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Profile: Ted Poston (University of South Alabama)
  1. Ted Poston, Cognitive Abilities and the Conceptualist/Nonconceptualist Debate (Long Version).
     
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  2. Ted Poston, Hell, Vagueness, and Justice: A Reply to Sider.
    Ted Sider’s paper “Hell and Vagueness” challenges a certain conception of Hell by arguing that it is inconsistent with God’s justice. Sider’s inconsistency argument works only when supplemented by additional premises. Key to Sider’s case is a premise that the properties upon which eternal destinies supervene are “a smear,” i.e., they are distributed continuously among individuals in the world. We question this premise and provide reasons to doubt it. The doubts come from two sources. The first is based on (...)
     
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  3. Ted Poston (forthcoming). Social Evil. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
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  4. Ted Poston (2014). Direct Phenomenal Beliefs, Cognitive Significance, and the Specious Present. Philosophical Studies 168 (2):483-489.
    Chalmers (The character of consciousness, 2010) argues for an acquaintance theory of the justification of direct phenomenal beliefs. A central part of this defense is the claim that direct phenomenal beliefs are cognitively significant. I argue against this. Direct phenomenal beliefs are justified within the specious present, and yet the resources available with the present ‘now’ are so impoverished that it barely constrains the content of a direct phenomenal belief. I argue that Chalmers’s account does not have the resources for (...)
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  5. Ted Poston (2014). Finite Reasons Without Foundations. Metaphilosophy 45 (2):182-191.
    This article develops a theory of reasons that has strong similarities to Peter Klein's infinitism. The view it develops, Framework Reasons, upholds Klein's principles of avoiding arbitrariness (PAA) and avoiding circularity (PAC) without requiring an infinite regress of reasons. A view of reasons that holds that the “reason for” relation is constrained by PAA and that PAC can avoid an infinite regress if the “reason for” relation is contextual. Moreover, such a view of reasons can maintain that skepticism is false (...)
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  6. Ted Poston (2013). BonJour and the Myth of the Given. Res Philosophica 90 (2):185-201.
    The Sellarsian dilemma is a powerful argument against internalistic foundationalist views that aim to end the regress of reasons in experiential states. LaurenceBonJour once defended the soundness of this dilemma as part of a larger argument for epistemic coherentism. BonJour has now renounced his earlier conclusions about the dilemma and has offered an account of internalistic foundationalism aimed, in part, at showing the errors of his former ways. I contend that BonJour’s early concerns about the Sellarsian dilemma are correct, and (...)
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  7. Ted Poston (2013). Is Foundational a Priori Justification Indispensable? Episteme 10 (3):317-331.
    Laurence BonJour's (1985) coherence theory of empirical knowledge relies heavily on a traditional foundationalist theory of a priori knowledge. He argues that a foundationalist, rationalist theory of a priori justification is indispensable for a coherence theory. BonJour (1998) continues this theme, arguing that a traditional account of a priori justification is indispensable for the justification of putative a priori truths, the justification of any non-observational belief and the justification of reasoning itself. While BonJour's indispensability arguments have received some critical discussion (...)
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  8. Michael Horton & Ted Poston (2012). Functionalism About Truth and the Metaphysics of Reduction. Acta Analytica 27 (1):13-27.
    Functionalism about truth is the view that truth is an explanatorily significant but multiply-realizable property. According to this view the properties that realize truth vary from domain to domain, but the property of truth is a single, higher-order, domain insensitive property. We argue that this view faces a challenge similar to the one that Jaegwon Kim laid out for the multiple realization thesis. The challenge is that the higher-order property of truth is equivalent to an explanatorily idle disjunction of its (...)
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  9. Ted Poston (2012). Basic Reasons and First Philosophy: A Coherentist View of Reasons. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):75-93.
    This paper develops and defends a coherentist account of reasons. I develop three core ideas for this defense: a distinction between basic reasons and noninferential justification, the plausibility of the neglected argument against first philosophy, and an emergent account of reasons. These three ideas form the backbone for a credible coherentist view of reasons. I work toward this account by formulating and explaining the basic reasons dilemma. This dilemma reveals a wavering attitude that coherentists have had toward basic reasons. More (...)
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  10. Ted Poston (2012). Introduction: “Epistemic Coherentism”. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):1-4.
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  11. Ted Poston (2012). Is There an 'I' in Epistemology? Dialectica 66 (4):517-541.
    Epistemic conservatism is the thesis that the mere holding of a belief confers some positive epistemic status on its content. Conservatism is widely criticized on the grounds that it conflicts with the main goal in epistemology to believe truths and disbelieve falsehoods. In this paper I argue for conservatism and defend it from objections. First, I argue that the objection to conservatism from the truth goal in epistemology fails. Second, I develop and defend an argument for conservatism from the perspectival (...)
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  12. Ted Poston (2011). Explanationist Plasticity and the Problem of the Criterion. Philosophical Papers 40 (3):395-419.
    Abstract This paper develops an explanationist treatment of the problem of the criterion. Explanationism is the view that all justified reasoning is justified in virtue of the explanatory virtues: simplicity, fruitfulness, testability, scope, and conservativeness. A crucial part of the explanationist framework is achieving wide reflective equilibrium. I argue that explanationism offers a plausible solution to the problem of the criterion. Furthermore, I argue that a key feature of explanationism is the plasticity of epistemic judgments and epistemic methods. The explanationist (...)
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  13. Kevin Meeker & Ted Poston (2010). Skeptics Without Borders. American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (3):223.
    Timothy Williamson’s anti luminosity argument has received considerable attention. Escaping unnoticed, though, is a strikingly similar argument from David Hume. This paper highlights some of the arresting parallels between Williamson’s reasoning and Hume’s that will allow us to appreciate more deeply the plausibility of Williamson’s reasoning and to understand how, following Hume, we can extend this reasoning to undermine the “luminosity” of simple necessary truths. More broadly the parallels help us to identify a common skeptical predicament underlying both arguments, which (...)
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  14. Ted Poston (2010). Review of Paul J. Weithman (Ed.), Liberal Faith: Essays in Honor of Philip Quinn. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (2).
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  15. Ted Poston (2010). Similarity and Acquaintance: A Dilemma. Philosophical Studies 147 (3):369 - 378.
    There is an interesting and instructive problem with Richard Fumerton's acquaintance theory of noninferential justification. Fumerton's explicit account requires acquaintance with the truth-maker of one's belief and yet he admits that one can have noninferential justification when one is not acquainted with the truthmaker of one's belief but instead acquainted with a very similar truth-maker. On the face of it this problem calls for clarification. However, there are skeptical issues lurking in the background. This paper explores these issues by developing (...)
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  16. Ted Poston (2009). Know How to Be Gettiered? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):743-747.
    Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson's influential article "Knowing How" argues that knowledge-how is a species of knowledge-that. One objection to their view is that knowledge-how is significantly different than knowledge-that because Gettier cases afflict the latter but not the former. Stanley and Williamson argue that this objection fails. Their response. however, is not adequate. Moreover, I sketch a plausible argument that knowledge-how is not susceptible to Gettier cases. This suggests a significant distinction between knowledge-that and knowledge-how.
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  17. Trent Dougherty & Ted Poston (2008). A User's Guide to Design Arguments. Religious Studies 44 (1):99-110.
    We argue that there is a tension between two types of design arguments-the fine-tuning argument (FTA) and the biological design argument (BDA). The tension arises because the strength of each argument is inversely proportional to the value of a certain currently unknown probability. Since the value of that probability is currently unknown, we investigate the properties of the FTA and BDA on different hypothetical values of this probability. If our central claim is correct this suggests three results: 1. It is (...)
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  18. Ted Poston (2008). Hell, Vagueness, and Justice. Faith and Philosophy 25 (3):322-328.
    Ted Sider’s paper “Hell and Vagueness” challenges a certain conception of Hell by arguing that it is inconsistent with God’s justice. Sider’s inconsistencyargument works only when supplemented by additional premises. Key to Sider’s case is a premise that the properties upon which eternal destinies superveneare “a smear,” i.e., they are distributed continuously among individuals in the world. We question this premise and provide reasons to doubt it. The doubts come from two sources. The first is based on evidential considerations borrowed (...)
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  19. Ted Poston, Internalism and Externalism in Epistemology. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  20. Ted Poston (2008). Justification Without Awareness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):570-573.
  21. Ted Poston & Trent Dougherty (2008). A User's Guide to Design Arguments. Religious Studies 44 (1):99 - 110.
    We argue that there is a tension between two types of design arguments: the fine-tuning argument (FTA) and the biological design argument (BDA). The tension arises because the strength of each argument is inversely proportional to the value of a certain currently unknown probability. Since the value of that probability is currently unknown, we investigate the properties of the FTA and BDA on different hypothetical values of this probability. If our central claim is correct this suggests three results: (1) It (...)
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  22. Ted Poston & Trent Dougherty (2008). Hell and Vagueness: Reply to Sider. Faith and Philosophy 25 (3):322-328.
    Ted Sider’s paper “Hell and Vagueness” challenges a certain conception of Hell by arguing that it is inconsistent with God’s justice. Sider’s inconsistency argument works only when supplemented by additional premises. Key to Sider’s case is a premise that the properties upon which eternal destinies supervene are “a smear,” i.e. they are distributed continuously among individuals in the <span class='Hi'>world</span>. We question this premise and provide reasons to doubt it. The doubts come from two sources. The first is based on (...)
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  23. Ted Poston (2007). Acquaintance and the Problem of the Speckled Hen. Philosophical Studies 132 (2):331 - 346.
    This paper responds to Ernest Sosa's recent criticism of Richard Fumerton's acquaintance theory. Sosa argues that Fumerton's account of non-inferential justification falls prey to the problem of the speckled hen. I argue that Sosa's criticisms are both illuminating and interesting but that Fumerton's theory can escape the problem of the speckled hen. More generally, the paper shows that an internalist account of non-inferential justification can survive the powerful objections of the Sellarsian dilemma and the problem of the speckled hen.
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  24. Ted Poston (2007). Foundational Evidentialism and the Problem of Scatter. Abstracta 3 (2):89-106.
    This paper addresses the scatter problem for foundational evidentialism. Reflection on the scatter problem uncovers significant epistemological lessons. The scatter problem is evaluated in connection with Ernest Sosa’s use of the problem as an argument against foundational evidentialism. Sosa’s strategy is to consider a strong intuition in favor of internalism—the new evil demon problem, and then illustrate how a foundational evidentialist account of the new evil demon problem succumbs to the scatter problem. The goal in this paper is to evaluate (...)
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  25. Ted Poston (2007). Nicholas Rescher: Common-Sense: A New Look at an Old Philosophical Tradition. Faith and Philosophy 24 (3):361-363.
     
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  26. Ted Poston (2007). Nicholas Rescher: Common-Sense. Faith and Philosophy 24 (3):361-363.
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  27. Ted Poston & Trent Dougherty (2007). Divine Hiddenness and the Nature of Belief. Religious Studies 43 (2):183 - 198.
    In this paper we argue that attention to the intricacies relating to belief illustrate crucial difficulties with Schellenberg's hiddenness argument. This issue has been only tangentially discussed in the literature to date. Yet we judge this aspect of Schellenberg's argument deeply significant. We claim that focus on the nature of belief manifests a central flaw in the hiddenness argument. Additionally, attention to doxastic subtleties provides important lessons about the nature of faith.
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