Mikkel Gerken: Publications & Presentations

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Papers are linked to the journal webpage or PhilPapers.org. If you can't access a paper, feel free to email me.

On Folk Epistemology: How we think and talk about knowledge. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Monograph concerning the relation between folk epistemology and epistemology (and a good deal more)

Epistemic Reasoning and the Mental. Palgrave Macmillan, Innovations on Philosophy, 2013.

Monograph (near-identical to my UCLA dissertation) concerning the epistemology of reasoning.
Knowledge Ascriptions. (eds. Jessica Brown and Mikkel Gerken). Oxford University Press. 2012.

Anthology with papers that discuss knowledge ascriptions from various perspectives.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters
"The New Evil Demon and the Devil in the Details" in The Factive Turn in Epistemology (ed. Mitova, V.), Cambridge University Press.

"Against Knowledge First Epistemology" in Knowlege First Epistemology (ed. Carter, Gordon and Jarvis), Oxford University Press.

"Epistemic entitlement - its scope and limits" in Epistemic Entitlement (ed. Graham & Pedersen). Oxford University Press.

I argue that epistemic warrant harbors two kinds - an internalist one (justification) and an externalist one (entitlement). I then argue for a novel way of drawing the distinction: The Reason Criterion according to which a warrant is a justification iff it  constitutively depends, for its warranting force, on the competent exercise of the faculty of reason and otherwise an entitlement. I conclude by arguing that while entitlement is an crucial epistemological category justifications are indispensable in epistemology

"The Epistemic Norms of Intra-Scientific Testimony" Philosophy and the Social Sciences.
What is the epistemic position that a scientist must be in vis-à-vis a proposition, p, in order to be in a good enough epistemic position to assert that p to a fellow scientist within the scientific process? I set forth an epistemic norm to answer this question and connect it to issues pertaining to reliability, revisability and accountability in scientific collaboration.
"How to do things with knowledge ascriptions" Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
I argue that Lawlor's Austinian semantics of knowledge ascriptions may be characterized as a pragmatic encroachment theory. Lawlor motivates the theory by appeal to the idea that the conversational function of knowledge ascriptions is to provide assurance. I argue against this transition from function to semantics and draw some general positive and negative lessons.
"Knowledge in and out of contrast" (w. James Beebe), Noûs.
We report and discuss the results of a series of experiments that address a contrast effect on knowledge ascriptions. Our key findings are, firstly, that belief ascriptions exhibit a similar contrast effect and, secondly, that the contrast effect is systematically sensitive to the content of what is in contrast. We argue that these data pose significant challenges to contrastivist accounts of the contrast effect and favor a focal bias account.
"Outsourced Cognition" Philosophical Issues, 24 (1), (2014): 127-158.
I outline a hypothesis of outsourced cognition according to which the cognitive states and processes of the individual are substantially and explanatorily distinct from the relevant external states and processes. I then consider the epistemology of testimony and argue that important epistemological categories may be preserved by adopting the hypothesis of outsourced cognition over the hypothesis of extended cognition.
Are the epistemic norms of assertion and the epistemic norms of action/practical reasoning the same or different? To clarify the issue, I articulate a distinction between Equivalence Commonality and Structural Commonality. I argue that principled differences between the epistemic norms of action and assertion compromise Equivalence Commonality. In contrast, a qualified version of Structural Commonality may be preserved.
Knowledge norms of action are often said to be motivated by the fact that they align with natural assessments of action. In response to this line of reasoning, I argue that a warrant account of action may explain the prominence of ‘knowledge’ in epistemic assessments better than the knowledge account. If this explanation is successful, it undermines a central rationale for the ‘knowledge first’ program in epistemology.
The paper articulates a prima facie incompatibility between three widely accepted theses. The first thesis is, roughly, that there are intrinsically self-representational thoughts. The second thesis is, roughly, that there is a particular causal constraint on mental representation. The third thesis is, roughly, that nothing causes itself. In this paper, the theses are articulated in a less rough manner with the occurrence of the puzzle as a result.
"Internalism and Externalism in the Epistemology of TestimonyPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 87, (3). (2013), 532-557.

I argue for pluralism about testimonial warrant. This is the view that there are two species of genuinely epistemic warrants that can acrue to testimonial belief - an internalist one (justification) and and externalist one (entitlement.) I begin to developing positive accounts of testimonial entitlement and testimonial justification. I conclude by illuminating my approach by way of contrast ing it with Paul Faulkner’s related approach.
"Epistemic Focal Bias" Australasian Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 91, (1), (2013): 41-61.
I defend strict invariantism against philosophical and empirical data that have been taken to compromise it. The defence involves a combination of a priori philosophical arguments and empirically informed theorizing. The positive account of the data is an epistemic focal bias account that draws on cognitive psychology. According to the epistemic focal bias account, the intuitive judgments about knowledge ascriptions that constitute contrast effects amount to false positives, whereas the intuitive judgments that constitute salient alternatives effects amount to false negatives.
"On the Cognitive Bases of Knowledge Ascriptions" Knowledge Ascriptions, (eds. J. Brown and M. Gerken): Oxford University Press, (2012): 140-170.
I develop an epistemic focal bias account of certain patterns of judgments about knowledge ascriptions by integrating it with a general dual process framework of human cognition. According to the focal bias account, judgments about knowledge ascriptions are generally reliable but systematically fallible because the cognitive processes that generate them are affected by what is in focus. I argue that the basic epistemic focal bias account of certain contrast effects and salient alternatives effects can be plausibly integrated with the dual process framework.
"Discursive Justification and Skepticism" Synthese, 189, (2), (2012): 173-194.
I argue that the epistemic norm of assertion is structurally similar to the epistemic norm of action I have proposed elsewhere. But I argue that the kind of warrant operative in the epistemic norm of a many assertions is an internalist one that I call ‘discursive justification.’ I briefly consider whether a Agrippa’s Trilemma is motivated, at least in part, by the fact that responses to it violate the relevant epistemic norm of assertion.
"Univocal Reasoning and Inferential Presuppositions" Erkenntnis, 76, (3), (2012): 373-394.
I pursue an answer to the psychological question “what is it for S to presuppose that p?” In particular, I explore presuppositions that are constituted by the mental act of reasoning: Inferential presuppositions. I outline a conception of an inferential presupposition as a non-attitudinal but genuinely psychological and rationally committing relation that holds between a reasoner and a proposition.
"Conceptual Equivocation and Warrant by Reasoning" Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 89, (3), (2011): 381-400.
I argue that, given anti-individualism, one may, in certain epistemically abnormal circumstances, generate warrant by reasoning although one commits the fallacy of equivocation. My argument sheds light on the nature of inferential warrant. Moreover, it provides a defense of anti-individualism against a notorious "slow-switch" based challenge that is due to Paul Boghossian,
"Warrant and Action" Synthese, Vol. 178, No 3, (2011): 529-547.

I argue, contra John Hawthorne and Jason Stanley, that a warrant account of practical deliberation and action is more plausible than a knowledge account. More importantly, I outline a positive warrant account and note some problems for the appeal to excuses that proponents of a knowledge account tend to give in response to counterexamples.

"Conceptual Equivocation and Epistemic Relevance."  dialectica, Vol 63, No. 2, (2009): 117-132.

I argue, contra Peter Ludlow, that the risk of engaging in a certain type of conceptual equivocation should be regarded as an epistemic irrelevant alternative. I conclude with some general considerations regarding the notion of epistemic relevance.

"Is There a Simple Argument for Higher-Order Representation Theories of Awareness Consciousness?" Erkenntnis, Vol. 69, No. 2, (2008): 243-259. 

I argue that Willam Lycan's "simple argument" for higher-order representation theories of awareness consciousness fails. I then provide a way to fix the argument and discuss some prospects and problems with the fix.

"Is Internalism about Knowledge Consistent with Content Externalism?" Philosophia, Vol. 36, No. 1, (2008): 87-96.

I argue that Jesper Kallestrup and Duncan Pritchard's argument for the incompatibility of internalism about knowledge and content externalism fails. More specifically, I argue that their incompatibilist argument is invalid and, moreover, that it contains several problematic assumptions.

"A False Dilemma for Anti-Individualism" American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 44, no. 4, (2007): 329-342.

I argue that Jessica Brown's view regarding what anti-individualist can say about non-referring thought amounts to a false dilemma and set forth an alternative. Along the way I sketch some arguments against disjunctivism and say a bit about the epistemic properties of non-referring beliefs.
Reviews, Introductions Encyclopedia Entries etc.
"Does Contextualism Hinge on a Methodological Dispute?" (w. Jie Gao and Stephen B. Ryan). Oxford Handbook of Contextualism (ed. Ichikawa, J.), Oxford University Press

"Critical Study of Goldberg's Relying on Others." Episteme, (9), 1, pp. 81-88.
"Knowledge Ascriptions - their semantics, cognitive bases and social functions." (w. Jessica Brown) forthcoming in Knowledge Ascriptions (Eds. J. Brown and M. Gerken), Oxford University Press.
"Critical Study of Brueckner's Essays on Skepticism." Forthcoming in International Journal for the Study of Skepticism.
"Introduction: Social Cognitive Ecology and its Role in Social Epistemology" (w. J. Kallestrup, K. Kappel and D. Pritchard), forthcoming in Episteme - Special Issue on Social Cognitive Ecology.
Edited Academic Publications:
"Cognitive Ecology: The Role of the Concept of Knowledge in our Social Cognitive Ecology" Special Issue of Episteme co-edited with J. Kallestrup, K. Kappel and D. Pritchard.


"On the Cognitive Bases for Knowledge Ascriptions" Lund University, (invited), Nov. 9th.

"If the word 'knowledge' did not exist, would it be necessary to invent it?" University of Edinburgh, (invited), Nov. 4th.

"Entitlement and Justification in the Epistemology of Testimony. Basic Knowledge Workshop V, Northern Institute of Philosophy, Aberdeen, (invited), Nov. 1st.

"Inferential Presuppositions and Univocal Reasoning" SERG Workshop, University of Copenhagen, (invited), Oct. 29th.

"On the Cognitive Bases for Knowledge Ascriptions" Institute Jean Nicod, Paris, (invited), Oct. 23rd.

"On the Cognitive Bases for Knowledge Ascriptions" Danish Epistemology Network, University of Copenhagen, (invited), Oct. 17th.

"Warrant by Testimony in Contexts of Disagreement and Diversity." Responsible Belief in the Face of Disagreement - International Conference, VA Univerisity, Amsterdam, (refereed), Aug. 18th.

"Warrant by Testimony in Contexts of Disagreement and Diversity." SERG workshop, University of Copenhagen, (invited), Aug. 14th.

"If the word 'knowledge' did not exist, would it be necessary to invent it?" Southern California Epistemology Workshop, UCLA, (invited), July 31st.

"Internalism and Externalism in the Epistemology of Testimony" Danish Epistemology Network, University of Copenhagen, (invited), June 16th.

"Conceptual Equivocation and Warrant by Reasoning" XIXth Inter-University Workshop on Philosophy and Cognitive Science, University of Zaragoza, (refereed), May 29th.

"If the word 'knowledge' did not exist, would it be necessary to invent it?" Danish Epistemology Network, University of Copenhagen, (invited), May. 26th.

"Comments on Sanford Goldberg's 'Anti-Individualism.' American Philosophical Association, Annual Meeting, Pacific Division, Vancouver, (invited), Apr. 11th.

"If the word 'knowledge' did not exist, would it be necessary to invent it?" The Young European Epistemologists Workshop, Université de Genéve, (invited), Mar. 21st.

"If the word 'knowledge' did not exist, would it be necessary to invent it?" Danish Philosophical Society, Annual Meeting, Univerisity of Aarhus, (invited), Feb. 28th.

"Univocal Reasoning and Inferential Presuppositions" Danish Philosophical Society, Annual Meeting, Univerisity of Aarhus, (invited), Feb. 27th.


"A Puzzle about Mental Representation and Causation" and "Conceptual Equivocation and Epistemic Relevance" Danish Epistemology Network, University of Copenhagen, (invited), Oct. 27th.

"What's knowledge got to do with it?" Lund University, (invited), Oct. 14th

"Warrant and Action" Arché Seminar, Arché, University of St. Andrews, (invited), Sep. 29th.

"Conceptual Equivocation and Warrant by Reasoning" Arché Basic Knowledge III, Arché, University of St. Andrews, (invited), Sep. 27th.

"What's knowledge got to do with it?" Danish Epistemology Network, University of Copenhagen, (invited), Sep. 19th. 

"Om Epistemisk Kontekstualisme og Filosofisk Metodologi" Filosofiklubben, University of Copenhagen, (invited), Sep. 5th

"Warrant and Action" Berkeley Epistemology Workshop, UC Berkeley, (invited), Aug. 12th.   

"Deliberative Warrant and Action" Southern California Epistemology Seminar. UCLA, (invited), July 23th.

"Delibertive Warrant and Action." Danish  Epistemology Network, University of Copenhagen, (invited), Jun. 5th.

"Deliberative Warrant and Action." Epistemic Agency Conference, University of Geneva (refereed), Apr. 26th.


"Is there a simple argument for higher-order theories of awareness consciousness." Albritton Society, UCLA                    (invited), December 7th.

"Conceptual Equivocation and Warrant by Reasoning." SoCal Epistemology Workshop, UCLA (invited), Oct. 13th.

"Testing the Case for Contextualism."  Linguistics in Epistemology Conference, University of Aberdeen,                       (refereed), May 13th.

"Comments on Brian Kim's 'The Function and Context-Sensitivity of Knowledge Attributions.'" 2nd annual UCLA/USC Graduate Conference in PhilosophyUCLA, (invited), Feb. 24th.


"A False Dilemma for Anti-Individualism." Danish Epistemology Network, University of Copenhagen (invited), Nov. 3rd.

"Comments on Berit Brogaard's 'The Trivial Argument Against Value Monism'." Conference on Epistemic                            Value, Stirling University (invited), Aug. 19th

"A Transcendental Argument for Externalism about Attitudes." Albritton Society, UCLA (invited), May 12th.

"Is Epistemic Internalism Compatible with Externalism about Attitudes?" Epistemology Workshop, UC                         Berkeley (invited), Apr. 21th.

"Against Modal Rationalism." Berkeley, Stanford and Davies Graduate Philosophy Conference, Stanford                     University (refereed), Apr. 8th.

"Testing the Case for Contextualism." 3rd Miami Graduate Student Conference in Epistemology,                         University of Miami (refereed), Jan. 19th.


"Testing the Case for Contextualism." Albritton Society, UCLA (invited), Feb. 11th.


"A Dilemma for Mentalist Theories of Justification." NAMICONA Workshop, Hotel Kolding Fjord,                                 (invited), Sep. 3rd.

"If you can't WAM 'em, WACK 'em." NAMICONA Workshop, Hotel Kolding Fjord (invited), Jul. 1st.


"Lycan's Simple Argument - A Subtlefication." PHIS 2nd Graduate Conference in Philosophy, University of Copenhagen (invited), Dec. 6th.