Published / Forthcoming

Forthcoming

Epistemic conflicts and the form of epistemic rules, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.

Abstract: While such epistemic rules as ‘If you perceive that X, you ought to believe that X’ and ‘If you have outstanding testimony that X, you ought to believe that X’ seem to be getting at important truths, it is easy to think of cases in which they come into conflict. To avoid classifying such cases as dilemmas, one can hold either that epistemic rules have built-in unless-clauses listing the circumstances under which they don’t apply, or, alternatively, that epistemic rules are contributory. This paper explores both responses from a formal perspective, drawing on a simple defeasible logic framework.

2023

Conciliatory reasoning, self-defeat, and abstract argumentation, The Review of Symbolic Logic 16(3), 740–87.

Abstract: According to conciliatory views on the significance of disagreement, it’s rational for you to become less confident in your take on an issue in case your epistemic peer’s take on it is different. These views are intuitively appealing, but they also face a powerful objection: in scenarios that involve disagreements over their own correctness, conciliatory views appear to self-defeat and, thereby, issue inconsistent recommendations. This paper provides a response to this objection. Drawing on the work from defeasible logics paradigm and abstract argumentation, it develops a formal model of conciliatory reasoning and explores its behavior in the troubling scenarios. The model suggests that the recommendations that conciliatory views issue in such scenarios are perfectly reasonable—even if outwardly they may look odd.

Evidence and facts about incoherence: Reply to Schmidt, Asian Journal of Philosophy 2(2), 52, 1–11.

Abstract: In her recent `Facts about incoherence as non-evidential epistemic reasons,’ Eva Schmidt defends the claim that not all epistemic reasons are provided by evidence. Schmidt presents three cases describing agents with incoherent beliefs and argues that, in each case, the fact that an agent’s beliefs are incoherent provides her with a non-evidential epistemic reason to suspend judgment on the issue that her beliefs are about. While I find the suggestion that facts about incoherence can play positive roles in our cognitive lives intriguing, I have three reservations about Schmidt’s view: the first concerns her conceptual framework—I think it is less neutral than it appears to be—the second concerns the view’s behavior in certain kinds of scenarios involving higher-order evidence, and the third has to do with some implausible consequences of the view. I also hint at an alternative account of the positive role of facts about incoherence.

Beyond reasons and obligations: A dual-role approach to reasons and supererogation, with D. Streit, in: J. Maranhão et al. (eds.) Deontic Logic and Normative Systems: 16th International Conference (DEON2023), College Publications, 119–37.

Abstract: Dual-role approaches to reasons say, roughly, that reasons can relate to actions in two fundamentally different ways: they can either require conformity, or justify an action without requiring that it be taken. This paper develops a formal dual-role approach, combining ideas from defeasible logic and practical philosophy. It then uses the approach to shed light on the phenomenon of supererogation and resolve a well-known puzzle about supererogation, namely, Horton’s All or Nothing Problem.

Reason-based detachment, with L. van der Torre, in: B. Bentzen et al. (eds.) Joint Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Logics for New-Generation Artificial Intelligence and the International Workshop on Logic, AI, and Law (LNGAI/LAIL2023), College Publications, 49–65.

Abstract: The philosophical literature often conceives of the interaction between normative reasons, understood as considerations that count in favor of or against actions, by analogy with weight scales. This paper construes it as a type of inference pattern and analyzes it from first principles. While abstract and exploratory, the approach offers a novel perspective on the (philosophical) idea of weighing normative reasons, and promises to let us relate it to the broader concerns of nonmonotonic logic and related disciplines.

Reasons in weighted argumentation graphs, with D. Streit and V. de Wit, in: N. Alechina et al. (eds.) 9th International Conference on Logic, Rationality, and Interaction (LORI2023). Springer, 251–9.

Abstract: The philosophical literature that tackles foundational questions about normativity often appeals to normative reasons—or considerations that count in favor of or against actions—and their interaction. The interaction between normative reasons is usually made sense of by appealing to the metaphor of (normative) weight scales. This paper substitutes an argumentation-theoretic model for this metaphor. The upshot is a general and precise model that is faithful to the philosophical ideas.

2022

Conciliatory views, higher-order disagreements, and defeasible logic, Synthese 200(2), 173, 1–23.

Abstract: Conciliatory views of disagreement say, roughly, that it’s rational for you to become less confident in your take on an issue in case you find out that an epistemic peer’s take on it is the opposite. Their intuitive appeal notwithstanding, there are well-known worries about the behavior of conciliatory views in scenarios involving higher-order disagreements, which include disagreements over these views themselves and disagreements over the peer status of alleged epistemic peers. This paper does two things. First, it explains how the core idea behind conciliatory views can be expressed in a defeasible logic framework. The result is a formal model that’s particularly useful for thinking about the behavior of conciliatory views in cases involving higher-order disagreements. And second, the paper uses this model to resolve three paradoxes associated with disagreements over epistemic peerhood.

XAI and philosophical work on explanation: A roadmap, with T. Raleigh, in G. Boella et al. (eds.) Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Bias, Ethical AI, Explainability, and the Role of Logic and Logic Programming (BEWARE2022), CEUR-WS.org/Vol-3319, 101–6.

Abstract: What Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) can do is highly impressive, yet they are notoriously opaque. Responding to the worries associated with this opaqueness, the flourishing field of XAI has produced a plethora of methods purporting to explain the workings of DNNs. Unsurprisingly, a whole host of questions revolves around the notion of explanation central to this field. This note surveys the recent work in which these questions are tackled from the perspective of philosophical ideas on explanations and models in science.

2021

Misleading higher-order evidence, conflicting ideals, and defeasible logic, Ergo 8(6), 141–74.

Abstract: Thinking about misleading higher-order evidence naturally leads to a puzzle about epistemic rationality: If one’s total evidence can be radically misleading regarding itself, then two widely-accepted requirements of rationality come into conflict, suggesting that there are rational dilemmas. This paper focuses on an often misunderstood and underexplored response to this (and similar) puzzles, the so-called conflicting-ideals view. Drawing on work from defeasible logic, I propose understanding this view as a move away from the default metaepistemological position according to which rationality requirements are strict and governed by a strong, but never explicitly stated logic, toward the more unconventional view, according to which requirements are defeasible and governed by a comparatively weak logic. When understood this way, the response is not committed to dilemmas.

Moral principles: Contributory, hedged, mixed, in F. Liu et al. (eds.) Deontic Logic and Normative Systems: 15th International Conference (DEON2020/21). College Publications, 272–90.

Abstract: It’s natural to think that the principles expressed by the statements “Promises ought to be kept” and “We ought to help those in need” are defeasible. But how are we to make sense of this defeasibility? On one proposal, moral principles have hedges or built-in unless clauses specifying the conditions under which the principle doesn’t apply. On another, such principles are contributory and, thus, do not specify which actions ought to be carried out, but only what counts in favor or against them. Drawing on a defeasible logic framework, this paper sets up three models: one model for each proposal, as well as a third model capturing a mixed view on principles that combines them. It then explores the structural connections between the three models and establishes some equivalence results, suggesting that the seemingly different views captured by the models are closer than standardly thought.

Before 2020

Deliberational dynamics in context, with E. Pacuit, in Proceedings of the 13th Conference on Logic and the Foundations of Game and Decision Theory (LOFT2018).

Deliberating between backward and forward induction reasoning: First steps, with E. Pacuit, in R. Ramanujam (ed.) Proceedings of the 15th Conference on the Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (TARK2015), 153–61.

A curious dialogical logic and its composition problem, with S. Uckelman and J. Alama, Journal of Philosophical Logic 43(6) (2014), 1065–100.

Logic in Latvia, with J. Šķilters, in Schumann A. (ed.) Logic in Central and Eastern Europe: History, Science and Discourse, (2013) University of America Press.

Dialogue games in classical logic, with J. Alama and S. Uckelman, in G. Giese and R. Kuznets (eds.) TABLEAUX 2011: Workshops, Tutorials, and Short Papers, Technical Report IAM-11-002, Universität Bern (2011), 82–6.