•  400
    The Basing Relation
    Philosophical Review 128 (2): 179-217. 2019.
  •  330
    In defense of epistemic relativism
    Episteme 4 (1): 30-48. 2007.
    In Fear of Knowledge, Paul Boghossian argues against various forms of epistemic relativism. In this paper, I criticize Boghossian’s arguments against a particular variety of relativism. I then argue in favor of a thesis that is very similar to this variety of relativism
  •  266
    Safety and epistemic luck
    Synthese 158 (3). 2007.
    There is some consensus that for S to know that p, it cannot be merely a matter of luck that S’s belief that p is true. This consideration has led Duncan Pritchard and others to propose a safety condition on knowledge. In this paper, we argue that the safety condition is not a proper formulation of the intuition that knowledge excludes luck. We suggest an alternative proposal in the same spirit as safety, and find it lacking as well.
  •  234
    Perceptual evidence and the new dogmatism
    Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2): 199-214. 2004.
    What is the epistemological value of perceptual experience? In his recently influential paper, “The Skeptic and the Dogmatist”1, James Pryor develops a seemingly plausible answer to this question. Pryor’s answer comprises the following three theses: (F) “Our perceptual justification for beliefs about our surroundings is always defeasible – there are always possible improvements in our epistemic state which would no longer support those beliefs.” (517) (PK) “This justification that you get merely…Read more
  •  232
    My topic in this paper is a particular species of epistemic justification – a species that, following Roderick Firth, I call “propositional justification.”1 Propositional justification is a relation between a person and a proposition. I will say that for S to bear the propositional justification relation to p is for S to be “justified in believing” that p. What is propositional justification? What is it for S to be justified in believing that p? Here’s my answer.
  •  214
    What evidence do you have?
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (1): 89-119. 2008.
    Your evidence constrains your rational degrees of confidence both locally and globally. On the one hand, particular bits of evidence can boost or diminish your rational degree of confidence in various hypotheses, relative to your background information. On the other hand, epistemic rationality requires that, for any hypothesis h, your confidence in h is proportional to the support that h receives from your total evidence. Why is it that your evidence has these two epistemic powers? I argue that …Read more
  •  198
    Luminosity and the safety of knowledge
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (4). 2004.
    In his recent Knowledge and its Limits, Timothy Williamson argues that no non-trivial mental state is such that being in that state suffices for one to be in a position to know that one is in it. In short, there are no “luminous” mental states. His argument depends on a “safety” requirement on knowledge, that one’s confident belief could not easily have been wrong if it is to count as knowledge. We argue that the safety requirement is ambiguous; on one interpretation it is obviously true but usele…Read more
  •  197
    McDowell and the new evil genius
    with Duncan Pritchard
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2). 2007.
    (NEG) is widely accepted both by internalist and by externalists. In fact, there have been very few opponents of (NEG). Timothy Williamson (e.g., 2000) rejects (NEG), for reasons that have by now received a great deal of scrutiny.2 John McDowell also rejects (NEG), but his reasons have not received the scrutiny they deserve. This is in large part because those reasons have not been well understood. We believe that McDowell’s challenge to (NEG) is important, worthy of fair assessment, and maybe e…Read more
  •  180
    Liberalism and Conservatism in the Epistemology of Perceptual Belief
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4): 685-705. 2010.
    Liberals claim that some perceptual experiences give us immediate justification for certain perceptual beliefs. Conservatives claim that the justification that perceptual experiences give us for those perceptual beliefs is mediated by our background beliefs. In his recent paper ?Basic Justification and the Moorean Response to the Skeptic?, Nico Silins successfully argues for a non-Moorean version of Liberalism. But Silins's defence of non-Moorean Liberalism leaves us with a puzzle: why is it tha…Read more
  •  164
    Contextualism and the problem of the external world
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1). 2003.
    A skeptic claims that I do not have knowledge of the external world. It has been thought that the skeptic reaches this conclusion because she employs unusually stringent standards for knowledge. But the skeptic does not employ unusually high standards for knowledge. Rather, she employs unusually restrictive standards of evidence. Thus, her claim that we lack knowledge of the external world is supported by considerations that would equally support the claim that we lack evidence for our beliefs a…Read more
  •  144
    Many epistemologists are interested in offering a positive account of how it is that many of our common sense beliefs enjoy one or another positive epistemological status (e.g., how they are warranted, justified, reasonable, or what have you). A number of philosophers, under the influence of Wittgenstein and/or J. L. Austin, have argued that this enterprise is misconceived. The most effective version of this argument is to be found in Mark Kaplan’s paper “Epistemology on Holiday”. After explaini…Read more
  •  144
    What is an inference?
    Philosophical Issues 23 (1): 388-407. 2013.
  •  144
    A contextualist solution to the problem of easy knowledge
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1): 183-206. 2005.
    Many philosophers hold some verion of the doctrine of "basic knowledge". According to this doctrine, it's possible for S to know that p, even if S doesn't know the source of her knowledge that p to be reliable or trustworthy. Stewart Cohen has recently argued that this doctrine confronts the problem of easy knowledge. I defend basic knowledge against this criticism, by providing a contextualist solution to the problem of easy knowledge.
  •  129
    A Refutation of Cartesian Fallibilism
    Noûs 45 (4): 658-695. 2011.
    According to a doctrine that I call “Cartesianism”, knowledge – at least the sort of knowledge that inquirers possess – requires having a reason for belief that is reflectively accessible as such. I show that Cartesianism, in conjunction with some plausible and widely accepted principles, entails the negation of a popular version of Fallibilism. I then defend the resulting Cartesian Infallibilist position against popular objections. My conclusion is that if Cartesianism is true, then Descartes w…Read more
  •  128
    S knows that P
    Noûs 36 (4). 2002.
    Rieber 1998 proposes an account of "S knows that p" that generates a contextualist solution to Closure. In this paper, I’ll argue that Rieber’s account of "S knows that p" is subject to fatal objections, but we can modify it to achieve an adequate account of "S knows that p" that generates a unified contextualist solution to all four puzzles. This is a feat that should matter to those philosophers who have proposed contextualist solutions to Closure: all of them have motivated their contextualis…Read more
  •  125
  •  124
    Undermining the case for contrastivism
    Social Epistemology 22 (3). 2008.
    A number of philosophers have recently defended “contrastivist” theories of knowledge, according to which knowledge is a relation between at least the following three relata: a knower, a proposition, and a contrast set. I examine six arguments that Jonathan Schaffer has given for this thesis, and show that those arguments do not favour contrastivism over a rival view that I call “evidentiary relativism”. I then argue that evidentiary relativism accounts for more data than does contrastivism
  •  110
    Two Legacies of Goldman’s Epistemology
    Philosophical Topics 45 (1): 121-136. 2017.
    Goldman’s epistemology has been influential in two ways. First, it has influenced some philosophers to think that, contrary to erstwhile orthodoxy, relations of evidential support, or confirmation, are not discoverable a priori. Second, it has offered some philosophers a powerful argument in favor of methodological reliance on intuitions about thought experiments in doing philosophy. This paper argues that these two legacies of Goldman’s epistemology conflict with each other.
  •  110
    Contextualism and a puzzle about seeing
    Philosophical Studies 134 (1): 53-63. 2007.
    Contextualist solutions to skeptical puzzles have recently been subjected to various criticisms. In this paper, I will defend contextualism against an objection prominently pressed by Stanley 2000. According to Stanley, contextualism in epistemology advances an empirically implausible hypothesis about the semantics of knowledge ascriptions in natural language. It is empirically implausible because it attributes to knowledge ascriptions a kind of semantic context-sensitivity that is wholly unlike…Read more
  •  101
  •  100
    Knowing from the Armchair that Our Intuitions Are Reliable
    The Monist 95 (2): 329-351. 2012.
    In recent years, a growing body of experimental literature has called into question the reliability of our intuitions about hypothetical cases, and thereby called into question the use of intuitions in philosophy. In this paper, I critically assess one prominent example of this challenge, namely, Swain, Alexander, and Weinberg’s recent study of order effects on the Truetemp intuition. I argue that the very data that Swain,Alexander, and Weinberg find do not undermine, but instead support, the re…Read more
  •  88
    Skepticism, contextualism, and semantic self-knowledge
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2). 2003.
    Stephen Schiffer has argued that contextualist solutions to skepticism rest on an implausible "error theory" concerning our own semantic intentions. Similar arguments have recently been offered also by Thomas Hofweber and Patrick Rysiew. I attempt to show how contextualists can rebut these arguments. The kind of self-knowledge that contextualists are committed to denying us is not a kind of self-knowledge that we need, nor is it a kind of self-knowledge that we can plausibly be thought to posses…Read more
  •  86
    Anti-intellectualism and the knowledge-action principle (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (1). 2007.
  •  76
    Reflections on reflective knowledge
    Philosophical Studies 153 (1). 2011.
    In his volume reflective knowledge, Ernest Sosa offers an account of knowledge, an argument against internalist foundationalism, and a solution to the problem of easy knowledge. This paper offers challenges to Sosa on each of those three things