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Michael Blome-Tillmann
McGill University
  1.  64
    Knowledge and Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and Presuppositions develops a novel account of epistemic contextualism based on the idea that pragmatic presuppositions play a central role in the semantics of knowledge attributions. According to Blome-Tillmann, knowledge attributions are sensitive to what is pragmatically presupposed at the context of ascription. The resulting theory--Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism (PEC)--is simple and straightforward, yet powerful enough to have far-reaching and important consequences for a variety of hotly debated issues in epistemology and philosophy of language. -/- In this book, Blome-Tillmann first (...)
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  2. Conversational Implicatures (and How to Spot Them).Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2013 - 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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  3. Conversational Implicature and the Cancellability Test.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2008 - Analysis 68 (2):156-160.
  4. Counter Closure and Knowledge Despite Falsehood.Brian Ball & Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):552-568.
    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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  5. Sensitivity, Causality, and Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):102-112.
    Recent attempts to resolve the Paradox of the Gatecrasher rest on a now familiar distinction between individual and bare statistical evidence. This paper investigates two such approaches, the causal approach to individual evidence and a recently influential (and award-winning) modal account that explicates individual evidence in terms of Nozick's notion of sensitivity. This paper offers counterexamples to both approaches, explicates a problem concerning necessary truths for the sensitivity account, and argues that either view is implausibly committed to the impossibility of (...)
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  6. Knowledge and Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - 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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  7. Sensitivity Actually.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):606-625.
    A number of prominent epistemologists claim that the principle of sensitivity “play[s] a starring role in the solution to some important epistemological problems”. I argue that traditional sensitivity accounts fail to explain even the most basic data that are usually considered to constitute their primary motivation. To establish this result I develop Gettier and lottery cases involving necessary truths. Since beliefs in necessary truths are sensitive by default, the resulting cases give rise to a serious explanatory problem for the defenders (...)
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  8. Contextualism, Subject-Sensitive Invariantism, and the Interaction of ‘Knowledge’-Ascriptions with Modal and Temporal Operators.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - 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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  9. The Indexicality of 'Knowledge'.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2008 - 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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  10. Knowledge and Implicatures.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2013 - 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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  11. The Folly of Trying to Define Knowledge.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2007 - 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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  12. A Closer Look at Closure Scepticism.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Paperback) 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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  13. Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2012 - In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. pp. 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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  14.  10
    Subject-Sensitive Invariantism, High-Stakes/Low-Stakes Cases, and Presupposition Suspension.Michael Blome-Tillmann - forthcoming - Episteme:1-6.
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  15. Solving the Moorean Puzzle.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):493-514.
    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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  16. Non-Cognitivism and the Grammar of Morality.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - 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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  17. Indexical Reliabilism and the New Evil Demon.Brian Ball & Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2013 - 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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  18. 'More Likely Than Not' - Knowledge First and the Role of Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2017 - In Adam Carter, Emma Gordon & Benjamin Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First - Approaches in Epistemology and Mind. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 278-292.
    The paper takes a closer look at the role of knowledge and evidence in legal theory. In particular, the paper examines a puzzle arising from the evidential standard Preponderance of the Evidence and its application in civil procedure. Legal scholars have argued since at least the 1940s that the rule of the Preponderance of the Evidence gives rise to a puzzle concerning the role of statistical evidence in judicial proceedings, sometimes referred to as the Problem of Bare Statistical Evidence. While (...)
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  19. Ignorance, Presuppositions, and the Simple View.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1221-1230.
    Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa has presented a series of examples that are meant to spell trouble for Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism. In this short article I aim to establish two things. First, I argue that even if Ichikawa’s examples were viable counterexamples to PEC, they would not threaten the key ideas underlying the account in my 2009 article ‘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 (...)
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  20. Contextualism, Safety and Epistemic Relevance.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - 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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  21. Contextualism and the Knowledge Norms.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2013 - 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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  22. Skepticism and Contextualism.Michael Blome-Tillmann - forthcoming - In Diego E. Machuca & Baron Reed (eds.), Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present. Continuum.
  23. Ignorance and Epistemic Contextualism.Michael Blome-Tillmann - forthcoming - In The Epistemic Dimensions of Ignorance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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  24. Contextualism and the Epistemological Enterprise.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2007 - 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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  25.  22
    Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2012 - In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. pp. 104.
  26.  1
    XIV-Moral Non-Cognitivism and the Grammar of Morality.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt3):279-309.
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