In a series of papers in progress, I argue that believers aren't to be understood as "aiming at the truth" in their believing, or aiming at anything else, for that matter; so we can't make sense of rational requirements on belief as instrumental constraints on our pursuit of epistemic goodies. I try to imagine the kind of epistemology that emerges when we accept this fact, and show how it illuminates disputes about epistemic agency, epistemic responsibility, and practical reasons for belief.
I also have interests in metaethics, especially in the authority of normativity and the role of normative concepts. I have recently had the honor of a (very gracious) public refutation in The Journal of Philosophy.
Works in Progress
"Judgment's Aimless Heart," forthcoming in Noûs, argues against the view that, when we form beliefs, we're aiming at believing truly. In order to do this, we'd have to be guided by a view about what the truth is—and that's precisely what we don't yet have, when we're forming beliefs. The form of theoretical rationality, then, is not the form of aim-guided action in pursuit of epistemic goods.
"In Search of Doxastic Involuntarism," in Philosophical Studies, rebuts a number of arguments for the view that, necessarily, believing is not an intentional action. Moreover, I say, attention to the failures of these arguments shows that it's hard to frame involuntarism in any form that is both plausible and significant. (Pre-print here.)
"Against Schmought," in The Journal of Philosophy, responds to a metaethical problem raised by the prospect of alternative normative concepts—concepts that are used like our concepts RIGHT and WRONG, but that apply to different actions. If you've been worried about those, maybe I can set you at ease: I argue we're rationally required to reject such concepts, because of the incoherent commitments we would be making by countenancing them. (Pre-print here.)
"Retraction and Testimonial Justification: A New Problem for the Assurance View," in Philosophical Studies, makes trouble for one way of understanding how we're rational in believing what people tell us. It can't be that it's a matter of a testifier being held responsible for the truth of our beliefs, I say, because in some interesting cases—ones involving retractions—you get rational testimonial belief without such responsibility. Along the way we get to investigate how the speech-act of retraction works, which is kind of fun in its own right. (Pre-print here.)