Friday, January 16, 2015

New paper on knowledge first epistemology

Carrie Jenkins and I have written a paper exploring what it means to put "knowledge first". Here is our current draft. From the introduction:
There is a New Idea in epistemology. It goes by the name of ‘knowledge first,’ and it is particularly associated with Timothy Williamson’s book Knowledge and Its Limits. In slogan form, to put knowledge first is to treat knowledge as basic or fundamental, and to explain other states—belief, justification, maybe even content itself—in terms of knowledge, instead of vice versa. The idea has proven enormously interesting, and equally controversial. But deep foundational questions about its actual content remain relatively unexplored. We think that a wide variety of views travel under the banner of ‘knowledge first’ (and that the slogan doesn’t help much with differentiating them). Furthermore, we think it is far from straightforward to draw connections between certain of these views; they are more independent than they are often assumed to be.

Friday, January 02, 2015

New Year's Resolution: Weekly Writing

I feel like apologizing for navel-gazing, but it's my blog so I won't. Please skip if you don't care to read about me and my goals.

I didn't write as much as I wanted to in 2014. There are particular reasons it was a difficult year for me to make time to write, but it's pretty easy for that to be the case. My New Year's resolution for 2015 aimed at getting more writing done.

In particular, I resolve to get some non-trivial amount of writing done every week. At the end of each week, I should be able to identify ways in which my total writing output has increased. Maybe some weeks when I have other priorities it'll just be a paragraph. I hope there'll be some very productive weeks where I'll churn out most of a paper or chapter. But I resolve to make it a priority to do at least some writing every week. I'm talking writing for research purposes—things I intend to publish. (The tons of stuff I write for my students doesn't count.)

I'm the kind of person who benefits from structure and public accountability and feeling like I'm winning at a game. That's why this blog post is here. The plan is to update it weekly every Friday until 2016. If you notice that I'm behind in updating, please feel free to give me a hard time about it.

Here's a list of weeks that have ended in 2015 so far, with a note of what writing I've done in them.

  1. Jan 2. Started an overdue book review of Prichard's Epistemological Disjunctivism. (I blogged some in preparation for this in the fall, but this week I finally started the actual review.)
  2. Jan 9. I made a bit more progress on the book review—it's now perhaps 30% complete—and I also did a full round of edits on the knowledge first paper Carrie and I are writing together. It is now small finishing touches away from being sent to the editors. I'd like to have achieved more, but the first week of teaching isn't a bad excuse. Hopefully next week both of these will be finished, and I'll be well into a new paper on experimental philosophy.
  3. Jan 16. Carrie and I finished our knowledge first paper and sent it off. Penultimate draft here. I did some editorial work on my contextualism volume, working on lining up the last few authors. My book review isn't quite finished, as I'd hoped it'd be, but it's close. I've said 90% of what I want to, at 125% of the word count. So now I'm editing. I should certainly have sent it off by next week. I also hope to make revisions on a dreaming paper and send it off; and to start on an intuitions/x-phi paper.
  4. Jan 23. I didn't get as much writing done this week as I'd've liked. I made significant progress on two research-related items: a grant application and editorial work for my contextualism volume, but very little actual writing of research. I did finish and send off the book review. That's about all I can claim though. My writing goals for next week are the same as those for this week.
  5. Jan 30. I failed my resolution this week. I spent all of my research time on a grant application.
  6. Feb 6. Another tough week. This resolution is harder than I'd thought! I have started my new intuitions paper, barely. I have a holiday weekend coming up, so I expect to be able to report significant progress next week.
  7. Feb 12. (I'm reporting on this week Thursday, as I am about to fly west across the Pacific Ocean, and Friday isn't really going to happen for me.) I did ok this week. I made some substantial progress on my dreaming paper edits, and I began some serious work on my experimental philosophy paper. I'll spend most of the next week traveling, but I will be back soon enough so that I hope I'm able to report more progress on the latter, and finishing the former.
  8. Feb 20. I have continued to work on editing my dreaming paper. I may even finish it later today. This coming week, I'll focus on the intuitions paper.
  9. Feb 27. I finished and submitted the dreaming paper. Intuitions paper needs work.
  10. Mar 6. Another tough week. I made minimal progress on the intuitions paper, as well as some preparatory work on an intuitions book review.
  11. Mar 13. I did OK this week; I made some significant process on the intuitions paper. I am resolved to finish it before the next update.
  12. Mar 20. A reasonably productive week. I completed a draft of the intuitions paper. I'm starting preliminary work on a new book review, but I think the bulk of my new writing in the next couple of weeks can actually be on my knowledge book.
  13. Mar 27. Some minimal editing work on my book.
  14. Apr 3. Failed this week. The APA was in town and sucked up my time.
  15. Apr 10. Not a great week, if technically a success. I finalised a paper on modal epistemology. The last week of class. (No more excuses!)
  16. Apr 17. Worked on revisions to x-phi paper. Not enough.
  17. Apr 24. Finalized intuition paper, and managed a little work on my book. (Started the action chapter.)