•  85
    Note on the Individuation of Biological Traits
    Journal of Philosophy 115 (4): 215-221. 2018.
    Bence Nanay has argued that we must abandon the etiological theory of teleological function because this theory explains functions and functional categories in a circular manner. Paul Griffiths argued earlier that we should retain the etiological theory and instead prevent the circularity by making etiologies independent of functional categories. Karen Neander and Alex Rosenberg reply to Nanay similarly, and argue that we should analyze functions in terms of natural selection acting not on funct…Read more
  •  189
    A New Source of Data About Singular Thought
    Philosophia 41 (4): 1159-1172. 2013.
    Philosophers have justified extant theories of singular thought in at least three ways: they have invoked wide-ranging theories motivated by data from other philosophical areas, they have elicited direct intuitions about which thoughts are singular, and they have subjected propositional attitude reports to tests such as Russellian substitution and Quinean exportation. In these ways, however, we haven’t yet been able to tell what it takes to have singular thoughts, nor have we been able to tell w…Read more
  •  377
    A Counterexample to Variabilism
    Analysis 76 (1): 26-29. 2016.
    Recent literature contains influential arguments for variabilism, the view that we should understand proper names as analogues not of constants but of variables. In particular, proper names are said to sometimes take semantic values that are not referential but purely general. I present a counter-example to this view
  •  1124
    Stained Glass as a Model for Consciousness
    Philosophical Explorations 18 (1): 90-103. 2015.
    Contemporary phenomenal externalists are motivated to a large extent by the transparency of experience and by the related doctrine of representationalism. On their own, however, transparency and representationalism do not suffice to establish externalism. Hence we should hesitate to dismiss phenomenal internalism, a view shared by many generations of competent philosophers. Rather, we should keep both our options open, internalism and externalism. It is hard, however, to see how to keep open the…Read more
  •  854
    Covaluation is the generalization of coreference introduced by Tanya Reinhart. Covaluation distributes in patterns that are very similar yet not entirely identical to those of binding. On a widespread view, covaluation and binding distribute similarly because binding is defined in terms of covaluation. Yet on Reinhart's view, binding and covaluation are not related that way: binding pertains to syntax, covaluation does not. Naturally, the widespread view can easily explain the similarities betwe…Read more
  •  364
    Objective truth in matters of taste
    Philosophical Studies 173 (7): 1755-1777. 2016.
    In matters of personal taste, faultless disagreement occurs between people who disagree over what is tasty, fun, etc., in those cases when each of these people seems equally far from the objective truth. Faultless disagreement is often taken as evidence that truth is relative. This article aims to help us avoid the truth-relativist conclusion. The article, however, does not argue directly against relativism; instead, the article defends non-relative truth constructively, aiming to explain faultl…Read more