James R. Beebe, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Director, Experimental Epistemology Research Group
Member, Center for Cognitive Science
Visiting Professor, Institute of Logic and Cognition, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China (Sept. - Oct., 2010)
Primary Areas of Specialization: Mainstream and Experimental Epistemology
Other Areas of Interest: Cognitive Science, Science and Religion, Moral Psychology, Decision Theory
Current Research: Experimental Epistemology, Folk Meta-Ethics, Skepticism About the A Priori, Epistemic Contextualism
Editor, Advances in Expeirmental Epistemology (Bloomsbury, 2014)
Table Of Contents
Introduction, James R. Beebe
1. Experimental Evidence in Support of Anti-Intellectualism About Knowledge, N. Ángel Pinillos and Shawn Simpson
2. Winners and Losers in the Folk Epistemology of Lotteries, John Turri and Ori Friedman
3. Contrasting Cases, Nat Hansen
4. Salience and Epistemic Egocentrism: An Empirical Study, Joshua Alexander, Chad Gonnerman, and John Waterman.
5. Semantic Integration as a Method for Investigating Concepts, Derek Powell, Zachary Horne, and N. Ángel Pinillos
6. The Mystery of Stakes and Error in Ascriber Intuitions, Wesley Buckwalter
7. Is Justification Necessary for Knowledge?, David Sackris and James R. Beebe
8. The Promise of Experimental Philosophy and the Inference, Jonathan Weinberg
"Epistemic Closure in Folk Epistemology" (with Jake Monaghan) (under review)
"The Probabilities of Might and Would Counterfactuals" (with Michael Shaffer) (under review)
"Blood is Thick but Unique Ability is Thicker: Judgments of Moral Responsibility in Tissue Donation Cases" (with John Beverley) (under review)
"Does Skepticism Presuppose Explanationism?" in Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) [Penultimate draft]
Explanationist (or abductivist) responses to skepticism maintain that our commonsense beliefs about the external world can be rationally preferred to skeptical hypotheses on the grounds that the former provide better explanations of our sensory experiences than the latter. This kind of response to radical skepticism has never enjoyed widespread acceptance in the epistemological community due to concerns about the epistemic merits of inference to the best explanation and appeals to the explanatory virtues. Against this tide of skepticism about explanationism, I argue that traditional skeptical challenges rest upon central explanationist tenets and thus that one cannot harbor doubts about the general class of explanationist responses to skepticism while at the same time granting the force of the skeptical challenges they seek to answer. I also show how explanationist principles do a better job than epistemic closure and underdetermination principles in articulating the structure and force of skeptical challenges.
"Moral Objectivism Across the Lifespan" (with David Sackris) Philosophical Psychology (forthcoming) [Penultimate draft] [Old draft]
We report the results of a cross-sectional study that examined folk metaethical judgments in participants between the ages of 12 and 88. We found that participants in their late teens and early twenties attributed less objectivity to ethical statements than participants in older or younger age groups.
"Experimental Epistemology" Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (in progress)
"Experimental Epistemology" In James Fieser and Bradley Dowden (eds.), The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (in progress)
"Empirical Approaches to Metaethics" Blackwell's Philosophy Compass (in progress)
"The Empirical Study of Folk Metaethics" Etyka (forthcoming) [Penultimate draft]
In this paper, I review recent attempts by experimental philosophers and psychologists to study folk metaethics empirically and discuss some of the difficulties that researchers face when trying to construct the right kind of research materials and when interpreting the results that they obtain. At first glance, the findings obtained so far do not look good for the thesis that people are everywhere moral realists about every moral issue. However, because of difficulties in interpreting these results, I argue that better research is needed to move the debate forward.
"Do Bad People Know More? Interactions Between Attributions of Knowledge and Blame" Synthese (forthcoming) [Penultimate draft]
A central topic in experimental epistemology has been the ways that nonepistemic evaluations of an agent’s actions can affect whether the agent is taken to have certain kinds of knowledge. Several scholars have found that the positive or negative valence of an action can influence attributions of knowledge to the agent. These evaluative effects on knowledge attributions are commonly seen as performance errors, failing to reflect individuals’ genuine conceptual competence with knows. In the present article, I report the results of a series of studies designed to test the leading version of this view, which appeals to the allegedly distorting influence of individuals' motivation to blame. I argue that the data pose significant challenges to such a view.
"Knowledge In and Out of Contrast" (with Mikkel Gerken) Noûs 50 (2016): 133–164 [Published version] [Penultimate draft]
We report and discuss the results of a series of experiments that address a contrast effect exhibited by folk judgments about knowledge ascriptions. The contrast effect, which was first reported by Schaffer and Knobe (2012), is an important aspect of our folk epistemology. However, there are competing theoretical accounts of it. We shed light on the various accounts by providing novel empirical data and theoretical considerations. Our key findings are, firstly, that belief ascriptions exhibit a similar contrast effect and, secondly, that the contrast effect is systematically sensitive to the content of what is in contrast. We argue that these data pose significant challenges to contrastivist accounts of the contrast effect. Furthermore, some of the data set provides, in conjunction with some non-empirical epistemological arguments, some limited evidence for what we call a focal bias account of the data (Gerken 2012, 2013). According to the focal bias account, the contrast effects arise at least in part because epistemically relevant facts are not always adequately processed when they are presented in certain ways.
"Evaluative Effects on Knowledge Attributions" in Justin Sytsma and Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Experimental Philosophy (forthcoming) [Penultimate draft]
Overview of the epistemic side-effect effect in the experimental philosophy literature for a reference work.
"A Priori Skepticism and the KK Thesis" International Journal for the Study of Skepticism (forthcoming) [Penultimate draft]
In a previous article, I argued against the widespread reluctance of philosophers to treat skeptical challenges to our a priori knowledge of necessary truths with the same seriousness as skeptical challenges to our a posteriori knowledge of contingent truths. Hamid Vahid has recently offered several reasons for thinking the unequal treatment of these two kinds of skepticism is justified, one of which is a priori skepticism’s seeming dependence upon the widely scorned KK thesis. In the present article, I defend a priori skepticism against Vahid’s criticisms.
"Individual and Cross-Cultural Differences in Semantic Intuitions: New Experimental Findings" (with Ryan Undercoffer) Journal of Cognition and Culture 16 (2016) [Latest draft]
In 2004 Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols, and Stephen Stich published what has become one of the most widely discussed papers in experimental philosophy, in which they reported that East Asian and Western participants had different intuitions about the semantic reference of proper names. A flurry of criticisms of their work has emerged, and although various replications have been performed, many critics remain unconvinced. We review the current debate over Machery et al.’s (2004) results and take note of which objections to their work have been satisfactorily answered and which ones still need to be addressed. We then report the results of studies that reveal significant cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in semantic intuitions when we control for variables that critics allege have had a potentially distorting effect on Machery et al.’s findings. These variables include the epistemic perspective from which participants are supposed to understand the research materials, unintended anchoring effects of those materials, and pragmatic factors involved in the interpretation of speech acts within them. Our results confirm the robustness of the cross-cultural differences observed by Machery et al. and thereby strengthen the philosophical challenge they pose.
"Moral Valence and Semantic Intuitions" (with Ryan Undercoffer) Erkenntnis 80 (2015): 445–66 [Published article] [Penultimate draft]
Despite the swirling tide of controversy surrounding the work of Machery et al. (2004), the cross-cultural differences they observed in semantic intuitions about the reference of proper names have proven to be robust. In the present article, we report a new set of significant cross-cultural and individual differences in semantic intuitions and show how the moral valence of actions described in experimental materials can sometimes affect participants’ responses. We take these findings to provide further confirmation of the reality of cross-cultural and intra-cultural differences in semantic intuitions and to strengthen the philosophical challenge they pose.
"Moral Objectivism in Cross-Cultural Perspective" (with Qiaoan Runya, Tomasz Wysocki, and Miguel A. Endara) Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (2015): 386-401.[Latest draft]
Moral psychologists have recently turned their attention to the study of folk metaethical beliefs. We report the results of a cross-cultural study using Chinese, Polish, and Ecuadorian participants that seeks to advance this line of investigation. Individuals in all three demographic groups were observed to attribute objectivity to ethical statements in very similar patterns. Differences in participants’ strength of opinion about an issue, the level of societal agreement or disagreement about an issue, and participants’ age were found to significantly affect their inclination to view the truth of an ethical statement as a matter of objective fact. Implications for theorizing about folk morality are discussed.
"How Different Kinds of Disagreement Impact Folk Metaethical Judgments," in Jennifer Cole Wright & Hagop Sarkissian (eds). Advances in Experimental Moral Psychology: Affect, Character, and Commitments. (Bloomsbury, 2014) [Penultimate draft]
Although the empirical study of folk metaethical judgments is still in its infancy, a variety of interesting and significant results have been obtained. Goodwin and Darley (2008), for example, report that individuals tend to regard ethical statements as more objective than conventional or taste claims and almost as objective as scientific claims, although there is considerable variation in metaethical intuitions across individuals and across different ethical issues. Goodwin and Darley (2012) also report (i) that participants treat statements condemning ethical wrongdoing as more objective than statements enjoining good or morally exemplary actions, (ii) that perceived consensus regarding an ethical statement positively influences ratings of metaethical objectivity, and (iii) that moral objectivism is associated with greater discomfort with and more pejorative attributions toward those with whom individuals disagreed. Beebe and Sackris (under review) found that folk metaethical commitments vary across different life stages, with decreased objectivism during the college years. Sarkissian, Parks, Tien, Wright, and Knobe (2011) found that folk intuitions about metaethical objectivity vary as a function of cultural distance, with increased cultural distance between disagreeing parties leading to decreased attributions of metaethical objectivity. Wright, Grandjean, and McWhite (forthcoming) found that not only is there significant diversity among individuals with regard to the objectivity they attribute to ethical claims, there is also significant diversity of opinion with respect to whether individuals take certain issues such as abortion or anonymously donating money to charity to be ethical issues at all, despite the fact that philosophers overwhelmingly regard these issues as ethical. The present article reports a series of experiments designed to extend the empirical investigation of folk metaethical intuitions by examining how different kinds of ethical disagreement can impact attributions of objectivity to ethical claims. Study 1 reports a replication of Beebe and Sackris’ work on metaethical intuitions, in order to establish a baseline of comparison for Studies 2 through 4. In Study 2, societal disagreement about ethical issues was made salient to participants before they answered metaethical questions about the objectivity of ethical claims, and this was found to decrease attributions of objectivity to those claims. In Studies 3 and 4, the parties with whom participants were asked to consider having an ethical disagreement were made more concrete than in Studies 1 and 2, using either verbal descriptions or facial pictures. This manipulation was found to increase attributions of metaethical objectivity. In a final study, metaethical judgments were shown to vary with the moral valence of the actions performed by the disagreeing party—in other words, a Knobe effect for metaethical judgments was found. These studies aim to increase our understanding of the complexity of the folk metaethical landscape.
"The Folk Conception of Weakness of Will" (no longer under review)
Experimental philosophers (e.g., Mele 2010; May and Holton 2012) have recently begun to investigate the folk conception of weakness of will. Despite the fact that many philosophers have agreed that weakness of will consists solely in akrasia—i.e., in acting contrary to one’s better judgment—researchers have found that the violation of resolutions to act in particular ways also figures prominently in folk thinking about weakness of will. In light of these results some have proposed disjunctive or family resemblance accounts of the folk conception, in which akratic actions and resolution violations both figure as central elements. However, these accounts often fail to explain what unifies the folk conception and the set of actions that fall within its intuitive extension. In this article I report the results of three studies that investigate the folk conception of weakness of will and show how they support the view that weakness of will consists (at least in the minds of many ordinary Americans) in actions or decisions that violate the strongest available normative reasons.
"Weakness of Will, Reasonability, and Compulsion" Synthese 190 (2013): 4077-93 [Published article] [Penultimate draft]
Experimental philosophers have recently begun to investigate the folk conception of weakness of will. Their work has focused primarily on the ways in which akrasia (i.e., acting contrary to one's better judgment), unreasonable violations of resolutions, and variations in the moral valence of actions modulate folk attributions of weakness of will. A key finding that has emerged from this research is that-contrary to the predominant view in the history of philosophy-ordinary participants do not think of weakness of will solely in terms of akrasia but see resolution violations and moral evaluations as playing equally important roles. The present article extends this line of research by reporting the results of four experiments that investigate (i) the interplay between hastily revising one's resolutions and the degree of reasonableness of the actions one had resolved to undertake, (ii) whether ordinary participants are willing to ascribe weakness of will to agents whose actions stem from compulsion or addiction, and (iii) the respects in which akratic action, resolution violations, and the seriousness of an addiction impact attributions of weakness of will to agents acting in accord with their addictions.
"Is Justification Necessary for Knowledge?" (with David Sackris), in James R. Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology (Bloomsbury, 2014), pp. 175-92. [Penultimate draft]
Justification has long been considered a necessary condition on the ordinary concept of knowledge, and theories that deny the necessity of justification have been dismissed as non-starters. In this paper, we seek to reopen the question of whether justification is a necessary condition for knowledge by taking a critical look at some of the philosophical arguments offered in favor of its necessity and by reporting the results of empirical studies that show participants are willing to attribute knowledge when there is insufficient evidence in favor of the belief in question. We hope that the resulting blend of philosophical argument and empirical results leads philosophers to take more seriously the suggestion that the ordinary concept of knowledge may not always require justification.
"A Knobe Effect for Belief Ascriptions" The Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 4 (2013): 235-58 [Published article] [Penultimate draft]
Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) found that people are more likely to attribute intentionality to agents whose actions resulted in negative side-effects that to agents whose actions resulted in positive ones. Subsequent investigation has extended this result to a variety of other folk psychological attributions. The present article reports experimental findings that demonstrate an analogous effect for belief ascriptions. Participants were found to be more likely to ascribe belief, higher degrees of belief, higher degrees of rational belief, and dispositional belief to agents in central Knobe effect cases who bring about negative side-effects than to agents who bring about positive ones. These findings present a significant challenge to widely held views about the Knobe effect, since many explanations of it assume that agents in contrasting pairs of Knobe effect cases do not differ with respect to their beliefs. Participants were also found to be more confident that knowledge should be attributed than they were that belief or dispositional belief should be attributed. This finding strengthens the challenge that Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel (forthcoming) have launched against the traditional view that knowledge entails belief.
"Gettierized Knobe Effects" (with Joseph Shea) Episteme, 10 (2013): 219-40 [Published article] [Penultimate draft]
We report experimental results showing that participants are more likely to attribute knowledge in familiar Gettier cases when the would-be knowers are performing actions that are negative in some way (e.g., harmful, blameworthy, norm-violating) than when they are performing positive or neutral actions. Our experiments bring together important elements from the Gettier case literature in epistemology and the Knobe effect literature in experimental philosophy and reveal new insights into folk patterns of knowledge attribution.
"The Centrality of Belief and Reflection in Knobe Effect Cases: A Unified Account of the Data" (with Mark Alfano and Brian Robinson), The Monist 95 (2012): 264-89 [Penultimate draft]
Recent work in experimental philosophy has shown that people are more likely to attribute intentionality, knowledge, and other psychological properties to someone who causes a bad side-effect than to someone who causes a good one. We argue that all of these asymmetries can be explained in terms of a single underlying asymmetry involving belief attribution because the belief that one's action would result in a certain side-effect is a necessary component of each of the psychological attitudes in question. We argue further that this belief-attribution asymmetry is rational because it mirrors a belief-formation asymmetry and that the belief-formation asymmetry is also rational because it is more useful to form some beliefs than others.
"Social Functions of Knowledge Attributions" in Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 220-42 [Penultimate draft]
Drawing upon work in evolutionary game theory and experimental philosophy, I argue that one of the roles the concept of knowledge plays in our social cognitive ecology is that of enabling us to make adaptively important distinctions between different kinds of blameworthy and blameless behaviors. In particular, I argue that knowledge enables us to distinguish which agents are most worthy of blame for inflicting harms, violating social norms, or cheating in situations of social exchange.
"Experimental Epistemology" in Andrew Cullison (ed.), Companion to Epistemology (Continuum, 2012), pp. 248-69 [Penultimate draft]
An overview of the main areas of epistemological debate to which experimental philosophers have been contributing and the larger, philosophical challenges these contributions have raised.
"Surprising Connections Between Knowledge and Action: The Robustness of the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect" (with Mark Jensen) Philosophical Psychology 25 (2012): 689-715 [Published article] [Penultimate draft]
A number of researchers have begun to demonstrate that the widely discussed ‘Knobe effect’ (wherein participants are more likely to think that actions with bad side-effects are brought about intentionally than actions with good or neutral side-effects) can be found in theory of mind judgments that do not involve the concept of intentional action. In this article we report experimental results that show that attributions of knowledge can be influenced by the kinds of (non-epistemic) concerns that drive the Knobe effect. Our findings suggest there is good reason to think that the epistemic version of the Knobe effect is a theoretically significant and robust effect and that the goodness or badness of side-effects can often have greater influence on participant knowledge attributions than explicit information about objective probabilities. Thus, our work sheds light on important ways in which participant assessments of actions can affect the epistemic assessments participants make of agents’ beliefs.
"A Priori Skepticism" Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2011): 583-602 [Published article] [Penultimate draft]
I consider the possibility of radical skepticism about a priori knowledge and argue that it should be taken as seriously as more familiar forms of skepticism. Many philosophers contend that the necessary truth of many of our a priori beliefs or the necessary falsehood of a priori skeptical hypotheses prevents skepticism about the a priori from being possible. Others assert that any form of a priori skepticism will be self-defeating. I show that each of these obstacles can be overcome and that a priori skepticism presents a formidable epistemological challenge.
"Moral Relativism in Context" Noûs 44 (2010): 691-724 [Published article]
I consider a variety of interpretations of the metaethical views of the average, philosophically untrained moral relativist and evaluate them in light of how well they explain certain facts about relativist behavior. I conclude that the best interpretations of ordinary relativism are based on the idea that the ethical standards of those who attribute moral praise or blame or who assess attributions of praise or blame for truth or falsity are the primary determinants of the truth values of moral judgments. Such a view allows an agent's practical reasons to affect the truth values of moral judgments when those reasons are sufficiently salient in the attributor's or assessor's context. I also offer a relevant alternatives account of moral judgment that models relativistic thinking about how changes in the ethical standards in place in various contexts occur and how these changes affect the correctness of moral judgments.
"The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect" (with Wesley Buckwalter) Mind & Language 25 (2010): 474-498 [Penultimate draft] [Published article]
Knobe (2003a, 2003b, 2004b) and others have demonstrated the surprising fact that the valence of a side-effect action can affect intuitions about whether that action was performed intentionally. Here we report the results of an experiment that extends these findings by testing for an analogous effect regarding knowledge attributions. Our results suggest that subjects are less likely to find that an agent knows an action will bring about a side-effect when the effect is good than when it is bad. It is further argued that these findings, while preliminary, have important implications for recent debates within epistemology about the relationship between knowledge and action.
"Constraints on Sceptical Hypotheses" The Philosophical Quarterly 60 (2010): 449-470 [Penultimate draft] [Published article]
In this article I examine the constraints that skeptical hypotheses must satisfy in order to be used to raise significant skeptical challenges. I argue that skeptical hypotheses do not have to be logically, metaphysically or epistemically possible. They only need to depict scenarios that are subjectively indistinguishable from the actual world and must provide some indication of how subjects can believe what they do while failing to have knowledge. I also argue that skeptical challenges can be raised against a priori beliefs, even if those beliefs are necessarily true. In this way I hope to broaden our conception of the legitimate kinds of skeptical challenges that can be raised.
"The Abductivist Reply to Skepticism" Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2009):605-636 [Published article]
I provide a comprehensive, critical examination of the family of abductivist responses to skepticism and the common problems they face. Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestions on how to overcome them.
"Can Rationalist Abductivism Solve the Problem of Induction?" Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2008):151-168.
[Penultimate draft] [Published article] I critically examine Laurence BonJour's (1998) recent a priori solution to the problem of induction. According to BonJour, it is necessarily true that explanations involving ordinary inductive conclusions are the best explanations of inductive premises, and we can be justified in believing this fact a priori. I clarify the probability claims that form the core of his account and argue that on the most charitable interpretation of these claims, almost all of the published objections that have been raised against them are erroneous. I then argue that the most serious challenge facing BonJour's account stems from the purported necessity of claims he makes about the relative frequencies of worlds within the total class of possible worlds.
"BonJour's Arguments Against Skepticism About the A Priori" Philosophical Studies 137 (2008):243-267. [Published article]
I reconstruct and critique two arguments Laurence BonJour offers for the necessity of believing in the a priori, arguing that neither argument succeeds.
"BonJour's Abductivist Reply to Skepticism" Philosophia 35 (2007):181-196. [Penultimate draft] [Published article]
After explaining why BonJour's rationalist version of the abductivist reply to skepticism is more defensible than other versions of the view, I argue that the notion of probability he relies upon is deeply problematic, that he incorporates an implausible double-standard concerning a priori and a posteriori justification, and that his view is vulnerable to skepticism about the a priori. I suggest that some of these problems are due to idiosyncratic commitments BonJour makes and that abductivists would be better off without them. I conclude with some suggestions about how to improve BonJour's abductivist response to skepticism.
"Reliabilism and Antirealist Theories of Truth" Erkenntnis 66:3 (May 2007): 375-391. [Published article]
I examine two arguments that purport to show that an externalist epistemological theory like reliabilism cannot be combined with antirealist and epistemic theories of truth. I take antirealism about truth to be the denial of the recognition-transcendence of truth, and epistemic theories to be those that identify truth with some kind of positive epistemic status. I show that, because the recognition-transcendence of reliabilist justification is significantly weaker than the recognition-transcendence required by a realist conception of truth, antirealist theories of truth that deny the strong transcendence of truth do not threaten the externalist character of reliabilism. I show that reliabilists can analyze positive epistemic status in terms of truth and truth in terms of positive epistemic by appealing to a multiplicity of positive epistemic statuses.
"Reliabilism and Deflationism" Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84:4 (Dec. 2006): 495-510. [Published article]
I explore several issues concerning reliabilism and deflationism, including the question of whether reliabilism is compatible with deflationary theories of truth, what a deflationary account of the explanatory role of truth in reliabilism might look like, and whether a deflationary epistemology is possible.
"Reliabilism, Truetemp and New Perceptual Faculties" Synthese 140:3 (June 2004): 307-329. [Published article]
According to the Truetemp counterexample to reliabilism, an unsuspecting subject (Mr. Truetemp) receives a weird but highly reliable new perceptual faculty. Since he is unaware of both the existence and the reliability of the faculty, many find it impossible to believe the beliefs resulting from this faculty could be justified for Truetemp. I undermine the key intuition behind the counterexample by describing and generalizing from case studies of actual subjects who have received new perceptual faculties.
"The Generality Problem, Statistical Relevance and the Tri-Level Hypothesis" Noûs 38:1 (March 2004): 177-195. [Published article]
In this article I propose a two-part solution to the Generality Problem for reliabilism that draws upon theoretical resources in the cognitive sciences for modeling cognitive process types.
"Attributive Uses of Prosentences" Ratio 16 (2003): 1-15. [Published article]
Defenders of the prosentential theory of truth claim that the content of these prosentences (e.g., 'That is true' or 'It is true') is exhausted by the content of their antecedents. They then use the notion of the inheritance of content from an antecedent to explain the various functions of the predicate '.is true'. I argue that prosentential theorists are mistaken in thinking that in order to oppose the view that '.is true' is used to ascribe a substantive truth property to propositions they need to claim that no uses of '.is true' ever attribute any property. I identify an 'attributive' use of prosentences in which reliability is implicitly attributed to a subject.
"Deflationism and the Value of Truth" Journal of Philosophical Research 28 (2003): 391-402.
"Interpretation and Epistemic Evaluation in Goldman's Descriptive Epistemology" Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 (June 2001): 163-186.
Presentations ('*' denotes popular presentation)
"The Explanationist Approach to Skeptical Challenges." Lingnan University, Hong Kong. June 20, 2016.
"Experimental Epistemology." June 2, 1026. Shandong University, Jinan, China.
"Epistemic Closure in Folk Epistemology." University College Dublin. Apr. 15, 2016.
"Introduction to Experimental Epistemology for Scientists: What is it and Why Should We Care?" Workshop When Experts Disagree: Contested Astrophysics. University College Dublin. Apr. 12, 2016.
"The Explanationist Approach to Skeptical Challenges." Long Island Philosophical Society. Molloy College. Rockville Centre, New York. Apr. 9, 2016.
"The Probabilities of Might and Would Counterfactuals." Buffalo Logic Colloquium. University at Buffalo. Buffalo, NY. Mar. 31, 2016.
"Epistemic Closure in Folk Epistemology." Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Mar. 10, 2016. Louisville, Kentucky.
"Does Skepticism Presuppose Explanationism?" University at Buffalo. Oct. 30, 2015.
"Moral Objectivism Among the Folk." Buffalo Annual Experimental Philosophy Conference. Buffalo, NY. Sept. 11, 2015.
"Shutting the Door on Epistemic Closure." Sixth Conference of Experimental Philosophy Group UK. University of Nottingham. June 29, 2015.
"Do Ordinary People Believe Moral Judgments Are Objective?" Cognitive Science Symposia Lecture, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. June 8, 2015.
"Cross-Cultural Differences in Semantic Intuitions." University of Warsaw, Poland. June 2, 2015.
"Are the Folk Moral Objectivists or Moral Relativists?" University of Warsaw, Poland. June 1, 2015.
"Understanding Ordinary Metaethical Commitments." Center for Philosophic Exchange. State University of New York at Brockport. May 1, 2015.
"Knowledge In and Out of Contrast." Buffalo Annual Experimental Philosophy Conference. University at Buffalo. Sept. 19, 2014.
"Knowledge In and Out of Contrast." Canadian Philosophical Association. Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario. May 28, 2014.
"What Makes Supernatural Beliefs Memorable?" Annual Meeting of the Eastern International Region of the American Academy of Religion. Syracuse University. May 3, 2014.
"What Triggers Supernatural Beliefs?" Centre for Human Evolution, Cognition, and Culture. University of British Columbia. March 3, 2014.
"The Folk Conception of Weakness of Will." University of Waterloo. Nov. 1, 2013.
"Individual and Cross-Cultural Differences in Semantic Intuitions." Buffalo Annual Experimental Philosophy Conference. University at Buffalo. Oct. 11, 2013.
"Individual and Cross-Cultural Differences in Semantic Intuitions." Fourth Workshop of Experimental Philosophy Group UK. University of Bristol. Sept. 12, 2013.
"Epistemic Focal Bias, Contrastivism, and Knowledge Attributions." Canadian Society for Epistemology. University of Sherbrooke, Quebec. Nov. 23, 2012.
"The Centrality of Belief and Reflection in Knobe Effect Cases." Society for Exact Philosophy. Columbus, OH. Oct. 11-13, 2012.
"Gettierized Knobe Effects." Central States Philosophical Association. Columbia, MO. Sept. 21-22, 2012.
"How Your Actions Modulate Others' Epistemic Assessments of Your Beliefs." Midwest Empirical and Theoretical Association. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sept. 19, 2012.
"The Experimental Study of Epistemic Intuitions," Marist College. Poughkeepsie, NY. April 19, 2012.
"A Priori Skepticism," The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, Feb. 29, 2012.
"A Priori Skepticism," University of Texas at San Antonio, Feb. 7, 2012.
"The Experimental Study of Epistemic Intuitions," Workshop on Intuitions in Philosophy, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec. 5-7, 2011.
"The Centrality of Belief and Reflection in Knobe Effect Cases," Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, October 8, 2011.
"What Can Evolutionary Game Theory Teach Us About the Concept of Knowledge?" University at Buffalo, September 16, 2011.
“Moral Objectivism Across the Lifespan.” Cognitive Science Colloquium. University at Buffalo. April 27, 2011.
“Moral Objectivism Across the Lifespan.” Society for Empirical Ethics meeting at the Pacific division meeting of the American Philosophical Association. San Diego, CA, April 20, 2011.
“Possible Social Functions of Knowledge Attributions.” The Society for Skeptical Studies meeting at the Eastern division meeting of the American Philosophical Association. Boston, MA. Dec. 29, 2010.
“Moral Objectivism Across the Lifespan” (with David Sackris). Experimental Philosophy Society meeting at the Eastern division meeting of the American Philosophical Association. Boston, MA. Dec. 28, 2010.
“Recent Work in Experimental Epistemology.” Grand Valley State University. November 19, 2010.
“Recent Work in Experimental Epistemology.” East China Normal University. Shanghai, China. October 29, 2010.
“Surprising Connections Between Folk Conceptions of Knowledge and Action.” Hongo Metaphysics Club, University of Tokyo, Japan. Oct. 6, 2010.
“Recent Work in Experimental Epistemology.” Kyoto University, Japan. Oct. 4, 2010.
“Surprising Connections Between Folk Conceptions of Knowledge and Action.” International Conference on Human Knowledge and Human Action. Peking University. Beijing, China. September 24 – 26, 2010.
“Minimally Counterintuitive Ideas and the Cognitive Science of Religion: Or, Experimental Philosophy Meets Experimental Theology.” Cognitive Science Symposium. City University of New York. July 29, 2010.
“Unlikely but not Impossible: New Contributions to the Minimal Counterintuitiveness Debate in the Cognitive Science of Religion.” Cognition, Religion and Theology Project Ending Conference. Centre for Anthropology & Mind, University of Oxford, June 28 – July 1, 2010.
“Possible Social Functions of Knowledge Attributions.” 2010 Episteme Conference: Cognitive Ecology: The Role of the Concept of Knowledge in our Social Cognitive Ecology. University of Edinburgh, Scotland. June 2-4, 2010.
“Moral Objectivism Across the Lifespan” (with David Sackris). Metaethics & Experimental Philosophy Workshop. New York University, May 1, 2010.
“Unlikely but not Impossible: New Contributions to the Minimal Counterintuitiveness Debate in the Cognitive Science of Religion.” Virtual Poster Session for the Cognition, Religion and Theology Project. Centre for Anthropology & Mind, University of Oxford, April 29-30, 2010.
*“Why Would a Good God Let Bad Things Happen?” Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, March 29, 2010.
“The Relevance of Experimental Epistemology to Traditional Epistemology.” How and Why Economists and Philosophers do Experiments: Dialogue Between Experimental Economics and Experimental Philosophy. Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto, Japan, March 27-28, 2010.
“Surprising Connections Between Knowledge and Intentional Action: The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.” Experimental Epistemology Workshop. University at Buffalo, Oct. 3, 2009.
“Surprising Connections Between Knowledge and Intentional Action: The Robustness of the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect.” The 2nd annual Interdisciplinary Approach to Philosophical & Psychological Issues Conference, University of South Alabama, Sept. 25-26, 2009.
*“Why Would a Good God Let Bad Things Happen?” Buffalo, NY. May 9, 2009.
*“Are Religion and Science Incompatible?” University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Apr. 16, 2009.
*“Is All Truth Relative? Can Something Be True for Me but not True for You?” Buffalo, NY. Apr. 5, 2009.
"The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect: Recent Findings from Experimental Epistemology." New Directions in Epistemology Conference, sponsored by the Canadian Society for Epistemology. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario. Nov. 21-22, 2008.
"Is A Priori Skepticism Self-Refuting?" Central States Philosophical Association. St. Paul, Sept. 26-27, 2008.
*"Betting on God: Pascal's Famous Wager" Buffalo, NY, Sept. 7, 2008.
"A Priori Skepticism." Society for Exact Philosophy. Laramie, WY. May 14-17, 2008.
*"Why Would a Good God Let Bad Things Happen?" Buffalo, NY. May 10, 2008.
"Moral Relativism in Context." Society for Christian Philosophers--Eastern Regional Meeting. Niagara University. Apr. 18-19, 2008.
"The Possibility of Skeptical Hypotheses." Society for Skeptical Studies. Pasadena, CA. Mar. 20, 2008.
*"The Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God." Young Philosophers Lecture Series. SUNY--Fredonia. Mar. 14, 2008.
"A Priori Skepticism." Young Philosophers Lecture Series. SUNY--Fredonia. Mar. 13, 2008.
*"The Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God." Canisius College. Buffalo, NY. Dec. 8, 2007.
*"Why Would a Good God Let Bad Things Happen?" International Students Incorporated Annual Memorial Day Conference. Buffalo, NY. May 27, 2006.
"BonJour's Arguments Against Skepticism About the A Priori." 2006 Central Division Meeting of the APA. Chicago, IL. April 26-29, 2006.
"Has BonJour Solved the Problem of Induction?" 2006 Pacific Division Meeting of the APA. Portland, OR. March 22-26, 2006.
"BonJour on Skepticism." The Society for Skeptical Studies. Portland, OR. Mar. 22-26, 2006.
"Must Reliabilists Believe in the A Priori?" 2005 Meeting of the Illinois Philosophical Association. Eastern Illinois University, Nov. 4-5, 2005.
"BonJour on Skepticism." University at Buffalo Philosophy Department Colloquium. Oct. 11, 2005.
"BonJour's Arguments Against Skepticism About the A Priori." 2005 Meeting of the Central States Philosophical Association. Lexington, KY, Oct. 7-8, 2005.
"BonJour's A Priori Solution to the Problem of Induction." 2005 Meeting of The Creighton Club: The New York State Philosophical Association. Cornell University, Oct. 1, 2005.
"Reliabilism, Truetemp and New Perceptual Faculties." University at Buffalo Philosophy Department Colloquium. Oct. 28, 2004.
"Reliabilism and Deflationism." 2004 Pacific Division Meeting of the APA. Pasadena, CA. March 24-28, 2004.
"Are Truth-Linked Epistemological Theories Compatible with Antirealist and Epistemic Theories of Truth?" University at Buffalo. Jan. 12, 2004.
"Reliabilism and Deflationism." Fall 2003 Meeting of the Alabama Philosophical Society. Orange Beach, AL. Oct. 24-25, 2003.
*"Knowledge and Skepticism." Louisiana State University Philosophy Club. Sept. 24, 2002.
"The Generality Problem and the Tri-Level Hypothesis." Louisiana State University. May 21, 2001.
"The Generality Problem and the Tri-Level Hypothesis." Saint Louis University Philosophy Colloquium. May 18, 2001.
"Scientific Epistemology and Conceptual-Linguistic Normativity." The Second Annual Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable. University of Missouri, St. Louis. March 31-April 2, 2000.
"Ricoeur, Rational Reconstruction and Religious Experience." 1998 Midwestern Regional Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. April 16-18, 1998.
"Ricoeur, Rational Reconstruction and Religious Experience." 1998 Mountain-Plains Regional Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers. Arizona State University. March 12-14, 1998.
"Truth-Content in Gadamer's Hermeneutics." The Twenty-Second Annual Mid-South Philosophy Conference. University of Memphis. February 27-28, 1998.
"Ricoeur, Rational Reconstruction and Religious Experience." Fourth Annual Emory University Graduate Student Conference. January 23-24, 1998.
"Internal Realism and the Conditions of Reference." Saint Louis University Graduate Student Philosophy Colloquium. September 5, 1997.
"Wittgenstein and Pragmatic Certainty." Saint Louis University Philosophy Colloquium. March 21, 1997.
"Charles S. Peirce: Truth as Something Public." The Twenty-First Annual Mid-South Philosophy Conference. University of Memphis. February 28-March 1, 1997.
"The Logical Problem of Evil." In James Fieser and Bradley Dowden (Eds.) The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2003. (10,000 words)
"The Prosentential Theory of Truth." In James Fieser and Bradley Dowden (Eds.) The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2002. (8,000 words)
Gregory L. Murphy. The Big Book of Concepts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002. Published in Metapsychology. (Apr. 10, 2003).
Andrew Newman. The Correspondence Theory of Truth: As Essay on the Metaphysics of Predication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Philosophy in Review 23 (2003): 195-197.
Jesse Prinz. Furnishing the Mind: Concepts and Their Perceptual Basis. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002. Published in Metapsychology. (Dec. 20, 2002).
Daniel L. Schacter. The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. Published in Metapsychology. (May 21, 2002).
Daniel L. Schacter and Elaine Scarry (Eds.) Memory, Brain, and Belief. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000. Published in Metapsychology. (Jan. 28, 2002).
Malcolm Macmillan. An Odd Kind of Fame: Stories of Phineas Gage. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000. Published in Metapsychology. (Aug. 8, 2001).
Peter Beurton, Raphael Falk, and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (eds.) The Concept of the Gene in Development and Evolution: Historical and Epistemological Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Published in Metapsychology. (Apr. 13, 2001).
Walter Jost and Michael J. Hyde (eds.) Rhetoric and Hermeneutics in Our Time. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997. Published in Philosophy in Review 18 (Aug., 1998): 271-3.
Keith E. Yandell. The Epistemology of Religious Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Published in The Modern Schoolman 74 (Jan. 1997): 163-5.
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