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Profile: Michael Blome-Tillmann (McGill University)
  1. Brian Ball & Michael Blome-Tillmann (forthcoming). Counter Closure and Knowledge Despite Falsehood. Philosophical Quarterly.
    Certain puzzling cases have been discussed in the literature recently which appear to support the thought that knowledge can be obtained by way of deduction from a falsehood; moreover, these cases put pressure, prima facie, on the thesis of counter closure for knowledge. We argue that the cases do not involve knowledge from falsehood; despite appearances, the false beliefs in the cases in question are causally, and therefore epistemologically, incidental, and knowledge is achieved despite falsehood. We also show that the (...)
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  2. Michael Blome-Tillmann (forthcoming). Ignorance, Presuppositions, and the Simple View. Mind.
    Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa has presented a series of examples that are meant to spell trouble for Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism (PEC). In this article I shall aim to establish two things. First, I shall argue that even if Ichikawa’s examples were viable counterexamples to PEC, they would not threaten the key ideas underlying the account in Knowledge and Presuppositions. The philosophically interesting work that is done in that article remains unaffected by Ichikawa’s alleged counterexamples. In the second part of the paper, (...)
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  3. Michael Blome-Tillmann (forthcoming). Skepticism and Contextualism. In Baron Reed & Diego Manchuca (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present. Continuum.
  4. Michael Blome-Tillmann (forthcoming). Solving the Moorean Puzzle. Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    This article addresses and resolves an epistemological puzzle that has attracted much attention in the recent literature—namely, the puzzle arising from Moorean anti-sceptical reasoning and the phenomenon of transmission failure. The paper argues that an appealing account of Moorean reasoning can be given by distinguishing carefully between two subtly different ways of thinking about justification and evidence. Once the respective distinctions are in place we have a simple and straightforward way to model both the Wrightean position of transmission failure and (...)
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  5. Brian Ball & Michael Blome-Tillmann (2013). Indexical Reliabilism and the New Evil Demon. Erkenntnis 78 (6):1317-1336.
    Stewart Cohen’s New Evil Demon argument raises familiar and widely discussed concerns for reliabilist accounts of epistemic justification. A now standard response to this argument, initiated by Alvin Goldman and Ernest Sosa, involves distinguishing different notions of justification. Juan Comesaña has recently and prominently claimed that his Indexical Reliabilism (IR) offers a novel solution in this tradition. We argue, however, that Comesaña’s proposal suffers serious difficulties from the perspective of the philosophy of language. More specifically, we show that the two (...)
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  6. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2013). Contextualism and the Knowledge Norms. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):89-100.
    Epistemic contextualism is widely believed to be incompatible with the recently popular view that knowledge is the norm of assertion, practical reasoning, or belief. I argue in this article that the problems arising for contextualism from the mentioned normative views are only apparent and can be resolved by acknowledging the fairly widespread phenomenon of non-obvious context-sensitivity (recently embraced by even some of contextualism's most ardent former critics). Building on recent insights about non-obvious context-sensitivity, the article outlines an independently attractive contextualist (...)
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  7. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2013). Conversational Implicatures (and How to Spot Them). Philosophy Compass 8 (2):170-185.
    In everyday conversations we often convey information that goes above and beyond what we strictly speaking say: exaggeration and irony are obvious examples. H.P. Grice introduced the technical notion of a conversational implicature in systematizing the phenomenon of meaning one thing by saying something else. In introducing the notion, Grice drew a line between what is said, which he understood as being closely related to the conventional meaning of the words uttered, and what is conversationally implicated, which can be inferred (...)
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  8. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2013). Knowledge and Implicatures. Synthese 190 (18):4293-4319.
    In recent work on the semantics of ‘knowledge’-attributions, a variety of accounts have been proposed that aim to explain the data about speaker intuitions in familiar cases such as DeRose’s Bank Case or Cohen’s Airport Case by means of pragmatic mechanisms, notably Gricean implicatures. This paper argues that pragmatic explanations of the data regarding ‘knowledge’-attributions are unsuccessful and concludes that in explaining those data we have to resort to accounts that (a) take those data at their semantic face value (Epistemic (...)
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  9. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2012). Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions. In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. 104.
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  10. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2012). Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions. In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), New Essays on Knowledge Ascriptions. OUP. 104-119.
    In this chapter, I produce counterexamples to Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism (PEC), a view about the semantics of ‘knowledge’-ascriptions that I have argued for elsewhere. According to PEC, the semantic content of the predicate ‘know’ at a context C is partly determined by the speakers’ pragmatic presuppositions at C. The problem for the view that I shall be concerned with here arises from the fact that pragmatic presuppositions are sometimes known to be true by the speakers who make them: hence the (...)
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  11. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2009). Contextualism, Safety and Epistemic Relevance. Philosophical Studies 143 (3):383-394.
    The paper discusses approaches to Epistemic Contextualism that model the satisfaction of the predicate ‘know’ in a given context C in terms of the notion of belief/fact-matching throughout a contextually specified similarity sphere of worlds that is centred on actuality. The paper offers three counterexamples to approaches of this type and argues that they lead to insurmountable difficulties. I conclude that what contextualists (and Subject-Sensitive Invariantists) have traditionally called the ‘epistemic standards’ of a given context C cannot be explicated in (...)
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  12. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2009). Contextualism, Subject-Sensitive Invariantism, and the Interaction of 'Knowledge'-Ascriptions with Modal and Temporal Operators. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):315 - 331.
    Jason Stanley has argued recently that Epistemic Contextualism (EC) and Subject-Sensitive Invariantism (SSI) are explanatorily on a par with regard to certain data arising from modal and temporal embeddings of 'knowledge'-ascriptions. This paper argues against Stanley that EC has a clear advantage over SSI in the discussed field and introduces a new type of linguistic datum strongly suggesting the falsity of SSI.
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  13. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2009). Knowledge and Presuppositions. Mind 118 (470):241 - 294.
    The paper explicates a new way to model the context-sensitivity of 'knows', namely a way that suggests a close connection between the content of 'knows' in a context C and what is pragmatically presupposed in C. After explicating my new approach in the first half of the paper and arguing that it is explanatorily superior to standard accounts of epistemic contextualism, the paper points, in its second half, to some interesting new features of the emerging account, such as its compatibility (...)
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  14. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2009). Non-Cognitivism and the Grammar of Morality. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt3):279-309.
    This paper investigates the linguistic basis for moral non-cognitivism, the view that sentences containing moral predicates do not have truth conditions. It offers a new argument against this view by pointing out that the view is incompatible with our best empirical theories about the grammatical encoding of illocutionary force potentials. Given that my arguments are based on very general assumptions about the relations between the grammar of natural languages and a sentence's illocutionary function, my arguments are broader in scope than (...)
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  15. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2008). Conversational Implicature and the Cancellability Test. Analysis 68 (2):156-160.
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  16. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2008). The Indexicality of 'Knowledge'. Philosophical Studies 138 (1):29 - 53.
    Epistemic contextualism—the view that the content of the predicate ‘know’ can change with the context of utterance—has fallen into considerable disrepute recently. Many theorists have raised doubts as to whether ‘know’ is context-sensitive, typically basing their arguments on data suggesting that ‘know’ behaves semantically and syntactically in a way quite different from recognised indexicals such as ‘I’ and ‘here’ or ‘flat’ and ‘empty’. This paper takes a closer look at three pertinent objections of this kind, viz. at what I call (...)
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  17. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2007). Contextualism and the Epistemological Enterprise. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):387-394.
    Epistemic contextualism (EC) is primarily a semantic view, viz. the view that ‘knowledge’-ascriptions can change their contents with the conversational context. To be more precise, EC is the view that the predicate ‘know’ has an unstable Kaplan character, i.e. a character that does not map all contexts on the same content. According to EC, ‘know’ is thus an indexical expression. Notwithstanding this purely linguistic characterisation of EC, contextualists have traditionally argued that their views have considerable philosophical impact, this being due (...)
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  18. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2007). The Folly of Trying to Define Knowledge. Analysis 67 (3):214 - 219.
    The paper gives an a priori argument for the view that knowledge is unanalysable. To establish this conclusion I argue that warrant, i.e. the property, whatever precisely it is, which makes the difference between knowledge and mere true belief, entails both truth and belief and thus does not exist as a property distinct from knowledge: all and only knowledge can turn a true belief into knowledge. The paper concludes that the project of trying to find a condition distinct from knowledge (...)
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  19. Michael Blome-Tillmann (2006). A Closer Look at Closure Scepticism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (3):381–390.
    The most prominent arguments for scepticism in modern epistemology employ closure principles of some kind. To begin my discussion of such arguments, consider Simple Knowledge Closure (SKC): (SKC) (Kxt[p] ∧ (p → q)) → Kxt[q].1 Assuming its truth for the time being, the sceptic can use (SKC) to reason from the two assumptions that, firstly, we don’t know ¬sh and that, secondly, op entails ¬sh to the conclusion that we don’t know op, where ‘op’ and ‘sh’ are shorthand for ‘ordinary (...)
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