Peter Graham University of California, Riverside
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  • Faculty, University of California, Riverside
  • PhD, Stanford University, 2000.

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About me
I write on skepticism, testimony (testimony as speech act, linguistic comprehension, testimonial knowledge, and the justification for testimony-based beliefs), epistemic entitlement (non-reasoned warrant, especially for perception and testimony), biological functions (especially as relevant for my account of epistemic entitlement), and topics in the theory of linguistic communication.
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  1. Peter J. Graham (forthcoming). Functions, Warrant, History. In Abrol Fairweather & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press.
    I hold that epistemic warrant consists in the normal functioning of the belief-forming process when the process has forming true beliefs reliably as an etiological function. Evolution by natural selection is the central source of etiological functions. This leads many to think that on my view warrant requires a history of natural selection. What then about learning? What then about Swampman? Though functions require history, natural selection is not the only source. Self-repair and trial-and-error learning are both sources. Warrant requires (...)
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  2. Peter J. Graham (forthcoming). The Function of Perception. In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Scientia: Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Synthese Library.
    What is the biological function of perception? I hold perception, especially visual perception in humans, has the biological function of accurately representing the environment. Tyler Burge argues this cannot be so in Origins of Objectivity (Oxford, 2010), for accuracy is a semantical relationship and not, as such, a practical matter. Burge also provides a supporting example. I rebut the argument and the example. Accuracy is sometimes also a practical matter if accuracy partly explains how perception contributes to survival and reproduction.
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  3. Peter Graham (2013). Nature's Challenge to Free Will, by Berofsky Bernard. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):1-4.
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  4. Peter Graham (2013). Nature's Challenge to Free Will, by Berofsky Bernard: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, Pp. 280,£ 40 (Hardback). Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-4.
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  5. Peter J. Graham (2012). Epistemic Entitlement. Noûs 46 (3):449-482.
  6. Peter J. Graham (2011). Does Justification Aim at Truth? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):51-72.
    Does epistemic justification aim at truth? The vast majority of epistemologists instinctively answer 'Yes'; it's the textbook response. Joseph Cruz and John Pollock surprisingly say no. In 'The Chimerical Appeal of Epistemic Externalism' they argue that justification bears no interesting connection to truth; justification does not even aim at truth. 'Truth is not a very interesting part of our best understanding' of justification (C&P 2004, 137); it has no 'connection to the truth.' A 'truth-aimed ... epistemology is not entitled to (...)
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  7. Peter J. Graham (2011). Intelligent Design and Selective History: Two Sources of Purpose and Plan. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 3:67-88.
  8. Peter J. Graham (2010). Testimonial Entitlement and the Function of Comprehension. In Duncan Pritchard, Alan Millar & Adrian Haddock (eds.), Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press. 148--174.
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  9. Peter J. Graham (2010). Theorizing Justification. In Knowledge and Skepticism. MIT Press.
    The standard taxonomy of theories of epistemic justification generates four positions from the Foundationalism v. Coherentism and Internalism v. Externalism disputes. I develop a new taxonomy driven by two other distinctions: Fundamentalism v. Non-Fundamentalism and Actual-Result v. Proper-Aim conceptions of epistemic justification. Actual-Result theorists hold that a belief is justified only if, as an actual matter of fact, it is held or formed in a way that makes it more likely than not to be true. Proper-Aim theorists hold that a (...)
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  10. Peter J. Graham (2008). The Relativist Response to Radical Skepticism. In John Greco (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press.
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  11. Peter J. Graham (2007). Review of Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Moral Skepticisms. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (3).
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  12. Peter J. Graham (2007). The Theoretical Diagnosis of Skepticism. Synthese 158 (1):19 - 39.
    Radical skepticism about the external implies that no belief about the external is even prima facie justified. A theoretical reply to skepticism has four stages. First, show which theories of epistemic justification support skeptical doubts (show which theories, given other reasonable assumptions, entail skepticism). Second, show which theories undermine skeptical doubts (show which theories, given other reasonable assumptions, do not support the skeptic’s conclusion). Third, show which of the latter theories (which non-skeptical theory) is correct, and in so doing show (...)
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  13. Peter J. Graham (2006). Liberal Fundamentalism and its Rivals. In Jennifer Lackey & Ernest Sosa (eds.), The Epistemology of Testimony. Oxford. 93--115.
    Many hold that perception is a source of epistemically basic (direct) belief: for justification, perceptual beliefs do not need positive inferential support from other justified beliefs, especially from beliefs about one’s current sensory episodes. Perceptual beliefs can, however, be defeated or undermined by other things one believes, and so to be justified in the end there must be no undefeated undermining grounds. Similarly for memory and introspection.1..
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  14. Peter J. Graham (2006). Testimonial Justification: Inferential or Non-Inferential? Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222):84–95.
    Anti-reductionists hold that beliefs based upon comprehension (of both force and content) of tellings are non-inferentially justified. For reductionists, on the other hand, comprehension as such is not in itself a warrant for belief: beliefs based on it are justified only if inferentially supported by other beliefs. I discuss Elizabeth Fricker's argument that even if anti-reductionism is right in principle, its significance is undercut by the presence of background inferential support: for mature knowledgeable adults, justification from comprehension as such plays (...)
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  15. Peter J. Graham (2004). Metaphysical Libertarianism and the Epistemology of Testimony. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):37-50.
    Reductionism about testimony holds that testimonial warrant or entitlement is just a species of inductive warrant. Anti-Reductionism holds that it is different from inductive but analogous to perceptual or memorial warrant. Perception receives much of its positive epistemic status from being reliably truthconducive in normal conditions. One reason to reject the epistemic analogy is that testimony involves agency – it goes through the will of the speaker – but perception does not. A speaker might always choose to lie or otherwise (...)
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  16. Peter J. Graham (2002). Review of Gabor Forrai, Reference, Truth and Conceptual Schemes: A Defense of Internal Realism. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2002 (2).
    Gabor Forrai has written a very clear and articulate defense of internal realism, the view that the categories and structures of the world are a function of our conceptual schemes. Internal realism is opposed to metaphysical realism, the view that the world’s structure is wholly independent, both causally and ontologically, of the human mind. For the metaphysical realist, the world is one thing and the mind is another. For the internal realist, on the other hand, though the world is causally (...)
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  17. Peter J. Graham (2000). Conveying Information. Synthese 123 (3):365-392.
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  18. Peter J. Graham (2000). Transferring Knowledge. Noûs 34 (1):131–152.
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  19. Peter J. Graham (2000). The Reliability of Testimony. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (3):695-709.
  20. Peter J. Graham (1999). Brandom on Singular Terms. Philosophical Studies 93 (3):247-264.
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  21. Peter J. Graham (1999). Defending Millianism. Mind 108 (431):555-561.
    Millianism is the view that all there is to the meaning of a name is its bearer. In a recent paper Bryan Frances seeks to undercut the traditional argument against Millianism as well as offer a new argument in favor of Millianism. I argue that both endeavors fail.
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  22. Peter J. Graham (1997). What is Testimony? Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):227-232.
    C.A.J. Coady, in his book Testimony: A Philosophical Study (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), offers conditions on an assertion that p to count as testimony. He claims that the assertion that p must be by a competent speaker directed to an audience in need of evidence and it must be evidence that p. I offer examples to show that Coady’s conditions are too strong. Testimony need not be evidence; the speaker need not be competent; and, the statement need not be relevant (...)
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  23. P. Graham (1993). Child Psychiatry and the Law: Second Edition. Journal of Medical Ethics 19 (2):126-126.
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