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Profile: Clayton Littlejohn (King's College London)
  1. Clayton Littlejohn, A Note Concerning Conciliationism and Self-Defeat: A Reply to Matheson.
    A reply to Matheson on conciliationism and the self-defeat objection. I argue that the problems that Matheson discusses derive from his evidentialist assumptions, not from conciliationism.
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  2. Clayton Littlejohn, Stop Making Sense? A Puzzle About Epistemic Rationality.
    In this paper, I discuss a puzzle about epistemic rationality. It seems plausible that it's rational to believe a proposition if you have sufficient evidential support for it. It seems plausible that our first-order and higher-order attitudes ought to match. It seems rather unfortunate that these two claims are in tension with one another. I'll look at three ways of trying to resolve this tension and argue that the best way to do this is to accept the controversial fixed-point thesis (...)
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  3. Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Fake Barns and False Dilemmas. Episteme.
    The central thesis of robust virtue epistemology (RVE) is that the difference between knowledge and mere true belief is that knowledge involves success that is attributable to a subject's abilities. An influential objection to this approach is that RVE delivers the wrong verdicts in cases of environmental luck. Critics of RVE argue that the view needs to be supplemented with modal anti-luck condition. This particular criticism rests on a number of mistakes about the nature of ability that I shall try (...)
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  4. Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Oxford Handbook of X and Y.
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  5. Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Pritchard's Reasons. Journal of Philosophical Research.
    My contribution to the author meets critics discussion of Pritchard's _Epistemological Disjunctivism_. In this paper, I examine some of the possible motivations for epistemological disjunctivism and look at some of the costs associated with the view. While Pritchard's view seems to be that our visual beliefs constitute knowledge because they're based on reasons, I argue that the claim that visual beliefs are based on reasons or evidence hasn't been sufficiently motivated. In the end I suggest that we'll get all the (...)
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  6. Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Reasons and Theoretical Rationality. In Oxford Handbook of X and Y.
  7. Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Skeptical Thoughts Concerning Explanationism and Skepticism. Symposion.
    According to the explanationist, we can rely on inference to best explanation to justifiably believe familiar skeptical hypotheses are false. On this view, commonsense beliefs about the existence and character of familiar, medium-sized dry goods provides the best explanation of our evidence and so justifies our belief that we're not brains-in-vats. This explanationist approach seems prima facie plausible until we press the explanationist to tell us what the data is that we're trying to explain by appeal to our beliefs about (...)
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  8. Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). The Unity of Reason. In Clayton Littlejohn John Turri (ed.), Epistemic Norms: New Essays on Action, Belief, and Assertion.
    Cases of reasonable, mistaken belief figure prominently in discussions of the knowledge norm of assertion and practical reason as putative counterexamples to these norms. These cases are supposed to show that the knowledge norm is too demanding and that some weaker norm (e.g., a justification or reasonable belief norm) ought to put in its place. These cases don't show what they're intended to. When you assert something false or treat some falsehood as if it's a reason for action, you might (...)
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  9. Clayton Littlejohn (2014). Epistemological Disjunctivism, by Duncan Pritchard. Mind 123 (489):235-239.
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  10. Clayton Littlejohn (2014). Know Your Rights: On Warranted Assertion and Truth. Erkenntnis 79 (6):1355-1365.
    A standard objection to the suggestion that the fundamental norm of assertion is the truth norm (i.e., one must not assert p unless p) is that this norm cannot explain why warrant requires knowledge-level evidence. In a recent paper, Whiting has defended the truth-first approach to the norms of assertion by appeal to a distinction between the warrant there is to assert and the warrant one has to assert. I shall argue that this latest defensive strategy is unsuccessful.
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  11. Clayton Littlejohn & John Turri (eds.) (2014). Epistemic Norms: New Essays on Action, Belief and Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic norms play an increasingly important role in current debates in epistemology and beyond. In this volume a team of established and emerging scholars presents new work on the key debates. They consider what epistemic requirements constrain appropriate belief, assertion, and action, and explore the interconnections between these standards.
     
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  12. Clayton Littlejohn (2013). Are Epistemic Reasons Ever Reasons to Promote? Logos and Episteme 4 (3).
    In trying to distinguish the right kinds of reasons from the wrong, epistemologists often appeal to the connection to truth to explain why practical considerations cannot constitute reasons. The view they typically opt for is one on which only evidence can constitute a reason to believe. Talbot has shown that these approaches don’t exclude the possibility that there are non-evidential reasons for belief that can justify a belief without being evidence for that belief. He thinksthat there are indeed such reasons (...)
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  13. Clayton Littlejohn (2013). A Note Concerning Justification and Access. Episteme 10 (4):369-386.
    Certain combinations of attitudes are manifestly unreasonable. It is unreasonable to believe that dogs bark, for example, if one concedes that one has no justification to believe this. Why are the irrational combinations irrational? One suggestion is that these are attitudes that a subject cannot have justification to have. If this is right, we can test claims about the structure of propositional justification by relying on our observations about which combinations of attitudes constitute Moorean absurd pairs. In a recent defense (...)
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  14. Clayton Littlejohn (2013). Disagreement and Defeat. In Diego Machuca (ed.), Disagreement and Skepticism.
    The equal weight view says that if you discover that you disagree with a peer, you should decrease your confidence that you are in the right. Since peer disagreement seems to be quite prevalent, the equal weight view seems to tell us that we cannot reasonably believe many of the interesting things we believe because we can always count on a peer to contest the interesting things that we believe. While the equal weight view seems to have skeptical implications, few (...)
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  15. Clayton Littlejohn (2013). Don't Know, Don't Believe: Reply to Kroedel. Logos and Episteme 4 (2):231-38.
    In recent work, Thomas Kroedel has proposed a novel solution to the lottery paradox. As he sees it, we are permitted/justified in believing some lottery propositions, but we are not permitted/justified in believing them all. I criticize this proposal on two fronts. First, I think that if we had the right to add some lottery beliefs to our belief set, we would not have any decisive reason to stop adding more. Suggestions to the contrary run into the wrong kind of (...)
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  16. Clayton Littlejohn (2013). No Evidence is False. Acta Analytica 28 (2):145-159.
    If evidence is propositional, is one’s evidence limited to true propositions or might false propositions constitute evidence? In this paper, I consider three recent attempts to show that there can be ‘false evidence,’ and argue that each of these attempts fails. The evidence for the thesis that evidence consists of truths is much stronger than the evidence offered in support of the theoretical assumptions that people have relied on to argue against this thesis. While I shall not defend the view (...)
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  17. Clayton Littlejohn (2013). Review of Evidentialism and Its Discontents. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 33 (3):186–188.
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  18. Clayton Littlejohn (2013). Trent Dougherty, Ed. , Evidentialism and Its Discontents . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 33 (3):186–188.
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  19. Clayton Littlejohn (2013). The Russellian Retreat. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 113 (3pt3):293-320.
    Belief does aim at the truth. When our beliefs do not fit the facts, they cannot do what they are supposed to do, because they cannot provide us with reasons. We cannot plausibly deny that a truth norm is among the norms that govern belief. What we should not say is that the truth norm is the fundamental epistemic norm. In this paper, I shall argue that knowledge is the norm of belief and that the truth norm has a derivative (...)
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  20. Clayton Littlejohn (2012). Apostasy Done Right. The Philosophers' Magazine 59 (59):113-114.
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  21. Clayton Littlejohn (2012). Does 'Ought' Still Imply 'Can'? Philosophia 40 (4):821-828.
    According to ‘ought’ implies ‘can’ (OIC), your obligation can never be to do what you cannot do. In a recent attack on OIC, Graham has argued that intuitions about justified intervention can help us determine whether the agent whose actions we use force to prevent would have acted permissibly or not. These intuitions, he suggests, cause trouble for the idea that you can be obligated to refrain from doing what you can refrain from doing. I offer a defense of OIC (...)
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  22. Clayton Littlejohn (2012). Justification and the Truth-Connection. Cambridge University Press.
  23. Clayton Littlejohn (2012). Lotteries, Probabilities, and Permissions. Logos and Episteme 3 (3):509-14.
    Thomas Kroedel argues that we can solve a version of the lottery paradox if we identify justified beliefs with permissible beliefs. Since permissions do not agglomerate, we might grant that someone could justifiably believe any ticket in a large and fair lottery is a loser without being permitted to believe that all the tickets will lose. I shall argue that Kroedel’s solution fails. While permissions do not agglomerate, we would have too many permissions if we characterized justified belief as sufficiently (...)
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  24. Clayton Littlejohn (2011). Alvarez , Maria . Kinds of Reasons .Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Pp. X+209. $60.00 (Cloth). Ethics 121 (3):638-642.
  25. Clayton Littlejohn (2011). Concessive Knowledge Attributions and Fallibilism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):603-619.
    Lewis thought concessive knowledge attributions (e.g., ‘I know that Harry is a zebra, but it might be that he’s just a cleverly disguised mule’) caused serious trouble for fallibilists. As he saw it, CKAs are overt statements of the fallibilist view and they are contradictory. Dougherty and Rysiew have argued that CKAs are pragmatically defective rather than semantically defective. Stanley thinks that their pragmatic response to Lewis fails, but the fallibilist cause is not lost because Lewis was wrong about the (...)
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  26. Clayton Littlejohn (2011). Defeating Phenomenal Conservatism. Analytic Philosophy 52 (1):35-48.
    According to the phenomenal conservatives, beliefs are justified by non-doxastic states we might speak of as ‘appearances’ or ‘seemings’. Those who defend the view say that there is something self-defeating about believing that phenomenal conservatism is mistaken. They also claim that the view captures an important internalist insight about justification. I shall argue that phenomenal conservatism is indefensible. The considerations that seem to support the view commit the phenomenal conservatives to condoning morally abhorrent behavior. They can deny that their view (...)
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  27. Clayton Littlejohn (2011). Evidence and Armchair Access. Synthese 179 (3):479 - 500.
    In this paper, I shall discuss a problem that arises when you try to combine an attractive account of what constitutes evidence with an independently plausible account of the kind of access we have to our evidence. According to E = K, our evidence consists of what we know. According to the principle of armchair access, we can know from the armchair what our evidence is. Combined, these claims entail that we can have armchair knowledge of the external world. Because (...)
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  28. Clayton Littlejohn (2011). Evidence and Knowledge. Erkenntnis 74 (2):241-262.
    According to Williamson, your evidence consists of all and only what you know (E = K). According to his critics, it doesn’t. While E = K calls for revision, the revisions it calls for are minor. E = K gets this much right. Only true propositions can constitute evidence and anything you know non-inferentially is part of your evidence. In this paper, I defend these two theses about evidence and its possession from Williamson’s critics who think we should break more (...)
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  29. Clayton Littlejohn (2011). Ethical Intuitionism and Moral Skepticism. In Jill Graper Hernandez (ed.), The New Intuitionism.
    In this paper, I defend a non-skeptical intuitionist approach to moral epistemology from recent criticisms. Starting with Sinnott-Armstrong's skeptical attacks, I argue that a familiar sort of skeptical argument rests on a problematic conception of the evidential grounds of our moral judgments. The success of his argument turns on whether we conceive of the evidential grounds of our moral judgments as consisting entirely of non-normative considerations. While we cannot avoid skepticism if we accept this conception of our evidential grounds, that's (...)
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  30. Clayton Littlejohn (2011). Reasons and Belief's Justification. In Andrew Reisner & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (eds.), Reasons for Belief. Cambridge University Press.
    There has been a considerable amount of debate about the norms of belief, but little discussion to date about what the reasons associated with these norms demand from us. By working out an account of what reasons demand, we can better understand the nature of justification.
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  31. Clayton Littlejohn (2010). Moore's Paradox and Epistemic Norms. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):79 – 100.
    We shall evaluate two strategies for motivating the view that knowledge is the norm of belief. The first draws on observations concerning belief's aim and the parallels between belief and assertion. The second appeals to observations concerning Moore's Paradox. Neither of these strategies gives us good reason to accept the knowledge account. The considerations offered in support of this account motivate only the weaker account on which truth is the fundamental norm of belief.
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  32. Clayton Littlejohn (2010). Review of Jeremy Fantl, Matt McGrath, Knowledge in an Uncertain World. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (5).
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  33. Clayton Littlejohn (2009). Critical Notice of Michael Zimmerman's, Living with Uncertainty. [REVIEW] Philosophical Books 50 (4):235–247.
  34. Clayton Littlejohn (2009). Living with Uncertainty. Philosophical Books 50 (4):235-247.
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  35. Clayton Littlejohn (2009). Must We Act Only on What We Know? Journal of Philosophy 106 (8):463-473.
    What relation is there between knowledge and action? According to Hawthorne and Stanley, where your choice is p-dependent, it is appropriate to treat the proposition that p as a reason for acting iff you know that p (RKP). In this paper, I shall argue that it is permissible to treat something as a reason for action even if it isn't known to be true and address Hawthorne and Stanley's arguments for RKP.
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  36. Clayton Littlejohn (2009). ‘Ought’, ‘Can’, and Practical Reasons. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (4):363-73.
    Some recent defenses of the 'ought' implies 'can' (OIC) principle try to derive that principle from uncontroversial claims about reasons for action. Reasons for action, it's said, are reasons only for 'potential' actions, which are actions that an agent can perform. Given that 'ought' implies 'reasons', it seems we have our proof of OIC. In this paper, I argue that this latest strategy for defending OIC fails.
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  37. Clayton Littlejohn (2009). On the Coherence of Inversion. Acta Analytica 24 (2):127-137.
    In this paper, I shall evaluate a strategy recently used to try to demonstrate the impossibility of behaviorally undetectable spectrum inversion. After showing that the impossibility proof proves too much, I shall identify where it goes wrong. In turn, I shall explain why someone attracted to functionalist and representationalist assumptions might rightly remain agnostic about the possibility of inversion.
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  38. Clayton Littlejohn (2009). On Treating Something as a Reason for Action. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
  39. Clayton Littlejohn (2009). Review of Paul Boghossian, Content and Justification: Philosophical Papers. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (5).
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  40. Clayton Littlejohn (2009). The Externalist's Demon. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 399-434.
  41. Clayton Littlejohn (2008). From E = K to Scepticism? Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):679-684.
    In a recent article Dylan Dodd has argued that anyone who holds that all knowledge is evidence must concede that we know next to nothing about die external world. The argument is intended to show that any infallibilist account of knowledge is committed to scepticism, and that anyone who identifies our evidence with the propositions we know is committed to infallibilism. I shall offer some reasons for thinking Dodd's argument is unsound, and explain where his argument goes wrong.
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  42. Clayton Littlejohn, The New Evil Demon Problem. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of the new evil demon problem.
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