See also the Public Philosophy page for podcasts, interviews, talks, and media coverage of my research projects.

Quick Guides

Essays Overview

  • A bullet-point guide to all my essays, in one document.

    • It includes about 1/3rd of a page for each essay. See also the Cheat Sheets, for a more detailed sumary of each essay.

    • I also collate essays by topic, such as the relevant alternatives framework, moral encroachment, Craigian methodology, etc.

Cheat Sheets

  • Here is a folder with all the cheat sheets.

    • I include a PDF and Word version of each cheat sheet.

    • These documents might save you time, especially if you are teaching the essay.

Other


Publications

Email for me typeset versions or check here.

30.) 'We Forge the Conditions of Love' Linguistic Luck: Essays in Anti-Luck Semantics eds. Carlos Montemayor & Abrol Fairweather, OUP.

  • Essay

  • Cheat Sheet

  • Essay Bundle (Essay and Cheat Sheets)

  • Synopsis: Linguistic environment affects self-ascriptions of love, which itself affects love. I also examine conceptions of limerence—understood as obsessive infatuation—and how language could encourage queer preferences.

  • Topics: Love, limerence, infatuation, romantic attraction, conceptions, concepts, transformative conceptual shifts, conceptual engineering, maker’s knowledge, attention, self-interpretation, the gay agenda, sexuality, the social construction of sexuality, polyamory, linguistic luck.


29.) ‘Corroboration’ (forthcoming) American Philosophical Quarterly.

  • Draft

  • Cheat Sheet

  • Synopsis: Corroboration does not merely increase quantifiable conditional probability; it winnows error possibilities and guides further inquiry. This illuminates evidential weight, independence, and non-fungibility. This essay also suggests a non-quantitative model for prudential risk mitigation and lays a groundwork for assessing legal corroboration requirements.

  • Topics: Corroborating evidence, relevant alternatives framework, conditional probability, evidential balance, evidential weight, evidential independence, legal corroboration requirements, legal proof, proof paradox, DNA evidence, probable cause, accusations, risk mitigation, safeguards.


28.) ‘The Safe, The Sensitive, and the Severely Tested’ (forthcoming) Synthese, with the statistician Brian Zaharatos.


  • Synopsis:

(1.) Safety and sensitivity are not rivals. They play symbiotic roles within the relevant alternatives framework.

(2) This essay translates Mayo's severe testing theory of statistical inference into mainstream modal epistemology.

  • Topics: Statistic inference, severe testing, error detection in science, safety, sensitivity, relevant alternatives framework, Deborah Mayo


27.) ‘Attunement: On the Cognitive Virtues of Attention’ (2022) Social Virtue Epistemology, eds. Mark Alfano, Jeroen de Ridder, & Colin Klein. Routledge.


  • This is the lead essay in a symposium. The same volume includes two response essays and my rejoinder.

  • Synopsis:

(i.) Attention is epistemically potent.

(ii.) The normativity of attention is well-illuminated by virtue epistemology.

(iii.) Attentional virtues and vices are traits of both individuals and collectives.

  • Topics: Patterns of attention, ethics and epistemology of attention, collective virtue, epistemic justice, moral encroachment, attentional wronging, social media, political epistemology.


26.) ‘The Limits of Virtue?: Replies to Carter and Goldberg’ (2022) Social Virtue Epistemology, eds. Mark Alfano, Jeroen de Ridder, & Colin Klein. Routledge.

  • Essay

  • Adam Carter and Sandy Goldberg each respond to my ‘Attunement’ essay. This essay is my rejoinder.

  • I am happy to supply Carter's and Goldberg's essays.

  • Synopsis:

(i.) Carter argues that resources from virtue reliabilism can explain the source of attention normativity. He modifies this virtue reliabilist AAA-framework to apply to attentional normativity. I raise concerns about Carter’s project. I suggest that true belief and proper attentional habits are not relevantly similar.

(ii.) Goldberg claims that social roles underwrite kinds of attentional normativity that are not well-captured by virtue theory. I critically assess this claim.

  • Topics: Normativity of attention, intellectual ethics, sources of normativity, virtue epistemology, virtue responsibilism, virtue reliabilism Sosa’s AAA-framework, attentional flourishing, social roles.


25.) ‘Legal Evidence and Knowledge’ (forthcoming) The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence, Maria Lasonen-Aarnio and Clayton Littlejohn (eds.) Routledge.

  • Essay

  • Synopsis: Some theorists appeal to the nature of knowledge to explain the inadequacy of bare statistical evidence for legal proof. I motivate, then criticise, this approach.

  • Topics: The relationship between knowledge and legal verdicts, the proof paradox, bare statistical evidence, lotteries, safety, relevant alternatives theory


24.) ‘Pragmatism, Skepticism, and Over-Compatibilism: On Michael Hannon’s What’s the Point of Knowledge? ’ (forthcoming) Inquiry.

  • Draft

  • Hannon's reply available on request.

  • Topics: Michael Hannon, Edward Craig, function-first epistemology, methodology, epistemic pragmatism, skepticism, the counterexample method, knowledge, semantics of knowledge ascriptions.


23.) ‘The Banality of Vice’ (2022) Social Virtue Epistemology, eds. Mark Alfano, Jeroen de Ridder, & Colin Klein. Routledge.

  • Essay

  • This essay replies to Ian James Kidd's "From Vice Epistemology to Critical Character Epistemology".

  • Synopsis: Patterns of salience affect how social position--race, gender, class, and so on--shapes epistemic character. I investigate how.

  • Topics: Salience, epistemic vice, critical character epistemology, feminist epistemology, social privilege.


22.) ‘Antisocial Modelling’ (2022) Social Virtue Epistemology, eds. Mark Alfano, Jeroen de Ridder, & Colin Klein. Routledge.

  • Essay

  • This essay replies to Michael Morreau and Erik J. Olsson's "Learning from Ranters: The Effect of Information Resistance on the Epistemic Quality of Social Network Deliberation"

  • Synopsis: Morreau and Olsson use simulations to suggest that false ranters--agents who do not update their beliefs and only ever assert false claims--do not diminish the epistemic value of deliberation for other agents, and can even be epistemically valuable. I present concerns about their model and I suggest some epistemic values their discussion omits.

  • Topics: Epistemic simulations, modelling deliberation, false assertions, epistemic value, the value of deliberation


21.) ‘Banal Skepticism and the Errors of Doubt: On Ephecticism about Rape Accusations’ (2021) Midwest Studies in Philosophy.

  • Essay

  • Cheat Sheet

  • Synopsis: The relevant alternatives framework helps diagnose and remedy undue doubts about rape accusations. It also illuminates the nature and sources of testimonial injustice.

  • Topics: Doubt-mongering; withholding; rape accusations; relevant alternatives theory; testimony; testimonial injustice; stakes; epistemic thresholds; error possibilities; doubt as a conservative force, social power.


20.) ‘Opacity of Character: Virtue Ethics and the Legal Admissibility of Character Evidence’ (2021) Phil Issues 31, with Jacob Smith.

  • Draft

  • Cheat Sheet

  • Published version

  • Synopsis: Virtue ethicists should endorse character evidence exclusion laws, such as FRE 404(a).

  • Topics: Situationism, virtue ethics, character traits, conduct, character evidence law, Federal Rules of Evidence, FRE 404(a), structure of character judgements.

  • This research is featured on Open for Debate.


19.) ‘Relevance and Risk: How the Relevant Alternatives Framework Models the Epistemology of Risk’ (2021) Synthese 199: 481-511.

  • Pre-print

  • Synopsis: The relevant alternatives framework illuminates how risk affects epistemic properties. I focus on three topics:

(i) evidence, stakes, and action

(ii) moral encroachment

(iii) social epistemic harms, such as gaslighting

  • Topics: Risk, stakes, moral encroachment, pragmatic encroachment, relevant alternatives theory, safety, epistemic injustice, profiling, gaslighting, crying wolf, credibility, conspiracy theories, rape accusations.


18.) ‘The ‘‘She Said, He Said’’ Paradox and the Proof Paradox’ (2021) Truth and Trials: Dilemmas at the Intersection of Epistemology and Philosophy of Law, eds. Zachery Hoskins and Jon Robson. Routledge, 124-143.

  • Pre-print

  • Handout corresponding to the essay (AKA, a cheat sheet). This cheat sheet provides a quick overview of the essay.

  • Some media, such as podcasts and videos, at the bottom of this page are about this research

  • Synopsis: I contrast the ‘she said, he said’ paradox with the proof paradox, and assess some responses to the ‘she said, he said’ paradox.

  • Topics: Rape accusations, Title IX investigations, proof paradox, individualised evidence, legal standards of proof, preponderance of the evidence


17.) ‘Evidence’ (2021) Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Duncan Pritchard.

  • Essay

  • Published

  • Topics: epistemic justification, reasonableness, skepticism, evidential balance, evidential weight, defeaters, the phenomenal conception of evidence, epistemic value of evidence, evidence and cognitive character.

Section 1: Sketches the phenomenal conception of evidence and rival views.

Section 2: Explains normative contours of evidence such as defeaters and higher order evidence. Describes views like evidentialism and uniqueness.

Section 3: Emphasises the plurality of epistemic values of evidence. This includes increasing evidential balance, weight, and specificity, and enhancing cognitive character and habits. It is the most novel and innovative section.


16.) ‘Book Review of Michael Hannon’s What’s the Point of Knowledge?: A Function-First Epistemology’ (2021) European Journal of Philosophy.

(i.) Briefly explains function-first epistemology.

(ii.) Aims to direct attention to ideas in Hannon’s monograph that will interest people who do not work within function-first methods in epistemology.

(iii.) Criticises Hannon’s explanation of the value of knowledge and his response to the 'threshold problem' for knowledge.


15.) ‘Profiling and Proof: Are Statistics Safe?’ (2020) Philosophy 95(2).

  • Abstract

  • Essay

  • Video available from CONCEPT at the University of Cologne.

  • Awarded the Royal Institute of Philosophy annual essay prize.

  • Synopsis: I compare the lottery paradox to related paradoxes, such as the proof paradox. I cast doubt on Pritchard’s account of the profiling paradox.

  • Topics: Lottery paradox, proof paradox, merely statistical evidence, profiling, safety, credences.


14.) ‘Understanding in Epistemology’ (2020) The Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory, Michael A. Peters (ed.) Springer.


  • Synopsis: I discuss the nature and value of understanding.

  • Topics: Objectual understanding, understanding-why, types of understanding, understanding comes in degrees, grasping, coherence-making relations, cognitive achievement, factivity, Alison Hills.


13.) ‘The Reasonable and the Relevant: Legal Standards of Proof’ (2019) Philosophy & Public Affairs.

  • Essay

  • Published

  • Synopsis: I adapt the relevant alternatives theory to propose a framework for legal standards of proof.

  • Topics: Relevant alternatives theory, legal standards of proof, preponderance of evidence, beyond reasonable doubt, proof paradox, merely statistical evidence, legal epistemic justice.


12.) ‘Legal Epistemology’ (2019) Oxford Bibliographies Online.


11.) ‘Wisdom and Adversity: The Potential Role of Humility’ (2019) with Tenelle Porter, Don E. Davis, and Jason Baehr, The Journal of Value Inquiry.

  • Draft available on request

  • Published

  • Synopsis: By helping us acknowledge our limits, adversity can enhance humility and wisdom.

  • Topics: Wisdom, adversity, humility, intellectual humility


10.) ‘Evidentialism and Moral Encroachment’ (2018) Believing in Accordance with the Evidence: New Essays on Evidentialism, Kevin McCain (ed.) Springer.

  • Abstract

  • Pre-print

  • The typeset version is available on request

  • Synopsis: Existing arguments for moral encroachment are not successful.

  • Topics: moral encroachment, pragmatic encroachment, the ethics of belief, feminist epistemology, the epistemology of statistics, social epistemology

  • Described in this podcast episode. Researchers who know the topic might be most interested in the part from 13 minutes 30 seconds in, where I suggest that arguments for moral encroachment are classist and articulate a new argument against moral encroachment.

  • Discussed in these course materials (multiple videos and slide shows) by Martin Smith (University of Edinburgh).


9.) ‘Virtue Epistemology and Explanatory Salience’ (2018) The Routledge Handbook of Virtue Epistemology, Heather Battaly (ed.) Routledge.

  • Abstract

  • Pre-print

  • The typeset version is available on request

  • Synopsis: John Greco’s salience account of robust virtue epistemology is not viable.

  • Topics: Robust virtue epistemology, salience, testimony, John Greco


8.) ‘Legal Burdens of Proof and Statistical Evidence’ (2018) The Routledge Handbook of Applied Epistemology, Coady, D and Chase, J (eds.) Routledge.

  • Abstract

  • Pre-print

  • The typeset version is available on request

  • Synopsis: I examine the inadequacy of merely statistical evidence for satisfying legal burdens of proof.

  • Topics: Burdens of proof, statistical evidence, individualised evidence, proof paradoxes, lottery paradoxes, sensitivity, normic support, Martin Smith


7.) ‘In Defence of Reasonable Doubt’ (2017) Journal of Applied Philosophy 34(2): 221-241.

  • Abstract

  • Pre-print

  • Published Version

  • Synopsis: Larry Laudan’s statistics-based arguments for lowering the criminal standard of proof are unsuccessful.

  • Topics: Beyond reasonable doubt, legal epistemology, standards of proof, Blackstone's ratio, crime rates, crime statistics, recidivism, Larry Laudan


6.) ‘Safety's Swamp: Against the Value of Modal Stability’ (2017) American Philosophical Quarterly 54(2): 119-129.

  • Abstract

  • Pre-print

  • Published Version

  • Synopsis: Modal conditions on knowledge, such as safety, suffer from the swamping problem.

  • Topics: Safety, sensitivity, epistemic value, swamping problem, Meno problem, Duncan Pritchard


5.) ‘Coherence Without Conservation’ (2016) for invited symposium on Reason and Explanation by Ted Poston, in Syndicate Philosophy.


4.) ‘Normalcy and the Contents of Philosophical Judgements’ (2015) Inquiry 58 (7): 700-740.

  • Abstract

  • Pre-print

  • Published Version

  • Synopsis: I examine the content of the judgement we have in response to vignettes in their role as counterexamples.

  • Topics: philosophical judgement, counterexamples, philosophical methodology, intuitions, Timothy Williamson, normalcy judgements


3.) ‘Teleologies and the Methodology of Epistemology’ (2015) in Epistemic Evaluation: Point and Purpose in Epistemology, Greco, J and Henderson, D (eds.) OUP. pp. 31-45.

  • Abstract

  • Essay

  • The typeset version is available on request

  • Synopsis: I examine teleological approaches in epistemology, and construct a taxonomy of teleological (and other) approaches.

  • Topics: Edward Craig, genealogy, teleological approaches, function-first epistemology


2.) ‘The Commutativity of Evidence: A Problem for Conciliatory Views of Peer Disagreement’ (2014) Episteme 11: 83–95.

  • Abstract

  • Pre-print

  • Published Version

  • Synopsis: Conciliationism suffers from a serious problem, namely averaging is not commutative.

  • Topics: Peer disagreement, conciliationism, commutativity of evidence, serial peer disagreement, multi-peer disagreement


1.) ‘Understanding, Integration, and Epistemic Value’ (2012) Acta Analytica 27 (2): 163–181.

  • Abstract

  • Pre-Print

  • Published Version

  • Synopsis: The nature and value of understanding cannot be reduced to an agglomeration of true beliefs. And this shows veritism is false.

  • Topics: Understanding, epistemic value, cognitive integration, coherence, veritism, Carroll's regress

Drafts

3.) ‘Understanding and Emulation’ (Draft).

  • Abstract

  • Draft

  • Synopsis: I develop a teleological account of understanding attributions.

  • Topics: Understanding, teleology, emulation, Edward Craig, function-first epistemology


2.) ‘Defending Non-Summativism about Group Belief’ (Draft).

  • Abstract

  • Draft

  • Synopsis: I argue for non-summativism about group belief.

  • Topics: Group belief, group assertion, lies and bullshit desiderata, non-summativism, Jennifer Lackey


1.) ‘A-Quantification and the Semantics of Knowledge Attributions’ (Draft).

  • Abstract

  • Draft

  • Synopsis: I criticise Schaffer and Szabó’s proposed semantics for knowledge attributions.

  • Topics: Epistemic comparativism, contextualism, semantics, A-quantifers


Theses

2.) In Pursuit of Understanding (2017) Doctoral Thesis, Rutgers University.

  • Abstract Only

  • Final Version

  • Archived Version

  • Themes: Understanding, epistemic value, moral encroachment, the ethics of belief, teleological approaches, emulation, normalcy, legal epistemology, meta-philosophy, statistical evidence


1.) A Defence of Robust Virtue Epistemology (2011) Master's Thesis, Edinburgh University.

  • Abstract Only

  • Final Version

  • Archived Version

  • Synopsis: I invoke John Mackie’s INUS-conditions account of causation to develop robust virtue epistemology.

  • Topics: Robust virtue epistemology, INUS-conditions, salience, manifestation, epistemic luck, epistemic value, testimony


Photo credits Emily McWilliams and Alex Worsnip.