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Profile: Rachel McKinnon (College of Charleston)
  1. The Supportive Reasons Norm of Assertion.Rachel McKinnon - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2):121-135.
    In this paper I present my proposal for the central norm governing the practice of assertion, which I call the Supportive Reasons Norm of Assertion (SRNA). The critical features of this norm are that it's highly sensitive to the context of assertion, such that the requirements for warrantedly asserting a proposition shift with changes in context, and that truth is not a necessary condition for warrantedly asserting. In fact, I argue that there are some cases where a speaker may warrantedly (...)
     
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  2. Trans*Formative Experiences.Rachel McKinnon - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):419-440.
    What happens when we consider transformative experiences from the perspective of gender transitions? In this paper I suggest that at least two insights emerge. First, trans* persons’ experiences of gender transitions show some limitations to L.A. Paul’s (forthcoming) decision theoretic account of transformative decisions. This will involve exploring some of the phenomenology of coming to know that one is trans, and in coming to decide to transition. Second, what epistemological effects are there to undergoing a transformative experience? By connecting some (...)
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  3. Stereotype Threat and Attributional Ambiguity for Trans Women.Rachel Mckinnon - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (1):857-872.
    In this paper I discuss the interrelated topics of stereotype threat and attributional ambiguity as they relate to gender and gender identity. The former has become an emerging topic in feminist philosophy and has spawned a tremendous amount of research in social psychology and elsewhere. But the discussion, at least in how it connects to gender, is incomplete: the focus is only on cisgender women and their experiences. By considering trans women's experiences of stereotype threat and attributional ambiguity, we gain (...)
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  4. Epistemic Injustice.Rachel McKinnon - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (8):437-446.
    There's been a great deal of interest in epistemology regarding what it takes for a hearer to come to know on the basis of a speaker's say-so. That is, there's been much work on the epistemology of testimony. However, what about when hearers don't believe speakers when they should? In other words, what are we to make of when testimony goes wrong? A recent topic of interest in epistemology and feminist philosophy is how we sometimes fail to believe speakers due (...)
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  5.  38
    Getting Luck Properly Under Control.Rachel McKinnon - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (4):496-511.
    This article proposes a new account of luck and how luck impacts attributions of credit for agents' actions. It proposes an analogy with the expected value of a series of wagers and argues that luck is the difference between actual outcomes and expected value. The upshot of the argument is that when considering the interplay of intention, chance, outcomes, skill, and actions, we ought to be more parsimonious in our attributions of credit when exercising a skill and obtaining successful outcomes, (...)
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  6.  67
    What I Learned in the Lunch Room About Assertion and Practical Reasoning.Rachel McKinnon - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (4):565-569.
    It is increasingly argued that there is a single unified constitutive norm of both assertion and practical reasoning. The most common suggestion is that knowledge is this norm. If this is correct, then we would expect that a diagnosis of problematic assertions should manifest as problematic reasons for acting. Jennifer Lackey has recently argued that assertions epistemically grounded in isolated second-hand knowledge (ISHK) are unwarranted. I argue that decisions epistemically grounded in premises based on ISHK also seem inappropriate. I finish (...)
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  7.  53
    Lotteries, Knowledge, and Irrelevant Alternatives.Rachel McKinnon - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (3):523-549.
    The lottery paradox plays an important role in arguments for various norms of assertion. Why is it that, prior to information on the results of a draw, assertions such as, “My ticket lost,” seem inappropriate? This paper is composed of two projects. First, I articulate a number of problems arising from Timothy Williamson’s analysis of the lottery paradox. Second, I propose a relevant alternatives theory, which I call the Non-Destabilizing Alternatives Theory , that better explains the pathology of asserting lottery (...)
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  8. How Do You Know That 'How Do You Know?' Challenges a Speaker's Knowledge?Rachel McKinnon - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (1):65-83.
    It is often argued that the general propriety of challenging an assertion with ‘How do you know?’ counts as evidence for the Knowledge Norm of Assertion (KNA). Part of the argument is that this challenge seems to directly challenge whether a speaker knows what she asserts. In this article I argue for a re-interpretation of the data, the upshot of which is that we need not interpret ‘How do you know?’ as directly challenging a speaker's knowledge; instead, it's better understood (...)
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  9. Norms of Assertion: Truth, Lies, and Warrant.Rachel McKinnon - 2015 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    This book is about the norms of the speech act of assertion. This is a topic of lively contemporary debate primarily carried out in epistemology and philosophy of language. Suppose that you ask me what time an upcoming meeting starts, and I say, “4 p.m.” I’ve just asserted that the meeting starts at 4 p.m. Whenever we make claims like this, we’re asserting. The central question here is whether we need to know what we say, and, relatedly, whether what we (...)
     
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  10.  18
    Survey Article: On the Nature of the Political Concept of Privilege.Rachel McKinnon & Adam Sennet - 2017 - Journal of Political Philosophy 25 (4):487-507.
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  11.  20
    You Make Your Own Luck.Rachel McKinnon - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):558-577.
    This essay takes up two questions. First, what does it mean to say that someone creates her own luck? At least colloquially speaking, luck is conceived as something out of an agent's control. So how could an agent increase or decrease the likelihood that she'll be lucky? Building on some recent work on the metaphysics of luck, the essay argues that there is a sense in which agents can create their own luck because people with more skill tend to have (...)
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  12.  66
    Irksome Assertions.Rachel McKinnon & John Turri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):123-128.
    The Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA) says that knowledge is the norm of assertion: you may assert a proposition only if you know that it’s true. The primary support for KAA is an explanatory inference from a broad range of linguistic data. The more data that KAA well explains, the stronger the case for it, and the more difficult it is for the competition to keep pace. In this paper we critically assess a purported new linguistic datum, which, it has (...)
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  13.  54
    Reasonable Assertions: On Norms of Assertion and Why You Don't Need to Know What You're Talking About.Rachel McKinnon - unknown
    There’s a widespread conviction in the norms of assertion literature that an agent’s asserting something false merits criticism. As Williamson puts it, asserting something false is likened to cheating at the game of assertion. Most writers on the topic have consequently proposed factive norms of assertion – ones on which truth is a necessary condition for the proper performance of an assertion. However, I argue that this view is mistaken. I suggest that we can illuminate the error by introducing a (...)
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  14.  87
    Lotteries, Knowledge, and Practical Reasoning.Rachel McKinnon - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (2):225-231.
    This paper addresses an argument offered by John Hawthorne gainst the propriety of an agent’s using propositions she does not know as premises in practical reasoning. I will argue that there are a number of potential structural confounds in Hawthorne’s use of his main example, a case of practical reasoning about a lottery. By drawing these confounds out more explicitly, we can get a better sense of how to make appropriate use of such examples in theorizing about norms, knowledge, and (...)
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  15.  38
    This Paper Took Too Long to Write: A Puzzle About Overcoming Weakness of Will.Rachel McKinnon & Mathieu Doucet - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (1):49-69.
    The most discussed puzzle about weakness of will (WoW) is how it is possible: how can a person freely and intentionally perform actions that she judges she ought not perform, or that she has resolved not to perform? In this paper, we are concerned with a much less discussed puzzle about WoW?how is overcoming it possible? We explain some of the ways in which previously weak-willed agents manage to overcome their weakness. Some of these are relatively straightforward?as agents learn of (...)
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    Justification and the Truth-Connection, by Clayton Littlejohn. [REVIEW]Rachel McKinnon - 2014 - Mind 123 (491):931-937.
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    Sure the Emperor Has No Clothes, but You Shouldn't Say That.Rachel McKinnon & Paul Simard Smith - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):825-829.
    In the norms of assertion literature there has been continued focus on a wide range of odd-sounding assertions that have been collected under the umbrella of Moore’s Paradox. Our aim in these brief remarks is not to attempt to settle the question of what makes an utterance Moorean decisively, but rather to present some new data bearing on it, and to argue that this new data is best explained by a new account of Moorean absurdity.
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