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Profile: John Turri (University of Waterloo)
  1. John Turri (2010). On the Relationship Between Propositional and Doxastic Justification. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):312-326.
    I argue against the orthodox view of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification. The view under criticism is: if p is propositionally justified for S in virtue of S's having reason R, and S believes p on the basis of R, then S's belief that p is doxastically justified. I then propose and evaluate alternative accounts of the relationship between propositional and doxastic justification, and conclude that we should explain propositional justification in terms of doxastic justification. If correct, this (...)
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  2.  94
    John Greco & John Turri (2011). Virtue Epistemology. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  3. John Turri (2011). Believing For a Reason. Erkenntnis 74 (3):383-397.
    This paper explains what it is to believe something for a reason. My thesis is that you believe something for a reason just in case the reason non-deviantly causes your belief. In the course of arguing for my thesis, I present a new argument that reasons are causes, and offer an informative account of causal non-deviance.
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  4. John Turri (2011). Manifest Failure: The Gettier Problem Solved. Philosophers' Imprint 11 (8).
    This paper provides a principled and elegant solution to the Gettier problem. The key move is to draw a general metaphysical distinction and conscript it for epistemological purposes. Section 1 introduces the Gettier problem. Sections 2–5 discuss instructively wrong or incomplete previous proposals. Section 6 presents my solution and explains its virtues. Section 7 answers the most common objection.
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  5.  53
    John Turri (2013). The Test of Truth: An Experimental Investigation of the Norm of Assertion. Cognition 129 (2):279-291.
  6. John Turri (2011). The Express Knowledge Account of Assertion. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):37-45.
    Many philosophers favour the simple knowledge account of assertion, which says you may assert something only if you know it. The simple account is true but importantly incomplete. I defend a more informative thesis, namely, that you may assert something only if your assertion expresses knowledge. I call this 'the express knowledge account of assertion', which I argue better handles a wider range of cases while at the same time explaining the simple knowledge account's appeal. §1 introduces some new data (...)
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  7.  90
    John Turri (2013). Knowledge and Suberogatory Assertion. Philosophical Studies (3):1-11.
    I accomplish two things in this paper. First I expose some important limitations of the contemporary literature on the norms of assertion and in the process illuminate a host of new directions and forms that an account of assertional norms might take. Second I leverage those insights to suggest a new account of the relationship between knowledge and assertion, which arguably outperforms the standard knowledge account.
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  8. John Turri (2013). A Conspicuous Art: Putting Gettier to the Test. Philosophers' Imprint 13 (10).
    Professional philosophers say it’s obvious that a Gettier subject does not know. But experimental philosophers and psychologists have argued that laypeople and non-Westerners view Gettier subjects very differently, based on experiments where laypeople tend to ascribe knowledge to Gettier subjects. I argue that when effectively probed, laypeople and non-Westerners unambiguously agree that Gettier subjects do not know.
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  9. John Turri (2009). The Ontology of Epistemic Reasons. Noûs 43 (3):490-512.
    Epistemic reasons are mental states. They are not propositions or non-mental facts. The discussion proceeds as follows. Section 1 introduces the topic. Section 2 gives two concrete examples of how our topic directly affects the internalism/externalism debate in normative epistemology. Section 3 responds to an argument against the view that reasons are mental states. Section 4 presents two problems for the view that reasons are propositions. Section 5 presents two problems for the view that reasons are non-mental facts. Section 6 (...)
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  10.  84
    John Turri (2010). Prompting Challenges. Analysis 70 (3):456-462.
  11. Wesley Buckwalter, David Rose & John Turri (2015). Belief Through Thick and Thin. Noûs 49 (4):748-775.
    We distinguish between two categories of belief—thin belief and thick belief—and provide evidence that they approximate genuinely distinct categories within folk psychology. We use the distinction to make informative predictions about how laypeople view the relationship between knowledge and belief. More specifically, we show that if the distinction is genuine, then we can make sense of otherwise extremely puzzling recent experimental findings on the entailment thesis (i.e. the widely held philosophical thesis that knowledge entails belief). We also suggest that the (...)
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  12. John Turri, Wesley Buckwalter & Peter Blouw (2015). Knowledge and Luck. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 22 (2):378-390.
    Nearly all success is due to some mix of ability and luck. But some successes we attribute to the agent’s ability, whereas others we attribute to luck. To better understand the criteria distinguishing credit from luck, we conducted a series of four studies on knowledge attributions. Knowledge is an achievement that involves reaching the truth. But many factors affecting the truth are beyond our control and reaching the truth is often partly due to luck. Which sorts of luck are compatible (...)
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  13. John Turri (2012). Is Knowledge Justified True Belief? Synthese 184 (3):247-259.
    Is knowledge justified true belief? Most philosophers believe that the answer is clearly ‘no’, as demonstrated by Gettier cases. But Gettier cases don’t obviously refute the traditional view that knowledge is justified true belief (JTB). There are ways of resisting Gettier cases, at least one of which is partly successful. Nevertheless, when properly understood, Gettier cases point to a flaw in JTB, though it takes some work to appreciate just what it is. The nature of the flaw helps us better (...)
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  14.  57
    John Turri & Peter Blouw (2015). Excuse Validation: A Study in Rule-Breaking. Philosophical Studies 172 (3):615-634.
    Can judging that an agent blamelessly broke a rule lead us to claim, paradoxically, that no rule was broken at all? Surprisingly, it can. Across seven experiments, we document and explain the phenomenon of excuse validation. We found when an agent blamelessly breaks a rule, it significantly distorts people’s description of the agent’s conduct. Roughly half of people deny that a rule was broken. The results suggest that people engage in excuse validation in order to avoid indirectly blaming others for (...)
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  15. John Turri (2010). Epistemic Invariantism and Speech Act Contextualism. Philosophical Review 119 (1):77-95.
    In this essay I show how to reconcile epistemic invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion. My basic proposal is that we can comfortably combine invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion by endorsing contextualism about speech acts. My demonstration takes place against the backdrop of recent contextualist attempts to usurp the knowledge account of assertion, most notably Keith DeRose's influential argument that the knowledge account of assertion spells doom for invariantism and enables contextualism's ascendancy.
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  16. Clayton Littlejohn & John Turri (eds.) (2013). 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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  17. David Rose, Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri (2014). When Words Speak Louder Than Actions: Delusion, Belief, and the Power of Assertion. Australasian Journal of Philosophy (4):1-18.
    People suffering from severe monothematic delusions, such as Capgras, Fregoli, or Cotard patients, regularly assert extraordinary and unlikely things. For example, some say that their loved ones have been replaced by impostors. A popular view in philosophy and cognitive science is that such monothematic delusions aren't beliefs because they don't guide behaviour and affect in the way that beliefs do. Or, if they are beliefs, they are somehow anomalous, atypical, or marginal beliefs. We present evidence from five studies that folk (...)
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  18. Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri (2014). Telling, Showing and Knowing: A Unified Theory of Pedagogical Norms. Analysis 74 (1):16-20.
    Pedagogy is a pillar of human culture and society. Telling each other information and showing each other how to do things comes naturally to us. A strong case has been made that declarative knowledge is the norm of assertion, which is our primary way of telling others information. This article presents an analogous case for the hypothesis that procedural knowledge is the norm of instructional demonstration, which is a primary way of showing others how to do things. Knowledge is the (...)
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  19.  32
    John Turri, Wesley Buckwalter & David Rose (2016). Actionability Judgments Cause Knowledge Judgments. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):212-222.
    Researchers recently demonstrated a strong direct relationship between judgments about what a person knows and judgments about how a person should act. But it remains unknown whether actionability judgments cause knowledge judgments, or knowledge judgments cause actionability judgments. This paper uses causal modeling to help answer this question. Across two experiments, we found evidence that actionability judgments cause knowledge judgments.
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  20.  42
    John Turri (2015). Knowledge and the Norm of Assertion: A Simple Test. Synthese 192 (2):385-392.
    An impressive case has been built for the hypothesis that knowledge is the norm of assertion, otherwise known as the knowledge account of assertion. According to the knowledge account, you should assert something only if you know that it’s true. A wealth of observational data supports the knowledge account, and some recent empirical results lend further, indirect support. But the knowledge account has not yet been tested directly. This paper fills that gap by reporting the results of such a test. (...)
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  21. John Turri (2010). Refutation by Elimination. Analysis 70 (1):35-39.
    This paper refutes two important and influential views in one fell stroke. The first is G.E. Moore’s view that assertions of the form ‘Q but I don’t believe that Q’ are inherently “absurd.” The second is Gareth Evans’s view that justification to assert Q entails justification to assert that you believe Q. Both views run aground the possibility of being justified in accepting eliminativism about belief. A corollary is that a principle recently defended by John Williams is also false, namely, (...)
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  22.  71
    Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri (2015). Inability and Obligation in Moral Judgment. PLoS ONE 10 (8).
    It is often thought that judgments about what we ought to do are limited by judgments about what we can do, or that “ought implies can.” We conducted eight experiments to test the link between a range of moral requirements and abilities in ordinary moral evaluations. Moral obligations were repeatedly attributed in tandem with inability, regardless of the type (Experiments 1–3), temporal duration (Experiment 5), or scope (Experiment 6) of inability. This pattern was consistently observed using a variety of moral (...)
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  23.  67
    Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri (forthcoming). Perceived Weaknesses of Philosophical Inquiry: A Comparison to Psychology. Philosophia:1-20.
    We report two experiments exploring the perception of how contemporary philosophy is often conducted. We find that (1) participants associate philosophy with the practice of conducting thought experiments and collating intuitions about them, and (2) that this form of inquiry is viewed much less favourably than the typical form of inquiry in psychology: research conducted by teams using controlled experiments and observation. We also found (3) an effect whereby relying on intuition is viewed more favorably in the context of team (...)
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  24.  88
    John Turri & Ernest Sosa (2007). A Virtue Epistemology. In Byron Kaldis (ed.), Philosophical Studies. Sage 427-440.
    In my remarks, I discuss Sosa's attempt to deal with the sceptical threat posed by dreaming. Sosa explores two replies to the problem of dreaming scepticism. First, he argues that, on the imagination model of dreaming, dreaming does not threaten the safety of our beliefs. Second, he argues that knowledge does not require safety, but a weaker condition which is not threatened by dreaming skepticism. I raise questions about both elements of his reply.
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  25.  64
    John Turri (2014). Skeptical Appeal: The Source‐Content Bias. Cognitive Science 38 (5):307-324.
    Radical skepticism is the view that we know nothing or at least next to nothing. Nearly no one actually believes that skepticism is true. Yet it has remained a serious topic of discussion for millennia and it looms large in popular culture. What explains its persistent and widespread appeal? How does the skeptic get us to doubt what we ordinarily take ourselves to know? I present evidence from two experiments that classic skeptical arguments gain potency from an interaction between two (...)
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  26. John Turri (2009). On the Regress Argument for Infinitism. Synthese 166 (1):157 - 163.
    This paper critically evaluates the regress argument for infinitism. The dialectic is essentially this. Peter Klein argues that only an infinitist can, without being dogmatic, enhance the credibility of a questioned non-evident proposition. In response, I demonstrate that a foundationalist can do this equally well. Furthermore, I explain how foundationalism can provide for infinite chains of justification. I conclude that the regress argument for infinitism should not convince us.
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  27. John Turri (2013). Pyrrhonian Skepticism Meets Speech-Act Theory. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (2):83-98.
    This paper applies speech-act theory to craft a new response to Pyrrhonian skepticism and diagnose its appeal. Carefully distinguishing between different levels of language-use and noting their interrelations can help us identify a subtle mistake in a key Pyrrhonian argument.
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  28.  74
    John Turri & Wesley Buckwalter (forthcoming). Descartes’s Schism, Locke’s Reunion: Completing the Pragmatic Turn in Epistemology. American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Centuries ago, Descartes and Locke initiated a foundational debate in epistemology over the relationship between knowledge, on the one hand, and practical factors, on the other. Descartes claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally separate. Locke claimed that knowledge and practice are fundamentally united. After a period of dormancy, their disagreement has reignited on the contemporary scene. Latter-day Lockeans claim that knowledge itself is essentially connected to, and perhaps even constituted by, practical factors such as how much is at stake, (...)
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  29.  25
    John Turri (2015). An Open and Shut Case: Epistemic Closure in the Manifest Image. Philosophers' Imprint 15 (2).
    The epistemic closure principle says that knowledge is closed under known entailment. The closure principle is deeply implicated in numerous core debates in contemporary epistemology. Closure’s opponents claim that there are good theoretical reasons to abandon it. Closure’s proponents claim that it is a defining feature of ordinary thought and talk and, thus, abandoning it is radically revisionary. But evidence for these claims about ordinary practice has thus far been anecdotal. In this paper, I report five studies on the status (...)
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  30.  28
    John Turri (2015). Selfless Assertions: Some Empirical Evidence. Synthese 192 (4):1221-1233.
    It is increasingly recognized that knowledge is the norm of assertion. As this view has gained popularity, it has also garnered criticism. One widely discussed criticism involves thought experiments about “selfless assertion.” Selfless assertions are said to be intuitively compelling examples where agents should assert propositions that they don’t even believe and, hence, don’t know. This result is then taken to show that knowledge is not the norm of assertion. This paper reports four experiments demonstrating that “selfless assertors” are viewed (...)
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  31. John Turri (2010). Does Perceiving Entail Knowing? Theoria 76 (3):197-206.
    This article accomplishes two closely connected things. First, it refutes an influential view about the relationship between perception and knowledge. In particular, it demonstrates that perceiving does not entail knowing. Second, it leverages that refutation to demonstrate that knowledge is not the most general factive propositional attitude.
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  32.  24
    John Turri (2011). Mythology of the Factive. Logos and Episteme 2 (1):143-152.
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  33. John Turri (2011). Contingent A Priori Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):327-344.
    I argue that you can have a priori knowledge of propositions that neither are nor appear necessarily true. You can know a priori contingent propositions that you recognize as such. This overturns a standard view in contemporary epistemology and the traditional view of the a priori, which restrict a priori knowledge to necessary truths, or at least to truths that appear necessary.
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  34.  11
    John Turri (2016). Vision, Knowledge, and Assertion. Consciousness and Cognition 41:41-49.
  35.  33
    John Turri (2016). The Point of Assertion is to Transmit Knowledge. Analysis 76 (2):130-136.
    Recent work in philosophy and cognitive science shows that knowledge is the norm of our social practice of assertion, in the sense that an assertion should express knowledge. But why should an assertion express knowledge? I hypothesize that an assertion should express knowledge because the point of assertion is to transmit knowledge. I present evidence supporting this hypothesis.
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  36.  39
    John Turri (2015). Evidence of Factive Norms of Belief and Decision. Synthese 192 (12):4009-4030.
    According to factive accounts of the norm of belief and decision-making, you should not believe or base decisions on a falsehood. Even when the evidence misleadingly suggests that a false proposition is true, you should not believe it or base decisions on it. Critics claim that factive accounts are counterintuitive and badly mischaracterize our ordinary practice of evaluating beliefs and decisions. This paper reports four experiments that rigorously test the critic’s accusations and the viability of factive accounts. The results undermine (...)
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  37.  70
    John Turri (2012). A Puzzle About Withholding. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):355-364.
    This paper presents a puzzle about justification and withholding. The puzzle arises in a special case where experts advise us to not withhold judgment. My main thesis is simply that the puzzle is genuinely a puzzle, and so leads us to rethink some common assumptions in epistemology, specifically assumptions about the nature of justification and doxastic attitudes. Section 1 introduces the common assumptions. Section 2 presents the puzzle case. Section 3 assesses the puzzle case. Section 4 explains the choice we're (...)
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  38. John Turri (2013). Knowledge Guaranteed. Noûs 47 (3):602-612.
    What is the relationship between saying ‘I know that Q’ and guaranteeing that Q? John Austin, Roderick Chisholm and Wilfrid Sellars all agreed that there is some important connection, but disagreed over what exactly it was. In this paper I discuss each of their accounts and present a new one of my own. Drawing on speech-act theory and recent research on the epistemic norms of speech acts, I suggest that the relationship is this: by saying ‘I know that Q’, you (...)
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  39. Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri (forthcoming). In the Thick of Moral Motivation. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-21.
    We accomplish three things in this paper. First, we provide evidence that the motivational internalism/externalism debate in moral psychology could be a false dichotomy born of ambiguity. Second, we provide further evidence for a crucial distinction between two different categories of belief in folk psychology: thick belief and thin belief. Third, we demonstrate how careful attention to deep features of folk psychology can help diagnose and defuse seemingly intractable philosophical disagreement in metaethics.
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  40. Peter Blouw, Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri (forthcoming). Gettier Cases: A Taxonomy. In R. Borges, C. de Almeida & P. Klein (eds.), Explaining knowledge: new essays on the Gettier problem. Oxford University Press
    The term “Gettier Case” is a technical term frequently applied to a wide array of thought experiments in contemporary epistemology. What do these cases have in common? It is said that they all involve a justified true belief which, intuitively, is not knowledge, due to a form of luck called “Gettiering.” While this very broad characterization suffices for some purposes, it masks radical diversity. We argue that the extent of this diversity merits abandoning the notion of a “Gettier case” in (...)
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  41.  8
    John Turri (2016). The Radicalism of Truth‐Insensitive Epistemology: Truth's Profound Effect on the Evaluation of Belief. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):348-367.
    Many philosophers claim that interesting forms of epistemic evaluation are insensitive to truth in a very specific way. Suppose that two possible agents believe the same proposition based on the same evidence. Either both are justified or neither is; either both have good evidence for holding the belief or neither does. This does not change if, on this particular occasion, it turns out that only one of the two agents has a true belief. Epitomizing this line of thought are thought (...)
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  42.  49
    John Turri (2015). Unreliable Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):529-545.
    There is a virtual consensus in contemporary epistemology that knowledge must be reliably produced. Everyone, it seems, is a reliabilist about knowledge in that sense. I present and defend two arguments that unreliable knowledge is possible. My first argument proceeds from an observation about the nature of achievements, namely, that achievements can proceed from unreliable abilities. My second argument proceeds from an observation about the epistemic efficacy of explanatory inference, namely, that inference to the best explanation seems to produce knowledge, (...)
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  43.  49
    John Turri (2016). Perceptions of Philosophical Inquiry: A Survey. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (4):805-816.
    Six hundred three people completed a survey measuring perceptions of traditional areas of philosophical inquiry and their relationship to empirical science. The ten areas studied were: aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, history of philosophy, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and political philosophy. For each area, participants rated whether it is currently central to philosophy, whether its centrality depends on integration with science, and whether work in the area is sufficiently integrated with science. Centrality judgments tended to (...)
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  44.  44
    John Turri (2015). Understanding and the Norm of Explanation. Philosophia 43 (4):1171-1175.
    I propose and defend the hypothesis that understanding is the norm of explanation. On this proposal, an explanation should express understanding. I call this the understanding account of explanation. The understanding account is supported by social and introspective observations. It is also supported by the relationship between knowledge and understanding, on the one hand, and assertion and explanation, on the other.
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  45.  20
    Angelo Turri & John Turri (2015). The Truth About Lying. Cognition 138:161-168.
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  46.  40
    Ori Friedman & John Turri (2015). Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge? Cognitive Science 39 (5):1062-1080.
    We report a series of experiments examining whether people ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence. Participants were less likely to ascribe knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for beliefs based on perceptual evidence or testimony providing causal information. Denial of knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence did not arise because participants viewed such beliefs as unjustified, nor because such beliefs leave open the possibility of error. These findings rule out traditional philosophical accounts for why (...)
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  47.  36
    Mathieu Doucet & John Turri (2014). Non-Psychological Weakness of Will: Self-Control, Stereotypes, and Consequences. Synthese 191 (16):3935-3954.
    Prior work on weakness of will has assumed that it is a thoroughly psychological phenomenon. At least, it has assumed that ordinary attributions of weakness of will are purely psychological attributions, keyed to the violation of practical commitments by the weak-willed agent. Debate has recently focused on which sort of practical commitment, intention or normative judgment, is more central to the ordinary concept of weakness of will. We report five experiments that significantly advance our understanding of weakness of will attributions (...)
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  48.  45
    John Turri & Ori Friedman (forthcoming). Winners and Losers in the Folk Epistemology of Lotteries. In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology.
    We conducted five experiments that reveal some main contours of the folk epistemology of lotteries. The folk tend to think that you don't know that your lottery ticket lost, based on the long odds ("statistical cases"); by contrast, the folk tend to think that you do know that your lottery ticket lost, based on a news report ("testimonial cases"). We evaluate three previous explanations for why people deny knowledge in statistical cases: the justification account, the chance account, and the statistical (...)
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  49.  78
    Matthew A. Benton & John Turri (2014). Iffy Predictions and Proper Expectations. Synthese 191 (8):1857-1866.
    What individuates the speech act of prediction? The standard view is that prediction is individuated by the fact that it is the unique speech act that requires future-directed content. We argue against this view and two successor views. We then lay out several other potential strategies for individuating prediction, including the sort of view we favor. We suggest that prediction is individuated normatively and has a special connection to the epistemic standards of expectation. In the process, we advocate some constraints (...)
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  50. John Turri (2009). An Infinitist Account of Doxastic Justification. Dialectica 63 (2):209-218.
    Any satisfactory epistemology must account for the distinction between propositional and doxastic justification. Can infinitism account for it? Proposals to date have been unsatisfactory. This paper advances a new infinitist account of the distinction. The discussion proceeds as follows. Section 1 sets the stage. Section 2 presents Peter Klein's account. Section 3 raises a problem for Klein's account and suggests an improvement. Section 4 raises a further challenge. Sections 5 to 7 consider several unsuccessful attempts to meet the challenge. Section (...)
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