Greenville, North Carolina, United States of America
Areas of Interest
Epistemology
  •  51
    Why Not Persuade the Skeptic? A Critique of Unambitious Epistemology
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (4): 314-338. 2019.
    What constitutes a solution to the problem of skepticism? It has been traditionally held that one must produce an argument that would rationally persuade skeptical philosophers that they are mistaken. But there is a trend in recent epistemology toward the idea that we can solve the problem without giving skeptics any good reason to change their minds. This is what I call unambitious epistemology. This paper is a critique of that project.
  •  78
    A different kind of dream-based skepticism
    Synthese 1-13. forthcoming.
    Sextus Empiricus offers an underappreciated and under-discussed version of dream-based skepticism. Most philosophers interested in dreams and skepticism focus on the question of how you know you are not currently dreaming. Sextus points out that our waking experiences and dreams often conflict. And, the challenge goes, what reason do you have to trust the one over the other? This question presupposes that dreams and waking experiences are distinguishable. Thus the kinds of responses typically of…Read more
  •  39
    Book Symposium: Duncan Pritchard, Epistemic Angst
    with Duncan Pritchard, Nicola Claudio Salvatore, and Rodrigo Borges
    Manuscrito 41 (1): 115-165. 2018.
    ABSTRACT This book symposium features three critical pieces dealing with Duncan Pritchard's book, 'Epistemic Angst'; the symposium also contains Pritchard's replies to his critics.
  • _Tell Me Something I Don’t Know_ is a collection of original dialogues in epistemology, suitable for student readers but also of interest to experts. Familiar problems, theories, and arguments are explored: second-order knowledge, epistemic closure, the preface paradox, skepticism, pragmatic encroachment, the Gettier problem, and more. New ideas on each of these issues are also offered, defended, and critiqued, often in humorous and entertaining ways.
  •  27
    What Do You Do with Misleading Evidence&quest
    Philosophical Quarterly 54 (217): 557-569. 2004.
    Gilbert Harman has presented an argument to the effect that if S knows that p then S knows that any evidence for not-p is misleading. Therefore S is warranted in being dogmatic about anything he happens to know. I explain, and reject, Sorensen's attempt to solve the paradox via Jackson's theory of conditionals. S is not in a position to disregard evidence even when
  • Recent theories of the a priori were explained, evaluated and rejected. The author then discussed the ramifications of this with respect to the questions of the nature of a priori justification and intuition, justification versus metajustification and skepticism about the a priori. It was concluded that intuition is inevitable in a theory of the a priori, that the concept of intuition is not hopelessly unclear, that justification does not require metajustification, and that while a metajustifica…Read more
  •  50
    I Know I am Not Gettiered
    Analytic Philosophy 54 (4): 401-420. 2013.
    In a Normal Case, a subject has a justified true belief that P and also knows that P. In a Gettier Case, a subject has a justified true belief that P but does not know that P. The received view (endorsed by Lycan and others) is that if one is in a Normal Case then one cannot know that he is not in a Gettier case. I argue that the received view is mistaken and I discuss the implications this has on some other epistemological issues.
  •  54
    What do you do with misleading evidence?
    Philosophical Quarterly 54 (217). 2004.
    Gilbert Harman has presented an argument to the effect that if S knows that p then S knows that any evidence for not-p is misleading. Therefore S is warranted in being dogmatic about anything he happens to know. I explain, and reject, Sorensen's attempt to solve the paradox via Jackson's theory of conditionals. S is not in a position to disregard evidence even when he knows it to be misleading
  •  67
    On a so‐Called Solution to a Paradox
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2): 283-297. 2016.
    The mooronic solution to the surprise quiz paradox says students know there will be a surprise quiz one day this week but they lose this knowledge on the penultimate day. This is because ‘there will be a surprise quiz one day this week’ then becomes an instance of Moore's paradox. This view has surprising consequences. Furthermore, even though the surprise quiz announcement becomes an instance of Moore's paradox on the penultimate day, this does not prevent the students from knowing the quiz is …Read more
  •  40
    What Place for the A Priori? (edited book)
    Open Court. 2011.
    The book gives a diverse and even-handed treatment of the topic without attempting to resolve the matter.
  •  88
    The Coercion Argument Against Performance-Enhancing Drugs
    Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 41 (2): 267-277. 2014.
    This paper is a critique of the coercion argument against performance-enhancing drugs . According to this argument, lifting the ban on PEDs would undermine the autonomy of athletes by creating a situation where everyone must either use PEDs or not compete at the highest levels of sport. Four problems are raised for this argument and it is concluded that the argument fails. A variation on the coercion argument is also considered and rejected
  •  74
    Knowledge with and Without Belief
    Metaphilosophy 45 (1): 120-132. 2014.
    This article argues for the thesis that the distinction between propositional and doxastic justification should be extended to knowledge. A consequence of this thesis is that there is a type of knowledge that requires belief and a type that does not. A familiar example strikingly similar to the sort of example used to introduce the propositional/doxastic justification makes a prima facie case. Additional theoretical advantages are revealed when the distinction is applied within the context of so…Read more
  •  69
    Recent studies provide some support for the idea that prayer has curative powers. It is argued that even if prayers are effective in these kinds of cases it cannot be because God is answering them. While many have challenged theological explanations for the efficacy of prayer on epistemic grounds, the argument presented here concludes that the theological explanation conflicts with the standard conception of God. In particular, if God answers prayers in these kinds of cases then God is immoral.
  •  87
    A self-fulfilling fallacy (SFF) is a fallacious argument whose conclusion is that the very fallacy employed is an invalid or otherwise illegitimate inferential procedure. This paper discusses three different ways in which SFF’s might serve to justify their conclusions. SFF’s might have probative value as honest and straightforward arguments, they might serve to justify the premise of a meta-argument or, following a point made by Roy Sorensen, they might provide a non-inferential basis for accept…Read more
  •  38
    Contextualism and Semantic Ascent
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (2): 261-272. 2004.
    Some object that contextualism makes knowledge elusive in the sense that it comes and goes as the standards for knowledge change. Contextualists have attempted to handle this objection by semantic ascent. Some of the recent refinements that contextualism has undergone create serious problems for this move. Either it makes contextualism unassertible or it makes refuting the skeptic too easy
  •  52
    The Epistemology of Belief – Hamid Vahid
    Philosophical Quarterly 60 (241): 871-873. 2010.
  •  80
    Epistemological Disjunctivism is the view that rational support for paradigm cases of perceptual knowledge that P comes from seeing that P – a state that is both factive and reflectively accessible. ED has the consequence that if I see that there is a barn before me, I can thereby be in a position to know that I am not in fake barn country. It is argued that this is a problem. The problem is distinct from familiar complaints about Neo-Mooreanism and easy knowledge. Potential ways of avoiding thi…Read more
  •  51
    What's It Like to Be a BIV? A Dialogue
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (4): 734--756. 2015.
    Several subjects are fully convinced that they are brains in vats whose experiences are hallucinatory. They confront a ‘skeptic’ who raises the possibility that they are not brains in vats who lack and hallucinate hands but ‘brains in skulls’ who have hands and see them. Familiar responses to skepticism are offered in support of the claim that the subjects know they do not have hands. The philosophical significance of this looking-glass approach to skepticism is also discussed. It is suggested t…Read more
  •  46
    Reply on behalf of Joe
    Sophia 48 (4): 461-465. 2009.
    This is a reply to W. Paul Franks’ critique (‘Why a Believer Could Believe that God Answers Prayers’) of my recent paper in Sophia (2007). I argue that Franks’ Plantinga-inspired criticism fails because it turns on the dubious assumption that the efficacy of prayer could provide evidence for the existence of God.
  •  71
    How to fake Munchausen's syndrome
    Philosophical Psychology 23 (5): 565-574. 2010.
    Sorensen raises the issue of whether it is logically possible to fake Munchausen's syndrome by way of a fictional exchange between a physician and an insurance company. In this paper, it is shown that it is possible to fake Munchausen's syndrome and to fake faking Munchausen's syndrome. The implications of this on deeper philosophical issues such as Lewis' puzzle of iterated pretence and “internalist” versus “externalist” accounts of faking are discussed. An externalist account of faking is defe…Read more
  •  36
    Virtual Child Pornography
    Public Affairs Quarterly 18 (1): 75-90. 2004.
  •  51
    Not too proud to Beg (the question): Why inferentialism cannot account for the a priori
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 73 (1): 113-131. 2006.
    The inferentialist account of the a priori says that basic logical beliefs can be justified by way of rule circular inference. I argue that this account of the a priori fails to skirt the charge of begging the question, that the reasons offered in support of it are weak and that it makes justifying logical beliefs too easy. I also argue that recent modifications to inferentialism spell doom for it as a general theory of a priori justification.
  •  71
    Truthmaker maximalism is the claim that every truth has a truthmaker. The case of negative truths leads some philosophers to postulate negative states of affairs or to give up on truthmaker maximalism. This paper defends a version of the incompatibility view of negative truths. Negative truths can be made true by positive facts, and thus, truthmaker maximalism can be maintained without postulating negative states of affairs
  •  64
    The Argument from Abomination
    Erkenntnis 78 (5): 1185-1196. 2013.
    The conclusive reasons view of knowledge entails the “abominable conjunction” that I know that I have hands but I do not know that I am not a brain in a vat. The argument from abomination takes this as a reason to reject the view. This paper aims to buttress the argument from abomination by adding a new sort to this list: the logical abominations. These include: “I know that argument is sound and that sound arguments have true conclusions but I don’t know whether the conclusion of that argument …Read more