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Profile: Kevin McCain (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
  1. Kevin McCain (forthcoming). A New Evil Demon? No Problem for Moderate Internalists. Acta Analytica:1-9.
    The New Evil Demon Problem (NEDP) is often seen as a serious objection to externalist theories of justification. In fact, some internalists think it is a decisive counterexample to externalism. Recently, Moon (Episteme 9:345–360, 2012) has argued that internalists face their own New Evil Demon Problem. According to Moon, it is possible for a demon to remove one’s unaccessed mental states while leaving the justificatory status of her accessed mental states unaffected. Since this is contrary to the claims of many (...)
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  2. Kevin McCain (2014). Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification. Routledge.
    Evidentialism is a popular theory of epistemic justification, yet, as early proponents of the theory Earl Conee and Richard Feldman admit, there are many elements that must be developed before Evidentialism can provide a full account of epistemic justification, or well-founded belief. It is the aim of this book to provide the details that are lacking; here McCain moves past Evidentialism as a mere schema by putting forward and defending a full-fledged theory of epistemic justification. In this book McCain offers (...)
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  3. Kevin McCain (2014). Evidentialism, Explanationism, and Beliefs About the Future. Erkenntnis 79 (1):99-109.
    Earl Conee and Richard Feldman have argued that epistemic support should be understood in terms of explanatory considerations. Very roughly, they hold that one’s evidence supports a given proposition when that proposition is part of the best explanation of one’s evidence. This proposal is attractive, but T. Ryan Byerly has recently argued that it is false. Byerly claims that such explanationist accounts of epistemic support cannot account for the fact that one’s evidence can support propositions about the future. Although Byerly (...)
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  4. Kevin McCain, Problem of the Criterion. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Problem of the Criterion The Problem of the Criterion is considered by many to be a fundamental problem of epistemology. In fact, Chisholm (1973, 1) claims that the Problem of the Criterion is “one of the most important and one of the most difficult of all the problems of philosophy.” A popular form of […].
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  5. Kevin McCain (2014). Testimonial Knowledge From Lies. Philosophia 42 (2):459-468.
    Recently, Dan O’Brien has argued that there are situations in which a hearer can gain testimonial knowledge from a speaker who is lying. In order to make his case, O’Brien presents two examples where a speaker lies to a hearer, but supposedly the hearer comes to have testimonial knowledge on the basis of the lying speaker’s testimony. O’Brien claims that his examples demonstrate that lies can be used to pass on knowledge in a non-inferential fashion. I argue that O’Brien is (...)
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  6. Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (2014). Why Explanatoriness Is Evidentially Relevant. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):145-153.
    William Roche and Elliott Sober argue that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant. This conclusion is surprising since it conflicts with a plausible assumption—the fact that a hypothesis best explains a given set of data is evidence that the hypothesis is true. We argue that Roche and Sober's screening-off argument fails to account for a key aspect of evidential strength: the weight of a body of evidence. The weight of a body of evidence affects the resiliency of probabilities in the light of (...)
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  7. Kevin McCain & William Rowley (2014). Pick Your Poison: Beg the Question or Embrace Circularity. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 4 (2):125-140.
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  8. Kevin McCain (2013). Explanationist Evidentialism. Episteme 10 (3):299-315.
    In their most recent co-authored work, Conee and Feldman (2008) suggest that epistemic support should be understood in terms of best explanations. Although this suggestion is plausible, Conee and Feldman admit that they have not provided the necessary details for a complete account of epistemic support. This article offers an explanationist account of epistemic support of the kind that Conee and Feldman suggest. It is argued that this account of epistemic support yields the intuitively correct results in a wide variety (...)
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  9. Kevin McCain (2013). Scientific Method in Brief, by Hugh G. Gauch, Jr. [REVIEW] Teaching Philosophy 36 (3):310-313.
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  10. Kevin McCain (2013). Two Skeptical Arguments or Only One? Philosophical Studies 164 (2):289-300.
    The first step in responding to the challenge of external world skepticism is to get clear on the structure of the skeptic’s argument. The most prominent varieties of skeptical arguments either rely on closure principles or underdetermination principles. The relationship between these two sorts of arguments is contentious. Some argue that these arguments can independently motivate skepticism. Others argue that they are really equivalent. I argue that although these two arguments are distinct, their independence is not as obvious as some (...)
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  11. Kevin McCain (2012). Against Hanna on Phenomenal Conservatism. Acta Analytica 27 (1):45-54.
    Against Hanna on Phenomenal Conservatism Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-10 DOI 10.1007/s12136-012-0148-2 Authors Kevin McCain, Department of Philosophy, University of Rochester, Box 270078, Rochester, NY 14627-0078, USA Journal Acta Analytica Online ISSN 1874-6349 Print ISSN 0353-5150.
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  12. Kevin McCain (2012). A Predictivist Argument Against Scepticism. Analysis 72 (4):660-665.
    Predictivism, the thesis that all things being equal a hypothesis that predicts a piece of evidence is better supported by that evidence than a hypothesis that only accommodates that evidence, comes in strong and weak forms. Interestingly, weak predictivism, which is widely accepted, can be used to formulate a persuasive argument against some forms of external world scepticism. In this article I formulate this predictivist argument and I explain why it deserves serious consideration despite the fact that it only succeeds (...)
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  13. Kevin McCain (2012). The Interventionist Account of Causation and the Basing Relation. Philosophical Studies 159 (3):357-382.
    It is commonplace to distinguish between propositional justification (having good reasons for believing p) and doxastic justification (believing p on the basis of those good reasons).One necessary requirement for bridging the gap between S’s merely having propositional justification that p and S’s having doxastic justification that p is that S base her belief that p on her reasons (propositional justification).A plausible suggestion for what it takes for S’s belief to be based on her reasons is that her reasons must contribute (...)
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  14. Kevin McCain (2011). Response to Levinas. Gnosis 8 (1).
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  15. Kevin McCain (2008). The Virtues of Epistemic Conservatism. Synthese 164 (2):185 - 200.
    Although several important methodologies implicitly assume the truth of epistemic conservatism, the view that holding a belief confers some measure of justification on the belief, recent criticisms have led some to conclude that epistemic conservatism is an implausible view. That conclusion is mistaken. In this article, I propose a new formulation of epistemic conservatism that is not susceptible to the criticisms leveled at earlier formulations of epistemic conservatism. In addition to withstanding these criticisms, this formulation of epistemic conservatism has several (...)
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