•  3521
    Absolutism, Relativism and Metaepistemology
    Erkenntnis 86 (5): 1139-1159. 2019.
    This paper is about two topics: metaepistemological absolutism and the epistemic principles governing perceptual warrant. Our aim is to highlight—by taking the debate between dogmatists and conservativists about perceptual warrant as a case study—a surprising and hitherto unnoticed problem with metaepistemological absolutism, at least as it has been influentially defended by Paul Boghossian as the principal metaepistemological contrast point to relativism. What we find is that the metaepistemolo…Read more
  •  64
    A (Partial) Defence of Moderate Skeptical Invariantism
    In Christos Kyriacou & Kevin Wallbridge (eds.), Skeptical Invariantism Reconsidered, Routledge. forthcoming.
    Skeptical invariantism isn’t a popular view about the semantics of knowledge attributions. But what, exactly, is wrong with it? The basic problem is that it seems to run foul of the fact that we know quite a lot of things. I agree that it is a key desideratum for an account of knowledge that it accommodate the fact that we know a lot of things. But what sorts of things should a plausible theory of knowledge say that we know? In this paper I sketch an answer to this question and then apply it to …Read more
  •  106
    Persuasion and Intellectual Autonomy
    In Kirk Lougheed & Jonathan Matheson (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy, Routledge. forthcoming.
    In her paper “Democracy, Public Policy, and Lay Assessments of Scientific Testimony” Elizabeth Anderson (2011) identifies a tension between the requirements of responsible public policy making and democratic legitimacy. The tension, put briefly, is that responsible public policy making should be based on the best available scientific research, but for it to be democratically legitimate there must also be broad public acceptance of whatever policies are put in place. In this chapter I discuss thi…Read more
  •  127
    Asymmetrical Rationality: Are Only Other People Stupid?
    In Michael Hannon & Jeroen De Ridder (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology, Routledge. forthcoming.
    It is commonly observed that we live in an increasingly polarised world. Strikingly, we are polarised not only about political issues, but also about scientific issues that have political implications, such as climate change. This raises two questions. First, why are we so polarised over these issues? Second, does this mean our views about these issues are all equally ir/rational? In this chapter I explore both questions. Specifically, I draw on the literature on ideologically motivated reasonin…Read more
  •  74
    Assertion, Action, and Context
    Synthese 1-13. forthcoming.
    A common objection to both contextualism and relativism about knowledge ascriptions is that they threaten knowledge norms of assertion and action. Consequently, if there is good reason to accept knowledge norms of assertion or action, there is good reason to reject both contextualism and relativism. In this paper we argue that neither contextualism nor relativism threaten knowledge norms of assertion or action.
  •  369
    Skepticism Motivated: On the Skeptical Import of Motivated Reasoning
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy (6): 1-17. 2020.
    Empirical work on motivated reasoning suggests that our judgments are influenced to a surprising extent by our wants, desires and preferences (Kahan 2016; Lord, Ross, and Lepper 1979; Molden and Higgins 2012; Taber and Lodge 2006). How should we evaluate the epistemic status of beliefs formed through motivated reasoning? For example, are such beliefs epistemically justified? Are they candidates for knowledge? In liberal democracies, these questions are increasingly controversial as well as polit…Read more
  •  27
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  177
    Persuasion and Epistemic Paternalism
    In Guy Axtell & Amiel Bernal (eds.), Epistemic Paternalism: Conceptions, Justifications, and Implications, Rowman & Littlefield. forthcoming.
    Many of us hold false beliefs about matters that are relevant to public policy such as climate change and the safety of vaccines. What can be done to rectify this situation? This question can be read in two ways. According to the descriptive reading, it concerns which methods will be effective in persuading people that their beliefs are false. According to the normative reading, it concerns which methods we are permitted to use in the service of persuading people. Some effective methods—a progra…Read more
  •  38
    Extended Epistemology
    Analysis 79 (4): 790-799. 2019.
  •  188
    The Disappearance of Ignorance
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (1): 4-20. 2020.
    Keith DeRose’s new book The Appearance of Ignorance is a welcome companion volume to his 2009 book The Case for Contextualism. Where latter focused on contextualism as a view in the philosophy of language, the former focuses on how contextualism contributes to our understanding of some perennial epistemological problems, with the skeptical problem being the main focus of six of the seven chapters. DeRose’s view is that a solution to the skeptical problem must do two things. First, it must explai…Read more
  •  182
    Pragmatic Encroachment and Feminist Epistemology
    In Natalie Alana Ashton, Martin Kusch, Robin McKenna & Katharina Sodoma (eds.), Social Epistemology and Epistemic Relativism, Routledge. forthcoming.
    Pragmatic encroachers argue that whether you know that p depends on a combination of pragmatic and epistemic factors. Most defenses of pragmatic encroachment focus on a particular pragmatic factor: how much is at stake for an individual. This raises a question: are there reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on other pragmatic factors that parallel the reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on the stakes? In this paper I argue that there are parallel reasons for thinking that knowled…Read more
  •  236
    The Genealogy of Relativism and Absolutism
    In Christos Kyriacou & Robin McKenna (eds.), Metaepistemology: Realism and Anti-Realism, Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 217-239. 2018.
  •  111
    Relativism and externalism
    In Martin Kusch (ed.), Routledge Handbook to Relativism, Routledge. 2019.
    No abstract available.
  •  318
    Irrelevant Cultural Influences on Belief
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 36 (5): 755-768. 2019.
    Recent work in psychology on ‘cultural cognition’ suggests that our cultural background drives our attitudes towards a range of politically contentious issues in science such as global warming. This work is part of a more general attempt to investigate the ways in which our wants, wishes and desires impact on our assessments of information, events and theories. Put crudely, the idea is that we conform our assessments of the evidence for and against scientific theories with clear political releva…Read more
  •  244
    No Epistemic Trouble for Engineering ‘Woman’
    Logos and Episteme 9 (3): 335-342. 2018.
    In a recent article in this journal, Mona Simion argues that Sally Haslanger’s “engineering” approach to gender concepts such as ‘woman’ faces an epistemic objection. The primary function of all concepts—gender concepts included—is to represent the world, but Haslanger’s engineering account of ‘woman’ fails to adequately represent the world because, by her own admission, it doesn’t include all women in the extension of the concept ‘woman.’ I argue that this objection fails because the primary fu…Read more
  •  16
    Metaepistemology: Realism & Antirealism (edited book)
    Palgrave Macmillan. 2018.
    This book contains twelve chapters by leading and up-and-coming philosophers on metaepistemology, that is, on the nature, existence and authority of epistemic facts. One of the central divides in metaepistemology is between epistemic realists and epistemic anti-realists. Epistemic realists think that epistemic facts exist independently of human judgements and practices, and that they have authority over our judgements and practices. Epistemic anti-realists think that, if epistemic facts exist at…Read more
  •  699
    Situating feminist epistemology
    Episteme 17 (1): 28-47. 2020.
    Feminist epistemologies hold that differences in the social locations of inquirers make for epistemic differences, for instance, in the sorts of things that inquirers are justified in believing. In this paper we situate this core idea in feminist epistemologies with respect to debates about social constructivism. We address three questions. First, are feminist epistemologies committed to a form of social constructivism about knowledge? Second, to what extent are they incompatible with traditiona…Read more
  •  255
    The genealogical method in epistemology
    Synthese 197 (3): 1057-1076. forthcoming.
    In 1990 Edward Craig published a book called Knowledge and the State of Nature in which he introduced and defended a genealogical approach to epistemology. In recent years Craig’s book has attracted a lot of attention, and his distinctive approach has been put to a wide range of uses including anti-realist metaepistemology, contextualism, relativism, anti-luck virtue epistemology, epistemic injustice, value of knowledge, pragmatism and virtue epistemology. While the number of objections to Craig…Read more
  •  249
    In a series of works Ernest Sosa (see Sosa 1991, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017) has defended the view that there are two kinds or ‘grades’ of knowledge, animal and reflective. One of the most persistent critics of Sosa’s attempts to bifurcate knowledge is Hilary Kornblith (see Kornblith 2004, 2009, 2012). Our aim in this paper is to outline and evaluate Kornblith’s criticisms. We will argue that, while they raise a range of difficult (exegetical and substantive) questions about Sosa’s ‘bi-l…Read more
  •  76
    Process reliabilism says that a belief is justified iff the belief-forming process that produced it is sufficiently reliable. But any token belief-forming process is an instance of a number of different belief-forming process types. The problem of specifying the relevant type is known as the ‘generality problem’ for process reliabilism. This paper proposes a broadly relativist solution to the generality problem. The thought is that the relevant belief-forming process type is relative to the cont…Read more
  •  28
    Action, Knowledge, and Will By John Hyman (review)
    Analysis 77 (3): 667-670. 2017.
    _Action, Knowledge, and Will_By HymanJohnOxford University Press, 2015. 255 pp. £35.00.
  •  484
    Pluralism about Knowledge
    In Annalisa Coliva & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), Epistemic Pluralism, Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 171-198. 2017.
    In this paper I consider the prospects for pluralism about knowledge, that is, the view that there is a plurality of knowledge relations. After a brief overview of some views that entail a sort of pluralism about knowledge, I focus on a particular kind of knowledge pluralism I call standards pluralism. Put roughly, standards pluralism is the view that one never knows anything simpliciter. Rather, one knows by this-or-that epistemic standard. Because there is a plurality of epistemic standards, t…Read more
  •  431
    ‘Knowledge’ ascriptions, social roles and semantics
    Episteme 10 (4): 335-350. 2013.
    The idea that the concept ‘knowledge’ has a distinctive function or social role is increasingly influential within contemporary epistemology. Perhaps the best-known account of the function of ‘knowledge’ is that developed in Edward Craig’s Knowledge and the state of nature (1990, OUP), on which (roughly) ‘knowledge’ has the function of identifying good informants. Craig’s account of the function of ‘knowledge’ has been appealed to in support of a variety of views, and in this paper I’m concern…Read more
  •  328
    This paper focuses on Martin Montminy’s recent attempt to show that assertion and practical reasoning are necessarily governed by the same epistemic norm (“Why assertion and practical reasoning must be governed by the same epistemic norm”, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly [2013]). I show that the attempt fails. I finish by considering the upshot for the recent debate concerning the connection between the epistemic norms of assertion and practical reasoning.
  •  640
    Epistemic contextualism defended
    Synthese 192 (2): 363-383. 2015.
    Epistemic contextualists think that the extension of the expression ‘knows’ depends on and varies with the context of utterance. In the last 15 years or so this view has faced intense criticism. This paper focuses on two sorts of objections. The first are what I call the ‘linguistic objections’, which purport to show that the best available linguistic evidence suggests that ‘knows’ is not context-sensitive. The second is what I call the ‘disagreement problem’, which concerns the behaviour of ‘kn…Read more
  •  210
    Assertion, Complexity, and Sincerity
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4): 782-798. 2015.
    The target of this paper is the ‘simple’ knowledge account of assertion, according to which assertion is constituted by a single epistemic rule of the form ‘One must: assert p only if one knows p’. My aim is to argue that those who are attracted to a knowledge account of assertion should prefer what I call the ‘complex’ knowledge account, according to which assertion is constituted by a system of rules all of which are, taken together, constitutive of assertion. One of those rules—which, followi…Read more
  •  388
    Normative scorekeeping
    Synthese 191 (3): 607-625. 2014.
    Epistemic contextualists think that the truth-conditions of ‘knowledge’ ascriptions depend in part on the context in which they are uttered. But what features of context play a role in determining truth-conditions? The idea that the making salient of error possibilities is a central part of the story has often been attributed to contextualists, and a number of contextualists seem to endorse it (see Cohen (Philos Perspect, 13:57–89, 1999) and Hawthorne, (Knowledge and lotteries, Oxford University…Read more