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Profile: Mikkel Gerken (University of Edinburgh)
  1.  47
    Knowledge Ascriptions.Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.) - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge ascriptions are a central topic of research in both philosophy and science. In this collection of new essays on knowledge ascriptions, world class philosophers offer novel approaches to this long standing topic.
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  2. Epistemic Focal Bias.Mikkel Gerken - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):41 - 61.
    This paper defends strict invariantism against some philosophical and empirical data that have been taken to compromise it. The defence involves a combination of a priori philosophical arguments and empirically informed theorizing. The positive account of the data is an epistemic focal bias account that draws on cognitive psychology. It involves the assumption that, owing to limitations of the involved cognitive resources, intuitive judgments about knowledge ascriptions are generated by processing only a limited part of the available information?the part that (...)
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  3. Warrant and Action.Mikkel Gerken - 2011 - Synthese 178 (3):529-547.
    I develop an approach to action and practical deliberation according to which the degree of epistemic warrant required for practical rationality varies with practical context. In some contexts of practical deliberation, very strong warrant is called for. In others, less will do. I set forth a warrant account, (WA), that captures this idea. I develop and defend (WA) by arguing that it is more promising than a competing knowledge account of action due to John Hawthorne and Jason Stanley. I argue (...)
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  4. Same, Same but Different: The Epistemic Norms of Assertion, Action and Practical Reasoning.Mikkel Gerken - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):725-744.
    What is the relationship between the epistemic norms of assertion and the epistemic norms of action/practical reasoning? Brown argues that the standards for practical reasoning and assertion are distinct (Brown 2012). In contrast, Montminy argues that practical reasoning and assertion must be governed by the same norm (Montminy 2012). Likewise, McKinnon has articulated an argument for a unified account from cases of isolated second-hand knowledge (McKinnon 2012). To clarify the issue, I articulate a distinction between Equivalence Commonality and Structural Commonality. (...)
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  5.  90
    Discursive Justification and Skepticism.Mikkel Gerken - 2012 - Synthese 189 (2):373-394.
    In this paper, I consider how a general epistemic norm of action that I have proposed in earlier work should be specified in order to govern certain types of acts: assertive speech acts. More specifically, I argue that the epistemic norm of assertion is structurally similar to the epistemic norm of action. First, I argue that the notion of warrant operative in the epistemic norm of a central type of assertion is an internalist one that I call ‘discursive justification.’ This (...)
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  6. Internalism and Externalism in the Epistemology of Testimony.Mikkel Gerken - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):532-557.
    Is the nature of testimonial warrant epistemically internalist or externalist? I will argue that the question should be answered ‘yes!’ The disjunction is not exclusive. Rather, a testimonial belief may possess epistemically internalist warrant—justification—as well as epistemically externalist warrant—entitlement. I use the label ‘pluralism’ to denote the view that there are both internalist and externalist species of genuinely epistemic warrant and argue for pluralism in the epistemology of testimony.
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  7.  71
    Does Contextualism Hinge on A Methodological Dispute?Jie Gao, Mikkel Gerken & Stephen B. Ryan - forthcoming - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism.
    In this entry, we provide an overview of some of the methodological debates surrounding contextualism and consider whether they are, in effect, based on an underlying methodological dispute. We consider three modes of motivation of epistemic contextualism including i) the method of cases, ii) the appeal to linguistic analogies and iii) the appeal to conceptual analogies and functional roles. We also consider the methodological debates about contextualism arising from experimental philosophy. We conclude that i) there is no distinctive methodological doctrine (...)
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  8.  91
    The Roles of Knowledge Ascriptions in Epistemic Assessment.Mikkel Gerken - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):141-161.
    Knowledge norms of action are sometimes said to be motivated by the fact that they align with natural assessments of action in ordinary language. Competent and rational speakers normally use ‘knowledge’ and its cognates when they assess action. In contrast, competing accounts in terms of evidence, warrant or reliability do not straightforwardly align with ordinary language assessments of action. In response to this line of reasoning, I argue that a warrant account of action may explain the prominence of ‘knowledge’ in (...)
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  9.  48
    How to Do Things with Knowledge Ascriptions.Mikkel Gerken - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):223-234.
    I discuss Lawlor’s Austinian account of knowledge ascriptions and argue that it is a brand of pragmatic encroachment. I then criticize the motivation for pragmatic encroachment theories that derives from assumptions about the functional role of knowledge ascriptions. I argue that this criticism also apply to contextualist followers of Craig. Finally, I suggest that the central lesson from reflection on the communicative functions of knowledge ascriptions is that they, upon reflection, motivate traditional invariantism.
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  10. Against Knowledge-First Epistemology.Mikkel Gerken - forthcoming - In Gordon and Jarvis Carter (ed.), Knowledge-First Approaches in Epistemology and Mind. Oxford University Press.
    I begin by criticizing reductionist knowledge-first epistemology according to which knowledge can be used to reductively analyze other epistemic phenomena. My central concern is that proponents of such an approach commit a similar mistake to the one that they charge their opponents with. This is the mistake of seeking to reductively analyze basic epistemic phenomena in terms of other allegedly more fundamental phenomena. I then turn to non-reductionist brands of knowledge-first epistemology. Specifically, I consider the knowledge norms of assertion and (...)
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  11.  52
    Epistemic Reasoning and the Mental.Mikkel Gerken - 2013 - Palgrave Macmillan (Innovations in Philosophy).
    Epistemic Reasoning and the Mental integrates the epistemology of reasoning and philosophy of mind. The book contains introductions to basic concepts in the epistemology of inference and to important aspects of the philosophy of mind. By examining the fundamental competencies involved in reasoning, Gerken argues that reasoning's epistemic force depends on the external environment in ways that are both surprising and epistemologically important. -/- For example, Gerken argues that purportedly deductive reasoning that exhibits the fallacy of equivocation may nevertheless transmit (...)
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  12.  22
    The New Evil Demon and the Devil in the Details.Mikkel Gerken - forthcoming - In The Factive Turn in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    I will argue that cases of massive deception, such as New Evil Demon cases, as well as one-off cases of local deception present challenges to views according to which epistemic reasons, epistemic warrant, epistemic rationality or epistemic norms are factive. In doing so, I will argue is that proponents of a factive turn in epistemology should observe important distinctions between what are often simply referred to as ‘bad cases.’ Recognizing epistemologically significant differences between deception cases raises serious challenges for those (...)
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  13. On the Cognitive Bases of Knowledge Ascriptions.Mikkel Gerken - 2012 - In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press.
    I develop an epistemic focal bias account of certain patterns of judgments about knowledge ascriptions by integrating it with a general dual process framework of human cognition. According to the focal bias account, judgments about knowledge ascriptions are generally reliable but systematically fallible because the cognitive processes that generate them are affected by what is in focus. I begin by considering some puzzling patters of judgments about knowledge ascriptions and sketch how a basic focal bias account seeks to account for (...)
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  14. A False Dilemma for Anti-Individualism.Mikkel Gerken - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4):329-42.
    It is often presupposed that an anti-individualist about representational mental states must choose between two accounts of no-reference cases. One option is said to be an ‘illusion of thought’ version according to which the subject in a no-reference case fails to think a first-order thought but rather has the illusion of having one. The other is a ‘descriptive’ version according to which one thinks an empty thought via a description. While this presupposition is not uncommon, it rarely surfaces in an (...)
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  15. Conceptual Equivocation and Warrant by Reasoning.Mikkel Gerken - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):381-400.
    In this paper, I challenge a widely presupposed principle in the epistemology of inference. The principle, (Validity Requirement), is this: S’s (purportedly deductive) reasoning, R, from warranted premise-beliefs provides (conditional) warrant for S’s belief in its conclusion only if R is valid. I argue against (Validity Requirement) from two prominent assumptions in the philosophy of mind: that the cognitive competencies that constitute reasoning are fallible, and that the attitudes operative in reasoning are anti-individualistically individuated. Indeed, my discussion will amount to (...)
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  16. Philosophical Insights and Modal Cognition.Mikkel Gerken - 2015 - In Eugen Fischer John Collins (ed.), Experimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and Naturalism. pp. 110-131.
    Modal rationalists uphold a strong constitutive relationship between a priori cognition and modal cognition. Since both a priori cognition and modal cognition have been taken to be characteristic of philosophical insights, I will critically assess an ambitious modal rationalism and an associated ambitious methodological rationalism. I begin by examining Kripkean cases of the necessary a posteriori in order to characterize the ambitious modal rationalism that will be the focus of my criticism. I then argue that there is a principled association (...)
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  17.  71
    Conceptual Equivocation and Epistemic Relevance.Mikkel Gerken - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (2):117-132.
    Much debate has surrounded "switching" scenarios in which a subject's reasoning is said to exhibit the fallacy of equivocation ( Burge 1988 ; Boghossian 1992, 1994 ). Peter Ludlow has argued that such scenarios are "epistemically prevalent" and, therefore, epistemically relevant alternatives ( Ludlow 1995a ). Since a distinctive feature of the cases in question is that the subject blamelessly engages in conceptual equivocation, we may label them 'equivocational switching cases'. Ludlow's influential argument occurs in a discussion about compatibilism with (...)
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  18.  44
    Critical Study of Goldberg's Relying on Others. [REVIEW]Mikkel Gerken - 2012 - Episteme 9 (1):81-88.
    This critical study of Sanford Goldberg's Relying on Others focuses on the book's central claim, the extendedness hypothesis, according to which the processes relevant for assessing the reliability of a hearer's testimonial belief include the cognitive processes involved in the production of the testimony.
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  19. Critical Notice: Essays on Skepticism. [REVIEW]Mikkel Gerken - 2012 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (1):65-77.
    This critical study of Anthony Brueckner’s essay collection on skepticism emphasizes interconnections between the various essays. In particular, it considers Brueckner’s discussion of transcendental anti-skeptical arguments from the theses of anti-individualism and privileged self-knowledge. Finally, some overarching methodological lessons are drawn.
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  20.  64
    Is There a Simple Argument for Higher-Order Representation Theories of Awareness Consciousness?Mikkel Gerken - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (2):243-259.
    William Lycan has articulated “a simple argument” for higher-order representation (HOR) theories of a variety of consciousness sometimes labeled ‘awareness consciousness’ (Lycan, Analysis 61.1, January 3–4, 2001). The purpose of this article is to critically assess the influential argument-strategy of the simple argument. I argue that, as stated, the simple argument fails since it is invalid. Moreover, I argue that an obvious “quick fix” would beg the question against competing same-order representation (SOR) theories of awareness consciousness. I then provide a (...)
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  21.  35
    Outsourced Cognition.Mikkel Gerken - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):127-158.
    Recent developments in technologically enabled social cognition call for a rethinking of many aspects of human cognition. According to the hypothesis of extended cognition, we must revise our psychological categories by eliminating allegedly superficial distinctions between internal cognition and external processes. As an alternative to this proposal, I outline a hypothesis of outsourced cognition which seeks to respect distinctions that are operative in both folk psychology and the social and cognitive sciences. According to this hypothesis, the cognitive states and processes (...)
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  22.  15
    Introduction: Knowledge Ascriptions - Their Semantics, Cognitive Bases and Social Functions.Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken - 2012 - In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-30.
  23.  85
    Is Internalism About Knowledge Consistent with Content Externalism?Mikkel Gerken - 2008 - Philosophia 36 (1):87-96.
    There is widespread suspicion that there is a principled conflict between epistemic internalism and content externalism (or anti-individualism). Despite the prominence of this suspicion, it has rarely been substantiated by explicit arguments. However, Duncan Pritchard and Jesper Kallestrup have recently provided a prima facie argument concluding that internalism about knowledge and externalism about content are incompatible. I criticize the incompatibilist argument and conclude that the purported incompatibility is, at best, prima facie. This is, in part, because several steps in the (...)
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  24.  64
    Univocal Reasoning and Inferential Presuppositions.Mikkel Gerken - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (3):373-394.
    I pursue an answer to the psychological question “what is it for S to presuppose that p?” I will not attempt a general answer. Rather, I will explore a particular kind of presuppositions that are constituted by the mental act of reasoning: Inferential presuppositions. Indeed, I will consider a specific kind of inferential presuppositions—one that is constituted by a specific reasoning competence: The univocality competence. Roughly, this is the competence that reliably governs the univocal thought-components’ operation as univocal in a (...)
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  25.  69
    Knowledge in and Out of Contrast.Mikkel Gerken & James R. Beebe - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):133-164.
    We report and discuss the results of a series of experiments that address a contrast effect exhibited by folk judgments about knowledge ascriptions. The contrast effect, which was first reported by Schaffer and Knobe, is an important aspect of our folk epistemology. However, there are competing theoretical accounts of it. We shed light on the various accounts by providing novel empirical data and theoretical considerations. Our key findings are, firstly, that belief ascriptions exhibit a similar contrast effect and, secondly, that (...)
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  26.  67
    A Puzzle About Mental Self-Representation and Causation.Mikkel Gerken - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):890-906.
    The paper articulates a puzzle that consists in the prima facie incompatibility between three widely accepted theses. The first thesis is, roughly, that there are intrinsically selfrepresentational thoughts. The second thesis is, roughly, that there is a particular causal constraint on mental representation. The third thesis is, roughly, that nothing causes itself. In this paper, the theses are articulated in a less rough manner with the occurrence of the puzzle as a result. Finally, a number of solution strategies are considered, (...)
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  27.  26
    The Epistemic Norms of Intra-Scientific Testimony.Mikkel Gerken - 2015 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (6):568-595.
    What is the epistemic position that a scientist must be in vis-à-vis a proposition, p, to be in a good enough epistemic position to assert that p to a fellow scientist within the scientific process? My aim is to provide an answer to this question and, more generally, to connect the epistemological debates about the epistemic norms of assertion to the debates about the nature of the scientific process. The question is important because science is a collaborative enterprise based on (...)
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  28.  11
    Essays on Skepticism.Mikkel Gerken - 2012 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (1):65-77.
  29.  10
    Introduction: Social Cognitive Ecology and Its Role in Social Epistemology.Mikkel Gerken, Jesper Kallestrup, Klemens Kappel & Duncan Pritchard - 2011 - Episteme 8 (1):1-5.