"Is Reliabilism a Form of
Philosophical Quarterly (with Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij)
Consequentialists in ethics
famously face certain sorts of seemingly objectionable
killing one healthy patient to save five who will otherwise
die). Some have alleged that epistemic consequentialists face
similar sorts of objectionable trade-offs. Some of these same
people have allaged that reliabilism about justification is a
form of epistemic consequentialism. Hence, reliabilists face
objectionable trade-offs. We argue that this conclusion is too
quick and indeed equivocates on 'consequentialism'.
Consequentialism is the view
that, in some sense, rightness is to be understood in terms
conducive to goodness. Much of the philosophical discussion
concerning consequentialism has focused on moral rightness. But
there is plausibly also epistemic rightness. Epistemic rightness
is often denoted with talk of justification, rationality, or by
merely indicating what should be believed. The epistemic
consequentialist claims, roughly, that these kinds of facts
about epistemic rightness depend solely on facts about the
goodness of the consequences. In slogan form, such a view holds
that the epistemic good is prior to the epistemic right. This
peer-reviewed encyclopedia entry surveys consequentialist
approaches in epistemology.
for Degrees of Belief
172: 1929-1952. (penultimate
We often evaluate belief-forming
processes, agents, or entire belief states for reliability.
This is normally done with the assumption that beliefs are
all-or-nothing. How does such evaluation go when we're
considering beliefs that come in degrees? I argue that a
natural answer to this question is incorrect, and propose in
its place an alternative answer that is based on the notion of
Defence of Epistemic Consequentialism
", Philosophical Quarterly,
Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij). (penultimate
maintain that the epistemically right (e.g. the justified) is to be
understood in terms of conduciveness to the epistemic good (e.g. true belief).
In a recent paper, Selim Berker has provided arguments that
allegedly lead to a ‘rejection’ of epistemic consequentialism.
In the present paper we show that reliabilism—the most
prominent form of epistemic consequentialism, and one of
Berker's main targets—survives Berker’s arguments unscathed.
51 (3): 203-213. (penultimate draft
Can a proposition that you infer
be evidence for you? Williamson's E=K thesis says that it can.
However, I show that the standard Bayesian framework is
inconsistent with such inferential evidence. Since Williamson
adopts this framework, this reveals an inconsistency in his
view. I conclude by considering the wider ramifications of
this inconsistency and note two ways one might respond.
Worlds and Moral Evaluation
", Ethics & Information Technology,
255-265. (penultimate draft
Consider the multi-user virtual
worlds of online games such as EVE and World
of Warcraft, or the multi-user virtual world of Second Life. Suppose a
player performs an action in one of these worlds, via his or
her virtual character, which would be wrong, if the virtual
world were real. What is the moral status of this virtual
action? In this paper I consider this question.
Holistic or Simple
9: 225-233. (penultimate draft
In "What Is Justified Belief?"
Alvin Goldman proposed a simple form of reliabilism about
justification. In Epistemology
and Cognition, Goldman offered a more complicated
version of reliabilism, which he has endorsed as superior to
the simple version. In this paper I clarify both versions of
reliabilism, and argue that the simpler model is preferable.
When and under what conditions is
a proposition P
evidence for some agent A?
Nicholas Silins has recently argued that any answer must be a
version of Evidential Internalism: necessarily, if A and B are internal twins, then
A and B have the same evidence.
I argue against this and draw some conclusions about evidence.
Act of Perception
, 139: 367-393. (penultimate
Mark Johnston offers a direct
realist account of hallucination. I argue that it is either
not a direct realist account or that it does not sufficiently
take account of hallucination.