Brian Ribeiro University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Contact

Affiliations
  • Faculty, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

Areas of specialization

Areas of interest

blank
About me
N.B.: If you have exhausted the institutional resources available to you (electronic access, print access) and you were not able to obtain a copy of one of the papers below, you are invited to contact the author who will try to supply a copy for you. Alternatively, please visit my Social Science Research Network (SSRN) page, where most of my papers are available for download: http://ssrn.com/author=1762206
My works
24 items found.
Sort by:
  1. Brian Ribeiro & Scott Aikin (2013). Skeptical Theism, Moral Skepticism, and Divine Commands. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (2):77-96.
  2. Brian Ribeiro & Scott Aikin (2013). Skeptical Theism, Moral Skepticism, and Divine Commands. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (2):77-96.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. Brian Ribeiro (2011). A Really Short Refutation of the Pragmatic Theory of Truth. Journal of Philosophical Research 36:31-34.
    The pragmatic theory of truth (PTT) seeks to illuminate the concept of truth by focusing on concepts like usefulness or adaptivity. However, contrary to common opinion, PTT does not merely face a narrow band of (perhaps) rather artificial counterexamples (as in a case of empirically unfounded but life-extending optimism in a cancer patient); instead, PTT is faced with a fast psychological research literature which suggests that inaccurate beliefs are both (1) pervasive in human beings and, nonetheless, (2) fully adaptive in (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. Brian Ribeiro (2011). Epistemic Akrasia. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1 (1):18-25.
    Though it seems rather surprising in retrospect, until about twenty-five years ago no philosopher in the Western tradition had explicitly formulated the question whether there could be an epistemic analogue to practical akrasia. Also surprisingly, despite the prima facie analogue with practical akrasia (the possibility of which is not much disputed), much of the recent work on this question has defended the rather bold view that epistemic akrasia is impossible. While the arguments purporting to show the impossibility of epistemic akrasia (...)
    Translate to English
    | Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  5. Brian Ribeiro (2011). Philosophy and Disagreement. Crítica 43 (127):3-25.
    Disagreement as we find it in both the history and the contemporary practice of philosophy is an inadequately understood phenomenon. In this paper I outline and motivate the problem of disagreement, arguing that "hard cases" of disagreement confront us with an unresolved, and seemingly unresolvable, challenge to the rationality of philosophical discourse, thereby raising the specter of a worrisome form of metaphilosophical skepticism. A variety of responses and attempted evasions are considered, though none are found to be particularly satisfying: Thus, (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. Brian Ribeiro (2011). The Problem of Heaven. Ratio 24 (1):46-64.
    An argument against the rationality of desiring to go to heaven might be put in the form of a trilemma: (1) any state of being that both lasts eternally and preserves me as the person I am would be hellish and therefore would not be a state of being that I could have any reason to desire; (2) any state of being that lasts eternally and yet fails to preserve my personhood by turning me into a non-person would not be (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. Brian Ribeiro (2010). Radical Epistemic Self-Sufficiency on Reed's Long Road to Skepticism. Philosophia 38 (4):789-793.
    Baron Reed has developed a new argument for skepticism: (1) contemporary epistemologists are all committed to two theses, fallibilism and attributabilism; unfortunately, (2) these two theses about knowledge are incompatible; therefore, (3) knowledge as conceived by contemporary epistemologists is impossible. In this brief paper I suggest that Reed's argument appears to rest on an understanding of attributabilism that is so strong (call it maximal attributabilism) that it's doubtful that many contemporary epistemologists actually embrace it. Nor does Reed offer any direct (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  8. Brian Ribeiro (2009). Hume's Changing Views on the 'Durability' of Scepticism. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (2):215-236.
    While Hume is famous for his development and defence of various arguments for radical scepticism, Hume was bothered by the tension between his ‘abstruse’ philosophical reflections and ordinary life: If he often felt intensely sceptical in his study, he nonetheless felt genuinely unable to take these sceptical views seriously when he returned to the concerns and activities of everyday life. Hume's published work shows a deep and ongoing preoccupation with this tension, and I believe it also shows that Hume's view (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  9. Brian Ribeiro (2009). Montaigne on Witches and the Authority of Religion in the Public Sphere. Philosophy and Literature 33 (2):pp. 235-251.
    While contemporary readers may find what appear to be appealing streaks of liberalism in Montaigne's 'Essays', I argue that a more careful analysis suggests that Montaigne's overall stance is quietistic and conservative. To help support this claim I offer a close reading of 'Essays' III.11 ("Of Cripples"), where Montaigne offers his famous critique of the witch trials of early modern Europe. Once Montaigne's objections to the witch trials are properly understood, we see that Montaigne did not seriously or consistently dispute (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  10. Brian Ribeiro (2009). Sextus, Montaigne, Hume: Exercises in Skeptical Cartography. Modern Schoolman 87 (1):7-34.
    Despite their divergences, I argue that Sextus, Montaigne, and Hume are committed to several substantive points of commonality and that these commonalities justify us in speaking of them as belonging to a unitary Pyrrhonist tradition. In this tradition, Pyrrhonizing doubt serves to chart the boundary of that-which-resists-doubt, thereby simultaneously charting the shape of that complex of nature and custom which constitutes the bedrock of human life—the life that remains after doubt has done its worst.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  11. Brian Ribeiro (2009). Sextus, Montaigne, Hume: Exercises in Skeptical Cartography. Modern Schoolman 87 (1):7-34.
    Despite their divergences, I argue that Sextus, Montaigne, and Hume are committed to several substantive points of commonality and that these commonalities justify us in speaking of them as belonging to a unitary Pyrrhonist tradition. In this tradition, Pyrrhonizing doubt serves to chart the boundary of that-which-resists-doubt, thereby simultaneously charting the shape of that complex of nature and custom which constitutes the bedrock of human life — the life that remains after doubt has done its worst.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  12. Brian Ribeiro & Scott Aikin (2009). A Consistency Challenge for Moral and Religious Beliefs. Teaching Philosophy 32 (2):127-151.
    What should individuals do when their firmly held moral beliefs are prima facie inconsistent with their religious beliefs? In this article we outline several ways of posing such consistency challenges and offer a detailed taxonomy of the various responses available to someone facing a consistency challenge of this sort. Throughout the paper, our concerns are primarily pedagogical: how best to pose consistency challenges in the classroom, how to stimulate discussion of the various responses to them, and how to relate such (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  13. Brian Ribeiro (2008). A Distance Theory of Humour. Think 6 (17/18):139-148.
    This paper develops a programmatic 'theory sketch' of a new theory of humour, pitched at roughly the same level of detail, and intended to have roughly the same level of inclusiveness, as the other available philosophical "theories" of humour. I will call the theory I propose the distance theory. After an appeal to some intuitive illustrations of the distance theory's attractions, I move on to offer an analysis of observational comedy using the distance theory. I conclude the paper with some (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  14. Brian Ribeiro (2008). How Often Do We (Philosophy Professors) Commit the Straw Man Fallacy? Teaching Philosophy 31 (1):27-38.
    In a recent paper (in Argumentation, 2006) Robert Talisse and Scott Aikin suggest that we ought to recognize two distinct forms of the straw man fallacy. In addition to misrepresenting the strength of an opponent’s specific argument (= the representation form), one can also misrepresent the strength of one’s opposition in general, or the overall state of a debate, by selecting a (relatively) weak opponent for critical consideration (= the selection form). Here I consider whether we as philosophy professors could (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  15. Brian Ribeiro (2007). Hume's Standard of Taste and the de Gustibus Sceptic. British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (1):16-28.
    In 'Of the Standard of Taste' Hume aspires to silence the 'extravagant' cavils of the anything-goes de gustibus sceptic by developing a programme of aesthetic education that would lead all properly-trained individuals to a set of agreed-upon aesthetic judgements. But I argue that if we read Hume's essay as an attempted direct theoretical refutation of de gustibus scepticism, Hume fails to achieve his aim. Moreover, although some recent commentators have read the essay as aiming at a less ambitious ‘sceptical solution’ (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  16. Brian Ribeiro (2006). Must the Radical Skeptic Be Intellectually Akratic? Facta Philosophica 8 (1-2):207-219.
    Supposing you were convinced by certain radical skeptical arguments that many of your beliefs were not justifiably believed by you, what stance could/should you adopt with regard to those skeptically-problematized beliefs? This paper explores a range of possible reactions, aiming to be reasonably comprehensive in coverage though admittedly suggestive rather than decisive in its treatment of each individual reaction. In considering this variety of responses we begin to see suggestive intimations of the ways in which radical skepticism could represent a (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  17. Brian Ribeiro (2006). Clarke and Stroud on the Plane-Spotters. Southwest Philosophy Review 22 (1):25-32.
    In an earlier paper ("Skeptical Parasitism and the Continuity Argument," 'Metaphilosophy' 2004: 714-732) I suggested that the well-known "plane-spotters" story-first proposed by Thompson Clarke and later developed by Barry Stroud-distorts the very skeptical view it aims to elucidate. However, considerations of space prohibited me from fleshing out my criticisms of the Clarke/Stroud story in that paper. In this paper I aim to fill in this lacuna by showing how the Clarke/Stroud story distorts the skeptic's view. I conclude the paper by (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  18. B. Ribeiro (2004). Louis Loeb: Stability and Justification in Hume's Treatise. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12:348-351.
    No categories
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  19. Brian Ribeiro (2004). Skeptical Parasitism and the Continuity Argument. Metaphilosophy 35 (5):714-732.
    Recent literature on skepticism has raised a nearly univocal voice in condemning skeptical argumentation on the grounds that such argumentation necessarily involves our adopting some nonordinary or unnatural perspective. Were this really so, then skeptical conclusions would not speak to us in the way in which skeptics think they do: We would be "insulated" from any such conclusions. I argue that skeptical argumentation need not rely on any nonordinary or unnatural standards. Rather, the skeptic's procedure is to offer a critique (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  20. Brian Ribeiro (2002). Cartesian Skepticism and the Epistemic Priority Thesis. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):573-586.
    In ' Unnatural Doubts' Michael Williams argues that Cartesian skepticism is not truly an "intuitive problem" (that is, one which we can state with little or no appeal to contentious theories) at all. According to Williams, the skeptic has rich theoretical commitments all his own, prominent among which is the epistemic priority thesis. I argue, however, that Williams's diagnostic critique of the epistemic priority thesis fails on his own conception of what is required for success. Furthermore, in a brief "Afterword" (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  21. Brian Ribeiro (2002). Epistemological Skepticism(s) and Rational Self-Control. The Monist 85 (3):468-477.
    In this paper I aim to do two things. First, I attempt to illustrate an interesting pattern of argument one can find in Hume's work. Next, I employ this Humean pattern of argument to show that IF there is a cogent and intuitive argument for any form of epistemological skepticism, which despite its cogency and intuitiveness has a (literally) unbelievable conclusion, THEN we lack a very important form of doxastic self-control, which I call rational self-control (RSC), over the beliefs problematized (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  22. Brian Ribeiro (2002). Greco, John. Putting Skeptics in Their Place: The Nature of Skeptical Arguments and Their Role in Philosophical Inquiry. Review of Metaphysics 55 (3):632-634.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  23. Brian Ribeiro (2002). Is Pyrrhonism Psychologically Possible? Ancient Philosophy 22 (2):319-331.
    In this paper I aim to address--and also to better understand--what is perhaps the most intuitive objection to Pyrrhonian skepticism, namely, that to completely suspend one's judgment is psychologically impossible. I propose to come to an understanding of Sextus's relation to this objection by trying to more clearly understand Sextus's claims about the "Skeptic". I hope to show that it is at least possible for us to understand Sextus and his claims about the "Skeptic" without being driven to either (1) (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  24. Brian Ribeiro (2000). Butchvarov, Panayot. Skepticism About the External World. Review of Metaphysics 54 (2):422-424.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
Is this list right?