implicatures (and How to Spot Them)
    Philosophy Compass 8 (2): 170-185. 2013.
    In everyday conversations we often convey information that goes above and beyond what we strictly speaking say: exaggeration and irony are obvious examples. H.P. Grice introduced the technical notion of a conversational implicature in systematizing the phenomenon of meaning one thing by saying something else. In introducing the notion, Grice drew a line between what is said, which he understood as being closely related to the conventional meaning of the words uttered, and what is conversationall…Read more
  •  941
    Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions
    In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions, Oxford University Press. pp. 104-119. 2012.
    In this chapter, I produce counterexamples to Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism (PEC), a view about the semantics of ‘knowledge’-ascriptions that I have argued for elsewhere. According to PEC, the semantic content of the predicate ‘know’ at a context C is partly determined by the speakers’ pragmatic presuppositions at C. The problem for the view that I shall be concerned with here arises from the fact that pragmatic presuppositions are sometimes known to be true by the speakers who make t…Read more
  •  897
    Knowledge and Presuppositions
    Mind 118 (470). 2009.
    The paper explicates a new way to model the context-sensitivity of 'knows', namely a way that suggests a close connection between the content of 'knows' in a context C and what is pragmatically presupposed in C. After explicating my new approach in the first half of the paper and arguing that it is explanatorily superior to standard accounts of epistemic contextualism, the paper points, in its second half, to some interesting new features of the emerging account, such as its compatibility with t…Read more
  •  694
    Sensitivity, Causality, and Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2): 102-112. 2015.
    Recent attempts to resolve the Paradox of the Gatecrasher rest on a now familiar distinction between individual and bare statistical evidence. This paper investigates two such approaches, the causal approach to individual evidence and a recently influential (and award-winning) modal account that explicates individual evidence in terms of Nozick's notion of sensitivity. This paper offers counterexamples to both approaches, explicates a problem concerning necessary truths for the sensitivity accou…Read more
  •  617
    Contextualism and the Knowledge Norms
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1): 89-100. 2013.
    Epistemic contextualism is widely believed to be incompatible with the recently popular view that knowledge is the norm of assertion, practical reasoning, or belief. I argue in this article that the problems arising for contextualism from the mentioned normative views are only apparent and can be resolved by acknowledging the fairly widespread phenomenon of non-obvious context-sensitivity (recently embraced by even some of contextualism's most ardent former critics). Building on recent insights …Read more
  •  573
    Counter Closure and Knowledge despite Falsehood
    with Brian Ball
    Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257): 552-568. 2014.
    Certain puzzling cases have been discussed in the literature recently which appear to support the thought that knowledge can be obtained by way of deduction from a falsehood; moreover, these cases put pressure, prima facie, on the thesis of counter closure for knowledge. We argue that the cases do not involve knowledge from falsehood; despite appearances, the false beliefs in the cases in question are causally, and therefore epistemologically, incidental, and knowledge is achieved despite falseh…Read more
  •  504
    Ignorance, Presuppositions, and the Simple View
    Mind 124 (496): 1221-1230. 2015.
    Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa has presented a series of examples that are meant to spell trouble for Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism. In this short article I aim to establish two things. First, I argue that even if Ichikawa’s examples were viable counterexamples to PEC, they would not threaten the key ideas underlying the account in my 2009 article ‘Knowledge and Presuppositions’. The philosophically interesting work that is done in that article remains unaffected by Ichikawa’s alleged coun…Read more
  •  467
    Sensitivity Actually
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3): 606-625. 2017.
    A number of prominent epistemologists claim that the principle of sensitivity “play[s] a starring role in the solution to some important epistemological problems”. I argue that traditional sensitivity accounts fail to explain even the most basic data that are usually considered to constitute their primary motivation. To establish this result I develop Gettier and lottery cases involving necessary truths. Since beliefs in necessary truths are sensitive by default, the resulting cases give rise to…Read more
  •  442
    Indexical Reliabilism and the New Evil Demon
    with Brian Ball
    Erkenntnis 78 (6): 1317-1336. 2013.
    Stewart Cohen’s New Evil Demon argument raises familiar and widely discussed concerns for reliabilist accounts of epistemic justification. A now standard response to this argument, initiated by Alvin Goldman and Ernest Sosa, involves distinguishing different notions of justification. Juan Comesaña has recently and prominently claimed that his Indexical Reliabilism (IR) offers a novel solution in this tradition. We argue, however, that Comesaña’s proposal suffers serious difficulties from the per…Read more
  •  435
    The folly of trying to define knowledge
    Analysis 67 (3): 214-219. 2007.
    The paper gives an a priori argument for the view that knowledge is unanalysable. To establish this conclusion I argue that warrant, i.e. the property, whatever precisely it is, which makes the difference between knowledge and mere true belief, entails both truth and belief and thus does not exist as a property distinct from knowledge: all and only knowledge can turn a true belief into knowledge. The paper concludes that the project of trying to find a condition distinct from knowledge that is n…Read more
  •  422
    The indexicality of 'knowledge'
    Philosophical Studies 138 (1). 2008.
    Epistemic contextualism—the view that the content of the predicate ‘know’ can change with the context of utterance—has fallen into considerable disrepute recently. Many theorists have raised doubts as to whether ‘know’ is context-sensitive, typically basing their arguments on data suggesting that ‘know’ behaves semantically and syntactically in a way quite different from recognised indexicals such as ‘I’ and ‘here’ or ‘flat’ and ‘empty’. This paper takes a closer look at three pertinent objectio…Read more
  •  417
    Contextualism, safety and epistemic relevance
    Philosophical Studies 143 (3): 383-394. 2009.
    The paper discusses approaches to Epistemic Contextualism that model the satisfaction of the predicate ‘know’ in a given context C in terms of the notion of belief/fact-matching throughout a contextually specified similarity sphere of worlds that is centred on actuality. The paper offers three counterexamples to approaches of this type and argues that they lead to insurmountable difficulties. I conclude that what contextualists (and Subject-Sensitive Invariantists) have traditionally called the …Read more
  •  393
    A closer look at closure scepticism
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Paperback) 106 (3): 381-390. 2006.
    The most prominent arguments for scepticism in modern epistemology employ closure principles of some kind. To begin my discussion of such arguments, consider Simple Knowledge Closure (SKC): (SKC) (Kxt[p] ∧ (p → q)) → Kxt[q].1 Assuming its truth for the time being, the sceptic can use (SKC) to reason from the two assumptions that, firstly, we don’t know ¬sh and that, secondly, op entails ¬sh to the conclusion that we don’t know op, where ‘op’ and ‘sh’ are shorthand for ‘ordinary proposition’ and …Read more
  •  365
    Contextualism and the Epistemological Enterprise
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3): 387-394. 2007.
    Epistemic contextualism (EC) is primarily a semantic view, viz. the view that ‘knowledge’-ascriptions can change their contents with the conversational context. To be more precise, EC is the view that the predicate ‘know’ has an unstable Kaplan character, i.e. a character that does not map all contexts on the same content. According to EC, ‘know’ is thus an indexical expression. Notwithstanding this purely linguistic characterisation of EC, contextualists have traditionally argued that their vie…Read more
  •  316
    Knowledge and implicatures
    Synthese 190 (18): 4293-4319. 2013.
    In recent work on the semantics of ‘knowledge’-attributions, a variety of accounts have been proposed that aim to explain the data about speaker intuitions in familiar cases such as DeRose’s Bank Case or Cohen’s Airport Case by means of pragmatic mechanisms, notably Gricean implicatures. This paper argues that pragmatic explanations of the data regarding ‘knowledge’-attributions are unsuccessful and concludes that in explaining those data we have to resort to accounts that (a) take those data at…Read more
  •  308
    Solving the Moorean Puzzle
    Philosophical Studies 172 (2): 493-514. 2015.
    This article addresses and resolves an epistemological puzzle that has attracted much attention in the recent literature—namely, the puzzle arising from Moorean anti-sceptical reasoning and the phenomenon of transmission failure. The paper argues that an appealing account of Moorean reasoning can be given by distinguishing carefully between two subtly different ways of thinking about justification and evidence. Once the respective distinctions are in place we have a simple and straightforward wa…Read more
  •  272
    Gradability and Knowledge
    In Jonathan Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism, Routledge. pp. 348--357. 2017.
    Epistemic contextualism (‘EC’), the view that the truth-values of knowledge attributions may vary with the context of ascription, has a variety of different linguistic implementations. On one of the implementations most popular in the early days of EC, the predicate ‘knows p’ functions semantically similarly to gradable adjectives such as ‘flat’, ‘tall’, or ‘empty’. In recent work Jason Stanley and John Hawthorne have presented powerful arguments against such implementations of EC. In this artic…Read more
  •  256
    Ignorance and Epistemic Contextualism
    In Rik Peels & Martijn Blaauw (eds.), The Epistemic Dimensions of Ignorance, Cambridge University Press. pp. 96-113. 2016.
  •  235
    'More Likely Than Not' - Knowledge First and the Role of Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law
    In Adam Carter, Emma Gordon & Benjamin Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First - Approaches in Epistemology and Mind, Oxford University Press. pp. 278-292. 2017.
    The paper takes a closer look at the role of knowledge and evidence in legal theory. In particular, the paper examines a puzzle arising from the evidential standard Preponderance of the Evidence and its application in civil procedure. Legal scholars have argued since at least the 1940s that the rule of the Preponderance of the Evidence gives rise to a puzzle concerning the role of statistical evidence in judicial proceedings, sometimes referred to as the Problem of Bare Statistical Evidence. Whi…Read more
  •  150
    Martin Smith has recently proposed, in this journal, a novel and intriguing approach to puzzles and paradoxes in evidence law arising from the evidential standard of the Preponderance of the Evidence. According to Smith, the relation of normic support provides us with an elegant solution to those puzzles. In this paper I develop a counterexample to Smith’s approach and argue that normic support can neither account for our reluctance to base affirmative verdicts on bare statistical evidence nor r…Read more
  •  90
    Knowledge and Presuppositions
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    Knowledge and Presuppositions develops a novel account of epistemic contextualism based on the idea that pragmatic presuppositions play a central role in the semantics of knowledge attributions. According to Blome-Tillmann, knowledge attributions are sensitive to what is pragmatically presupposed at the context of ascription. The resulting theory--Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism (PEC)--is simple and straightforward, yet powerful enough to have far-reaching and important consequences for…Read more
  •  74
    What Shifts Epistemic Standards? DeRose on Contextualism, Safety, and Sensitivity
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1-7. forthcoming.
    In The Appearance of Ignorance, Keith DeRose develops a version of epistemic contextualism that combines aspects of both safety and sensitivity theories of knowledge. This paper discusses some potential problems for DeRose’s account stemming from his Rule of Sensitivity, which is meant to model upwards shifts in epistemic standards.
  •  67
    It is a familiar criticism of Subject-Sensitive Invariantism that the view makes incorrect predictions about cases in which the attributor of knowledge is in a high-stakes situation and the subject of the attribution in a low-stakes situation. In a recent paper in this journal, Brian Kim has argued that the mentioned type of case should be ignored, since the relevant knowledge ascriptions are inappropriate in virtue of violating an epistemic norm of presupposing. I show, pace Kim, that the menti…Read more
  •  49
    Non-Reductive Safety
    Belgrade Philosophical Annual 33 25-38. 2020.
    Safety principles in epistemology are often hailed as providing us with an explanation of why we fail to have knowledge in Gettier cases and lottery examples, while at the same time allowing for the fact that we know the negations of sceptical hypotheses. In a recent paper, Sinhababu and Williams have produced an example—the Backward Clock—that is meant to spell trouble for safety accounts of knowledge. I argue that the Backward Clock case is, in fact, unproblematic for the more sophisticated fo…Read more
  •  6
    The Argument from Principles, the primary motivation for impurism or pragmatic encroachment theories in epistemology, is often presented as an argument for everyone—an argument that proceeds from harmless premises about the nature of rationally permissible action to the surprising conclusion that one’s knowledge is partly determined by one’s practical situation. This paper argues that the Argument from Principles is far from neutral, as it presupposes the falsity of one of impurism’s main compet…Read more