Jonathan Sutton

Assistant Professor

I come from Essex, England. I got my B.A. in Philosophy and Mathematics at King's College, London University, after which I spent a couple of years at Oxford getting a BPhil., a two-year industrial strength master's degree. I am a Rutgers PhD. (nevertheless, nothing I do is based on science).

My work is centered in epistemology and the philosophy of mind and language. . My book, Without Justification, is forthcoming with MIT Press at the end of 2006. It is commonly supposed that one of the main goals of epistemology, in addition to giving an account of knowledge, is giving an account of justified belief; it is taken to be obvious that there are justified beliefs that do not amount to knowledge (for example, there are allegedly many false justified beliefs), even if all beliefs that constitute knowledge are justified. Some have even claimed that developing an account of justification is more important than developing an account of knowledge, quite apart from any connections that the notion of justification has to the notion of knowledge. I argue that, in all important senses of `justified', justified belief just is knowledge. This position is developed and defended in my paper Stick to What You Know (Noûs, September 2005), a much expanded version of which forms the first part of my book. The rest of the book explores the consequences of this position for the epistemology of testimony and an account of "good" inference (deductive and inductive). A jargon-free version, although not a gross oversimplification, of two of my central claims is: i) you should not believe something unless you know it and ii) if you want to obtain knowledge from another's testimony on some matter, you have to know that he knows what he is talking about. Somewhat more precisely, you cannot acquire testimonial knowledge that p unless you know that the person who testifies that p himself knows that p.

Some think that the lottery paradox and the paradox of the preface demand a uniform solution. This short paper argues otherwise. How to Mistake a Trivial Fact About Probability For a Substantive Fact About Justified Belief

I have defended a theory of thoughts and concepts that is based on the idea that mental states such as beliefs have multiple contents (it is generally assumed that such states have a unique content). I use the theory to give an account of our talk about such states in my paper Multiplying Senses. (However, I no longer agree with the views defended in this paper, finding Millianism much more congenial.)

I have written a couple of papers arguing that Dummett was correct to demand that a theory of meaning be full-blooded. A truncated version of one of them has been published as "A New Argument Against Modesty" in Meaning and Truth: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy Keim-Campbell, O'Rourke, and Shier (eds.), Seven Bridges Press (2002).

In other work, I have defended the view that there are contingent a priori truths, and offered solutions to puzzles about such truths. Some of this work, "The Contingent A Priori and Implicit Knowledge," was published in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (September 2001).

Harry Partch
Hans Reichel