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General Editor: Ernest Lepore

Philosophy is an interactive enterprise. Much of it is carried out in dialogue as theories and ideas are presented and subsequently refined in the crucible of close scrutiny. The purpose of this series is to reconstruct this vital interplay among thinkers. Each book consists of a temporary assessment of an important living philosopher’s work. A collection of essays written by an interdisciplinary group of critics addressing the substantial theses of the philosopher’s corpus opens each volume. In the last section, the philosopher responds to his or her critics, clarifies crucial points of the discussion, or updates his or her doctrines.

  1. Dretske and His Critics
    Edited by Brian P. McLaughlin
  2. John Searle and His Critics
    Edited by Ernest Lepore and Robert van Gulick
  3. Meaning in Mind: Fodor and His Critics
    Edited by Barry Loewer and Georges Rey
  4. Dennett and His Critics
    Edited by Bo Dahlbom
  5. Danto and His Critics
    Edited by Mark Rollins
  6. Perspectives on Quine
    Edited by Robert B. Barrett and Roger F. Gibson
  7. The Churchlands and Their Critics
    Edited by Robert N. McCauley
  8. Singer and His Critics
    Edited by Dale Jamieson
  9. Rorty and His Critics
    Edited by Robert B. Brandom
  10. Chomsky and His Critics
    Edited by Louise M. Antony and Norbert Hornstein
  11. Dworkin and His Critics
    Edited by Justine Burley
  12. McDowell and His Critics
    Edited by Cynthia Macdonald and Graham Macdonald
  13. Stich and His Critics
    Edited by Dominic Murphy and Michael Bishop
  14. Danto and His Critics, 2nd Edition
    Edited by Mark Rollins
  15. Millikan and Her Critics
    Edited by Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury, and Kenneth Williford
  16. Goldman and His Critics
    Edited by Brian P. McLaughlin and Hilary Kornblith


















Laurence BonJour
Professor Emeritus
Department of Philosophy
University of Washington, Seattle

Chaz Firestone
Graduate Student
Department of Psychology
Yale University

Elizabeth Fricker
Fellow and Tutor
Faculty of Philosophy
Magdalen College
University of Oxford

Vittorio Gallese
Professor of Human Physiology
Department of Neuroscience
University of Parma

Alvin I. Goldman
Board of Governors Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science
Department of Philosophy
Rutgers University

Christopher S. Hill
William Herbert Perry Faunce Professor
Department of Philosophy
Brown University

Thomas Kelly
Department of Philosophy
Princeton University

Christian List
Professor of Political Science and Philosophy
Departments of Government and Philosophy
London School of Economics

Jack C. Lyons
Department of Philosophy
University of Arkansas

Matthew McGrath
Department of Philosophy
University of Missouri, Columbia

Hugo Mercier
Ambizione Fellow
Cognitive Science Center
University of Neuchâtel

Jennifer Nagel
Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
University of Toronto

Erik J. Olsson
Professor of Theoretical Philosophy
Lund University

Duncan Pritchard
Department of Philosophy
University of Edinburgh

Jonathan Schaffer
Distinguished Professor
Department of Philosophy
Rutgers University

Ernest Sosa
Board of Governors Professor
Department of Philosophy
Rutgers University

Kai Spiekermann
Associate Professor of Political Philosophy
Department of Government
London School of Economics

Frédérique de Vignemont
CNRS Researcher
Insitut Jean Nicod

Michael Williams
Krieger‐Eisenhower Professor
Department of Philosophy
Johns Hopkins University


My first and foremost thanks for this volume go to the co‐editors, Hilary Kornblith and Brian P. McLaughlin, who invested huge amounts of time and energy to this project, from conception to final execution. I have debts to each of them for many things over many years, but their work on this project exceeds everything that went before. To the authors of the volume’s chapters I am also exceedingly grateful. I could not have imagined a more astute and incisive assemblage of critics. I very much appreciate the careful and thorough pieces of philosophy (and cognitive science, in some instances) that they collectively directed toward a wide range of my writings. It is possible that I originally misread the proposed volume’s title. I thought it read “Goldman and His ‘Critics’,” with scare quotes around ‘Critics.’ So I wasn’t initially prepared for the tough‐minded seriousness of the critiques I encountered. Nonetheless, I pulled myself together and wrote replies with roughly comparable levels of seriousness; at any rate, as serious as could be mounted subject to my 1000‐word limit per reply. Thanks for the workout, my friends.

Alvin I. Goldman (September, 2015)


This volume contains sixteen essays on Alvin Goldman’s work and his replies to them. Many of the essays focus on Goldman’s contributions to epistemology, both individual and social. Others deal with his important contributions to philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of mind especially simulation theory and metaphysics. It is difficult to contain the range of Goldman’s interests and contributions within the covers of a single volume.

Goldman’s contributions to epistemology, beginning almost fifty years ago with “A Causal Theory of Knowing” (1967), completely changed the field. His externalism brought about a paradigm shift in epistemological theorizing from the centrality of the would‐be knower’s perspective to a third‐person view of the features in virtue of which a belief is justified. Part and parcel of this shift was a move away from what Goldman called a “current time slice view” of justification, according to which the justificational status of a belief at a given time depends exclusively on features of the believer at that time, in favor of a historical theory of justification, which makes a belief’s justificatory status depend on features of its causal ancestry. Goldman has elaborated and defended this externalist view in ever greater detail and depth over the years, and the debate between externalists and internalists continues to be a focus of discussion in the epistemological literature. It is thus appropriate that a number of papers here are addressed to that issue.

Once one adopts an externalist approach to epistemological issues, the exclusive focus on features of individual knowers that had been so prevalent within the epistemological literature begins to look misguided. Much that goes on within individuals is, to be sure, relevant to epistemological concerns. But features of the social environment are ripe for epistemological analysis as well, and, especially beginning with Knowledge in a Social World (1999), Goldman has played a crucial role not only in highlighting the importance of these social features, but in developing a full‐scale social epistemology. These concerns are reflected in a number of the contributions to this volume.

Goldman’s work in philosophy of mind and cognitive science rightly receive attention here as well. Goldman gave one of the earliest articulations and defenses of the simulation account of self‐knowledge, a view he presented most fully in Simulating Minds: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Mindreading (2006), and which he further elaborated in the papers collected in Joint Ventures: Mindreading, Mirroring, and Embodied Cognition (2013).

Finally, Goldman’s work in metaphysics, influenced, as so much of his work is, by results in the cognitive sciences, is also the focus of attention here.

Throughout his career, Goldman’s work has been a model of interdisciplinary research and of scientifically informed philosophy. He has co‐authored work not only with other philosophers, but with economists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and lawyers. The breadth of his vision, the care and clarity with which he has worked out his ideas, the originality and scope of his views, have all contributed to the importance of his work. Goldman’s evident pleasure in interacting with other researchers, and the tremendous contributions he has made by way of those interactions, can be seen here in his replies to the contributors to this volume. We have all profited from these interactions over many years, and it is our pleasure that this volume should serve as a token of our appreciation for Goldman’s many seminal contributions.

We would like to thank Sam Carter for his help with editorial work and for preparing the index.