•  1189
    A Neglected Response to the Paradoxes of Confirmation
    South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (2): 179-85. 2017.
    Hempel‘s paradox of the ravens, and his take on it, are meant to be understood as being restricted to situations where we have no additional background information. According to him, in the absence of any such information, observations of FGs confirm the hypothesis that all Fs are G. In this paper I argue against this principle by way of considering two other paradoxes of confirmation, Goodman‘s 'grue‘ paradox and the 'tacking‘ (or 'irrelevant conjunct‘) paradox. What these paradoxes reveal, I a…Read more
  •  560
    The Ambiguity Thesis vs. Kripke's Defence of Russell: Further Developments
    with Nadja Rosental
    Philosophical Writings 14 49-57. 2000.
    Kripke (1977) presents an argument designed to show that the considerations in Donnellan (1966) concerning attributive and referential uses of (definite) descriptions do not, by themselves, refute Russell’s (1905) unitary theory of description sentences (RTD), which takes (utterances of) them to express purely general, quantificational, propositions. Against Kripke, Marga Reimer (1998) argues that the two uses do indeed reflect a semantic ambiguity (an ambiguity at the level of literal truth con…Read more
  •  264
    A counterfactual analysis of causation
    Mind 106 (422): 263-277. 1997.
    On David Lewis's original analysis of causation, c causes e only if c is linked to e by a chain of distinct events such that each event in the chain (counter-factually) depends on the former one. But this requirement precludes the possibility of late pre-emptive causation, of causation by fragile events, and of indeterministic causation. Lewis proposes three different strategies for accommodating these three kinds of cases, but none of these turn out to be satisfactory. I offer a single analysis…Read more
  •  237
    Descriptions and pressupositions: Strawson vs. Russell
    South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (3): 242-257. 2008.
    A Russellian theory of (definite) descriptions takes an utterance of the form ‘The F is G' to express a purely general proposition that affirms the existence of a (contextually) unique F: there is exactly one F [which is C] and it is G. Strawson, by contrast, takes the utterer to presuppose in some sense that there is exactly one salient F, but this is not part of what is asserted; rather, when the presupposition is not met the utterance simply fails to express a (true or false) proposition. A d…Read more
  •  216
    Williamson’s Argument Against the KK-Principle 157
    The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 1. 2005.
    Timothy Williamson (2000 ch. 5) presents a reductio against the luminosity of knowing, against, that is, the so-called KK-principle: if one knows p, then one knows (or is at least in a position to know) that one knows p.1 I do not endorse the principle, but I do not think Williamson’s argument succeeds in refuting it. My aim here is to show that the KK-principle is not the most obvious culprit behind the contradiction Williamson derives.
  •  208
    Anti-luminosity: Four unsuccessful strategies
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4): 659-673. 2009.
    In Knowledge and Its Limits Timothy Williamson argues against the luminosity of phenomenal states in general by way of arguing against the luminosity of feeling cold, that is, against the view that if one feels cold, one is at least in a position to know that one does. In this paper I consider four strategies that emerge from his discussion, and argue that none succeeds.
  •  190
    Kripkean Counterpart Theory
    Polish Journal of Philosophy 2 (2): 89-106. 2008.
    David Lewis’s counterpart-theoretic semantics for quantified modal logic is motivated originally by worries about identifying objects across possible worlds; the counterpart relation is grounded more cautiously on comparative similarity. The possibility of contingent identity is an unsought -- and in some eyes, unwelcome -- consequence of this approach. In this paper I motivate a Kripkean counterpart theory by way of defending the prior, pre-theoretical, coherence of contingent directness. Conti…Read more
  •  171
    Rigidity, occasional identity and Leibniz' law
    Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201): 518-526. 2000.
    André Gallois (1998) attempts to defend the occasional identity thesis (OIT), the thesis that objects which are distinct at one time may nonetheless be identical at another time, in the face of two influential lines of argument against it. One argument involves Kripke’s (1971) notion of rigid designation and the other, Leibniz’s law (affirming the indiscernibility of identicals). It is reasonable for advocates of (OIT) to question the picture of rigid designation and the version of Leibniz’s law…Read more
  •  163
    Advocates of occasional identity have two ways of interpreting putative cases of fission and fusion. One way—we call it the Creative view—takes fission to involve an object really dividing (or being replicated), thereby creating objects which would not otherwise have existed. The more ontologically parsimonious way takes fission to involve merely the ‘separation’ of objects that were identical before: strictly speaking, no object actually divides or is replicated, no new objects are created. In …Read more
  •  156
    Contingent Identity in Counterpart Theory
    Analysis 50 (3): 163-166. 1990.
    A slight modification to the translation scheme for David Lewis's counterpart theory I put forward in 'An Alternative Translation Scheme for Counterpart Theory' (Analysis 49.3 (1989)) is proposed. The motivation for this change is that it makes for a more plausible account of contingent identity. In particular, contingent identity is accommodated without admitting the contingency of self-identity.
  •  150
    The leading idea of this article is that one cannot acquire knowledge of any non-epistemic fact by virtue of knowing that one that knows something. The lines of reasoning involved in the surprise exam paradox and in Williamson’s _reductio_ of the KK-principle, which demand that one can, are thereby undermined, and new type of counter-example to epistemic closure emerges.
  •  145
    The KK-Principle, Margins for Error, and Safety
    Erkenntnis 76 (1): 121-136. 2012.
    This paper considers, and rejects, three strategies aimed at showing that the KK-principle fails even in most favourable circumstances (all emerging from Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits ). The case against the final strategy provides positive grounds for thinking that the principle should hold good in such situations
  •  110
    Noordhof on probabilistic causation
    Mind 109 (434): 309-313. 2000.
    In a recent article, Paul Noordhof (1999) has put forward an intriguing account of causation intended to work under the assumption of indeterminism. I am going to present four problems for the account, three which challenge the necessity of the conditions he specifies, and one which challenges their joint-sufficiency.
  •  104
    How Believing Can Fail to Be Knowing
    Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 21 (2): 185-194. 2006.
    This paper defends a simple, externalist account of knowledge, incorporating familiar conditions mentioned in the literature, and responds to Timothy Williamson’s charge that any such analysis is futile because knowledge is semantically un-analyzable. The response, in short, is that even though such an account may not offer a reductive analysis of knowledge-by way of more basic, non-circular concepts-it still has an explanatory advantage over Williamson’s own position: it explains how belief can…Read more
  •  97
    On restricting rigidity
    Mind 101 (401): 141-144. 1992.
    In this note I revive a lingering (albeit dormant) account of rigid designation from the pages of Mind with the aim of laying it to rest. Why let a sleeping dog lie when you can put it down? André Gallois (1986) has proposed an account of rigid designators that allegedly squares with Saul Kripke’s (1980) characterisation of them as terms which designate the same object in all possible worlds, but on which, contra Kripke, identity sentences involving rigid designators may be merely contingently t…Read more
  •  93
    Occasional identity: A tale of two approaches
    Analytic Philosophy 52 (3): 175-187. 2011.
  •  81
    Restricted rigidity: The deeper problem
    Mind 102 (405): 157-158. 1993.
    André Gallois’ (1993) modified account of restrictedly rigid designators (RRDs) does indeed block the objection I made to his original account (Gallois 1986; Ramachandran 1992). But, as I shall now show, there is a deeper problem with his approach which his modification does not shake off. The problem stems from the truth of the following compatibility claim: (CC) A term’s restrictedly rigidly designating (RR-designating) an object x is compatible with it designating an object y in a world W whe…Read more
  •  77
    Chisholm's Modal Paradox(es) and Counterpart Theory 50 Years On
    Logic and Logical Philosophy 1. forthcoming.
    Lewis’s [1968] counterpart theory (LCT for short), motivated by his modal realism, made its appearance within a year of Chisholm’s modal paradox [1967]. We are not modal realists, but we argue that a satisfactory resolution to the paradox calls for a counterpart-theoretic (CT-)semantics. We make our case by showing that the Chandler–Salmon strategy of denying the S4 axiom [◊◊ψ →◊ψ] is inadequate to resolve the paradox – we take on Salmon’s attempts to defend that strategy against objects from Le…Read more
  •  75
    Descriptions with an attitude problem
    Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237): 721-723. 2009.
    It is well known that Russell's theory of descriptions has difficulties with descriptions occurring within desire reports. I consider a flawed argument from such a case to the conclusion that descriptions have a referring use, some responses to this argument on behalf of the Russellian, and finally rejoinders to these responses which press the point home.
  •  74
    Bach on Behalf of Russell
    Analysis 55 (4). 1995.
    An utterance of a sentence involving an incomplete (definite) description, ‘the F’, where the context—even taking the speaker’s intentions into account—does not determine a unique F, would be unintelligible. But an utterance (in the same context) of the corresponding Russellian paraphrase would not be unintelligible. So I urged in ‘A Strawsonian objection to Russell’s theory of descriptions’ (ANALYSIS 53, 1993, pp. 209-12). I compared an utterance of (1) The table is covered with books. with an …Read more
  •  68
    For a (revised) PCA-analysis
    Analysis 58 (1). 1998.
  •  67
    Unsuccessful Revisions of CCT
    Analysis 50 (3). 1990.
  •  65
    Knowing by way of tracking and epistemic closure
    Analysis 75 (2): 217-223. 2015.
    Tracking accounts of knowledge were originally motivated by putative counter-examples to epistemic closure. But, as is now well known, these early accounts have many highly counterintuitive consequences. In this note, I motivate a tracking-based account which respects closure but which resolves many of the familiar problems for earlier tracking account along the way.
  •  63
    One of Strawson's objections to Russell's theory of descriptions is that what are intuitively natural and correct utterances of sentences involving incomplete descriptions come out false by RTD. Russellians have responded, not by challenging Strawson's view that these uses are natural and correct, but by embellishing RTD to accommodate these uses. I pursue an alternative line of attack: I argue that there are circumstances in which "we" would find utterances of such sentences unnatural and impro…Read more
  •  60
    Methodological Reflections on Two Kripkean Strategies
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95. 1995.
    Aims. Saul Kripke’s (1977) argument defending Russell’s theory of (definite) descriptions (RTD) against the possible objection that Donnellan’s (1966) distinction between attributive and referential uses of descriptions marks a semantic ambiguity has been highly influential.1 Yet, as I hope you’ll be persuaded, Kripke’s line of reasoning— in particular, the ‘thought-experiment’ it involves—has not been duly explored. In section II, I argue that while Kripke’s argument does ward off a fairly ill-…Read more
  •  54
    Sortal modal logic and counterpart theory
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4). 1998.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  54
    The Rigidity of Proper Names
    Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 33 189-200. 1991.