Reliabilism and Trade-offs in APQ

American Philosophical Quarterly will be publishing a paper by Jeff Dunn and me titled “Is Reliabilism a Form of Consequentialism?“. The paper responds to those suggesting that, since a form of consequentialism, reliabilism condones a variety of problematic trade-offs, involving cases where someone forms an epistemically deficient belief now that will lead her to more epistemic value later. We argue that the relevant argument equivocates: While there is a sense in which reliabilism is a kind of consequentialism, it is not of a kind on which we should expect problematic trade-offs.

On the social virtue of blind deference in PPR

Philosophy and Phenomenological Review just published my paper “The Social Virtue of Blind Deference“. The paper argues that there are cases wherein someone can exhibit epistemic virtue through blind deference, i.e., through soaking up everything he or she is told without any hesitation. The paper also argues that this shows that virtue epistemologists need to abandon a widespread commitment to personalism, i.e., the idea that virtue is possessed primarily on account of features internal to the psychology of the person.

Interview at Imperfect Cognitions

Lisa Bortolotti (Birmingham) has an interview with me over at Imperfect Cognitions about the epistemic consequentialism project Jeff Dunn and I are currently involved in. And while you’re over there, check out Lisa’s other projects on the epistemic benefits of false beliefs and optimism – very interesting stuff!

Bifurcating Virtue in Noûs

Noûs just published an Early View version of my paper “Against the Bifurcation of Virtue“. It rejects the distinction between character and faculty virtue, and argues that we should only postulate the latter.

Democracy and the black spider memos

The release of the ‘black spider memos’—Prince Charles’s letters to British government ministers and officials, recently made public by the Guardian—provide insights into the future reign of a meddlesome king. What they don’t do is threaten UK democracy. For them to do that, UK would have to be a democracy. Read more here.

OUP volume on Epistemic Consequentialism

Jeff Dunn and I will be signing a contract with Oxford University Press for an edited volume on epistemic consequentialism. The volume will feature papers by Clayton Littlejohn, Christopher Meacham, Michael Caie, Nancy Snow, Richard Pettigrew, Ralph Wedgewood, James Joyce, Hilary Kornblith, Julia Driver, Amanda MacAskill, Alejandro Perez Carballo, and Sophie Horowitz.

Must democracies hold elections?

The UK goes to the polls tomorrow. But do democracies really need to hold elections? If the point of elections is simply to find out what people want, why not simply predict what people want? Would our societies be any less democratic if we were to do so? Read more here.