•  300
    Harms and Wrongs in Epistemic Practice
    with Simon Barker and Charlie Crerar
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84 1-21. 2018.
    This volume has its roots in two recent developments within mainstream analytic epistemology: a growing recognition over the past two or three decades of the active and social nature of our epistemic lives; and, more recently still, the increasing appreciation of the various ways in which the epistemic practices of individuals and societies can, and often do, go wrong. The theoretical analysis of these breakdowns in epistemic practice, along with the various harms and wrongs that follow as a con…Read more
  •  231
    According to Miranda Fricker, a hermeneutical injustice occurs when there is a deficit in our shared tools of social interpretation, such that marginalized social groups are at a disadvantage in making sense of their distinctive and important experiences. Critics have claimed that Fricker's account ignores or precludes a phenomenon I call hermeneutical dissent, where marginalized groups have produced their own interpretive tools for making sense of those experiences. I clarify the nature of herm…Read more
  •  84
    Bigger Isn’t Better: The Ethical and Scientific Vices of Extra-Large Datasets in Language Models
    WebSci '21 Proceedings of the 13th Annual ACM Web Science Conference (Companion Volume). 2021.
    The use of language models in Web applications and other areas of computing and business have grown significantly over the last five years. One reason for this growth is the improvement in performance of language models on a number of benchmarks — but a side effect of these advances has been the adoption of a “bigger is always better” paradigm when it comes to the size of training, testing, and challenge datasets. Drawing on previous criticisms of this paradigm as applied to large training datas…Read more
  •  69
    The Concept of a University: Theory, Practice, and Society
    Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 52 (1): 61-81. 2019.
    Current disputes over the nature and purpose of the university are rooted in a philosophical divide between theory and practice. Academics often defend the concept of a university devoted to purely theoretical activities. Politicians and wider society tend to argue that the university should take on more practical concerns. I critique two typical defenses of the theoretical concept—one historical and one based on the value of pure research—and show that neither the theoretical nor the practical …Read more
  •  67
    Conceptual responsibility
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2): 20-45. 2021.
    Conceptual engineering is concerned with the improvement of our concepts. The motivating thought behind many such projects is that some of our concepts are defective. But, if to use a defective concept is to do something wrong, and if to do something wrong one must be in control of what one is doing, there might be no defective concepts, since we typically are not in control of our concept use. To address this problem, this paper turns from appraising the concepts we use to appraising the people…Read more
  •  67
    Conceptual Responsibility
    Dissertation, University of Sheffield. 2018.
    This thesis concerns our moral and epistemic responsibilities regarding our concepts. I argue that certain concepts can be morally, epistemically, or socially problematic. This is particularly concerning with regard to our concepts of social kinds, which may have both descriptive and evaluative aspects. Being ignorant of certain concepts, or possessing mistaken conceptions, can be problematic for similar reasons, and contributes to various forms of epistemic injustice. I defend an expanded view …Read more
  •  32
    Anticipation, Smothering, and Education: A Reply to Lee and Bayruns García on Anticipatory Epistemic Injustice
    Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (9): 36-43. 2021.
    When you expect something bad to happen, you take action to avoid it. That is the principle of action that underlies J. Y. Lee’s recent paper (2021), which presents a new form of epistemic injustice that arises from anticipating negative consequences for testifying. In this brief reply article occasioned by Lee’s essay, I make two main contributions to the discussion of this idea. The first (§§2–3) is an intervention in the discussion between Lee and Eric Bayruns García regarding the relationshi…Read more
  •  20
    Vicarious responsibility is sometimes analysed by considering the different kinds of agents involved—who is vicariously responsible for the actions of whom? In this paper, I discuss vicarious responsibility from a different angle: in what sense is the vicarious agent responsible? I do this by considering the ways in which one may take responsibility for events caused by another agent or process. I discuss three senses of taking responsibility—accepting fault, assuming obligations, and fulfilling…Read more
  •  14
    Harms and Wrongs in Epistemic Practice: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 84 (edited book)
    with Simon Barker and Charlie Crerar
    Cambridge University Press. 2018.
    How we engage in epistemic practice, including our methods of knowledge acquisition and transmission, the personal traits that help or hinder these activities, and the social institutions that facilitate or impede them, is of central importance to our lives as individuals and as participants in social and political activities. Traditionally, Anglophone epistemology has tended to neglect the various ways in which these practices go wrong, and the epistemic, moral, and political harms and wrongs t…Read more