‘Stop Talking about Fake News!’, forthcoming in Inquiry, online first, philpapers

Makes the case for abandoning the phrase ‘fake news’, and ‘post-truth’. I give three arguments for abandonment: that these terms are linguistically defective, that they are unnecessary given the rich vocabulary we already have, 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).

‘What’s the point of knowing how?’ forthcoming in the European Journal of Philosophy online first [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 reasons: one concerning spreading capacities, and the other concerning mutual reliance. These functions are in tension, making the concept of knowledge-how in tension. To resolve the tension, we’d better endorse a revisionary account of knowledge-how.

‘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, what I call an ability to answer a question on the fly. One can think of this view as a kind of compromise between Intellectualism and Anti-Intellectualism, that combines the idea that knowledge-how is an ability, 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 for knowledge-how that are analogous to Lackey’s Creationist teacher, using them 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]

Makes the case for an epistemic norm on intending(roughly: that one must know how to do what one intends to do), based on extensions of arguments used in favour of other epistemic norms.

‘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 causes a problem for Bengson and Moffett’s Objectualist account of knowledge-how.


(Please ask before citing!)

‘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

Considers what use the status of authorship has, arguing that it performs a set of functions which are in tension. Offers a proposal for ameliorating this situation, involving doing away with the status of authorship.

‘Group Knowledge, Questions, and the Division of Epistemic Labour’ DRAFT

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.

‘Group Inquiry’ DRAFT

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

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