Abilities and possibilities
I argue that the classical quantificational semantics of ability modals fails to account for a normatively central kind of ability, and suggest a minor tweak to fix the problem.
Modal Epistemology without Modal Facts
I explore a projectivist account of modality and argue that it better
explains our practice of acquiring modal beliefs than realist accounts.
Evidentialism and Conservatism in Bayesian Epistemology
I show that in a variety of scenarios, including the Sleeping Beauty
problem, there is tension between the "evidentialist" norm that one
should proportion one's beliefs to the evidence and the "conservative"
norm that one should only changes one's beliefs for good reasons. I
argue that we should jettison the evidentialist norm.
Haecceities, Quiddities, and Structure
I seem to suggest that all truths, or at least all truths we can
entertain, are made true by the abstract structure of the world.
Objects of Choice
I suggest that an agent's decision-theoretic options should be construed as
primitive propositions corresponding to possible outputs of her
Discourse, Diversity, and Free Choice
I give a broadly Gricean explanation of various "free choice"
phenomena, using ideas from dynamic semantics.
A defense of sense-datum theory, an answer to the input problem
for Jeffrey conditioning, and a solution to the hard problem of
Generalising Kripke Semantics for Quantified Modal Logics
I define Kripke-style counterpart models for a wide range of
quantified modal logics, and prove characterisation and correspondence
Forthcoming in D.Ball and B.Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning, Oxford University Press.
I outline an approach to semantics in which it makes sense to construe
meanings as sets of possible worlds, and raise some questions about
how we should understand the relevant space of worlds.
No Interpretation of Probability
Forthcoming in Erkenntnis (Online 15 September 2017).
I argue that none of the usual "interpretations of probability"
provides a plausible account of probabilistic theories in science,
and suggest an alternative.
Subjunctive Conditional Probability
Forthcoming in The Journal of Philosophical Logic (Online 14 November 2016).
I discuss recent triviality results for counterfactuals, and
different proposals for how to understand subjunctive conditional
Diachronic Norms for Self-Locating Beliefs
In Ergo 4 (2017): 709--738 (Online 22 November 2017.
I critically survey most norms that have been proposed for updating self-locating
credences, and explain why such norms are needed.
Granularity Problems (with Jens Christian Bjerring)
In The Philosophical Quarterly 67 (2017): 22--37 (Online 05 April 2016).
We argue (i) that impossible worlds are less useful to model
fine-grained linguistic or mental content than often assumed, and
(ii) that it is hard to find a notion of content that is neither too
coarse-grained nor too fine-grained.
Best System Approaches to Chance
In The Oxford Handbook of Probability and
Philosophy, edited by Al Hajek and Chris Hitchcock, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016: 423-439
An advertisement for Best System Accounts of chance, disguised as a
Lost Memories and Useless Coins: Revisiting
the Absentminded Driver
In Synthese 192 (2015): 3011--3036 (Online 26 February 2015).
I analyse the paradox of the absentminded driver from different
perspectives, and make a few general remarks about unstable decision
problems, mixed strategies and the link between objective chance and
Belief Update across Fission
In The British Journal for the
Philosophy of Science 66 (2015): 659-682
11 August 2014).
I complete the update rule proposed
in "Changing minds in a changing
worlds" by extending it to cases of fission, and add some new
arguments and clarifications.
In Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015: 504-518
A critical overview of Lewis's philosophy of mind, with some general
remarks on methodological issues.
Review of Tychomancy
In Philosophy of Science 82 (2015): 313--320. (On JSTOR.)
An essay review of Michael Strevens's Tychomancy: Inferring probability from causal structure.
Counterpart Theory and the Paradox of Occasional Identity
In Mind 123 (2014): 1057-1094. (Online)
I present an extended counterpart-theoretic semantics for modal and
temporal languages to account for paradoxes of occasional
identity. Unlike in standard counterpart theory, Humphrey's
counterpart at other worlds or times turns out to be none other than
Proving the Principal Principle
In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014: 81-99.
I explain how various Humean accounts of chance, together with
independently plausible constraints on rational belief, entail the
In Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2014): 17-36 (Online 13 March 2013).
I argue that there is no good evidence that Lewis ever endorsed a magnetic
conception of meaning, and that his actual account of language reveals
convincing arguments against it.
In Philosophy Compass 8 (2013):
486-495 (Online 27 March 2013).
A review of arguments for and against the coherence of contingent
Variations on a Montagovian Theme
In Synthese 190 (2013): 3377-3395 (Online 15 September 2012).
In some contexts, one might want to model the objects of knowledge,
belief, probability, apriority or analyticity as sentences. However,
this idea faces serious obstacles from mathematical logic.
How Things are Elsewhere: Adventures in Counterpart Semantics
In Greg Restall and Gillian Russell (eds.), New Waves in Philosophical Logic, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian 2012: 8-29.
- I defend a simple model theory for quantified modal and hybrid
logics based on ideas from counterpart theory.
Changing Minds in a Changing World
In Philosophical Studies 159 (2012): 219-239 (Online 20 January 2011).
I propose a general rule for updating beliefs that takes into account
both the impact of new evidence and changes in the subject's location.
Modal Metaphysics and Conceptual Metaphysics
In H. Bohse et al. (Eds.), Selected Papers Contributed to the Sections of GAP.6, Sixth International Congress of the German Society for Analytical Philosophy, Paderborn: mentis 2007: 520-528
I compare the old-fashioned view of metaphysics as an inquiry
into broadly conceptual connections with the by now equally old-fashioned view
of metaphysics as an inquiry into modal connections. I argue against
proposals by Jackson and Lewis that the two projects ultimately coincide, and
claim that we should prefer the conceptual project.
Some older drafts
Lewisian Meaning without Naturalness
Draft (2006). A predecessor
of "Against Magnetism"
It is widely assumed that objective naturalness plays
a central role in Lewis's theory meaning. I argue that this is wrong:
naturalness does figure in Lewis's theory, but its role is limited and
it could be dropped without great damage.
Emperors, dragons, and other mathematicalia
One of the most intriguing applications of possibilia is the reduction
of mathematical truths. I argue that this is not only technically
feasible, but also supported by general methodological considerations,
that it reflects a natural understanding of mathematical statements
and that it solves most of the philosophical puzzles surrounding
Parts and Counterparts
Ordinary objects - people, planets, tables and rivers - exist at
various worlds, times and places. But what does that mean? One account
says that things exist at other worlds, times and places by having parts at
these worlds, times and places. Another says that they have counterparts
there. I argue that these two accounts are one and the same.