I am a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney. Prior to coming to UNSW in 2009, I completed my PhD in Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. Before turning to philosophy, I studied computer science at the National Technical University of Athens, in Greece.
I work primarily in the intersection of philosophy of mind and epistemology. My overarching interest has been the human capacity to do things for reasons. This has led me to explore topics in the theory of reasoning, the philosophy of action, and self-knowledge.
I also have an interest in the history of philosophy, especially Kant.
I can be reached by email here.
This paper suggests that recent discussions of Ryle's regress argument have missed its deeper lessons. Ryle's argument, properly understood, tells against not just views that assimilate knowing-how to knowing-that, but against any views according to which the intelligence of intelligent actions is inherites from purely inner mental states.
Standard accounts of intentional action treat such actions as a composite of bodily movements, which are intrinsically mindless, and suitable mental states that "animate" them. This paper argues against such accounts, on the grounds that they are not capable of capturing the insrtrumental structure of actions,i.e., the way in which physical actions are built up out of "smaller" acts.
Seeks to rebut some recent skepticism over the normative status of the instrumental requirement. Inspired by Thompson's (2008) "naive action theory", it does so by arguing that actions, as end-directed processes, essentially possess instrumental structure: if it is true of me that I am making an omelette, then it follows by necessity that some of the other things I am doing (e.g., breaking some eggs) are, in the relevant sense, directed towards, or for the sake of making an omelette.
Argues that recent discussions of reasoning and inference tend to conflate two phenomena that ought to be understood as distinct, and which I label respectively "reasoning" or "inference", on the one hand, and "deducing", on the other. With this distinction in hand, many of the puzzles in the theory of inference can be seen in a different light.
'What the Tortoise Has to Say about Diachronic Rationality'. (Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 2016)(PDF).
Argues against the view that norms of reasoning are diachronic norms of rationality. Such a view must presuppose that reasoning is a process. But a careful reading of Lewis Carroll's story of Achilles and the Tortoise casts doubt on this claim.
'Induction, Normality and Reasoning With Arbitrary Objects'. (Ratio, 2016) (PDF).
Discusses the fact that inference patterns that seem to be all right in the context of deductive reasoning often prove disastrous in the context of ampliative reasoning (a fact noted by Sinan Dogramaci (2010) and Brian Weatherson (2012)). It argues for the claim that the rational basis of inductive inference is facts about "normality", in a non-statistical sense.
Argues against rule-based theories of reasoning, on the grounds that they are incapable of accommodating the intuitive thought that reasoning must reflect the subject's take on her evidence. Sketches and defends an alternative, "semantic" conception of reasoning instead.
'Supposition and Blindness'. (Mind, 2016).
A rejoinder to Sinan Dogramaci's (Mind, 2016) reply to my 'Reasoning and Regress'. It clarifies the relation between the notions of 'reason' and 'premiss', and extends the view sketched in 'Reasoning and Regress' to suppositional reasoning.
Defends the claim that reasoning requires the subject's taking it that her conclusion follows from her premisses against regress arguments. The key move, I claim, is to reject the idea that reasoning is causal process, in which some of a subject's existing doxastic states cause new such states.
'Attention and Synthesis in Kant's Conception of Experience'. (With Lissa Merritt.) (The Philosophical Quarterly, 2017) (Draft)
Argues for a new way of thinking about Kant's invocation of the notion of synthesis in the Critique of Pure Reason, based on the model of directed attention. Drawing on Kant's discussion of attention in the Anthropology, we show that thinking of synthesis in these terms can help us better see the role of conceptual capacities in Kant's conception of experience.
Argues against a tendency to read Kant's talk of 'spontaneity' in terms of contemporary conceptions of intentional action. I suggest, instead, thinking of spontaneity in terms of the requirements of possessing a subjective perspective on the world at all. It also considers how such a view might interact with contemporary discussions of epistemic agency.
'Kant and Kantian Epistemology' (with Lissa Merritt), in S. Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology: the Key Thinkers, Continuum.
'Inner Sense, Self-Affection and Temporal Consciousness in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason'. (Philosophers' Imprint, 2008)
Develops an account of Kant's views on inner sense and empirical self-knowledge (as opposed to pure apperception), a relatively neglected topic among commentators. Argues that while Kant has the resources to give an account of how we know ourselves as situated points of view in a spatiotemporal world, considering his views on inner sense exposes a deep ambivalence in his views about time, as the form of inner sense.
'Self-Knowledge and the Phenomenological Transparency of Belief'. (Philosophers' Imprint, 2014)
Suggests a way to combine two approaches to self-knowledge that have seemed to diverge from each other: namely, an approach that emphasize cognitive phenomenology, and one that emphasizes "transparency". These approaches need not be incompatible with each other, since the phenomenology of consciously judging that p may well involve simply being aware of the external facts (objects, relations) p is about, rather than anything distinctively inner.
This is a response to Alex Byrne's 'Transparency, Belief, Intention', also published in PASS. Argues that the 'Doxastic Schema' (from p, infer 'I believe that p') should not be seen as a rule of inference, as it cannot rationally be applied within suppositions.
Argues that time-travel, and specifically the 'paradox of self-visitation' poses no special problem for endurantism (or three-dimensionalism), contrary to what four-dimensionalists (such as Ted Sider) have thought. The core idea is that events are (as Davidson famously argued) individuated in terms of their location in the causal web, not in terms of temporal location.
'Two-Dimensionalism and the Epistemology of Recognition'. (Philosophical Studies, 2009) (PDF)
Argues against neo-descriptivist theories of content that make use of the framework of two-dimensional modal semantics. More specifically, it argues that certain concepts may depend on capacities for perceptual recognition, and in those cases concept-possession is not going to entail the ability to know a priori the conditionals two-dimensionalists predict.