Work in progress
Knowledge in a Post-truth World
Much has been written about the post-truth world of fake news, dodgy experts, and “alternative facts.” But in the current crisis over truth, journalists have ignored recent epistemological insights about the nature of disagreement, the role of trust, the naturalness of doubt, and the ways in which old cognitive mechanisms interact with new digital technologies. I will explore the instrumental role of truth in contemporary society, the question of which informational sources we should trust, and moral questions about who is accountable for combating fake news. This book is intended for wide readership and impact beyond academia.
I will be speaking about this topic at several conferences, and I plan to organize at least one conference on Political Epistemology in London. If you're interested in this topic and would like to collaborate, please email me!
Thought Experimenting on Knowledge
Thought experiments play crucial roles in philosophy. They are used to establish, challenge, and confirm theories in virtually every area of philosophical investigation. However, many thought experiments are poorly designed to investigate the subject matter for which they were constructed. In this paper, I focus specifically on thought experiments in epistemology. I argue that several influential thought experiments introduce confounding variables that obscure both theoretical and experimental investigations of knowledge, evidence, justification, and related concepts. I then propose a solution to this problem.
Work under review
What's the Point of Knowledge? (under review at Oxford University Press)
I recently finished a draft of a book called What's the Point of Knowledge?
A paper about the nature, value, and purpose of understanding.
This paper investigates why humans think and speak of understanding. What role (or roles) does this concept play in human life? What needs does it answer to? And what would we lose if it were to disappear from our language and thoughts? I intend to answer these questions and, in doing so, shed new light on a variety of issues including the nature and value of understanding, the relationship between understanding and knowledge, the role of explanation in understanding, and the connections between understanding, truth, luck, and testimony.
A paper about moral praise and acting for the right reasons.
According to a prevailing account of moral worth, an agent deserves moral praise for her action only if she acts on the “right-making reasons”. I describe several cases in which an agent deserves moral praise even though the agent does not act on the right-making reasons. This suggests that the right-making reasons view is incorrect.
A paper about the purpose and semantics of knowledge ascriptions.
A large debate centers on whether the correct semantics of knowledge ascriptions is invariant or context-sensitive. Recently, a handful of theorists have tried to use putative facts about the role of knowledge ascriptions to shed light on their semantics. My paper raises doubts about the viability of this strategy. I argue for a new approach, called epistemic pragmatism.