Papers

Forthcoming

‘Group Inquiry’, Erkenntnis publisher’s link (open access)

Uses work on formal pragmatics by Robert Stalnaker and Craige Roberts to offer an account of group inquiry, along the way considering the nature of group action, group knowledge, and collective ignorance.

‘Fake news, Conceptual Engineering, and Linguistic Resistance: Reply to Pepp, Michaelson, and Sterken, and Brown’, Inquiry. pre-print, publisher’s link

This is a response to two responses to Stop Talking About Fake News! I try to work through the general form of arguments for abandoning terms, do some work situating ‘fake news’ in fascist discourse, and tries to say something general about anti-fascist conceptual engineering.

Published

‘Group Knowledge, Questions, and the Division of Epistemic Labour’, Ergo. Publisher’s link (OPEN ACCESS)

Gives an account of group knowledge, building on linguistic treatments of  the cumulative reading of knowledge-wh ascriptions, arguing that a group can know the answer to a question in virtue of members of the group knowing answers to parts of that question which are accessible to group action.

‘Stop Talking about Fake News!’, forthcoming in Inquiry, Publisher’s link, philpapers (open access)

Argues that we ought to abandon the phrases ‘fake news’, and ‘post-truth’. I give three reasons for abandonment: that these terms are linguistically defective, that they are unnecessary given the rich vocabulary we already have for thinking about deception, and that they are tools for authoritarian and reactionary propaganda. If I’d known about the phrase before, I’d have said that this paper makes the case for semantic no platforming (h/t Liam Bright).

(Something like an executive summary is here, and I talked about this paper on the podcast Journal Entries).

‘What’s the point of knowing how?’ forthcoming in the European Journal of Philosophy Publisher’s link, pre-print

Why do we think and talk about knowledge-how? Using Edward Craig’s genealogical approach to knowledge, this paper argues that there are two possible reasons: one relating to our interest in gaining new abilities, and the other relating to our need for mutual reliance in collective action. These functions are in tension, and give different predictions about who knows how to do stuff, meaning the concept of knowledge-how in tension. To resolve the tension, I suggest that we’d better endorse a revisionary account of knowledge-how that reflects our interests in mutual reliance.

‘Knowledge-How, Abilities and Questions’, (2019) The Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97:1, 86-104 publisher’s link (OPEN ACCESS), [pre-print].

Argues for a novel theory of knowledge-how as a distinctive kind of ability to answer a question, which I call an ability to answer a question on the fly. One can think of this view as a kind of compromise between Intellectualist views that claim that knowledge-how is a kind of propositional knowledge, and Anti-Intellectualist views that claim that knowledge-how is a kind of ability. According to what I call the Interrogative Capacity view knowledge-how is an ability to answer questions on the fly. This view combines the idea that knowledge-how is a distinctively practical kind of knowledge with the standard question-based semantics for interrogative complements like ‘how to swim’.

Draft paper, along with presentation and commentaries from Evan Riley, Carlotta Pavese, and Jay Spitzley here.

The Generality Problem for Intellectualism,’ (2018) Mind and Language 33(3): 242-262 publisher’s link (OPEN ACCESS), pre-print.

I argue that Intellectualists ought to provide us with an account of the generality of the methods that figure in the propositions which they claim are involved in knowledge-how, that this problem is analogous to the Generality Problem for reliabilism, and that lots of prima facie plausible ways to give an account of the generality of these methods fail (This paper is basically a longer and much less amusing version of this sketch).

‘Knowledge-How, Showing and Epistemic Norms,’ (2018) Synthese 195(8): 3597–3620 publisher’s link, pre-print

This paper centres around cases in which a teacher teaches a student how to do something which they (the teacher) doesn’t know how to do. These cases are couisins of Jennifer Lackey’s Creationist teacher case. I use these cases to criticise the knowledge-how norm on showing (roughly, the norm that one must know how to do what one teaches others to do). A central example is Carmine Caruso, who is a super cool person to think and know about.

‘Knowledge-How is the Norm of Intending,’ (2018) Philosophical Studies 175(7): 1703–1727publisher’s link, pre-print

What position do you need to be in to form an intention? In this paper, I make the case for an epistemic norm on intention, according to which one must only intend to do what one knows how to do. This norm can be supported based on extensions of arguments used in favour of other epistemic norms, is distinct to other rational norms on intentions, and is much more plausible than other candidate norms for intending.

‘Knowledge-how: Free Relatives and Interrogatives,’ (2018) Episteme 15(2): 183-201 Publisher’s link, pre-print

Argues that treating the ‘how to swim’ in the sentence ‘Jane knows how to swim’ as a free relative (rather than as an interrogative) is linguistically implausible, and that this linguistic implausibility causes a problem for Bengson and Moffett’s Objectualist account of knowledge-how.

Drafts

(Please ask before citing; comments welcome!)

‘How to Epistemically Evaluate Social Media’ DRAFT

Gives an overview of normative tools from social epistemology that can be used to evaluate the epsitemic character of social media platforms, and argues that individual-focused, structural, and anti-oppressive epistemic aims lead to conflicts that designers of social media must negotiate.

‘Knowing More (about Questions)’ DRAFT

Gives an account of what it means to know more, arguing that we should measure amounts of knowledge in a question-relative, contextualist way.

‘What’s the Point of Authors?’ DRAFT

Who should be an author of a collaboratively produced academic paper? This question vexes researchers, journal editors, and readers but has recevied relatively little attention in philosophy. In this paper, considers what use the status of authorship has, using this question to build a set of functions for authorship practices. I argue that these functions are in tension, and offers a proposal for ameliorating this situation, involving doing away with the status of authorship, replacing it with tailor-made statuses for the different functions hitherto associated with authorship.

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