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David James Barnett
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
  1.  59
    Graded Ratifiability.David James Barnett - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (2):57-88.
    An action is unratifiable when, on the assumption that one performs it, another option has higher expected utility. Unratifiable actions are often claimed to be somehow rationally defective. But in some cases where multiple options are unratifiable, one unratifiable option can still seem preferable to another. We should respond, I argue, by invoking a graded notion of ratifiability.
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  2. Is Memory Merely Testimony from One's Former Self?David James Barnett - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (3):353-392.
    A natural view of testimony holds that a source's statements provide one with evidence about what the source believes, which in turn provides one with evidence about what is true. But some theorists have gone further and developed a broadly analogous view of memory. According to this view, which this essay calls the “diary model,” one's memory ordinarily serves as a means for one's present self to gain evidence about one's past judgments, and in turn about the truth. This essay (...)
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  3. Inferential Justification and the Transparency of Belief.David James Barnett - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):184-212.
    This paper critically examines currently influential transparency accounts of our knowledge of our own beliefs that say that self-ascriptions of belief typically are arrived at by “looking outward” onto the world. For example, one version of the transparency account says that one self-ascribes beliefs via an inference from a premise to the conclusion that one believes that premise. This rule of inference reliably yields accurate self-ascriptions because you cannot infer a conclusion from a premise without believing the premise, and so (...)
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  4. What’s the matter with epistemic circularity?David James Barnett - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):177-205.
    If the reliability of a source of testimony is open to question, it seems epistemically illegitimate to verify the source’s reliability by appealing to that source’s own testimony. Is this because it is illegitimate to trust a questionable source’s testimony on any matter whatsoever? Or is there a distinctive problem with appealing to the source’s testimony on the matter of that source’s own reliability? After distinguishing between two kinds of epistemically illegitimate circularity—bootstrapping and self-verification—I argue for a qualified version of (...)
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  5. Perceptual Justification and the Cartesian Theater.David James Barnett - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    According to a traditional Cartesian epistemology of perception, perception does not provide one with direct knowledge of the external world. Instead, your immediate perceptual evidence is limited to facts about your own visual experience, from which conclusions about the external world must be inferred. Cartesianism faces well-known skeptical challenges. But this chapter argues that any anti-Cartesian view strong enough to avoid these challenges must license a way of updating one’s beliefs in response to anticipated experiences that seems diachronically irrational. To (...)
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  6.  14
    Internalism, Stored Beliefs, and Forgotten Evidence.David James Barnett - forthcoming - In Sanford Goldberg & Stephen Wright (eds.), Memory and Testimony: New Essays in Epistemology.
    An internalist slogan says that justification depends on internal factors. But which factors are those? This paper examines some common motivations favoring internalism over externalism, and says they are compatible with including dispositional and even past mental states in the internal.
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  7. Self-Knowledge Requirements and Moore's Paradox.David James Barnett - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (2):227-262.
    Is self-knowledge a requirement of rationality, like consistency, or means-ends coherence? Many claim so, citing the evident impropriety of asserting, and the alleged irrationality of believing, Moore-paradoxical propositions of the form < p, but I don't believe that p>. If there were nothing irrational about failing to know one's own beliefs, they claim, then there would be nothing irrational about Moore-paradoxical assertions or beliefs. This article considers a few ways the data surrounding Moore's paradox might be marshaled to support rational (...)
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