In most testimonial transactions between adults, the hearer’s obligation is to accord the speaker a level of credibility that matches the evidence that what she is saying is true. When the speaker is a child, however, the adult must often respond by extending a level of trust greater than that warranted by the evidence of past epistemic performance. Such trust, which I call ‘hopeful trust,’ is not extended on the basis the child’s extant credibility, but on the basis of their epistemic potential. Hopeful trust communicates to the speaker that she has reason to trust her own epistemic capacities and thereby enables her to do so. Extensions of hopeful trust are thus a method of causal construction; by treating individuals as if they are reliable, hopeful trust enables those individuals to become reliable. While not all adults bear the responsibility to extend hopeful trust to children, those who occupy positions of educational authority do. Failure to discharge this responsibility constitutes a distinct kind of epistemic injustice that can take both transactional and structural forms.
Manuscript available here.
I argue that we ought to reject Gregory Currie’s “Trace Account” of documentary film. According to the Trace Account, a film is a documentary so long the majority of its constitutive images are traces of the film’s subject matter. The argument proceeds by considering how proponents of the Trace Account could respond to Noel Carroll’s charge that their analysis is radically revisionary. I argue that the only responses available are either implausible or show that a fully worked out version of the Trace Account collapses into Carroll’s own, rival definition of documentary. I then consider how advocates of the Trace Account might attempt to rescue the theory by reframing it as an account of a genre or as a theory of evaluation and argue that neither attempt would succeed. Given this, we ought to embrace Carroll’s own account of documentary, according to which a film is documentary if and only if it is a film of presumptive assertion.
"Obligations of Intellectual Empowerment." Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (9): 7-13.
I respond to Carla Carmona's comments on Epistemic Neglect .
Full text available here.
“Giving, Receiving, and the Virtue of Testimonial Justice.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (6): 46-50.
I respond to Carla Carmona's paper on Testimonial Void.
Full text available here.
An x-phi paper in social epistemology (with Tomasz Zyglewicz) (under review)
A paper about Grice and literary communication (under review)
A paper on moral assertion (under review)
"Valuing Art as Valuing A Relationship"
I defend a relationship theory of valuing artworks. According to this theory, valuing of an artwork is actually a matter of valuing one's relationship with that artwork. This view is in competition with the view according to which our reasons for valuing artworks are given by those work's aesthetic properties. I argue that the relationship view illuminates aspects of our aesthetic lives that the rival, aesthetic property view, cannot.