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Profile: James Hawthorne (University of Oklahoma)
  1. John Hawthorne, Religious Knowledge.
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  2. Branden Fitelson & Jim Hawthorne, The Problem of Irrelevant Conjunction — Revisited.
    E confirmsi H1 more strongly than E confirmsi H2 iff c(H1, E) > c(H2, E). [where c is some relevance measure].
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  3. James Hawthorne, Voting in Search of the Public Good: The Probabilistic Logic of Majority Judgments.
    I argue for an epistemic conception of voting, a conception on which the purpose of the ballot is at least in some cases to identify which of several policy proposals will best promote the public good. To support this view I first briefly investigate several notions of the kind of public good that public policy should promote. Then I examine the probability logic of voting as embodied in two very robust versions of the Condorcet Jury Theorem and some related results. (...)
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  4. James Hawthorne & Branden Fitelson, An Even Better Solution to the Paradox of the Ravens.
    Think of confirmation in the context of the Ravens Paradox this way. The likelihood ratio measure of incremental confirmation gives us, for an observed Black Raven and for an observed non-Black non-Raven, respectively, the following “full” likelihood ratios.
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  5. John Hawthorne, Daniel Rothschild & Levi Spectre, Belief is Weak.
  6. Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Yoaav Isaacs (forthcoming). Evil and Evidence. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    The problem of evil is the most prominent argument against the existence of God. Skeptical theists contend that it is not a good argument. Their reasons for this contention vary widely, involving such notions as CORNEA, epistemic appearances, 'gratuitous' evils, 'levering' evidence, and the representativeness of goods. We aim to clarify some confusions about these notions, and also to offer a few new responses to the problem of evil.
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  7. Jeffrey Sanford Russell, John Hawthorne & Lara Buchak (forthcoming). Groupthink. Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    How should a group with different opinions (but the same values) make decisions? In a Bayesian setting, the natural question is how to aggregate credences: how to use a single credence function to naturally represent a collection of different credence functions. An extension of the standard Dutch-book arguments that apply to individual decision-makers recommends that group credences should be updated by conditionalization. This imposes a constraint on what aggregation rules can be like. Taking conditionalization as a basic constraint, we gather (...)
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  8. Cian Dorr, Jeremy Goodman & John Hawthorne (2014). Knowing Against the Odds. Philosophical Studies 170 (2):277-287.
    We present and discuss a counterexample to the following plausible principle: if you know that a coin is fair, and for all you know it is going to be flipped, then for all you know it will land tails.
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  9. Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne (2014). Semantic Plasticity and Speech Reports. Philosophical Review 123 (3):281-338.
    Most meanings we express belong to large families of variant meanings, among which it would be implausible to suppose that some are much more apt for being expressed than others. This abundance of candidate meanings creates pressure to think that the proposition attributing any particular meaning to an expression is modally plastic: its truth depends very sensitively on the exact microphysical state of the world. However, such plasticity seems to threaten ordinary counterfactuals whose consequents contain speech reports, since it is (...)
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  10. James Hawthorne (2014). A Primer on Rational Consequence Relations, Popper Functions, and Their Ranked Structures. Studia Logica 102 (4):731-749.
    Rational consequence relations and Popper functions provide logics for reasoning under uncertainty, the former purely qualitative, the latter probabilistic. But few researchers seem to be aware of the close connection between these two logics. I’ll show that Popper functions are probabilistic versions of rational consequence relations. I’ll not assume that the reader is familiar with either logic. I present them, and explicate the relationship between them, from the ground up. I’ll also present alternative axiomatizations for each logic, showing them to (...)
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  11. John Hawthorne & David Manley (2014). Response. Mind and Language 29 (4):499-510.
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  12. Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne (2013). Embedding Epistemic Modals. Mind 122 (488):867-914.
    Seth Yalcin has pointed out some puzzling facts about the behaviour of epistemic modals in certain embedded contexts. For example, conditionals that begin ‘If it is raining and it might not be raining, … ’ sound unacceptable, unlike conditionals that begin ‘If it is raining and I don’t know it, … ’. These facts pose a prima facie problem for an orthodox treatment of epistemic modals as expressing propositions about the knowledge of some contextually specified individual or group. This paper (...)
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  13. Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne (2013). Naturalness. In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, vol. 8. Oxford University Press. 1.
    Lewis's notion of a "natural" property has proved divisive: some have taken to the notion with enthusiasm, while others have been sceptical. However, it is far from obvious what the enthusiasts and the sceptics are disagreeing about. This paper attempts to articulate what is at stake in this debate.
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  14. Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) (2013). Oxford Studies in Epistemology Volume 4. OUP Oxford.
    Oxford Studies in Epistemology is a biennial publication which offers a regular snapshot of state-of-the-art work in this important field. Under the guidance of a distinguished editorial board, it publishes exemplary papers in epistemology, broadly construed. Anyone wanting to understand the latest developments in the discipline can start here.
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  15. John Hawthorne & Amia Srinivasan (2013). Disagreement Without Transparency: Some Bleak Thoughts. In David Christensen & Jennifer Lackey (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays. Oxford University Press. 9--30.
    What ought one to do, epistemically speaking, when faced with a disagreement? Faced with this question, one naturally hopes for an answer that is principled, general, and intuitively satisfying. We want to argue that this is a vain hope. Our claim is that a satisfying answer will prove elusive because of non-transparency: that there is no condition such that we are always in a position to know whether it obtains. When we take seriously that there is nothing, including our own (...)
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  16. John Hawthorne (2012). Erratum To: Knowledge and Epistemic Necessity. Philosophical Studies 161 (2):347-347.
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  17. John Hawthorne (2012). Knowledge and Epistemic Necessity. Philosophical Studies 158 (3):493-501.
    Claims of the form 'I know P and it might be that not-P' tend to sound odd. One natural explanation of this oddity is that the conjuncts are semantically incompatible: in its core epistemic use, 'Might P' is true in a speaker's mouth only if the speaker does not know that not-P. In this paper I defend this view against an alternative proposal that has been advocated by Trent Dougherty and Patrick Rysiew and elaborated upon in Jeremy Fantl and Matthew (...)
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  18. John Hawthorne (2012). Some Comments on Fricker's'Stating and Insinuating'. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):95-108.
    This discussion piece critically examines some of the key ideology that figures in Elizabeth Fricker's ‘Stating and Insinuating’(2012), raises a number of queries about the details of Fricker's argumentation, and develops some ideas about the normative structure of testimony that relate to the themes of that paper.
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  19. John Hawthorne & David Manley (2012). The Reference Book. Oxford University Press.
    This book critically examines some widespread views about the semantic phenomenon of reference and the cognitive phenomenon of singular thought. It begins with a defense of the view that neither is tied to a special relation of causal or epistemic acquaintance. It then challenges the alleged semantic rift between definite and indefinite descriptions on the one hand, and names and demonstratives on the other—a division that has been motivated in part by appeals to considerations of acquaintance. Drawing on recent work (...)
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  20. John Hawthorne & Jason Turner (eds.) (2012). Philosophical Perspectives, Metaphysics. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  21. Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne (2011). Reply to Glanzberg, Soames and Weatherson. [REVIEW] Analysis 71 (1):143-56.
    One of Weatherson's main goals is to drive home a methodological point: We shouldn't be looking for deductive arguments for or against relativism – we should instead be evaluating inductive arguments designed to show that either relativism or some alternative offers the best explanation of some data. Our focus in Chapter Two on diagnostics for shared content allegedly encourages the search for deductive arguments and so does more harm than good. We have no methodological slogan of our own to offer. (...)
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  22. Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne (2011). Reply to Lasersohn, MacFarlane, and Richard. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 156 (3):417-419.
    Reply to Lasersohn, MacFarlane, and Richard.
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  23. Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne (2011). Summary. [REVIEW] Analysis 71 (1):109 - 111.
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  24. J. Hawthorne & G. Uzquiano (2011). How Many Angels Can Dance on the Point of a Needle? Transcendental Theology Meets Modal Metaphysics. Mind 120 (477):53-81.
    We argue that certain modal questions raise serious problems for a modal metaphysics on which we are permitted to quantify unrestrictedly over all possibilia. In particular, we argue that, on reasonable assumptions, both David Lewis's modal realism and Timothy Williamson's necessitism are saddled with the remarkable conclusion that there is some cardinal number of the form ℵα such that there could not be more than ℵα-many angels in existence. In the last section, we make use of similar ideas to draw (...)
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  25. James Hawthorne (2011). Bayesian Confirmation Theory. In S. French & J. Saatsi (eds.), Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum Press.
    Scientifi c theories and hypotheses make claims that go well beyond what we can immediately observe. How can we come to know whether such claims are true? The obvious approach is to see what a hypothesis says about the observationally accessible parts of the world. If it gets that wrong, then it must be false; if it gets that right, then it may have some claim to being true. Any sensible a empt to construct a logic that captures how we (...)
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  26. James Hawthorne (2011). Confirmation Theory. In Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay & Malcolm Forster (eds.), Philosophy of Statistics, Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Volume 7. Elsevier.
    Confirmation theory is the study of the logic by which scientific hypotheses may be confirmed or disconfirmed, or even refuted by evidence. A specific theory of confirmation is a proposal for such a logic. Presumably the epistemic evaluation of scientific hypotheses should largely depend on their empirical content – on what they say the evidentially accessible parts of the world are like, and on the extent to which they turn out to be right about that. Thus, all theories of confirmation (...)
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  27. James Hawthorne, Inductive Logic. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Sections 1 through 3 present all of the main ideas behind the probabilistic logic of evidential support. For most readers these three sections will suffice to provide an adequate understanding of the subject. Those readers who want to know more about how the logic applies when the implications of hypotheses about evidence claims (called likelihoods) are vague or imprecise may, after reading sections 1-3, skip to section 6. Sections 4 and 5 are for the more advanced reader who wants a (...)
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  28. John Hawthorne (2011). Epistemology. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  29. John Hawthorne & Ernest Lepore (2011). On Words. Journal of Philosophy 108 (9):447-485.
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  30. John Hawthorne & Ofra Magidor (2011). Assertion and Epistemic Opacity. Mind 119 (476):1087-1105.
    In Hawthorne and Magidor 2009, we presented an argument against Stalnaker’s meta-semantic framework. In this paper we address two critical responses to our paper: Stalnaker 2009, and Almotahari and Glick 2010. Sections 1–4 are devoted to addressing Stalnaker’s response and sections 5–8 to addressing Almotahari and Glick’s. We pay special attention (Sect. 2) to an interesting argument that Stalnaker offers to bolster the transparency of presupposition (an argument that, if successful, could also form the basis of a defence of the (...)
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  31. Branden Fitelson & James Hawthorne (2010). How Bayesian Confirmation Theory Handles the Paradox of the Ravens. In Ellery Eells & James Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science. Springer. 247--275.
    The Paradox of the Ravens (a.k.a,, The Paradox of Confirmation) is indeed an old chestnut. A great many things have been written and said about this paradox and its implications for the logic of evidential support. The first part of this paper will provide a brief survey of the early history of the paradox. This will include the original formulation of the paradox and the early responses of Hempel, Goodman, and Quine. The second part of the paper will describe attempts (...)
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  32. Branden Fitelson & James Hawthorne (2010). Wason Task(s) and the Paradox of Confirmation. Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):207-241.
  33. Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) (2010). Oxford Studies in Epistemology Volume 3. OUP Oxford.
    Oxford Studies in Epistemology is a biennial publicaton which offers a regular snapshot of state-of-the-art work in this important field. Under the guidance of a distinguished editorial board composed of leading philosophers in North America, Europe and Australasia, it publishes exemplary papers in epistemology, broadly construed. Topics within its purview include: *traditional epistemological questions concerning the nature of belief, justification, and knowledge, the status of scepticism, the nature of the a priori, etc; *new developments in epistemology, including movements such as (...)
     
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  34. John Hawthorne (2010). A Metaphysician Looks at the Everett Interpretation. In Simon Saunders, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.), Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory, & Reality. Oup Oxford.
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  35. T. Szabo Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.) (2010). Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
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  36. Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne (2009). Relativism and Monadic Truth. Oxford University Press.
    Relativism has dominated many intellectual circles, past and present, but the twentieth century saw it banished to the fringes of mainstream analytic philosophy. Of late, however, it is making something of a comeback within that loosely configured tradition, a comeback that attempts to capitalize on some important ideas in foundational semantics. Relativism and Monadic Truth aims not merely to combat analytic relativism but also to combat the foundational ideas in semantics that led to its revival. Doing so requires a proper (...)
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  37. James Hawthorne (2009). The Lockean Thesis and the Logic of Belief. In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Synthese Library: Springer. 49--74.
    In a penetrating investigation of the relationship between belief and quantitative degrees of confidence (or degrees of belief) Richard Foley (1992) suggests the following thesis: ... it is epistemically rational for us to believe a proposition just in case it is epistemically rational for us to have a sufficiently high degree of confidence in it, sufficiently high to make our attitude towards it one of belief. Foley goes on to suggest that rational belief may be just rational degree of confidence (...)
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  38. John Hawthorne (ed.) (2009). Ethics. Wiley Periodicals, Inc..
    moral community between humans, the “membership” of which is unearned. With this claim in the background, I will then try in the next section to engage with ...
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  39. John Hawthorne (2009). Superficialism in Ontology. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. 213--30.
    draft, forthcoming Chalmers, Manley and Wasserman eds., Metametaphysics.
     
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  40. John Hawthorne & Maria Lasonen-Aarnio (2009). Knowledge and Objective Chance. In Patrick Greenough & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Williamson on Knowledge. Oxford University Press. 92--108.
    We think we have lots of substantial knowledge about the future. But contemporary wisdom has it that indeterminism prevails in such a way that just about any proposition about the future has a non-zero objective chance of being false.2, 3 What should one do about this? One, pessimistic, reaction is scepticism about knowledge of the future. We think this should be something of a last resort, especially since this scepticism is likely to infect alleged knowledge of the present and past. (...)
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  41. John Hawthorne & Ofra Magidor (2009). Assertion, Context, and Epistemic Accessibility. Mind 118 (470):377 - 397.
    In his seminal paper 'Assertion', Robert Stalnaker distinguishes between the semantic content of a sentence on an occasion of use and the content asserted by an utterance of that sentence on that occasion. While in general the assertoric content of an utterance is simply its semantic content, the mechanisms of conversation sometimes force the two apart. Of special interest in this connection is one of the principles governing assertoric content in the framework, one according to which the asserted content ought (...)
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  42. Elisabeth Camp & John Hawthorne (2008). Sarcastic 'Like': A Case Study in the Interface of Syntax and Semantics. Noûs 42 (1):1 - 21.
    The expression ‘Like’ has a wide variety of uses among English and American speakers. It may describe preference, as in (1) She likes mint chip ice cream. It may be used as a vehicle of comparison, as in (2) Trieste is like Minsk on steroids.
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  43. John Hawthorne (2008). Philosophy of Mind. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  44. John Hawthorne (2008). Three-Dimensionalism Vs. Four-Dimensionalism. In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell Pub.. 263--282.
     
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  45. John Hawthorne & Andrew McGonigal (2008). The Many Minds Account of Vagueness. Philosophical Studies 138 (3):435 - 440.
    This paper presents an new epistemicist account of vagueness, one that avoids standard arbitrariness worries by exploiting a plenitudinous metaphysic.
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  46. John Hawthorne & Jason Stanley (2008). Knowledge and Action. Journal of Philosophy 105 (10):571-590.
    Judging by our folk appraisals, then, knowledge and action are intimately related. The theories of rational action with which we are familiar leave this unexplained. Moreover, discussions of knowledge are frequently silent about this connection. This is a shame, since if there is such a connection it would seem to constitute one of the most fundamental roles for knowledge. Our purpose in this paper is to rectify this lacuna, by exploring ways in which knowing something is related to rationally acting (...)
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  47. Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.) (2008). Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell Pub..
    In a series of thought-provoking and original essays, eighteen leading philosophers engage in head-to-head debates of nine of the most cutting edge topics in contemporary metaphysics. Explores the fundamental questions in contemporary metaphysics in a series of eighteen original essays - 16 of which are newly commissioned for this volume Features an introductory essay by the editors on the nature of metaphysics to prepare the reader for ongoing discussions Offers readers the unique opportunity to observe leading philosophers engage in head-to-head (...)
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  48. Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne (2007). Locations and Binding. Analysis 67 (294):95–105.
    It is natural to think that the relationship between ‘rain’ and the location of rain is different from the relationship between ‘dance’ and the location of dancing. Utterances of (1) are typically interpreted as, in some sense, being about a location in which it rains. (2) is, typically, not interpreted as being about a location in which the dancing takes place.
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  49. Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) (2007). Oxford Studies in Epistemology 2. Oxford.
    Oxford Studies in Epistemology is a biennial publicaton which offers a regular snapshot of state-of-the-art work in this important field. Under the guidance of a distinguished editorial board composed of leading philosophers in North America, Europe and Australasia, it will publish exemplary papers in epistemology, broadly construed. Topics within its purview include: *traditional epistemological questions concerning the nature of belief, justification, and knowledge, the status of scepticism, the nature of the a priori, etc; *new developments in epistemology, including movements such (...)
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