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Wes Siscoe
University of Cologne
  1. Rational Supererogation and Epistemic Permissivism.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):571-591.
    A number of authors have defended permissivism by appealing to rational supererogation, the thought that some doxastic states might be rationally permissible even though there are other, more rational beliefs available. If this is correct, then there are situations that allow for multiple rational doxastic responses, even if some of those responses are rationally suboptimal. In this paper, I will argue that this is the wrong approach to defending permissivism—there are no doxastic states that are rationally supererogatory. By the lights (...)
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    Real and Ideal Rationality.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):879-910.
    Formal epistemologists often claim that our credences should be representable by a probability function. Complete probabilistic coherence, however, is only possible for ideal agents, raising the question of how this requirement relates to our everyday judgments concerning rationality. One possible answer is that being rational is a contextual matter, that the standards for rationality change along with the situation. Just like who counts as tall changes depending on whether we are considering toddlers or basketball players, perhaps what counts as rational (...)
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  3. No Work for a Theory of Epistemic Dispositions.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2021 - Synthese 198 (4):3477-3498.
    Externalists about epistemic justification have long emphasized the connection between truth and justification, with this coupling finding explicit expression in process reliabilism. Process reliabilism, however, faces a number of severe difficulties, leading disenchanted process reliabilists to find a new theoretical home. The conceptual flag under which such epistemologists have preferred to gather is that of dispositions. Just as reliabilism is determined by the frequency of a particular outcome, making it possible to characterize justification in terms of a particular relationship to (...)
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    Thomas Reid, the Internalist.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):10.
    Philosophical orthodoxy holds that Thomas Reid is an externalist concerning epistemic justification, characterizing Reid as holding the key to an externalist response to internalism. These externalist accounts of Reid, however, have neglected his work on prejudice, a heretofore unexamined aspect of his epistemology. Reid’s work on prejudice reveals that he is far from an externalist. Despite the views Reid may have inspired, he exemplifies internalism in opting for an accessibility account of justification. For Reid, there are two normative statuses that (...)
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  5.  12
    Grounding and the Epistemic Regress Problem.Robert Weston Siscoe - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    Modal metaphysics consumed much of the philosophical discussion at the turn of the century, yielding a number of epistemological insights. Modal analyses were applied within epistemology, yielding sensitivity and safety theories of knowledge as well as counterfactual accounts of the basing relation. The contemporary conversation has now turned to a new metaphysical notion – grounding – opening the way to a fresh wave of insights by bringing grounding into epistemology. In this paper, I attempt one such application, making sense of (...)
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  6.  51
    Grounding and a Priori Epistemology: Challenges for Conceptualism.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4).
    Traditional rationalist approaches to a priori epistemology have long been looked upon with suspicion for positing a faculty of rational intuition capable of knowing truths about the world apart from experience. Conceptualists have tried to fill this void with something more empirically tractable, arguing that we know a priori truths due to our understanding of concepts. All of this theorizing, however, has carried on while neglecting an entire cross section of such truths, the grounding claims that we know a priori. (...)
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    Credal Accuracy and Knowledge.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Traditional epistemologists assumed that the most important doxastic norms were rational requirements on belief. This orthodoxy has recently been challenged by the work of revolutionary epistemologists on the rational requirements on credences. Revolutionary epistemology takes it that such contemporary work is important precisely because traditional epistemologists are mistaken—credal norms are more fundamental than, and determinative of, belief norms. To make sense of their innovative project, many revolutionary epistemologists have also adopted another commitment, that norms on credences are governed by a (...)
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  8. The Demandingness of Virtue.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (1):1-22.
    How demanding is the virtuous life? Can virtue exist alongside hints of vice? Is it possible to be virtuous within a vicious society? A line of thinking running through Diogenes and the Stoics is that even a hint of corruption is inimical to virtue, that participating in a vicious society makes it impossible for a person to be virtuous. One response to this difficulty is to claim that virtue is a threshold concept, that context sets a threshold for what is (...)
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    Seeking to Understand.Robert Weston Siscoe & Zachary Odermatt - forthcoming - Teaching Philosophy.
    It is no secret that we, as a society, struggle to have productive conversations about race and gender. Discussions about these issues are beset with obstacles, from the inherent power dynamics between conversation partners to the fear that participants feel about saying something harmful. One practice that can help address these difficulties is intergroup dialogue – sustained, small group discussions with participants from a variety of social identities. In this paper, we detail how we incorporated intergroup dialogue into a 120-student (...)
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