•  1547
    Epistemic duties and failure to understand one’s evidence
    Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 16 (1): 147-177. 2012.
    The paper defends the thesis that our epistemic duty is the duty to proportion our beliefs to the evidence we possess. An inclusive view of evidence possessed is put forward on the grounds that it makes sense of our intuitions about when it is right to say that a person ought to believe some proposition P. A second thesis is that we have no epistemic duty to adopt any particular doxastic attitudes. The apparent tension between the two theses is resolved by applying the concept of duty to belief …Read more
  •  170
    Locke on sensitive knowledge as knowledge
    Theoria 75 (3): 206-231. 2009.
    This article is an extended analysis of the most recent scholarly work on Locke's account of sensitive knowledge. Lex Newman's "dual cognitive relations" model of sensitive knowledge is examined in detail. The author argues that the dual cognitive relations model needs to be revised on both philosophical and historical grounds. While no attempt is made to defend Locke's position, the aim is to show that it is at least consistent, contrary to the received view. The final section provides textual …Read more
  •  151
    Mark Nelson argues that we have no positive epistemic duties. His case rests on the evidential inexhaustibility of sensory and propositional evidence—what he calls their ‘infinite justificational fecundity’. It is argued here that Nelson’s reflections on the richness of sensory and propositional evidence do make it doubtful that we ever have an epistemic duty to add any particular beliefs to our belief set, but that they fail to establish that we have no positive epistemic duties whatsoever. A t…Read more
  •  137
    Epistemic Value Monism and the Swamping Problem
    Ratio 29 (3): 283-297. 2016.
    Many deontologists explain the epistemic value of justification in terms of its instrumental role in promoting truth – the original source of value in the epistemic domain. The swamping problem for truth monism appears to make this position indefensible, at least for those monists who maintain the superiority of knowledge to merely true belief. I propose a new solution to the swamping problem that allows monists to maintain the greater epistemic value of knowledge over merely true belief. My tri…Read more
  •  136
    What's the point of a dreaming argument?
    Think 18 (52): 31-34. 2019.
    In this paper, I argue that dreaming arguments are no cause for alarm.
  •  115
    Why There May Be Epistemic Duties
    Dialogue 54 (1): 63-89. 2015.
    Chase Wrenn argues that there are no epistemic duties. When it appears that we have an epistemic duty to believe, disbelieve or suspend judgement about some proposition P, we are really under a moral obligation to adopt the attitude towards P that our evidence favours. The argument appeals to theoretical parsimony: our conceptual scheme will be simpler without epistemic duties and we should therefore drop them. I argue that Wrenn’s strategy is flawed. There may well be things that we ought to do…Read more
  •  109
    On the Contradiction in Conception Test of the Categorical Imperative
    South African Journal of Philosophy 26 (3): 306-318. 2007.
    The author argues against Christine Korsgaard's influential interpretation of Kant's contradiction in conception test of the categorical imperative. Korsgaard's rejection of the ‘teleological' interpretation is shown to be based on a misunderstanding of the role that teleology plays for Kant in ruling out immoral maxims, and her defence of the ‘practical' interpretation is shown to be less faithful to the text than the competing ‘logical' interpretation. The works of Barbara Herman and Allen Woo…Read more
  •  108
    Epistemic versus all things considered requirements
    Synthese 192 (6): 1861-1881. 2015.
    Epistemic obligations are constraints on belief stemming from epistemic considerations alone. Booth is one of the many philosophers who deny that there are epistemic obligations. Any obligation pertaining to belief is an all things considered obligation, according to him—a strictly generic, rather than specifically epistemic, requirement. Though Booth’s argument is valid, I will try to show that it is unsound. There are two central premises: S is justified in believing that P iff S is blameless …Read more
  •  105
    Transcendental Arguments: Superfluity and Scepticism
    Theoria 71 (4): 333-367. 2005.
    The paper is a sustained analysis of some recent work on transcendental arguments with a view to assessing both its relevance to Kant's philosophy and its historical accuracy. Robert Stem's reading of Kant's philosophical aims is examined and criticized narrowly, and Barry Stroud's influential objection to transcendental arguments as a class is shown to be harmless. Kant is presented as a friend rather than a foe of scepticism, and his 'proto-verificationist' criterion of meaning is shown to und…Read more
  •  88
    Kant's Transcendental Arguments as Conceptual Proofs
    Philosophical Papers 35 (1): 119-136. 2006.
    The paper is an attempt to explain what a transcendental argument is for Kant. The interpretation is based on a reading of the 'Discipline of Pure Reason', Sections 1 and 4 of the first Critique. The author first identifies several statements that Kant makes about the method of proof he followed in the 'Analytic of Principles' which seem to be inconsistent. He then tries to remove the apparent inconsistencies by focusing on the idea of instantiation and drawing a distinction between the intensio…Read more
  •  87
    Berkeley’s Principles: Expanded and Explained
    with George Berkeley and Tyron Goldschmidt
    Routledge. 2016.
    Berkeley's Principles: Expanded and Explained includes the entire classical text of the Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge in bold font, a running commentary blended seamlessly into the text in regular font and analytic summaries of each section. The commentary is like a professor on hand to guide the reader through every line of the daunting prose and every move in the intricate argumentation. The unique design helps students learn how to read and engage with one of modern ph…Read more
  •  86
    The worst argument in the world – defended
    Think 16 (47): 15-23. 2017.
    In this paper, I argue that Berkeley’s master argument is not the worst argument in the world—more like third or fourth.
  •  75
    Reid, Tetens, and Kant on the External World
    Idealistic Studies 37 (2): 87-104. 2007.
    Building on the research of Manfred Kuehn, the author argues that, whatever influence the Scottish Common Sense Philosophy of Thomas Reid may have had on the development of Immanuel Kant’s refutation of idealism, it was filtered through the thinking of Kant’s largely forgotten German contemporary, Johann Nicolaus Tetens. While the importance of Tetens for understanding Kant is examined in connection with only one idea, the aim is to demonstrate that Tetens is a figure worthy of serious historica…Read more
  •  73
    Seemings: New Arguments, New Angles (edited book)
    Routledge. 2023.
    This volume presents new research on the epistemology of seemings. It features original essays by leading epistemologists on the nature and epistemic import of seemings and intuitions. Seemings and intuitions are often appealed to in philosophical theorizing. In fact, epistemological theories such as phenomenal conservatism and dogmatism give pride of place to seemings. Such views insist that seemings are of central importance to theories of epistemic justification. However, there are many quest…Read more
  •  69
    Intraspecies impermissivism
    Episteme 16 (3): 340-356. 2018.
    The Uniqueness thesis says that any body of evidence E uniquely determines which doxastic attitude is rationally permissible regarding some proposition P. Permissivists deny Uniqueness. They are charged with arbitrarily favouring one doxastic attitude out of the set of attitudes they regard as rationally permissible. Simpson claims that an appeal to differences in cognitive abilities can remove the arbitrariness. I argue that it can't. Impermissivists face a challenge of their own: The problem o…Read more
  •  66
    Believing Against the Evidence: Agency and the Ethics of Belief (review)
    Philosophical Review 126 (4): 551-554. 2017.
  •  64
    Completing Epistemic Oughts
    Philosophical Forum 45 (2): 133-148. 2014.
    Our intuitions about what a person epistemically ought or ought not believe are sometimes quite clear. Keith DeRose and Richard Feldman have devised examples about which our intuitions are likely to conflict. DeRose argues that the conflict of intuitions arises from ambiguity in the epistemic ought. I argue that it results from incompleteness. The success of the argument depends on rejecting the narrow conception of evidential support according to which a person’s evidence supports some proposit…Read more
  •  60
    Logic Works is a critical and extensive introduction to logic. It asks questions about why systems of logic are as they are, how they relate to ordinary language and ordinary reasoning, and what alternatives there might be to classical logical doctrines. It considers how logical analysis can be applied to carefully represent the reasoning employed in academic and scientific work, better understand that reasoning, and identify its hidden premises. Aiming to be as much a reference work and handboo…Read more
  •  55
    A Refutation of Idealism from 1777
    Idealistic Studies 40 (1-2): 139-146. 2010.
    The paper identifies a possible precedent for Kant’s Refutation of Idealism in the work of Johann Nicolaus Tetens. An attempt is made to reconstruct the reasoning that led Tetens to reject idealism as a false starting point, and some parallels are drawn between Tetens’s psychologistic approach to the problem andKant’s transcendental methodology.
  •  47
    Was Berkeley an Extracranialist?
    Philosophical Forum 50 (2): 225-238. 2019.
    We defend a ‘tight borders’ view of mind and cognition. Our key move comes from Berkeley.
  •  45
    Epistemic Duties: New Arguments, New Angles (edited book)
    Routledge. 2020.
    There are arguably moral, legal, and prudential constraints on behavior. But are there epistemic constraints on belief? Are there any requirements arising from intellectual considerations alone? This volume includes original essays written by top epistemologists that address this and closely related questions from a variety of new, sometimes unexpected, angles. It features a wide variety of positions, ranging from arguments for and against the existence of purely epistemic requirements, reductio…Read more
  •  41
    It seems plausible that there can be “no win” moral situations in which no matter what one does one fails some moral obligation. Is there an epistemic analog to moral dilemmas? Are there epistemically dilemmatic situations—situations in which we are doomed to violate an epistemic requirement? If there are, when exactly do they arise and what can we learn from them? A team of top epistemologists address these and closely related questions from a variety of new, sometimes unexpected, angles. Anyon…Read more
  •  35
    Strawson and Schaumann on the Metaphysics of Transcendental Idealism
    South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (3): 273-279. 2008.
    The paper is a limited defence of one of P. F. Strawson's least popular declarations about the nature of Kant's transcendental idealism. An attempt is made to relate Strawson's reading to an interpretative controversy that emerged in the years immediately following the publication of the first edition of the Critique of Pure Reason in 1781. Johann Christian Gottlob Schaumann, an otherwise unremarkable figure, is considered as an early defender of the thoroughly idealistic interpretation in the d…Read more
  •  34
    Containing all of the key writings leading up to the publication of his Philosophical Essays in 1777, this volume presents complete works by Johann Nicolaus Tetens (1736-1807) in English for the very first time. These important essays focus on method in metaphysics and mathematics, the analysis of language, and various anthropological questions that occupied thinkers of the period. Key features of the volume include: · Accurate, readable translations · Detailed scholarly notes · A substantial…Read more
  •  24
    Hume's Enquiry: Expanded and Explained includes the entire classical text of David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding in bold font, a running commentary blended seamlessly into the text in regular font, and analytic summaries of each section. The commentary is like a professor on hand to guide the reader through every line of the daunting prose and every move in the intricate argumentation. The unique design helps students learn how to read and engage with one of modern philosophy'…Read more
  •  23
    Two currents of thought dominated Western philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: Continental Rationalism and British Empiricism. Despite the gradual dissemination of British ideas on the Continent in the first decades of the eighteenth century, these fundamentally disparate philosophical outlooks seemed to be wholly irreconcilable. However, the publication of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in 1781 presented an entirely new method of philosophical reasoning that promised…Read more