John Turri

I'm a philosopher at the University of Waterloo. (My departmental webpage.) I'm currently working on a number of projects in epistemology, cognitive science, philosophy of language, experimental philosophy, philosophy of mind, value theory, and metaphysics.

Check out published and forthcoming books, articles, reviews and entries. Paper titles take you to an abstract, where you can download the paper (in .pdf), if you like. Email me if you'd like some paper in another format.

I hold an Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. I'm principal investigator on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant and a SSHRC Standard Research Grant. Very recently I have also been PI on an NEH grant, co-PI (with Benjamin Jarvis) on a British Academy/ACU Grant for International Collaboration, and a research fellow in philosophy for The Character Project.

I'm the series editor for Routledge's Current Controversies in Philosophy.

My CV is available on request.

Books
  1. Epistemology: A Guide, Wiliey-Blackwell, 2014.
  2. Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism, co-edited with Peter Klein, Oxford University Press, 2014.
  3. Epistemic Norms, co-edited with Clayton Littlejohn, Oxford University Press, 2014.
  4. Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, 2nd edition, co-edited with Matthias Steup and Ernest Sosa, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  5. Virtuous Thoughts: The Philosophy of Ernest Sosa, Springer, 2013.
  6. Virtue Epistemology: Contemporary Readings, co-edited with John Greco, MIT Press, 2012.
Edited Series
  1. Current Controversies in Philosophy, Routledge, from 2013. A series of edited volumes containing original and accessible papers by leading figures on current philosophical controversies. Volumes in press or published cover philosophy of mind, political philosophy, epistemology, and experimental philosophy.
Articles
  1. "Excuse Validation: A Study in Rule-breaking" (with Peter Blouw), forthcoming, Philosophical Studies.
  2. "Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge?" (with Ori Friedman), forthcoming, Cognitive Science.
  3. "When Words Speak Louder than Actions: Delusion, Belief and the Power of Assertion" (with David Rose and Wesley Buckwalter), forthcoming, Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
  4. "Skeptical Appeal: The Source-Content Bias," forthcoming, Cognitive Science.
  5. "From Virtue Epistemology to Abilism: Theoretical and Empirical Developments," forthcoming in a Character Project volume.
  6. "Iffy Predictions and Proper Expectations " (with Matthew Benton), forthcoming, Synthese.
  7. "Telling, Showing and Knowing: A Unified Theory of Pedagogical Norms" (with Wesley Buckwalter), forthcoming, Analysis.
  8. "The Problem of ESEE Knowledge," forthcoming, Ergo.
  9. "Belief Through Thick and Thin" (with Wesley Buckwalter and David Rose), forthcoming, Noûs.
  10. "Epistemic Situationism and Cognitive Ability," commissioned for Epistemic Situationism (OUP).
  11. "The Test of Truth: An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion," forthcoming, Cognition.
  12. "Unreliable Knowledge," forthcoming, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
  13. "Knowledge and Suberogatory Assertion," forthcoming, Philosophical Studies.
  14. "Winners and Losers in the Folk Epistemology of Lotteries" (with Ori Friedman), forthcoming, Advances in Experimental Epistemology (Continuum), ed. James Beebe.
  15. "Reid on the Priority of Natural Language," forthcoming, Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
  16. "Irksome Assertions" (with Rachel McKinnon), forthcoming, Philosophical Studies.
  17. "Creative Reasoning," forthcoming, Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism (OUP).
  18. "Liberal Thinking," forthcoming, Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
  19. "You Gotta Believe," forthcoming, Epistemic Norms (OUP).
  20. "Linguistic Intuitions in Context: A Defense of Nonskeptical Pure Invariantism," forthcoming, Intuitions (Oxford University Press), ed. Tony Booth and Darrell Rowbottom.
  21. "Knowledge as Achievement, More or Less," forthcoming, The Present and Future of Virtue Epistemology, ed. Miguel Angel Fernandez, press TBD.
  22. "Knowledge Guaranteed," Noûs 47.3 (2013).
  23. "A Conspicuous Art: Putting Gettier to the Test," Philosophers' Imprint 13.10 (2013).
  24. "Infinitism, Finitude and Normativity," Philosophical Studies 163.3 (2013).
  25. "That's Outrageous," Theoria 79.2 (May 2013).
  26. "Doomed to Fail: The Sad Epistemological Fate of Ontological Arguments," Ontological Proofs Today (Ontos Verlag), ed. Miroslaw Szatkowski (2013).
  27. "Bi-Level Virtue Epistemology," Virtuous Thoughts: The Philosophy of Ernest Sosa (2013).
  28. "A Puzzle About Withholding," Philosophical Quarterly 62.247 (2012).
  29. "Preempting Paradox," Logos & Episteme 3 (2012).
  30. "Reasons, Answers and Goals," Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2012).
  31. "Pyrrhonian Skepticism Meets Speech-Act Theory," International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (2012).
  32. "Stumbling in Nozick's Tracks," Logos & Episteme 3.2 (2012)
  33. "Is Knowledge Justfied True Belief?", Synthese 184.3 (February 2012).
  34. "Promises to Keep: Speech Acts and the Value of Reflective Knowledge," Logos & Episteme 2.4 (December 2011).
  35. "Contingent A Priori Knowledge," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83.2 (September 2011).
  36. "A New and Improved Argument for a Necessary Being," Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89.2 (June 2011).
  37. "Believing for a Reason," Erkenntnis 74.3 (May 2011).
  38. "Manifest Failure: The Gettier Problem Solved," Philosophers' Imprint 11.8 (April 2011).
  39. "The Express Knowledge Account of Assertion," Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89.1 (March 2011).
  40. "Mythology of the Factive," Logos & Episteme. 2.1 (March 2011).
  41. "Does Perceiving Entail Knowing?" Theoria 76.3 (Sept. 2010).
  42. "Prompting Challenges," Analysis 70.3 (July 2010).
  43. "Foundationalism for Modest Infinitists," Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40.2 (June 2010).
  44. "On the Relationship Between Propositional and Doxastic Justification," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80.2 (March 2010).
  45. "Epistemic Invariantism and Speech Act Contextualism," Philosophical Review 119.1 (Jan. 2010).
  46. "Refutation by Elimination," Analysis 70.1 (Jan. 2010).
  47. "On the General Argument Against Internalism," Synthese 170.1 (Sept. 2009).
  48. "The Ontology of Epistemic Reasons," Noûs 43.3 (Sept. 2009).
  49. "An Infinitist Account of Doxastic Justification," dialectica 63.2 (June 2009). 
  50. "On the Regress Argument for Infinitism," Synthese 166.1 (Jan 2009).
  51. "Practical and Epistemic Justification in Alston's Perceiving God," Faith and Philosophy 25.3 (July 2008).
  52. "You Can't Get Away with Murder That Easily," International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13.4 (Dec 2005).
Entries, Surveys, Introductions, Reviews, etc.
  1. "Assertion," Cambridge Dictionary of Philosopy, 3ed. Ed. Robert Audi (2014)
  2. "Ernest Sosa," Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, 3ed. Ed. Robert Audi (2014).
  3. Thomas Reid,” Sourcebook in History of Philosophy of Language (Springer), ed. Benjamin Hill, Henrik Lagerlund and Robert Stainton (2014)
  4. "Introduction" (with Peter Klein) to Ad Infinitum: New Essays on Epistemological Infinitism, Oxford University Press (2014).
  5. "Infinitism in Epistemology" (with Peter Klein), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013).
  6. "Satisficing," Encyclopedia of Utilitarianism (2013).
  7. "Epistemology," Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences (Sage), ed. Byron Kaldis (2013)
  8. "Virtue Epistemology" (with Ernest Sosa), Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences (Sage), ed. Byron Kaldis (2013).
  9. Review of John Greco, Achieving Knowledge, Mind 121 (2012).
  10. "Introduction" (with John Greco) to Virtue Epistemology: Contemporary Readings MIT Press (2012).
  11. "In Gettier's Wake," Epistemology: The Key Thinkers (Continuum), ed. Stephen Hetherington (2012).
  12. Review of Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke and Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1.2 (2011): 151–157.
  13. "The Value of Knowledge" (with Duncan Pritchard), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Nov. 2011).
  14. Knowledge,” Oxford Bibliographies Online (June 2011).
  15. Critical Notice of Robert C. Roberts and W. Jay Wood, Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82.3 (May 2011), 793–797.
  16. "Virtue Epistemology" (with Ernest Sosa), Oxford Bibliographies Online (2010)
  17. "Epistemic Supervenience," in the Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 2 ed., ed. Matthias Steup (2010).
  18. "Virtue Epistemology" (with John Greco), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009, 2011).

Abstracts

Skeptical Appeal: The Source-Content Bias
Radical skepticism is the view that we know nothing, or at least next to nothing. Nearly no one actually believes that skepticism is true. Yet it has remained a serious topic of discussion for millennia and it looms large in popular culture. What explains its persistent and widespread appeal? How does the skeptic get us to doubt what we ordinarily take ourselves to know? I present evidence from two experiments that classic skeptical arguments gain potency from an interaction between two factors. First, people evaluate inferential belief more harshly than perceptual belief. Second, people evaluate inferential belief more harshly when its content is negative (i.e. that something is not the case) than when it’s positive (i.e. that something is the case). It just so happens that potent skeptical arguments tend to focus our attention on negative inferential beliefs, and we are especially prone to doubt that such beliefs count as knowledge. That is, our cognitive evaluations are biased against this specific combination of source and content. The skeptic sows seeds of doubt by exploiting this feature of our psychology
.

From Virtue Epistemology to Abilism: Theoretical and Empirical Developments
I review several theoretical and empirical developments relevant to assessing contemporary virtue epistemology’s theory of knowledge. What emerges is a leaner theory of knowledge that is more empirically adequate, better captures the ordinary conception of knowledge, and is ripe for cross-fertilization with cognitive science. I call this view abilism. Along the way I identify several topics for future research.

Iffy Predictions and Proper Expectations
What individuates the speech act of prediction? The standard view is that prediction is individuated by the fact that it is the unique speech act that requires future-directed content. We argue against this view and two successor views. We then lay out several other potential strategies for individuating prediction, including the sort of view we favor. We suggest that prediction is individuated normatively and has a special connection to the epistemic standards of expectation. In the process, we advocate some constraints that we think a good theory of prediction should respect.

Telling, Showing and Knowing: A Unified Theory of Pedagogical Norms
Pedagogy is a pillar of human culture and society. Telling each other information and showing each other how to do things comes naturally to us. A strong case has been made that declarative knowledge is the norm of assertion, which is our primary way of telling others information. This paper presents an analogous case for the hypothesis that procedural knowledge is the norm of instructional demonstration, which is a primary way of showing others how to do things. Knowledge is the norm of telling and showing. It is the prime pedagogical principle.

The Problem of ESEE knowledge
Traditionally it has been thought that the moral valence of a proposition is, strictly speaking, irrelevant to whether someone knows that the proposition is true, and thus irrelevant to the truth-value of a knowledge ascription. On this view, it’s no easier to know, for example, that a bad thing will happen than that a good thing will happen (other things being equal). But a series of very surprising recent experiments suggest that this is actually not how we view knowledge. On the contrary, people are much more willing to ascribe knowledge of a bad outcome. This is known as the epistemic side-effect effect (ESEE) and is a specific instance of a widely documented phenomenon, the side-effect effect (a.k.a. “the Knobe effect”), which is the most famous finding in experimental philosophy. In this paper, I report a new series of five experiments on ESEE and in the process accomplish three things. First, I confirm earlier findings on the effect. Second, I show that the effect is virtually unlimited. Third, I introduce a new technique for detecting the effect, which potentially enhances its theoretical significance. In particular, my findings make it more likely, though they do not entail, that the effect genuinely reflects the way we think about and ascribe knowledge, rather than being the result of a performance error.

Epistemic Situationism and Cognitive Ability 
Leading virtue epistemologists defend the view that knowledge must proceed from intellectual virtue and they understand virtues either as refined character traits cultivated by the agent over time through deliberate effort, or as reliable cognitive abilities. Philosophical situationists argue that results from empirical psychology should make us doubt that we have either sort of epistemic virtue, thereby discrediting virtue epistemology’s empirical adequacy. I evaluate this situationist challenge and outline a successor to virtue epistemology: abilism. Abilism delivers all the main benefits of virtue epistemology and is as empirically adequate as any theory in philosophy or the social sciences could hope to be.

Unreliable Knowledge 
There is a virtual consensus in contemporary epistemology that knowledge must be reliably produced. Everyone, it seems, is a reliabilist about knowledge in that sense. I present and defend two arguments that unreliable knowledge is possible. My first argument proceeds from an observation about the nature of achievements, namely, that achievements can proceed from unreliable abilities. My second argument proceeds from an observation about the epistemic efficacy of explanatory inference, namely, that inference to the best explanation seems to produce knowledge, even if it isn’t reliable. I also propose a successor to standard versions of reliabilism, which I call ‘ecumenical reliabilism’. Ecumenical reliabilism is consistent with unreliably produced knowledge and helps explain why unreliably produced knowledge is possible.

The Test of Truth: An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion 
Assertion is fundamental to our lives as social and cognitive beings. Philosophers have recently built an impressive case that the norm of assertion is factive. That is, you should make an assertion only if it is true. Thus far the case for a factive norm of assertion been based on observational data. This paper adds experimental evidence in favor of a factive norm from six studies. In these studies, an assertion’s truth value dramatically affects whether people think it should be made. Whereas nearly everyone agreed that a true assertion supported by good evidence should be made, most people judged that a false assertion supported by good evidence should not be made. The studies also suggest that people are consciously aware of criteria that guide their evaluation of assertions. Evidence is also presented that some intuitive support for a non-factive norm of assertion comes from a surprising tendency people have to misdescribe cases of blameless rule-breaking as cases where no rule is broken.

Knowledge and Suberogatory Assertion 
I accomplish two things in this paper. First I expose some important limitations of the contemporary literature on the norms of assertion and in the process illuminate a host of new directions and forms that an account of assertional norms might take. Second I leverage those insights to suggest a new account of the relationship between knowledge and assertion, which arguably outperforms the standard knowledge account.

Winners and Losers in the Folk Epistemology of Lotteries 
We conducted five experiments that reveal some main contours of the folk epistemology of lotteries. The folk tend to think that you don't know that your lottery ticket lost, based on the long odds ("statistical cases"); by contrast, the folk tend to think that you do know that your lo
ttery ticket lost, based on a news report ("testimonial cases"). We evaluate three previous explanations for why people deny knowledge in statistical cases: the justification account, the chance account, and the statistical account. None of them seems to work. We then propose a new explanation of our own, the formulaic account, according to which some people deny knowledge in statistical cases due to formulaic expression.

Belief Through Thick and Thin  
We distinguish between two categories of belief — thin belief and thick belief — and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philosophical thesis that knowledge entails belief). We also suggest that the distinction can be applied to debates in the philosophy of mind and metaethics.

Reid on the Priority of Natural Language  
Thomas Reid distinguished between natural and artificial language and argued that natural language has a very specific sort of priority over artificial language. This paper critically interprets Reid’s discussion, extracts a Reidian explanatory argument for the priority of natural language, and places Reid’s thought in the broad tradition of Cartesian linguistics.

A Conspicuous Art: Putting Gettier to the Test  
Professional philosophers say it’s obvious that a Gettier subject does not know. But experimental philosophers and psychologists have argued that laypeople and non-Westerners view Gettier subjects very differently, based on experiments where they tend to ascribe knowledge to Gettier subjects. I argue that when effectively probed, laypeople and non-Westerners unambiguously agree that Gettier subjects do not know.


Irksome Assertions  
The Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA) says that knowledge is the norm of assertion: you may assert a proposition only if you know that it’s true. The primary support for KAA is an explanatory inference from a broad range of linguistic data. The more data that KAA well explains, the stronger the case for it, and the more difficult it is for the competition to keep pace. In this paper we critically assess a purported new linguistic datum, which, it has been argued, KAA well explains. We argue that KAA does not well explain it.


Preempting Paradox
Charlie Pelling has recently argued that two leading accounts of the norm of assertion, the truth account and a version of the knowledge account, invite paradox and so must be false. Pelling's arguments assume that an isolated utterance of the sentence 'This assertion is improper' counts as making an assertion. I argue that this assumption is questionable.

Creative Reasoning  
I defend the unpopular view that inference can create justification. I call this view inferential creationism. Inferential creationism has been favored by infinitists, who think that it supports infinitism. But it doesn’t. Finitists can and should accept creationism.


Liberal Thinking  
When you think about a particular object, what makes your thought about that object? Roderick Chisholm, Ernest Sosa and Michael McKinsey have defended ‘latitudinarian’, ‘descriptivist’ or what I call ‘liberal’ answers to that question. I carefully consider the motivation for these liberal views and show how it extends in unanticipated ways to motivate views that are considerably more liberal.


Stumbling in Nozick's Tracks 
Rachael Briggs and Daniel Nolan have recently proposed an improved version of Nozick’s tracking account of knowledge. I show that, despite its virtues, the new proposal suffers from three serious problems.


That's Outrageous 
I show how non-presentists ought to respond to a popular objection originally due to Arthur Prior and lately updated by Dean Zimmerman. Prior and Zimmerman say that non-presentism can’t account for the fittingness of certain emotional responses to things past. But presentism gains no advantage here, because it’s equally incapable of accounting for the fittingness of certain other emotional responses to things past, in particular moral outrage.


You Gotta Believe 
Proper assertion requires belief. In support of this thesis, I provide an explanatory argument from linguistic patterns surrounding assertion and show how to handle cases of "selfless" assertion.

Doomed to Fail: The Sad Epistemological Fate of Ontologoical Arguments
For beings like us, no ontological argument can possibly succeed. They are doomed to fail. The point of an ontological argument is to enable nonempirical knowledge of its conclusion, namely, that God exists. But no ontological argument could possibly enable us to know its conclusion nonempirically, and so must fail in that sense. An ontological argument will fail even if it is perfectly sound and begs no questions.

Bi-level Virtue Epistemology

A critical explanation of Ernest Sosa's influential bi-level virtue epistemology.


Infinitism, Finitude and Normativity

I evaluate two new objections to an infinitist account of epistemic justification, and conclude that they fail to raise any new problems for infinitism. The new objections are a refined version of the finite-mind objection, which says infinitism demands more than finite minds can muster, and the normativity objection, which says infinitism entails that we are epistemically blameless in holding all our beliefs. I show how resources deployed in response to the most popular objection to infinitism, the original finite-mind objection, can be redeployed to address the two new objections.


A Puzzle About Withholding

This paper presents a puzzle about justification and withholding. The puzzle arises in a special case where experts advise us to not withhold judgment. My main thesis is simply that the puzzle is genuinely a puzzle, and so leads us to rethink some common assumptions in epistemology, specifically assumptions about the nature of justification and doxastic attitudes.

Promises to Keep: Speech Acts and the Value of Reflective Knowledge
This paper offers a new account of reflective knowledge’s value, building on recent work on the epistemic norms of speech acts. Reflective knowledge is valuable because it licenses us to make guarantees and promises.

Knowledge Guaranteed
What is the relationship between saying ‘I know that Q’ and guaranteeing that Q? John Austin, Roderick Chisholm and Wilfrid Sellars all agreed that there is some important connection, but disagreed over what exactly it was. In this paper I discuss each of their accounts and present a new one of my own. Drawing on speech-act theory and recent research on the epistemic norms of speech acts, I suggest that the relationship is this: by saying ‘I know that Q’, you represent yourself as having the authority to guarantee that Q.

Linguistic Intuitions in Context 
Epistemic invariantism is the view that the truth conditions of knowledge ascriptions don’t vary across contexts. Epistemic purism is the view that purely practical factors can’t directly affect the strength of your epistemic position. The combination of purism and invariantism, pure invariantism, is the received view in contemporary epistemology. It has lately been criticized by contextualists, who deny invariantism, and impurists, who deny purism. A central charge against pure invariantism is that it poorly accommodates linguistic intuitions about certain cases. In this paper I develop a new response to this charge. I propose that pure invariantists can explain the relevant linguistic intuitions on the grounds that they track the propriety of indirect speech acts, in particular indirect requests and denials.

Knowledge as Achievement, More or Less  
This paper enhances and extends a powerful and promising research program, performance-based epistemology, which stands at the crossroads of many important currents in contemporary epistemology, including the value problem, epistemic normativity, virtue epistemology, and the nature of knowledge. Performance-based epistemology offers at least three outstanding benefits: it explains knowledge’s distinctive value, it places epistemic evaluation into a familiar and ubiquitous pattern of evaluation, and it solves the Gettier problem. But extant versions of performance-based epistemology have attracted serious criticism. This paper shows how to meet the objections without sacrificing the aforementioned benefits.

Mythology of the Factive
It’s a cornerstone of epistemology that knowledge requires truth — that is, that knowledge is factive. Allan Hazlett boldly challenges orthodoxy by arguing that the ordinary concept of knowledge is not factive. On this basis Hazlett further argues that epistemologists shouldn’t concern themselves with the ordinary concept of knowledge, or knowledge ascriptions and related linguistic phenomena. I argue that either Hazlett is wrong about the ordinary concept of knowledge, or he’s right in a way that leaves epistemologists to carry on exactly as they have, paying attention to much the same things they always did.

Believing for a Reason
This paper explains what it is to believe something for a reason. I argue that you believe something for a reason just in case the reason non-deviantly causes your belief. In the course of arguing for my thesis, I present a new argument that reasons are causes and offer an informative account of causal non-deviance.

Reasons, Answers and Goals

I discuss two arguments against the view that reasons are propositions. I consider responses to each argument, including recent responses due to Mark Schroeder, and suggest further responses of my own. In each case, the discussion proceeds by comparing reasons to answers and goals.


A New and Improved Argument for a Necessary Being 
I suggest two improvements to Joshua Rasmussen’s intriguing recent argument that a causally powerful being necessarily exists.

Pyrrhonian Skepticism Meets Speech-Act Theory
This paper applies speech-act theory to craft a new response to Pyrrhonian skepticism and diagnose its appeal. Carefully distinguishing between different levels of language-use and noting their interrelations can help us identify a subtle mistake in a key Pyrrhonian argument.

Is Knowledge Justifed True Belief?
Is knowledge justified true belief? Most philosophers believe that the answer is clearly ‘no’, as demonstrated by Gettier cases. But Gettier cases don’t obviously refute the traditional view that knowledge is justified true belief (JTB). There are ways of resisting Gettier cases, at least one of which is partly successful. Nevertheless, when properly understood, Gettier cases point to a flaw in JTB, though it takes some work to appreciate just what it is. The nature of the flaw helps us better understand the nature of knowledge and epistemic justification. I propose a crucial improvement to the traditional view, relying on an intuitive and independently plausible metaphysical distinction pertaining to the manifestation of intellectual powers, which supplements the traditional components of justification, truth and belief. (Note: This is a companion piece to "Manifest Failure.")


Manifest Failure: The Gettier Problem Solved
This paper provides a principled and elegant solution to the Gettier problem. The key move is to draw a general metaphysical distinction and conscript it for epistemological purposes.


The Express Knowledge Account of Assertion
Many philosophers favor the simple knowledge account of assertion, which says you may assert something only if you know it. The simple account is true but importantly incomplete. I defend a more informative thesis, namely, that you may assert something only if your assertion expresses knowledge. I call this ‘the express knowledge account of assertion’.


Does Perceiving Entail Knowing?
This paper accomplishes two closely connected things. First, it refutes an influential view about the relationship between perception and knowledge. In particular, it demonstrates that perceiving does not entail knowing. Second, it leverages that refutation to demonstrate that knowledge is not the most general factive propositional attitude.


Prompting Challenges
I consider a serious objection to the knowledge account of assertion and develop a response. In the process I introduce important new data on prompting assertion, which all theorists working in the area should take note of.

Epistemic Invariantism and Speech Act Contextualism
This paper shows how to reconcile epistemic invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion. My basic proposal is that we can comfortably combine invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion by endorsing contextualism about speech acts.

Refutation by Elimination
This paper refutes two important and influential views in one fell stroke. The first is G.E. Moore’s view that assertions of the form ‘Q but I don’t believe that Q’ are inherently “absurd.” The second is Gareth Evans’s view that justification to assert Q entails justification to assert that you believe Q. Both views run aground the possibility of being justified in accepting eliminativism about belief.

Contingent A Priori Knowledge
I argue that you can have a priori knowledge of propositions that neither are nor appear necessarily true. You can know a priori contingent propositions that you recognize as such. This overturns a standard view in contemporary epistemology and the traditional view of the a priori, which restrict a priori knowledge to necessary truths, or at least to truths that appear necessary.

Foundationalism for Modest Infinitists
Infinitists argue that their view outshines foundationalism because infinitism can, whereas foundationalism cannot, explain two of epistemic justification’s crucial features: it comes in degrees and it can be complete. I present four different ways that foundationalists could make sense of those two features of justification, thereby undermining the case for infinitism.

The Ontology of Epistemic Reasons
Epistemic reasons are mental states, not propositions or non-mental facts.

On the General Argument Against Internalism
I respond to John Greco’s argument that all forms of internalism in epistemology are either false or uninteresting.


On the Relationship Between Propositional and Doxastic Justification
I argue against the orthodox view of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification. I then propose and evaluate alternative accounts of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification, and conclude that we should explain propositional justification in terms of doxastic justification.

An Infinitist Account of Doxastic Justification
Any satisfactory epistemology must account for the distinction between propositional and doxastic justification. This paper advances a new infinitist account of the distinction.

On the Regress Argument for Infinitism
I critically evaluate the regress argument for infinitism, conclude that it should not convince us, and explain how foundationalism can provide for infinite chains of justification.
Practical and Epistemic Justification in Alston's Perceiving God
This paper clarifies and evaluates a central premise of William Alston’s argument in Perceiving God. The premise in question: if it is practically rational to engage in a doxastic practice, then it is epistemically rational to suppose that said practice is reliable. This premise is false, and without it Alston’s main argument fails.

You Can't Get Away with Murder That Easily
Tim Mulgan argues that satisficing consequentialism cannot make good on its promise to avoid the Demandingness Objection, while at the same time avoid a devastating counterexample. I argue that Mulgan fails to demonstrate what he intends to. However, Mulgan’s argument does pose a challenge to proponents of satisficing consequentialism to spell out in more detail a key component of their theory.

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