•  442
    Intemalism, the Gettier Problem, and Metaepistemological Skepticism
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 60 (1): 99-117. 2000.
    When it comes to second-order knowledge, internalists typically contend that when we know that p, we can, by reflecting, directly know that we are knowing it. Gettier considerations are employed to challenge this internalistic contention and to make out a prima facie case for internalistic metaepistemological skepticism, the thesis that no one ever intemalistically knows that one internalistically knows that p. In particular, I argue that at the metaepistemological second-order level, the Gettie…Read more
  •  22
    The Moral Rights of Animals (edited book)
    Lexington. 2016.
    This volume brings together essays by seminal figures and rising stars in the fields of animal ethics and moral theory to analyze and evaluate the moral status of non-human animals, with a special focus on the question of whether or not animals have moral rights. Though wide-ranging in many ways, these fourteen original essays and one reprinted essay direct significant attention to both the main arguments for animal rights and the biggest challenges to animal rights. This volume explores the que…Read more
  •  65
    Coarsening Brand on Events, while Proliferating Davidsonian Events
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 47 (1): 155-183. 1994.
    A course-grained theory of event individuation is defended by arguing that events are spatiotemporal particulars with an ontological affinity to coarse-grained physical objects and by demonstrating that the metalinguistic correlate to one set of adequate identity conditions for events is most plausibly iterpreted as coarsely individuating events. Such coarse-grained events, it is argued, do admit of divisibility proliferation, much like the proliferation of physical objects entailed by Goodman's…Read more
  •  20
    Suppose that I hold a ticket in a fair lottery and that I believe that my ticket will lose [L] on the basis of its extremely high probability of losing. What is the appropriate epistemic appraisal of me and my belief that L? Am I justified in believing that L? Do I know that L? While there is disagreement among epistemologists over whether or not I am justified in believing that L, there is widespread agreement that I do not know that L. I defend the two-pronged view that I am justified in belie…Read more
  •  25
    What ontological arguments don’t show
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (1): 97-114. 2020.
    Daniel Dombrowski contends that: a number of versions of the ontological argument [OA] are sound; the deity whose existence is most well established by the OA is the deity picked out by Hartshorne’s neoclassical concept of God; skeptics who insist that the OA only shows that “if God exists, then God exists necessarily” are contradicting themselves, and the OA is worth a great deal since it effectively demonstrates the rationality of theism. I argue that theses and are clearly false and offer a p…Read more
  •  42
    In Defense of Pure Reason (review)
    Dialogue 39 (1): 163-166. 2000.
    Laurence Bonjour's In Defense of Pure Reason is must reading for anyone interested in the empiricism/rationalism debate, especially for anyone convinced that empiricism has won the day. In the pellucid prose that is a signature of Bonjour's work, it presents a compelling case for the indispensability of genuine rationalistic a priori justification, while providing a sustained critique of the empiricist alternatives which either restrict a priori justification to analytic propositions or deny the…Read more
  •  42
    Demystifying Animal Rights
    Between the Species 21 (1). 2018.
    According to the mysteriousness objection, moral rights are wholly mysterious, metaphysically suspect entities. Given their unexplained character and dubious metaphysical status, the objection goes, we should be ontologically parsimonious and deny that such entities exist. I defend Tom Regan's rights view from the mysteriousness objection. In particular, I argue that what makes moral rights seem metaphysically mysterious is the mistaken tendency to reify such rights. Once we understand what mora…Read more
  •  15
    Colb and Dorf on Abortion and Animal Rights
    Between the Species 20 (1). 2017.
    In their recent book, Sherry Colb and Michael Dorf defend the following ethical theses: sentience is sufficient for possessing the right not to be harmed and the right not to be killed; killing sentient animals for food is almost always seriously wrong; aborting pre-sentient fetuses raises no moral concerns at all; and aborting sentient fetuses is wrong absent a reason weighty enough to justify killing the fetus. They also discuss strategies and tactics for activists: They oppose the use of grap…Read more
  •  116
    Skeptics try to persuade us of our ignorance with arguments like the following: 1. I don't know that I am not a handless brain-in-a-vat [BIV]. 2. If I don't know that I am not a handless BIV, then I don't know that I have hands. Therefore, 3. I don't know that I have hands. The BIV argument is valid, its premises are intuitively compelling, and yet, its conclusion strikes us as a absurd. Something has to go, but what? Contextualists contend that an adequate solution to the skeptical problem must…Read more
  •  26
    Is Epistemic Luck Compatible with Knowledge?
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (2): 59-75. 1992.
  •  57
    As we trace a chain of reasoning backward, it must ultimately do one of four things: (i) end in an unjustified belief, (ii) continue infinitely, (iii) form a circle, or (iv) end in an immediately justified basic belief. This article defends positism—the view that, in certain circumstances, type-(i) chains can justify us in holding their target beliefs. One of the assumptions that generates the epistemic regress problem is: (A) Person S is mediately justified in believing p iff (1) S has a doxast…Read more
  •  164
    A noncontextualist account of contextualist linguistic data
    Acta Analytica 20 (2): 56-79. 2005.
    The paper takes as its starting point the observation that people can be led to retract knowledge claims when presented with previously ignored error possibilities, but offers a noncontextualist explanation of the data. Fallibilist epistemologies are committed to the existence of two kinds of Kp -falsifying contingencies: (i) Non-Ignorable contingencies [NI-contingencies] and (ii) Properly-Ignorable contingencies [PI-contingencies]. For S to know that p, S must be in an epistemic position to rul…Read more
  •  5
    Inconsistency: The coherence theorist’s nemesis?
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 40 (1): 113-130. 1991.
    The relationship between inconsistency and Lehrerian coherence is scrutinized. Like most coherence theorists of epistemic justification, Lehrer contends that consistency is necessary for coherence. Despite this contention, minimally inconsistent belief-sets prove coherent and rationally acceptable on Lehrer's account of coherence. Lehrer is left with the following dilemma: If consistency is necessary for coherence, then he must revise his account of coherence accordingly and, more importantly, s…Read more
  •  518
    The mere considerability of animals
    Acta Analytica 16 89-108. 2001.
    Singer and Regan predicate their arguments -- for ethical vegetarianism, against animal experimentation, and for an end to animal exploitation generally -- on the equal considerability premise (EC). According to (EC), we owe humans and sentient nonhumans exactly the same degree of moral considerability. While Singer's and Regan's conclusions follow from (EC), many philosophers reject their arguments because they find (EC)'s implications morally repugnant and intuitively unacceptable. Like most p…Read more
  •  30
    Review of Practical Ethics, 3rd Edition by Peter Singer1 (review)
    American Journal of Bioethics 11 (12): 73-75. 2011.
    The American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 11, Issue 12, Page 73-75, December 2011
  •  113
    This paper defends a coherentist approach to moral epistemology. In “The Immorality of Eating Meat”, I offer a coherentist consistency argument to show that our own beliefs rationally commit us to the immorality of eating meat. Elsewhere, I use our own beliefs as premises to argue that we have positive duties to assist the poor and to argue that biomedical animal experimentation is wrong. The present paper explores whether this consistency-based coherentist approach of grounding particular moral…Read more
  • Review of Mark Devries’s documentary film "Speciesism: The Movie"
    The Philosophers’ Magazine (65): 123-124. 2014.
  •  94
    The Commonsense Case for Ethical Vegetarianism
    Between the Species: A Journal of Ethics 19 (1): 2-31. 2016.
    The article defends ethical vegetarianism, which, for present purposes, is stipulatively taken to be the view that it is morally wrong to eat animals when equally nutritious plant-based foods are available. Several examples are introduced to show that we all agree that animals deserve some direct moral consideration and to help identify and clarify several commonsense moral principles—principles we all accept. These principles are then used to argue that eating animals is morally wrong. Since yo…Read more
  •  1460
    Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics. 2016.
    Ethical vegetarians maintain that vegetarianism is morally required. The principal reasons offered in support of ethical vegetarianism are: (i) concern for the welfare and well-being of the animals being eaten, (ii) concern for the environment, (iii) concern over global food scarcity and the just distribution of resources, and (iv) concern for future generations. Each of these reasons is explored in turn, starting with a historical look at ethical vegetarianism and the moral status of animals.
  •  428
    Epistemic Luck
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1-41. 2011.
    Epistemic luck is a generic notion used to describe any of a number of ways in which it can be accidental, coincidental, or fortuitous that a person has a true belief. For example, one can form a true belief as a result of a lucky guess, as when one believes through guesswork that “C” is the right answer to a multiple-choice question and one’s belief just happens to be correct. One can form a true belief via wishful thinking; for example, an optimist’s belief that it will not rain may luckily tu…Read more
  •  86
    The problem of other minds: A reliable solution
    Acta Analytica 11 87-109. 1996.
    Paul Churchland characterizes the "epistemological problem" in philosophy of mind as the problem "concerned with how we come to have knowledge of the internal activities of conscious, intelligent minds." This problem is itself divided into two separate, but related problems: (1) the problem of self-consciousness -- that of determining how one comes to have knowledge of one's own mental states, and (2) the problem of other minds -- that of explaining how one can ever come to know that something o…Read more