Paradise, Nevada, United States of America
  •  7
    Skepticism, objectivity and the aspirations of immanence
    Dialectica 52 (4): 291-318. 1998.
    Quine's attitude toward external world skepticism remains, to this day, less than completely clear. As one might except, Quine seems to dismiss such concerns in most of his work as beneath refutation. But, occasionally Quine seems to adopt an alternative stance, a stance from which he aims to address the issue, not simply ignore it. This is particularly true of Quine's brief but pithy “Response to Stroud,” wherein he seeks to defend the adequacy of epistemology naturalized qua knowledge theory a…Read more
  • Epistemic Contextualism and Sceptical Epistemology
    Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 12. 2009.
    Philosophers generally assume that “contextual” factors blunt the force of “external world” skepticism. I argue herein that this is not the case. On the contrary, properly invoked contextual considerations support, rather than undermine, the skeptic's agenda. This is because the contexts of assessment against which we rightfully judge that knowledge is or is not available ultimately consist in little more than our own presuppositions concerning the objectivity of the items at issue. What this im…Read more
  • Does Analytic Philosophy Terminate in Pragmatism?
    Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 5 111-140. 2002.
    Over the last several decades, Richard Rorty has developed a compelling metaphilosophical theory on the history of analytic philosophy. On this telling, analytic philosophy was atavistic from the outset, a forlorn attempt to reinstate scheme/content distinctions. Rather than asking whether our claims "correspond" to some nonhuman, eternal way the world is, we should ask about their pragmatic utility. On Rorty's account, analytic philosophy terminates in pragmatism. In this paper, I argue against…Read more
  •  3
    Epistemological Realism as the Skeptic’s Heart of Darkness
    Journal of Philosophical Research 23 165-217. 1998.
    Michael Williams has argued that radical “external world” skepticism, far from being an interesting philosophical discovery about knowledge, is actually a philosophical artifact, a by-product of “Epistemological Realism,” the view that there are objective epistemological relations able to group distinct kinds of “knowledge” into a context-invariant evidential order. I argue against this thesis. It is the skeptic’s conception of the world’s objectivity, not his conception of knowledge’s objectivi…Read more
  •  25
    More fun than pigs
    The Philosophers' Magazine 15 33-33. 2001.
  •  6
    Knowledge, Content, and the Wellsprings of Objectivity
    ProtoSociology 11 120-148. 1998.
    In a number of recent papers, Davidson cultivates a new-found interest in skepticism.. Starting from a naturalistic "attitude and method," he purports to show that the skeptic's doubts are vacuous because the skeptic "does not understand his own doubts." His argument for this invokes a theory of cognitive content on which the traditional Cartesian picture of inference from inner to outer domains is allegedly turned on its head. On Davidson's alternative account, propositional thought is only mad…Read more
  •  31
    The Probability of the Possible
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (1): 44-55. 2014.
    In “Why is There Anything at All?” Peter van Inwagen argues that even though it was never necessary that concrete beings existed, it was always maximally probable – just short of necessity – that they did . I argue that van Inwagen’s argument fails, albeit for an interesting reason which has remained so far unnoticed in the literature: there is a critical ten- sion between two of its premises, both essential to its soundness, concerning the nature of comprehensively specified possible worlds. I …Read more
  • Moral knowledge and moral factuality
    Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 7 (1): 69-85. 2008.
    For naturalistic and non-intuitionistic moral realists, moral knowledge is more problematic than ordinary and scientific factual knowledge. For without special faculties of moral discernment, how could we ever detect moral facts and properties? Physical facts and properties may be accessible to perceptual recognition. But how could moral facts and properties ever be similarly accessible? To address this challenge, we need a meta-ethical account that does two things. First, it must explain how th…Read more
  • The pragmatic value of pragmatics values
    Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 39 (84): 179-192. 2004.
  • Epistemic Contextualism and Sceptical Epistemology
    Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 11. 2008.
    Philosophers generally assume that “contextual” factors blunt the force of “external world” skepticism. I argue herein that this is not the case. On the contrary, properly invoked contextual considerations support, rather than undermine, the skeptic's agenda. This is because the contexts of assessment against which we rightfully judge that knowledge is or is not available ultimately consist in little more than our own presuppositions concerning the objectivity of the items at issue. What this im…Read more
  • My broadest concern is over the question of whether or not naturalistic epistemology is fully adequate, or comprehensive, qua knowledge theory, vis-a-vis alternative accounts of epistemology as a discipline which is primarily concerned to address the challenge of traditional external world skepticism. Consequently, I develop and critique two lines of antiskeptical criticism which, if sound, would each serve to validate naturalistic epistemology in this regard. ;The first of these maintains that …Read more
  •  11
    In this paper, I articulate a form of moral realism that I take to be of special promise. I hope to show, not only that this realist position satisfies cognitivist, objectivist and success constraints, but also that this position is particularly commended by a number of recent apologetic strategies that have been more commonly deployed in the defense of other non-moral varieties of realism. To this extent, I aim to show that moral realism, far from being a desperate or quixotic position, is a pe…Read more
  •  9
    In a number of papers, Keith DeRose articulates his reasons for thinking that we cannot plausibly explain the mechanics of knowledge attribution in terms of varying conditions of warranted assertability . His reasoning is largely comparative: “know,” he argues, proves a poor candidate for such a diagnosis when compared to other terms to which such warranted assertabilility maneuvers clearly apply. More specifically, DeRose aims, through to use of such comparative case studies, to identify severa…Read more
  •  1
    Metaphysical realism as less than a dogma
    Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 35 (76): 85-96. 2000.
  •  35
    World’s minds meet in Turkey
    The Philosophers' Magazine 24 (24): 11-12. 2003.
  •  79
    Moscow nights
    with Todd Jones and David Beisecker
    The Philosophers' Magazine 15 (15): 30-31. 2001.
  •  2
    Pragmatic method and realist commitment
    Analysis and Metaphysics 11 54-64. 2012.
  •  15
    Skepticism, contextualism, externalism and modality
    Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 10 (2): 171-187. 2006.
    In this paper, I argue for the following claims. Contextualist strategies to tame or localize epistemic skepticism are hopeless if contextualist factors are construed internalistically. However, because efforts to contextualize externalism via subjunctive conditional analysis court circularity, it is only on an internalistic interpretation that contextualist strategies can even be motivated. While these claims do not give us an argument for skepticism, they do give us an argument that contextual…Read more
  •  19
    Objectivity, triangulation and the skeptic
    Southwest Philosophy Review 15 (1): 17-26. 1999.
  •  11
    Knowledge, Content and the Wellsprings of Objectivity
    In Preyer Gerhard, Peter Georg & Ulkan Maria (eds.), Protosociology, Klewer Academic Publishers. 2003.
    This volume includes contributions from well-known philosophers of language and semanticists. It is a useful collection for students in philosophy of language, semantics and epistemology. It discusses new research in semantics, theory of truth, philosophy of language and theory of communication from a trans-disciplinary perspective and addresses issues such as sentence meaning, utterance meaning, speaker's intention and reference, linguistic context, circumstances and background theories.
  •  35
    Epistemological Realism as the Skeptic’s Heart of Darkness
    Journal of Philosophical Research 23 165-217. 1998.
    Michael Williams has argued that radical “external world” skepticism, far from being an interesting philosophical discovery about knowledge, is actually a philosophical artifact, a by-product of “Epistemological Realism,” the view that there are objective epistemological relations able to group distinct kinds of “knowledge” (e.g., “experiential” vs. “external worldly”) into a context-invariant evidential order. I argue against this thesis. It is the skeptic’s conception of the world’s objectivit…Read more
  •  51
    Possible worlds of doubt
    Acta Analytica 25 (2): 259-277. 2010.
    A prominent contemporary anti-skeptical strategy, most famously articulated by Keith DeRose, aims to cage the skeptic′s doubts by contextualizing subjunctive conditional accounts of knowledge through a conversational rule of sensitivity. This strategy, I argue, courts charges of circularity by selectively invoking heavy counterfactual machinery. The reason: such invocation threatens to utilize a metric for modal comparison that is implicitly informed by judgments of epistemic sameness. This give…Read more
  •  25
    Semantic Indeterminacy and Scientific Realism are perhaps the two most ubiquitous and influential doctrines of the Quinean corpus. My concern is to argue against neither in isolation, but against their joint compatibility. Scientific Realism, I argue, when understood as Quine's realistic attitude toward the posits of physical theory, is essentially intentional in character. Thus, Realism requires Intentionality. In Section 1, I provide some necessary exegesis. In Section 2, I attempt to show how…Read more
  •  27
    Quine's attitude toward external world skepticism remains, to this day, less than completely clear. As one might except, Quine seems to dismiss such concerns in most of his work as beneath refutation. But, occasionally Quine seems to adopt an alternative stance, a stance from which he aims to address the issue, not simply ignore it. This is particularly true of Quine's brief but pithy “Response to Stroud,” wherein he seeks to defend the adequacy of epistemology naturalized qua knowledge theory a…Read more
  •  8
    Book reviews (review)
    Mind 104 (414): 413-419. 1995.