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Will Fleisher
Northeastern University
  1. Endorsement and Assertion.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Noûs 55 (2):363-384.
    Scientists, philosophers, and other researchers commonly assert their theories. This is surprising, as there are good reasons for skepticism about theories in cutting-edge research. I propose a new account of assertion in research contexts that vindicates these assertions. This account appeals to a distinct propositional attitude called endorsement, which is the rational attitude of committed advocacy researchers have to their theories. The account also appeals to a theory of conversational pragmatics known as the Question Under Discussion model, or QUD. Hence, (...)
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  2. Rational Endorsement.Will Fleisher - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2649-2675.
    It is valuable for inquiry to have researchers who are committed advocates of their own theories. However, in light of pervasive disagreement, such a commitment is not well explained by the idea that researchers believe their theories. Instead, this commitment, the rational attitude to take toward one’s favored theory during the course of inquiry, is what I call endorsement. Endorsement is a doxastic attitude, but one which is governed by a different type of epistemic rationality. This inclusive epistemic rationality is (...)
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  3. Responsibility for Collective Epistemic Harms.Will Fleisher & Dunja Šešelja - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-41.
    Discussion of epistemic responsibility typically focuses on belief formation and actions leading to it. Similarly, accounts of collective epistemic responsibility have addressed the issue of collective belief formation and associated actions. However, there has been little discussion of collective responsibility for preventing epistemic harms, particularly those preventable only by the collective action of an unorganized group. We propose an account of collective epistemic responsibility which fills this gap. Building on Hindriks' (2019) account of collective moral responsibility, we introduce the Epistemic (...)
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  4. How to Endorse Conciliationism.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9913-9939.
    I argue that recognizing a distinct doxastic attitude called endorsement, along with the epistemic norms governing it, solves the self-undermining problem for conciliationism about disagreement. I provide a novel account of how the self-undermining problem works by pointing out the auxiliary assumptions the objection relies on. These assumptions include commitment to certain epistemic principles linking belief in a theory to following prescriptions of that theory. I then argue that we have independent reason to recognize the attitude of endorsement. Endorsement is (...)
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  5. Publishing Without (Some) Belief.Will Fleisher - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):237-246.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  6. Virtuous Distinctions: New Distinctions for Reliabilism and Responsibilism.Will Fleisher - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2973–3003.
    Virtue epistemology has been divided into two camps: reliabilists and responsibilists. This division has been attributed in part to a focus on different types of virtues, viz., faculty virtues and character virtues. I will argue that this distinction is unhelpful, and that we should carve up the theoretical terrain differently. Making several better distinctions among virtues will show us two important things. First, that responsibilists and reliabilists are actually engaged in different, complementary projects; and second, that certain responsibilist critiques of (...)
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  7. Method Coherence and Epistemic Circularity.Will Fleisher - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):455-480.
    Reliabilism is an intuitive and attractive view about epistemic justification. However, it has many well-known problems. I offer a novel condition on reliabilist theories of justification. This method coherence condition requires that a method be appropriately tested by appeal to a subject’s other belief-forming methods. Adding this condition to reliabilism provides a solution to epistemic circularity worries, including the bootstrapping problem.
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  8. What's Fair About Individual Fairness?Will Fleisher - 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society.
    One of the main lines of research in algorithmic fairness involves individual fairness (IF) methods. Individual fairness is motivated by an intuitive principle, similar treatment, which requires that similar individuals be treated similarly. IF offers a precise account of this principle using distance metrics to evaluate the similarity of individuals. Proponents of individual fairness have argued that it gives the correct definition of algorithmic fairness, and that it should therefore be preferred to other methods for determining fairness. I argue that (...)
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  9. Fragmentation and Old Evidence.Will Fleisher - forthcoming - Episteme:1-26.
    Bayesian confirmation theory is our best formal framework for describing inductive reasoning. The problem of old evidence is a particularly difficult one for confirmation theory, because it suggests that this framework fails to account for central and important cases of inductive reasoning and scientific inference. I show that we can appeal to the fragmentation of doxastic states to solve this problem for confirmation theory. This fragmentation solution is independently well-motivated because of the success of fragmentation in solving other problems. I (...)
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