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Chris Tucker
William & Mary
  1. Seemings and Justification: An Introduction.Chris Tucker - 2013 - In Seemings and Justification: New Essays on Dogmatism and Phenomenal Conservatism. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-29.
    It is natural to think that many of our beliefs are rational because they are based on seemings, or on the way things seem. This is especially clear in the case of perception. Many of our mathematical, moral, and memory beliefs also appear to be based on seemings. In each of these cases, it is natural to think that our beliefs are not only based on a seeming, but also that they are rationally based on these seemings—at least assuming there (...)
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  2. When Transmission Fails.Chris Tucker - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (4):497-529.
    The Neo-Moorean Deduction (I have a hand, so I am not a brain-in-a-vat) and the Zebra Deduction (the creature is a zebra, so isn’t a cleverly disguised mule) are notorious. Crispin Wright, Martin Davies, Fred Dretske, and Brian McLaughlin, among others, argue that these deductions are instances of transmission failure. That is, they argue that these deductions cannot transmit justification to their conclusions. I contend, however, that the notoriety of these deductions is undeserved. My strategy is to clarify, attack, defend, (...)
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  3. Weighing Reasons Against.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Ethicists increasingly reject the scale as a useful metaphor for weighing reasons. Yet they generally retain the metaphor of a reason’s weight. This combination is incoherent. The metaphor of weight entails a very specific scale-based model of weighing reasons, Dual Scale. Justin Snedegar worries that scale-based models of weighing reasons can’t properly weigh reasons against an option. I show that there are, in fact, two different reasons for/against distinctions, and I provide an account of the relationship between the various kinds (...)
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  4. The Dual Scale Model of Weighing Reasons.Chris Tucker - 2022 - Noûs 56 (2):366-392.
    The metaphor of weighing reasons brings to mind a single (double-pan balance) scale. The reasons for φ go in one pan and the reasons for ~φ go in the other. The relative weights, as indicated by the relative heights of the two pans of the scale, determine the deontic status of φ. This model is simple and intuitive, but it cannot capture what it is to weigh reasons correctly. A reason pushes the φ pan down toward permissibility (has justifying weight) (...)
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  5. If Dogmatists Have a Problem with Cognitive Penetration, You Do Too.Chris Tucker - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (1):35-62.
    Perceptual dogmatism holds that if it perceptually seems to S that P, then S thereby has prima facie perceptual justification for P. But suppose Wishful Willy's desire for gold cognitively penetrates his perceptual experience and makes it seem to him that the yellow object is a gold nugget. Intuitively, his desire-penetrated seeming can't provide him with prima facie justification for thinking that the object is gold. If this intuitive response is correct, dogmatists have a problem. But if dogmatists have a (...)
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  6. Satisficing and Motivated Submaximization (in the Philosophy of Religion).Chris Tucker - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):127-143.
    In replying to certain objections to the existence of God, Robert Adams, Bruce Langtry, and Peter van Inwagen assume that God can appropriately choose a suboptimal world, a world less good than some other world God could have chosen. A number of philosophers, such as Michael Slote and Klaas Kraay, claim that these theistic replies are therefore committed to the claim that satisficing can be appropriate. Kraay argues that this commitment is a significant liability. I argue, however, that the relevant (...)
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  7. Acquaintance and Fallible Non-Inferential Justification.Chris Tucker - 2016 - In Michael Bergmann & Brett Coppenger (eds.), Intellectual Assurance: Essays on Traditional Epistemic Internalism. Oxford University Press. pp. 43-60.
    Classical acquaintance theory is any version of classical foundationalism that appeals to acquaintance in order to account for non-inferential justification. Such theories are well suited to account for a kind of infallible non-inferential justification. Why am I justified in believing that I’m in pain? An initially attractive (partial) answer is that I’m acquainted with my pain. But since I can’t be acquainted with what isn’t there, acquaintance with my pain guarantees that I’m in pain. What’s less clear is whether, given (...)
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  8. Too Far Beyond the Call of Duty: Moral Rationalism and Weighing Reasons.Chris Tucker - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):2029-2052.
    The standard account of supererogation holds that Liv is not morally required to jump on a grenade, thereby sacrificing her life, to save the lives of five soldiers. Many proponents defend the standard account by appealing to moral rationalism about requirement. These same proponents hold that Bernie is morally permitted to jump on a grenade, thereby sacrificing his life, to spare someone a mild burn. I argue that this position is unstable, at least as moral rationalism is ordinarily defended. The (...)
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  9. How to Explain Miscomputation.Chris Tucker - 2018 - Philosophers' Imprint 18:1-17.
    Just as theory of representation is deficient if it can’t explain how misrepresentation is possible, a theory of computation is deficient if it can’t explain how miscomputation is possible. Nonetheless, philosophers have generally ignored miscomputation. My primary goal in this paper is to clarify both what miscomputation is and how to adequately explain it. Miscomputation is a special kind of malfunction: a system miscomputes when it computes in a way that it shouldn’t. To explain miscomputation, you must provide accounts of (...)
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  10. Divine Satisficing and the Ethics of the Problem of Evil.Chris Tucker - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (1):32-56.
    This paper accomplishes three goals. First, it reveals that God’s ethics has a radical satisficing structure: God can choose a good enough suboptimal option even if there is a best option and no countervailing considerations. Second, it resolves the long-standing worry that there is no account of the good enough that is both principled and demanding enough to be good enough. Third, it vindicates the key ethical assumption in the problem of evil without relying on the contested assumption that God’s (...)
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  11. Parity, Moral Options, and the Weights of Reasons.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The (moral) permissibility of an act is determined by the relative weights of reasons, or so I assume. But how many weights does a reason have? Weight Monism is the idea that reasons have a single weight value. There is just the weight of reasons. The simplest versions hold that the weight of each reason is either weightier than, less weighty than, or equal to every other reason. We’ll see that this simple view leads to paradox in at least two (...)
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  12. How to Think About Satisficing.Chris Tucker - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1365-1384.
    An agent submaximizes with motivation when she aims at the best but chooses a less good option because of a countervailing consideration. An agent satisfices when she rejects the better for the good enough, and does so because the mere good enough gets her what she really wants. Motivated submaximization and satisficing, so construed, are different ways of choosing a suboptimal option, but this difference is easily missed. Putative proponents of satisficing tend to argue only that motivated submaximization can be (...)
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  13. On What Inferentially Justifies What: The Vices of Reliabilism and Proper Functionalism.Chris Tucker - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3311-3328.
    We commonly say that some evidence supports a hypothesis or that some premise evidentially supports a conclusion. Both internalists and externalists attempt to analyze this notion of evidential support, and the primary purpose of this paper is to argue that reliabilist and proper functionalist accounts of this relation fail. Since evidential support is one component of inferential justification, the upshot of this failure is that their accounts of inferential justification also fail. In Sect. 2, I clarify the evidential support relation. (...)
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  14. Experience as Evidence.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton M. Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
    This chapter explores whether and when experience can be evidence. It argues that experiences can be evidence, and that this claim is compatible with just about any epistemological theory. It evaluates the most promising argument for the conclusion that certain experiences (e.g., seeming to see) are always evidence for believing what the experiences represent. While the argument is very promising, one premise needs further defense. The argument also depends on a certain connection between reasonable belief and the first person perspective.
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  15.  58
    A Holist Balance Scale.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-21.
    Scale-based models of weighing reasons face challenges concerning the context-sensitivity of weight, the aggregation of weight, and the methodology for determining what the weights of reasons are. I resolve these challenges.
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  16. A Guide to Constructive Disagreement.Chris Tucker - manuscript
    Philosophers use disagreement as a way to discover truth. It is constructive. It can lead one to refine one's own position and/or better understand the opposing position. When you are comfortable with the people you disagree with, it can be a fun way to learn. It can even build community. Yet students often see disagreement as divisive. There are winners and losers, and it's not much fun when you are losing. Rarely do students actively use it as a tool for (...)
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  17. Why Sceptical Theism Isn’T Sceptical Enough.Chris Tucker - 2014 - In Trent Doughtery & Justin McBrayer (eds.), Skeptical Theism: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 45-62.
    The most common charge against sceptical theism is that it is too sceptical, i.e. it committed to some undesirable form of scepticism or another. I contend that Michael Bergmann’s sceptical theism isn’t sceptical enough. I argue that, if true, the sceptical theses secure a genuine victory: they prevent, for some people, a prominent argument from evil from providing any justification whatsoever to doubt the existence of God. On the other hand, even if true, the sceptical theses fail to prevent even (...)
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  18. Dogmatism and the Epistemology of Covert Selection.Chris Tucker - forthcoming - In Nathan Ballantyne & David Dunning (eds.), Reason, Bias, and Inquiry: New Perspectives from the Crossroads of Epistemology and Psychology. Oxford University Press.
    Perceptual dogmatism is a prominent theory in epistemology concerning the relationship between perceptual experience and reasonable belief. It holds that, in the absence of counterevidence, it is reasonable to believe what your perceptual experience tells you. Thus, if you are not aware of your experience’s casual history, then it doesn’t matter. Critics object that the causal history does matter: when a perceptual experience is caused in certain ways, it is unreasonable to trust what it tells you. These objections regularly appeal (...)
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