Martin Smith Glasgow University
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  • Faculty, Glasgow University
  • PhD, Australian National University, 2005.

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About me
I'm a lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Glasgow and an associate fellow of the Northern Institute of Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. I'm currently a PhilPapers editor for the 'Transmission of Warrant' category.
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  1. Martin Smith, Justification, Normalcy and Evidential Probability.
    NOTE: This paper is a reworking of some aspects of a previous paper of mine – ‘What else justification could be’ published in Noûs in 2010. I’m currently in the process of writing a book developing and defending some of the ideas from this paper. What follows will, I hope, fall into place as one of the chapters of this book – though it is still very much at the draft stage. Comments are welcome. -/- My concern in this paper (...)
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  2. Martin Smith (forthcoming). Evidential Incomparability and the Principle of Indifference. Erkenntnis:1-12.
    The Principle of Indifference (POI) was once regarded as a linchpin of probabilistic reasoning, but has now fallen into disrepute as a result of the so-called problem of multiple of partitions. In ‘Evidential symmetry and mushy credence’ Roger White suggests that we have been too quick to jettison this principle and argues that the problem of multiple partitions rests on a mistake. In this paper I will criticise White’s attempt to revive POI. In so doing, I will argue that what (...)
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  3. Martin Smith (forthcoming). Scepticism by a Thousand Cuts. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.
    Global sceptical arguments seek to undermine vast swathes of our putative knowledge by deploying hypotheses that posit massive deception or error. Local sceptical arguments seek to undermine just a small region of putative knowledge, using hypotheses that posit deception or error of a more mundane kind. Those epistemologists who have devised anti-sceptical strategies have tended to have global sceptical arguments firmly in their sights. I argue here that local sceptical arguments, while less dramatic, ultimately pose just as serious a challenge (...)
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  4. Martin Smith (2014). Knowledge, Justification and Normative Coincidence1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):273-295.
    Say that two goals are normatively coincident just in case one cannot aim for one goal without automatically aiming for the other. While knowledge and justification are distinct epistemic goals, with distinct achievement conditions, this paper begins from the suggestion that they are nevertheless normatively coincident—aiming for knowledge and aiming for justification are one and the same activity. A number of surprising consequences follow from this—both specific consequences about how we can ascribe knowledge and justification in lottery cases and more (...)
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  5. Martin Smith (2014). Review of Justification and the Truth Connection by Clayton Littlejohn. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly.
  6. Martin Smith (2014). The Arbitrariness of Belief. In Dylan Dodd & Elia Zardini (eds.), Contemporary Perspectives on Scepticism and Perceptual Justification. Oxford University Press.
    In Knowledge and Lotteries, John Hawthorne offers a diagnosis of our unwillingness to believe, of a given lottery ticket, that it will lose a fair lottery – no matter how many tickets are involved. According to Hawthorne, it is natural to employ parity reasoning when thinking about lottery outcomes: Put roughly, to believe that a given ticket will lose, no matter how likely that is, is to make an arbitrary choice between alternatives that are perfectly balanced given one’s evidence. It’s (...)
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  7. Martin Smith (2014). The Epistemology of Religion. Analysis 74 (1):135-147.
    The epistemology of religion is the branch of epistemology concerned with the rationality, the justificatory status and the knowledge status of religious beliefs – most often the belief in the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and loving God as conceived by the major monotheistic religions. While other sorts of religious beliefs – such as belief in an afterlife or in disembodied spirits or in the occurrence of miracles – have also been the focus of considerable attention from epistemologists, I shall (...)
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  8. Martin Smith (2013). Entitlement and Evidence. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):735-753.
    Entitlement is conceived as a kind of positive epistemic status, attaching to certain propositions, that involves no cognitive or intellectual accomplishment on the part of the beneficiary — a status that is in place by default. In this paper I will argue that the notion of entitlement — or something very like it — falls out of an idea that may at first blush seem rather disparate: that the evidential support relation can be understood as a kind of variably strict (...)
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  9. Martin Smith (2013). Review of Quitting Certainties by Michael G. Titelbaum. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  10. Martin Smith (2013). Two Notions of Epistemic Risk. Erkenntnis 78 (5):1069-1079.
    In ‘Single premise deduction and risk’ (2008) Maria Lasonen-Aarnio argues that there is a kind of epistemically threatening risk that can accumulate over the course of drawing single premise deductive inferences. As a result, we have a new reason for denying that knowledge is closed under single premise deduction—one that mirrors a familiar reason for denying that knowledge is closed under multiple premise deduction. This sentiment has more recently been echoed by others (see Schechter 2011). In this paper, I will (...)
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  11. Philip A. Ebert & Martin Smith (2012). Introduction: Outright Belief and Degrees of Belief. Dialectica 66 (3):305-308.
  12. Martin Smith (2012). Some Thoughts on the JK-Rule1. Noûs 46 (4):791-802.
    In ‘The normative role of knowledge’ (2012), Declan Smithies defends a ‘JK-rule’ for belief: One has justification to believe that P iff one has justification to believe that one is in a position to know that P. Similar claims have been defended by others (Huemer, 2007, Reynolds, forthcoming). In this paper, I shall argue that the JK-rule is false. The standard and familiar way of arguing against putative rules for belief or assertion is, of course, to describe putative counterexamples. My (...)
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  13. Martin Smith (2011). God and the External World. Ratio 24 (1):65-77.
    There are a number of apparent parallels between belief in God and belief in the existence of an external world beyond our experiences. Both beliefs would seem to condition one's overall view of reality and one's place within it – and yet it is difficult to see how either can be defended. Neither belief is likely to receive a purely a priori defence and any empirical evidence that one cites either in favour of the existence of God or the existence (...)
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  14. Martin Smith (2010). A Generalised Lottery Paradox for Infinite Probability Spaces. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):821-831.
    Many epistemologists have responded to the lottery paradox by proposing formal rules according to which high probability defeasibly warrants acceptance. Douven and Williamson ([2006]) present an ingenious argument purporting to show that such rules invariably trivialise, in that they reduce to the claim that a probability of 1 warrants acceptance. Douven and Williamson’s argument does, however, rest upon significant assumptions—among them a relatively strong structural assumption to the effect that the underlying probability space is both finite and uniform . In (...)
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  15. Martin Smith (2010). What Else Justification Could Be. Noûs 44 (1):10 - 31.
    According to a captivating picture, epistemic justification is essentially a matter of epistemic or evidential likelihood. While certain problems for this view are well known, it is motivated by a very natural thought – if justification can fall short of epistemic certainty, then what else could it possibly be? In this paper I shall develop an alternative way of thinking about epistemic justification. On this conception, the difference between justification and likelihood turns out to be akin to the more widely (...)
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  16. Martin Smith (2009). Transmission Failure Explained. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):164-189.
    In this paper I draw attention to a peculiar epistemic feature exhibited by certain deductively valid inferences. Certain deductively valid inferences are unable to enhance the reliability of one's belief that the conclusion is true—in a sense that will be fully explained. As I shall show, this feature is demonstrably present in certain philosophically significant inferences—such as GE Moore's notorious 'proof' of the existence of the external world. I suggest that this peculiar epistemic feature might be correlated with the much (...)
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  17. Martin Smith (2007). Ceteris Paribus Conditionals and Comparative Normalcy. Journal of Philosophical Logic 36 (1):97 - 121.
    Our understanding of subjunctive conditionals has been greatly enhanced through the use of possible world semantics and, more precisely, by the idea that they involve variably strict quantification over possible worlds. I propose to extend this treatment to ceteris paribus conditionals - that is, conditionals that incorporate a ceteris paribus or 'other things being equal' clause. Although such conditionals are commonly invoked in scientific theorising, they traditionally arouse suspicion and apprehensiveness amongst philosophers. By treating ceteris paribus conditionals as a species (...)
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