•  8
    Critical attention to Wilfrid Sellars’s “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man” (PSIM) has focused on the dubious Peircean optimism about scientific convergence that underwrites Sellars’s talk of “the” scientific image. Sellars’s ultimate Peircean ontology has led Willem deVries, for instance, to accuse him of being a naturalistic “monistic visionary.” But this complaint of monism misplays the status of the ideal end of science in Sellars’s thinking. I propose a novel reading of PSIM, foreg…Read more
  •  8
    Connotation and Frege's Semantic Dualism
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 36 (4): 377-398. 2019.
    The traditional distinction between Millian and Fregean theories of names presupposes that what Mill calls ‘connotation’ lines up with what Frege calls ‘sense.’ This presupposition is false. Mill’s talk of connotation is an attempt to bring into view the line of thought that crystallizes in Frege’s distinction between concept and object. This latter is the semantic dualism of my title.
  •  5
    Sellars, Price, and the Myth of the Given
    Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 8 (7). 2020.
    Wilfrid Sellars's "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" begins with an argument against sense-datum epistemology. There is some question about the validity of this attack, stemming in part from the assumption that Sellars is concerned with epistemic foundationalism. This paper recontextualizes Sellars's argument in two ways: by showing how the argument of EPM relates to Sellars's 1940s work, which does not concern foundationalism at all; and by considering the view of H.H. Price, Sellars's tea…Read more
  •  21
    The Presentational Use of Descriptions
    Analytic Philosophy 60 (4): 361-384. 2019.
    Discussing Keith Donnellan's distinction between attributive and referential uses of descriptions, Gareth Evans considered a speaker he found it natural to describe as having “given expression to” a singular thought, though he insisted she was not referring to the person she has in mind. On accounts otherwise similar to Evans's, to express a singular thought just is to refer. Thus, as he does not explain why this speaker might speak this way, it is tempting to ignore this as a slip. On the contr…Read more
  •  47
    Naturalism in Action
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (6): 609-635. 2009.
    Can a naturalist earn the right to talk of a shared empirical world? Hume famously thought not, and contemporary stipulative naturalists infer from this inability that the demand is somehow unnatural. The critical naturalist, by contrast, claims to earn that right. In this paper, I motivate critical naturalism, arguing first that stipulative naturalism is question begging, and second, that the pessimism it inherits from Hume about whether the problem can be solved is misplaced. Hume's mistake wa…Read more
  •  112
    A note on pretense and co-reference
    Philosophical Studies 149 (3). 2010.
    Anna Pautz has recently argued that the pretense theory of thought about fiction cannot explain how two people can count as thinking about the same fictional character. This is based on conflating pretending and the serious thought that can be based on pretend. With this distinction in place, her objections are groundless.
  •  78
    Pretense and fiction-directed thought
    Philosophical Studies 172 (6): 1549-1573. 2015.
    Thought about fictional characters is special, and needs to be distinguished from ordinary world-directed thought. On my interpretation, Kendall Walton and Gareth Evans have tried to show how this serious fiction-directed thought can arise from engagement with a kind of pretending. Many criticisms of their account have focused on the methodological presupposition, that fiction-directed thought is the appropriate explanandum. In the first part of this paper, I defend the methodological claim, and…Read more