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Profile: John N. Williams (Singapore Management University)
  1. John N. Williams, Moore's Paradox, Defective Interpretation, Justified Belief and Conscious Belieftheo_1073 221..248.
    In this journal, Hamid Vahid argues against three families of explanation of Mooreparadoxicality. The first is the Wittgensteinian approach; I assert that p just in case I assert that I believe that p. So making a Moore-paradoxical assertion involves contradictory assertions. The second is the epistemic approach, one committed to: if I am justified in believing that p then I am justified in believing that I believe that p. So it is impossible to have a justified omissive Mooreparadoxical belief. The (...)
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  2. John N. Williams & T. Brian Mooney (Forthcoming). The Confucian Filial Duty to Care (Xiao 孝) for Elderly Parents. In Janis Ozolins (ed.), Culture and Christianity in Dialogue. Springer.
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  3. John N. Williams & Neil Sinhababu (forthcoming). The Backward Clock, Truth-Tracking, and Safety. Journal of Philosophy.
    We present Backward Clock, an original counterexample to Robert Nozick’s truth-tracking analysis of propositional knowledge, which works differently from other putative counterexamples and avoids objections to which they are vulnerable. We then argue that four ways of analysing knowledge in terms of safety, including Duncan Pritchard’s, cannot withstand Backward Clock either.
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  4. John N. Williams (2015). Eliminativism, Dialetheism and Moore's Paradox. Theoria 81 (1):27-47.
    John Turri gives an example that he thinks refutes what he takes to be “G. E. Moore's view” that omissive assertions such as “It is raining but I do not believe that it is raining” are “inherently ‘absurd'”. This is that of Ellie, an eliminativist who makes such assertions. Turri thinks that these are perfectly reasonable and not even absurd. Nor does she seem irrational if the sincerity of her assertion requires her to believe its content. A commissive counterpart of (...)
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  5. John N. Williams (2015). Moore's Paradox in Thought: A Critical Survey. Philosophy Compass 10 (1):24-37.
    It is raining but you don’t believe that it is raining. Imagine silently accepting this claim. Then you believe both that it is raining and that you don’t believe that it is raining. This would be an ‘absurd’ thing to believe,yet what you believe might be true. Itmight be raining, while at the same time, you are completely ignorant of the state of the weather. But how can it be absurd of you to believe something about yourself that might be (...)
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  6. John N. Williams (2015). Moore’s Paradox in Speech: A Critical Survey. Philosophy Compass 10 (1):10-23.
    It is raining but you don’t believe that it is raining. Imagine accepting this claim. Then you are committed to saying ‘It is raining but I don’t believe that it is raining’. This would be an ‘absurd’ thing to claim or assert, yet what you say might be true. It might be raining, while at the same time, you are completely ignorant of the state of the weather. But how can it be absurd of you to assert something about yourself (...)
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  7. John N. Williams (2015). Not Knowing You Know: A New Objection to the Defeasibility Theory of Knowledge. Analysis 75 (2):213-217.
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  8. John N. Williams & Eric W. K. Tsang (2015). Classifying Generalization: Paradigm War or Abuse of Terminology? Journal of Information Technology 30 (1):18-19.
    Lee and Baskerville (2003) attempted to clarify the concept of generalization and classify it into four types. In Tsang and Williams (2012) we objected to their account of generalization as well as their classification and offered repairs. Then we proposed a classification of induction, within which we distinguished five types of generalization. In their (2012) rejoinder, they argue that their classification is compatible with ours, claiming that theirs offers a ‘new language.’ Insofar as we resist this ‘new language’ and insofar (...)
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  9. John N. Williams (2014). Moore's Paradox in Belief and Desire. Acta Analytica 29 (1):1-23.
    Is there a Moore’s paradox in desire? I give a normative explanation of the epistemic irrationality, and hence absurdity, of Moorean belief that builds on Green and Williams’ normative account of absurdity. This explains why Moorean beliefs are normally irrational and thus absurd, while some Moorean beliefs are absurd without being irrational. Then I defend constructing a Moorean desire as the syntactic counterpart of a Moorean belief and distinguish it from a ‘Frankfurt’ conjunction of desires. Next I discuss putative examples (...)
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  10. John N. Williams (2014). True Succession and Inheritance of Traditions: Looking Back on the Debate. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3 (9):15-19.
    Starting with my (1988) and largely continued by David Ruben’s instructive (2013a), a lively debate has occurred over how one is to analyze the concepts of true succession and membership of a tradition in order to identify the source of the intractability typically found in disputes in which two groups each claim that it, but not its rival, is in the tradition of some earlier group. This debate was initially between myself (2013a, 2013b) and Ruben (2013b, 2013c) but later involved (...)
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  11. John N. Williams (2013). David-Hillel Ruben’s 'Traditions and True Successors': A Critical Reply. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (7):40-45.
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  12. John N. Williams, Eliminativism, Williams' Principle and Evans' Principle.
  13. John N. Williams (2013). Further Reflection on True Successors and Traditions. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (9):12-16.
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  14. John N. Williams (2013). Moore's Paradox and the Priority of Belief Thesis. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1117-1138.
    Moore’s paradox is the fact that assertions or beliefs such asBangkok is the capital of Thailand but I do not believe that Bangkok is the capital of Thailand or Bangkok is the capital of Thailand but I believe that Bangkok is not the capital of Thailand are ‘absurd’ yet possibly true. The current orthodoxy is that an explanation of the absurdity should first start with belief, on the assumption that once the absurdity in belief has been explained then this will (...)
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  15. John N. Williams (2013). The Completeness of the Pragmatic Solution to Moore's Paradox in Belief: A Reply to Chan. Synthese 190 (12):2457-2476.
    Moore’s paradox in belief is the fact that beliefs of the form ‘ p and I do not believe that p ’ are ‘absurd’ yet possibly true. Writers on the paradox have nearly all taken the absurdity to be a form of irrationality. These include those who give what Timothy Chan calls the ‘pragmatic solution’ to the paradox. This solution turns on the fact that having the Moorean belief falsifies its content. Chan, who also takes the absurdity to be a (...)
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  16. Ilya Farber, T. Brian Mooney, Mark Nowacki, Yoo Guan Tan & John N. Williams, Thinking Things Through: An Introduction to Analytical Skills.
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  17. Farber Ilya, Thomas Brian Mooney, Mark Nowacki, Yoo Guan Tan & John N. Williams, Thinking Things Through: An Introduction to Analytical Skills Second Edition.
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  18. Eric W. K. Tsang & John N. Williams (2012). Generalization and Induction: Misconceptions, Clarifications and a Classification of Induction. Management Information Systems Quarterly 36 (3):729-748.
    In “Generalizing Generalizability in Information Systems Research,” Lee and Baskerville try to clarify generalization and classify it into four types. Unfortunately, their account is problematic. We propose repairs. Central among these is our balance-of-evidence argument that we should adopt the view that Hume’s problem of induction has a solution, even if we do not know what it is. We build upon this by proposing an alternative classification of induction. There are five types of generalization: theoretical, within-population, cross-population, contextual, and temporal, (...)
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  19. John N. Williams (2012). Moore-Paradoxical Assertion, Fully Conscious Belief and the Transparency of Belief. Acta Analytica 27 (1):9-12.
    I offer a novel account of the absurdity of Moore-paradoxical assertion in terms of an interlocutor’s fully conscious beliefs. This account starts with an original argument for the principle that fully conscious belief collects over conjunction. The argument is premised on the synchronic unity of consciousness and the transparency of belief.
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  20. John N. Williams (2012). Moore-Paradoxical Belief, Conscious Belief and the Epistemic Ramsey Test. Synthese 188 (2):231-246.
    Chalmers and Hájek argue that on an epistemic reading of Ramsey’s test for the rational acceptability of conditionals, it is faulty. They claim that applying the test to each of a certain pair of conditionals requires one to think that one is omniscient or infallible, unless one forms irrational Moore-paradoxical beliefs. I show that this claim is false. The epistemic Ramsey test is indeed faulty. Applying it requires that one think of anyone as all-believing and if one is rational, to (...)
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  21. John N. Williams & Eric W. K. Tsang, Generalization and Induction: More Misconceptions and Clarifications.
    In ‘Generalization and Induction: Misconceptions, Clarifications, and a Classification of Induction’, we comment on Lee and Baskerville’s paper ‘Generalizing Generalizability in Information Systems Research’, which attempts to clarify the concept of generalization and classify it into four types. Our commentary discusses the misconceptions in their paper and proposes an alternative classification of induction. Their response ‘Conceptualizing Generalizability: New Contributions and a Reply’ perpetuates their misconceptions and create new ones. The purpose of this rejoinder is to highlight the major problems both (...)
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  22. Mitchell S. Green & John N. Williams (2011). Moore's Paradox, Truth and Accuracy. Acta Analytica 26 (3):243-255.
    G. E. Moore famously observed that to assert ‘I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I do not believe that I did’ would be ‘absurd’. Moore calls it a ‘paradox’ that this absurdity persists despite the fact that what I say about myself might be true. Krista Lawlor and John Perry have proposed an explanation of the absurdity that confines itself to semantic notions while eschewing pragmatic ones. We argue that this explanation faces four objections. We give a better (...)
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  23. T. Mooney, John N. Williams & Mark Nowacki (2011). Kovesi and the Formal and Material Elements of Concepts. Philosophia 39 (4):699-720.
    In his seminal work Moral Notions , Julius Kovesi presents a novel account of concept formation. At the heart of this account is a distinction between what he terms the material element and the formal element of concepts. This paper elucidates his distinction in detail and contrasts it with other distinctions such as form-matter, universal-particular, genus-difference, necessary-sufficient, and open texture-closed texture. We situate Kovesi’s distinction within his general philosophical method, outlining his views on concept formation in general and explain how (...)
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  24. John N. Williams (2011). Alignment in Language and Music. In Patrick Rebuschat, Martin Rohrmeier, John A. Hawkins & Ian Cross (eds.), Language and Music as Cognitive Systems. Oup Oxford. 189.
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  25. John N. Williams, T. Brian Mooney & Mark Nowacki, Virtue, Connaturality and Know-How.
    Virtue epistemology is new in one sense but old in another. The new tradition starts with figures such as Code , Greco , Montmarquet , and Zagzebski . The old tradition has its pedigree in Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, and their modern interpreters such as Anscombe and MacIntyre . Virtue epistemology recognizes that knowledge is something we value and that propositional knowledge requires intellectual virtues, that is to say, virtues as applied to the intellect. Although much pioneering work in the new (...)
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  26. John N. Williams (2010). Moore's Paradox, Defective Interpretation, Justified Belief and Conscious Belief. Theoria 76 (3):221-248.
    In this journal, Hamid Vahid argues against three families of explanation of Moore-paradoxicality. The first is the Wittgensteinian approach; I assert that p just in case I assert that I believe that p. So making a Moore-paradoxical assertion involves contradictory assertions. The second is the epistemic approach, one committed to: if I am justified in believing that p then I am justified in believing that I believe that p. So it is impossible to have a justified omissive Moore-paradoxical belief. The (...)
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  27. John N. Williams, Moore-Paradoxical Assertion and Fully Conscious Belief.
    Sidney Shoemaker has given an influential explanation of the absurdity of Moore-paradoxical belief in terms of conscious belief. Here I offer a novel account of the absurdity of Moore-paradoxical assertion in terms of an interlocutor’s fully conscious beliefs. This account starts with an original argument for the principle that fully conscious belief collects over conjunction. The argument is premised on the synchronic unity of consciousness and the transparency of belief.
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  28. John N. Williams, Moore's Paradox, the Priority of Belief and Eliminativism.
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  29. John N. Williams (2009). Justifying Circumstances and Moore-Paradoxical Beliefs: A Response to Brueckner. Analysis 69 (3):490-496.
    In 2004, I explained the absurdity of Moore-paradoxical belief via the syllogism (Williams 2004): (1) All circumstances that justify me in believing that p are circumstances that tend to make me believe that p. (2) All circumstances that tend to make me believe that p are circumstances that justify me in believing that I believe that p. (3) All circumstances that justify me in believing that p are circumstances that justify me in believing that I believe that p. I then (...)
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  30. John N. Williams, Moore’s Paradox, Defective Interpretation, Justified Belief and Conscious Belief: A Reply to Vahid.
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  31. John N. Williams, Moore’s Paradox, Truth and Accuracy: A Reply to Lawlor and Perry.
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  32. John N. Williams, The Completeness of the Pragmatic Solution to Moore’ Paradox: A Reply to Chan.
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  33. John N. Williams, The Logics of Desire and Belief.
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  34. John N. Williams, Conscious Belief and the Epistemic Ramsey Test.
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  35. John N. Williams, Kinky Desires: Why There Is No Moore’s Paradox of Desire.
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  36. John N. Williams, Kinky Desires: Why There Is No Connative Moore's Paradox.
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  37. John N. Williams (2008). Propositional Knowledge and Know-How. Synthese 165 (1):107 - 125.
    This paper is roughly in two parts. The first deals with whether know-how is constituted by propositional knowledge, as discussed primarily by Gilbert Ryle (1949) The concept of mind. London: Hutchinson, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson (2001). Knowing how. Journal of Philosophy, 98, pp. 411–444 as well as Stephen Hetherington (2006). How to know that knowledge-that is knowledge-how. In S. Hetherington (Ed.) Epistemology futures. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The conclusion of this first part is that know-how sometimes does and sometimes (...)
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  38. Mitchell S. Green & John N. Williams (eds.) (2007). Moore's Paradox: New Essays on Belief, Rationality, and the First Person. Oxford University Press.
    G. E. Moore observed that to assert, 'I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don't believe that I did' would be 'absurd'. Over half a century later, such sayings continue to perplex philosophers. In the definitive treatment of the famous paradox, Green and Williams explain its history and relevance and present new essays by leading thinkers in the area.
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  39. Mitchell Green & John N. Williams (2007). Introduction. In Mitchell S. Green & John N. Williams (eds.), Moore's Paradox: New Essays on Belief, Rationality, and the First Person. Oxford University Press.
     
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  40. John N. Williams (2007). Moore's Paradoxes and Iterated Belief. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:145-168.
    I give an account of the absurdity of Moorean beliefs of the omissive form(om) p and I don’t believe that p,and the commissive form(com) p and I believe that not-p,from which I extract a definition of Moorean absurdity. I then argue for an account of the absurdity of Moorean assertion. After neutralizing two objections to my whole account, I show that Roy Sorensen’s own account of the absurdity of his ‘iterated cases’(om1) p and I don’t believe that I believe that (...)
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  41. John N. Williams (2007). Moore's Paradox, Evans's Principle, and Iterated Beliefs. In Mitchell S. Green & John N. Williams (eds.), Moore's Paradox: New Essays on Belief, Rationality, and the First Person. Oxford University Press.
  42. John N. Williams (2007). The Surprise Exam Paradox: Disentangling Two Reductios. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:67-94.
    One tradition of solving the surprise exam paradox, started by Robert Binkley and continued by Doris Olin, Roy Sorensen and Jelle Gerbrandy, construes surpriseepistemically and relies upon the oddity of propositions akin to G. E. Moore’s paradoxical ‘p and I don’t believe that p.’ Here I argue for an analysis that evolves from Olin’s. My analysis is different from hers or indeed any of those in the tradition because it explicitly recognizes that there are two distinct reductios at work in (...)
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  43. John N. Williams (2007). The Surprise Exam Paradox. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:67-94.
    One tradition of solving the surprise exam paradox, started by Robert Binkley and continued by Doris Olin, Roy Sorensen and Jelle Gerbrandy, construes surpriseepistemically and relies upon the oddity of propositions akin to G. E. Moore’s paradoxical ‘p and I don’t believe that p.’ Here I argue for an analysis that evolves from Olin’s. My analysis is different from hers or indeed any of those in the tradition because it explicitly recognizes that there are two distinct reductios at work in (...)
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  44. John N. Williams, Why There Is No Moore's Paradox of Desire.
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  45. John N. Williams & Mitchell S. Green, Introduction to Moore's Paradox: New Essays on Belief, Rationality and the First Person.
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  46. John N. Williams, Beyond Minority Report: Pre-Crime, Pre-Punishment and Pre-Desert.
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  47. John N. Williams (2006). In Defence of an Argument for Evans's Principle: A Rejoinder to Vahid. Analysis 66 (290):167–170.
    In (2004) I gave an argument for Evans’s principle -/- Whatever justifies me in believing that p also justifies me in believing that I believe that p -/- Hamid Vahid (2005) raises two objections against this argument. I show that the first is harmless and that the second is a non sequitur.
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  48. John N. Williams (2006). Moore's Paradox and Conscious Belief. Philosophical Studies 127 (3):383-414.
    For Moore, it is a paradox that although I would be absurd in asserting that (it is raining but I don.
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  49. John N. Williams (2006). Punishment: The Supposed Justifications Revisited. [REVIEW] Metapsychology 10 (47).
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  50. John N. Williams (2006). Wittgenstein, Moorean Absurdity and its Disappearance From Speech. Synthese 149 (1):225 - 254.
    G. E. Moore famously observed that to say, “ I went to the pictures last Tuesday but I don’t believe that I did” would be “absurd”. Why should it be absurd of me to say something about myself that might be true of me? Moore suggested an answer to this, but as I will show, one that fails. Wittgenstein was greatly impressed by Moore’s discovery of a class of absurd but possibly true assertions because he saw that it illuminates “the (...)
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