CV

Department of Philosophy

University of Alabama at Birmingham

mccain[at]uab[dot]edu

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham [2017-present]

Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham [2013-2017]

Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham [2012-2013]

Visiting Instructor, Nazareth College [2011-2012]

Adjunct Professor, Nazareth College [2010-2011]

EDUCATION

PhD University of Rochester (Philosophy) [2012]

MA University of Missouri—Columbia (Philosophy) [2007]

BA Southeast Missouri State University (Philosophy) [2004]

BS Southeast Missouri State University (Psychology) [2004]

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION

Epistemology, Philosophy of Science

AREAS OF COMPETENCE

Ethics, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind

PUBLICATIONS

Books—Authored

(3) Uncertainty: How It Makes Science Advance. Oxford University Press, 2019 (co-authored with Kostas Kampourakis).

(2) The Nature of Scientific Knowledge: An Explanatory Approach. Springer, 2016.

*Paperback edition released 2018

*Reviewed in Metascience

(https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11016-017-0168-z)

(1) Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification. Routledge, 2014.

* Paperback edition released 2016

* Focus of an author-meets-critics session at the 2016 Pacific APA (critics: Richard Fumerton (University of Iowa), Jonathan Kvanvig (Baylor University), and Matthias Steup (Purdue University))

* Subject of a book symposium in the journal Syndicate Philosophy May 2017

(https://syndicate.network/symposia/philosophy/evidentialism-and-epistemic-justification/)

* Reviewed in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

(http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/evidentialism-and-epistemic-justification/)

Books—Edited

(4) What is Scientific Knowledge? An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology of Science. Routledge, 2019 (co-edited with Kostas Kampourakis).

(3) The Mystery of Skepticism: New Explorations. Brill Publishing, 2018 (co-edited with Ted Poston).

(2) Believing in Accordance with the Evidence: New Essays on Evidentialism. Springer, 2018.

(1) Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford University Press, 2017 (co-edited with Ted Poston).

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

(26) “Dispelling the Disjunction Objection to Explanatory Inference” Philosophers’ Imprint, forthcoming. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(25) “In Defense of the Explanationist Response to Skepticism.” International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, (2019) 9: 38-50.

(24) “Explanationist Aid for Phenomenal Conservatism” Synthese, (2018) 195: 3035-3050.

(23) “Explanatory Virtues are Indicative of Truth.” Logos & Episteme, (2018) 9 (1): 63-73.

(22) “Which question do polls about evolution and belief really ask, and why does it matter?” Public Understanding of Science, (2018) 27 (1): 2-10. (co-authored with Kostas Kampourakis)

(21) “An Isolation Objection to Phenomenal Conservatism.” Erkenntnis, (2017) 82 (6): 1381-1390.

(20) “Undaunted Explanationism.” Logos & Episteme, (2017) 8 (1): 117-127.

(19) “Skepticism and Elegance: An Explanationist Rejoinder.” International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, (2016) 6: 30-43.

(18) “Belief in or about evolution?” BioScience, (2016) 66: 187-188. (co-authored with Kostas Kampourakis)

(17) “No Knowledge Without Evidence.” Journal of Philosophical Research, (2015) 40: 369-376.

(16) “Is Forgotten Evidence a Problem for Evidentialism?” Southern Journal of Philosophy, (2015) 53 (4): 471-480.

(15) “Explanationism: Defended on All Sides.” Logos & Episteme, (2015) 6 (3): 333-349.

(14) “Explanation and the Nature of Scientific Knowledge.” Science & Education, (2015) 24 (7-8): 827-854.

(13) “Interventionism Defended.” Logos & Episteme, (2015) 6 (1): 61-73.

(12) “A New Evil Demon? No Problem for Moderate Internalists.” Acta Analytica, (2015) 30 (1): 97-105.

(11) “Why explanatoriness is evidentially relevant.” Thought, (2014) 3 (2): 145-153. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(10) “Testimonial Knowledge from Lies.” Philosophia, (2014) 42 (2): 459-468.

(9) “Evidentialism, Explanationism, and Beliefs about the Future.” Erkenntnis, (2014) 79 (1): 99-109.

(8) “Pick Your Poison: Beg the Question or Embrace Circularity.” International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, (2014) 4 (2): 125-140. (co-authored with William Rowley)

(7) “Explanationist Evidentialism.” Episteme, (2013) 10 (3): 299-315.

(6) “Two Skeptical Arguments or Only One?” Philosophical Studies, (2013) 164 (2): 289-300.

(5) “A Predictivist Argument Against Scepticism.” Analysis, (2012) 72 (4): 660-665.

(4) “The Interventionist Account of Causation and the Basing Relation.” Philosophical Studies, (2012) 159 (3): 357-382.

(3) “Against Hanna on Phenomenal Conservatism.” Acta Analytica, (2012) 27 (1): 45-54.

(2) “The Virtues of Epistemic Conservatism.” Synthese (2008) 164 (2): 185-200.

(1) “Descartes and the Creation of Eternal Truths.” Southwest Philosophical Studies (2008) 30 (1): 65-70.

Book Chapters & Symposia

(18) “What is Biological Knowledge?” in Kostas Kampourakis and Tobias Uller (eds.) Philosophy of Science for Biologists, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

(17) “Explanation and Evidence” in Maria Lasonen-Aanio and Clayton Littlejohn (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Evidence, Routledge, forthcoming. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(16) “How do Explanations Lead to Scientific Knowledge?” in Kevin McCain and Kostas Kampourakis (eds.) What is Scientific Knowledge? An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology of Science, Routledge, forthcoming.

(15) “Epistemic Conservatism: A Non-Evidentialist Epistemology?” in Luca Moretti and Nikolaj Pedersen (eds.) Non-Evidentialist Epistemology, Brill, forthcoming.

(14) “Epistemic Conservatism and the Basing Relation.” in Patrick Bondy and J. Adam Carter (eds.) Well-Founded Belief: New Essays on the Epistemic Basing Relation, Routledge, forthcoming.

(13) “Beliefs are Justified by Coherence.” in Steven B. Cowan (ed.) Problems in Philosophy: An Introduction to the Major Debates on Knowledge, Reality, Values and Government, Bloomsbury, forthcoming. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(12) “Experience Alone is Not Enough: Reply to Howard-Snyder.” in Steven B. Cowan (ed.) Problems in Philosophy: An Introduction to the Major Debates on Knowledge, Reality, Values and Government, Bloomsbury, forthcoming. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(11) “Explanationist Evidentialism: A Defense” in Kevin McCain (ed.) Believing in Accordance with the Evidence: New Essays on Evidentialism, Springer, (2018): 375-391.

(10) “Evidentialism: A Primer” in Kevin McCain (ed.) Believing in Accordance with the Evidence: New Essays on Evidentialism, Springer, (2018): 1-4.

(9) “Two Strategies for Explaining Away Skepticism” in Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (eds.) The Mystery of Skepticism: New Explorations, Brill, (2018): 227-239. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(8) “The Mystery of Skepticism: An Introduction” in Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (eds.) The Mystery of Skepticism: New Explorations, Brill, (2018): 1-3. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(7) “The Evidential Impact of Explanatory Considerations” in Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (eds.) Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation, Oxford University Press, (2017): 121-129. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(6) “Best Explanations: An Introduction” in Kevin McCain and Ted Poston (eds.) Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation, Oxford University Press, (2017): 1-3. (co-authored with Ted Poston)

(5) “The Role of Dispositions in Evidential Fit: A Reply to Moon and Robinson.” Syndicate Philosophy, May 2017. (Part of a symposium on my book Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification)

(4) “It Matters Which Explanation Is Best: A Reply to Cutter and Swenson.” Syndicate Philosophy, May 2017. (Part of a symposium on my book Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification)

(3) “The Coherence of Explanationist Evidentialism: A Reply to Smart.” Syndicate Philosophy, May 2017. (Part of a symposium on my book Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification)

(2) “A Clean Bill of Health for the Interventionist Account of the Basing Relation: A Reply to Flowerree.” Syndicate Philosophy, May 2017. (Part of a symposium on my book Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification)

(1) “Evolutionary Theory and the Epistemology of Science.” in Kostas Kampourakis (ed.) The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators, Springer, (2013): 101-119. (co-authored with Brad Weslake)

Encyclopedia Entry

(1) “The Problem of the Criterion.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2014).

Works for a General Audience

Books

(1) Red Rising and Philosophy: Break the Chains! Chicago: Open Court Publishing, 2016. (co-edited with Court Lewis)

Chapters

(6) “Living for More” in Courtland Lewis and Kevin McCain (eds.) Red Rising and Philosophy: Break the Chains!, Open Court Publishing, (2016): 89-99.

(5) “The One, the Only, Darrow” in Courtland Lewis and Kevin McCain (eds.) Red Rising and Philosophy: Break the Chains!, Open Court Publishing, (2016): 51-62.

(4) “Hero or Villain?” in Courtland Lewis and Kevin McCain (eds.) Red Rising and Philosophy: Break the Chains!, Open Court Publishing, (2016): 25-35.

(3) “The Doctor Lies” in Courtland Lewis and Paula Smithka (eds.) More Doctor Who and Philosophy: Regeneration Time, Open Court Publishing, (2015): 239-247.

(2) “Who is Raistlin Majere?” in Christopher Robichauld (ed.) Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy, Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, (2014): 132-144.

(1) ““Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen”: Is Ozzy Going Insane?” in William Irwin (ed.) Philosophy and Black Sabbath, Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, (2012): 163-170.

Video

(1) “The Epistemic Regress Problem”, Wireless Philosophy, http://www.wi-phi.com/video/epistemic-regress-problem

Book Reviews

(6) "Making Understanding Intelligible" (Review of de Regt, Understanding Scientific Understanding), in Science and Education, forthcoming.

(5) “Indispensable Falsehoods” (Review of Potochnik, Idealization and the Aims of Science), in Science and Education, (2018) 27 (5): 547-550.

(4) “Tough Love for Science” (Review of Bauer, Science Is Not What You Think), in Metascience, (2018) 27 (2): 351-353.

(3) Review of Gauch, Scientific Method in Brief, in Teaching Philosophy, (2013) 36 (3): 310-313.

(2) Review of Steup and Sosa, Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, in Science and Education, (2013) 22 (5): 1257-1263.

(1) Review of Audi, Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge 3rd Edition, in Science and Education (2013) 22 (3): 747-752.

PRESENTATIONS

Refereed

(20) “Forgetting Memory Skepticism”, Pacific APA, 2019. [*was unable to attend—co-author Matthew Frise (Santa Clara University) presented our work]

(19) “Dispelling the Disjunction Objection to Explanatory Inference”, Alabama Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2017.

(18) “Two Strategies for Explaining Away Skepticism”, Alabama Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2016.

(17) “Explanationism, Perceptual Justification, and Defeat”, Alabama Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2015.

(16) “Explanationism: Covered on All Sides”, 39th Annual MidSouth Philosophy Conference, 2015.

(15) “Explanationism: Covered on All Sides”, Society of Christian Philosophers Midwest Meeting, 2015.

(14) “Explanationist Evidentialism and Inferential Justification”, Alabama Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2014.

(13) “Evidentialism and Forgotten Evidence”, Alabama Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2013.

(12) “No Knowledge Without Evidence”, 37th Annual MidSouth Philosophy Conference, 2013.

(11) “In Defense of the Explanationist Response to Skepticism”, Central States Philosophical Association Meeting, 2012.

(10) “In Defense of the Explanationist Response to Skepticism”, Alabama Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2012.

(9) “Testimonial Knowledge from Lies”, Central APA, 2010.

(8) “Interventionism Defended”, 6th Annual Virginia Tech Graduate Philosophy Conference, 2009.

(7) “Scientific Explanation, Understanding, and Knowledge”, Pacific APA, 2009.

(6) “Tye, Introspection, and Phantom Limbs”, Pacific APA, 2008.

(5) “The Possibility of Absent Qualia”, Pacific Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, 2008.

(4) “Descartes and the Creation of Eternal Truths”, 31st Annual MidSouth Philosophy Conference, 2007.

(3) “Descartes and the Creation of Eternal Truths”, New Mexico-West Texas Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2007.

(2) “The Virtues of Epistemic Conservatism”, 4th Biennial Rochester Graduate Epistemology Conference, 2006.

(1) “The Virtues of Epistemic Conservatism”, Iowa Philosophical Society Annual Conference, 2006.

Invited

(19) “How Should We Understand Inference to the Best Explanation? Probable Disjunctions, Inconsistency, and Multiple Rivals”, 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Preconference Workshop on Philosophy and Psychology of Science, 2019.

(18) “Reflections on Epistemic Conservatism”, 10th Biennial Rochester Graduate Epistemology Conference, 2018.

[Distinguished Alumni Speaker]

(17) “Reflections on Epistemic Conservatism”, Southeastern Epistemology Conference, 2018.

(16) “Lovely Explanations and Probable Disjunctions”, 10th Annual Orange Beach Epistemology Workshop, 2018.

(15) “Why Life Isn’t Absurd”, Progress Study Club, 2018.

(14) “Forgetting Memory Skepticism”, Aquinas Lecture, St. Thomas University (Fredericton, NB Canada), 2018.

(13) “Forgetting Memory Skepticism”, Southeastern Epistemology Conference, 2017.

(12) “Belief in or belief about: Which question do polls about evolution really ask, and why does it matter?”, UAB Haddin Forum, 2016.

(11) “Book Symposium: Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification”, Pacific APA, 2016.

(An author-meets-critics session on my book, Evidentialism and Epistemic Justification—critics: Richard Fumerton (University of Iowa), Jonathan Kvanvig (Baylor University), and Matthias Steup (Purdue University)).

(10) “Meaning in Life: Combating Arguments for Absurdity”, UAB Donaldson Lecture Series, 2016.

(9) “The Evidential Impact of Explanatory Considerations: A Reply to Roche and Sober”, Southeastern Epistemology Conference, 2015.

(8) “Reasonable People Can Disagree…Can’t They?”, UAB Big Idea Lecture Series, 2015.

(7) “Explanationism, Perceptual Justification, and Defeat”, Southeastern Epistemology Conference, 2014.

(6) “Solving the Problem of Forgotten Evidence”, Southeastern Epistemology Conference, 2013.

(5) “Self-support or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Circle”, Southeastern Epistemology Conference, 2012.

(4) “In Defense of the Explanationist Response to Skepticism”, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012.

(3) “Epicurus on Death: A Defense”, Nazareth College, 2012.

(2) “The Explanationist Response to Skepticism”, Southern Utah University, 2012.

(1) “The Explanationist Response to Skepticism”, Nazareth College, 2010.

Commentaries

10) Comments on Chris Tucker’s “Dogmatism and the Epistemology of Covert Selection”, Eastern APA, 2018.

(9) Comments on Finnur Dellsén’s “Abductively Robust Inference”, Pacific APA, 2017.

(8) Comments on Matthew Childer’s “How Natural is Natural Goodness?”, 39th Annual MidSouth Philosophy Conference, 2015.

(7) Comments on Abelard Podgorski’s “Dynamic Epistemic Conservatism”, Pacific APA, 2015.

(6) Comments on Andrew Higgins’ “The Problem of “Intuition””, 37th Annual MidSouth Philosophy Conference, 2013.

(5) Comments on James Beebe’s “Gettierized Knobe Effects”, Central States Philosophical Association Meeting, 2012.

(4) Comments on Ryan Byerly’s “Explanationism and Justified Beliefs about the Future”, 6th Biennial Rochester Graduate Epistemology Conference, 2010.

(3) Comments on Kok Yong Lee’s “On the Distinctive Value of Knowledge”, Central States Philosophical Association Meeting, 2010.

(2) Comments on Michael Robinson’s “The Real Problem with Prepunishment”, Mountain-Pacific Meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, 2009.

(1) Comments on Wesley Buckwalter’s “Knowledge Isn’t Closed on Saturdays.” 5th Biennial Rochester Graduate Epistemology Conference, 2008.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

(* = Newly developed course)

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Bioethics; Contemporary Moral Issues; Epistemology; Epistemology & Philosophy of Science (Ockham's Razor)*; Evidence and Truth in a Post-Truth Society* (UHP seminar--co-taught); Fight the Power: Exploring Political Authority*; Introduction to Philosophy; Knowing in a Social World*; Meaning of Life: Perspectives*; Philosophy in Film*; Philosophy of Religion; Philosophy of Science; Searching for Understanding*

University of Rochester

Life and Death Moral Issues*; Introduction to Philosophy; Philosophy and Sci-fi*; Science and Truth*

Nazareth College

Ancient Philosophy; Contemporary Philosophy; Ethical Theory; Logic and Inquiry; Philosophy of Science

HONORS AND GRANTS

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Honors Faculty Fellow [2019-2020]

CAS Dean’s Humanities Grant [2019]

CTL Affordable Instructional Materials Award [2019]

UAB EMSAP Outstanding Professor Award [2016]

UAB Red Mountain Project Award [2016]

UAB Grant Submission Award [2013]

University of Rochester

Commendation in the Outstanding Dissertation Award-Humanities & Humanistic Social Sciences [2011-2012]

SERVICE

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Administrative

Beinecke/Truman Scholarship Committee [2019-present]

Gregory Pence Scholarship Committee [2019]

CAS Promotion and Tenure Committee [2018-present]

Philosophy Department Chairperson Search Committee [2018-2019]

CAS Caucus [2017-2019]

CAS Scholarship Committee for the Humanities [2017-2019]

Faculty Senate—Alternate Senator [2017-2019]

Committee on Academic Advising [2017-2018]

Steering Committee for Committee on Academic Advising [2017-2018]

Faculty Senate Finance Committee [2017-2018]

Philosophy Department Promotion and Tenure Committee (Chair) [2017-2018]

Philosophy Department VAP Search Committee [Summer 2017]

Ethics Track Development Committee (Co-chair) [2016-2017]

Philosophy Internship Development Committee (Co-chair) [2016-2017]

Faculty Advisor for UAB Student Fellowship of Philosophy (Philosophy Club) [2013-2017]

Philosophy Department WEAVE Committee [Fall 2016]

Philosophy Department Building Committee (Chair) [Spring 2016]

Philosophy Department Website Committee [Summer 2015]

Guest Lectures

“What is Critical Thinking and What’s Its Value?”— Sellers’ CAS 112 [Oct. 2017]

“Demarcation and the Method of Science”— Hendricks’ PUH 204 [Feb. 2016]

“Is Believing in God Rational?”—Philosophy Department’s Great Debate [Nov. 2015]

“What is Critical Thinking and What’s Its Value?”—Sellers’ CAS 112 [Nov. 2015]

“What is Critical Thinking and What’s Its Value?”—Doggett’s CAS 112-33 [Oct. 2015]

“What is Critical Thinking and What’s Its Value?”—Doggett’s CAS 112-32 [Oct. 2015]

“Philosophy and Time Travel”—UAB Honors Preview [Jan. 2014]

“What is Critical Thinking and What’s Its Value?”—Doggett’s CAS 112-51 [Oct. 2014]

“The Process of Writing a Book”—UAB Philosophy Club [Oct. 2014]

“What is Critical Thinking and What’s Its Value?”—Doggett’s CAS 112-31 [Oct. 2014]

“Explanatory Responses to Skepticism”—UAB Philosophy Club [Oct. 2012]

Supervising

Dylan Baumgardner—Independent Study [Summer 2019]

Cynthia Beachy—Independent Study [Spring 2019]

Kevin Lee—Research Assistant [Spring 2018]

Siddhu Srikakolapu—Research Assistant [Spring 2018]

Joshua Renz—Independent Study [Fall 2015]

Pratyusha Thundena—Independent Study [Spring 2014]

John Samples—Independent Study [Spring 2013]

Student Support

Guest Judge—UAB Ethics Bowl Team tryouts [Sept. 2017; Oct. 2014; Sept. 2013]

Faculty Representative—College 101 Humanities Sessions [Nov. 2016]

Guest Judge—UAB Ethics Bowl Team practice [Nov. 2015; Feb. 2015; Oct. 2013]

Organizer—Philosophy Department’s Big Idea lecture series [2013-2015]

Guest Judge—UAB Bioethics Bowl Team practice [March 2014]

Selection Committee—UAB Ethics Bowl Team [Sept. 2013]

Interviewer for NIH OxCam Fellowship prep [Jan. 2013]

Professional

Editorial

Series Editor for Routledge Studies in Epistemology [2018-present]

Editorial Board member for Science & Education [2015-present]

Editor for Academia.edu [2015-present]

Conference Organization

Co-organizer—New Arguments/New Angles Workshop: Epistemic Dilemmas (St. Thomas U.) [2020]

Co-organizer—12th Annual Orange Beach Epistemology Workshop [2020]

Co-organizer—New Arguments/New Angles Workshop: Epistemic Duty (St. Thomas U.) [2019]

Steering committee—Epistemology of Science (U. of Pittsburgh) [2019]

Co-organizer—11th Annual Orange Beach Epistemology Workshop [2019]

Co-organizer—10th Annual Orange Beach Epistemology Workshop [2018]

Co-organizer—8th Annual Orange Beach Epistemology Workshop [2016]

Co-organizer—7th Annual Orange Beach Epistemology Workshop [2015]

Organizer—6th Biennial Rochester Graduate Epistemology Conference [2010]

Peer review

Acta Analytica, American Philosophical Quarterly, Analysis, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Broadview Press, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Central States Philosophical Association, de Gruyter, Dialectica, Dialogue, Episteme, Ergo, Erkenntnis, European Journal for Philosophy of Science, Faith and Philosophy, International Journal for the Study of Skepticism, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Journal of the American Philosophical Association, Journal of Philosophical Research, Kemanusiaan: The Asian Journal of Humanities, Mind, Nous, Oxford University Press, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Palgrave Macmillan, Philosophia, Philosophical Papers, Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophy of Science, Rowman & Littlefield, Science & Education, Southern Journal of Philosophy, Springer, Synthese, Theoria, Thought, Topoi, W.W. Norton & Company

External reviewer for Icelandic Research Fund research grant proposal [Fall 2018]

External reviewer for Leverhulme Trust research grant proposal [Spring 2018]

External reviewer for Swiss National Science Foundation research grant proposal [Summer 2016]

REFERENCES

Earl Conee, University of Rochester

Richard Feldman, University of Rochester

Richard Fumerton, University of Iowa

Gregory E. Pence, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Jonathan Vogel, Amherst College