Brown University ~ Department of Philosophy

Philosophy Faculty

Picture of David Christensen
David Christensen
Professor of Philosophy
306 Corliss Brackett
Office Hours: On leave Fall 2014

David Christensen received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 1987 and taught for 20 years at the University of Vermont before coming to Brown in 2007. His main research interests are in epistemology and philosophy of science. He has written on such questions as: What determines whether a given bit of evidence supports or refutes a given theory? What logical principles apply to rational beliefs (either degrees of belief or all-or-nothing beliefs)? How should one's beliefs be affected by one's knowing that other people, who are equally informed, rational and intelligent, believe differently?

Christensen is currently working on questions about how our theory of ideal rationality should accommodate rational self-doubt, and, in general, what constraints rationality puts on the way one regards one's own beliefs.

Online Papers

Electronic copies of published articles may in some cases be available from Prof Christensen, for those who do not have access to the public repositories.

"Disagreement and Public Controversy", forthcoming in Essays in Collective Epistemology, edited by Jennifer Lackey, Oxford University Press (PDF)

"Epistemic Modesty Defended", in The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays, edited by David Christensen and Jennifer Lackey, Oxford University Press. (PDF)

"Disagreement, Question-Begging and Epistemic Self-Criticism", Philosophers’ Imprint 11, no. 6 (2011) (PDF)

"Rational Reflection", Philosophical Perspectives 24 (2010): 121-140 (Wiley Interscience, PDF)

"Higher-Order Evidence", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2010): 185-215 (Wiley Interscience, PDF)

"Disagreement as Evidence: The Epistemology of Controversy", Philosophy Compass 4 (2009), pp. 756-67(Wiley Interscience, PDF)

"Epistemic Self-Respect", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (2007), 319-337 (Wiley Interscience, PDF)

"Does Murphy's Law Apply in Epistemology? Self-Doubt and Rational Ideals", Oxford Studies in Epistemology 2 (2007), 3-31 (PDF)

"Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News", Philosophical Review 116 (2007), 187-217 (Phil Review, PDF)

"Three Questions about Leplin's Reliabilism", Philosophical Studies 134 (2007), 43-50 (Springer, PDF)

"Preference-Based Arguments for Probabilism", Philosophy of Science 68 (2001), 356-76 (JSTOR, PDF)

"Diachronic Coherence vs. Epistemic Impartiality", Philosophical Review 109 (2000), 349-71 (JSTOR, PDF)

"Measuring Confirmation", Journal of Philosophy 96 (1999), 437-61 (JSTOR, PDF)

"What is Relative Confirmation?" Noûs 31 (1997), 370-84 (JSTOR, PDF)

"Testimony, Memory, and the Limits of the A Priori", Philosophical Studies 86 (1997), 1-20 (with Hilary Kornblith) (Springer, PDF)

"Dutch Books Depragmatized: Epistemic Consistency for Partial Believers", Journal of Philosophy 93 (1996), 450-79 (JSTOR, PDF)

"Critical Study of Robert Nozick's The Nature of Rationality", Noûs 29 (1995), 259-74 (JSTOR)

"Conservatism in Epistemology", Noûs 28 (1994), 69-89 (JSTOR)

"Switched-Words Skepticism: a Case Study in Semantical Anti-Skeptical Argument", Philosophical Studies 71 (1993), 33-58 (Springer)

"Skeptical Problems, Semantical Solutions", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (1993), 301-21 (JSTOR)

"Confirmational Holism and Bayesian Epistemology", Philosophy of Science 59 (1992), 540-57 (JSTOR)

"Causal Powers and Conceptual Connections", Analysis 52 (1992), 163-68.(JSTOR)

"Clever Bookies and Coherent Beliefs", Philosophical Review 100 (1991), 229-47 (JSTOR)

"The Irrelevance of Bootstrapping", Philosophy of Science 57 (1990), 644-62 (JSTOR)

"Glymour on Evidential Relevance", Philosophy of Science 50 (1983), 471-81 (JSTOR)