Chair, Advanced Studies Committee
I received my PhD in Philosophy at the University of California, Irvine. In particular, I studied the philosophy of mathematics. When I came to work in a library and information science program, I had to reinvent myself both as a teacher and a researcher. However, the necessary transformation was not as drastic as I might have expected.
In my previous studies, I looked at how mathematicians acquire knowledge. Now I am looking at how people in general acquire knowledge from other people. In particular, I am doing research on how people acquire knowledge from other people through information sources such as books and the Internet. I regularly teach a course that looks at how to make it easier for people to evaluate the quality of information.
The project of figuring out which social practices best facilitate the acquisition of knowledge is known as social epistemology. Several library scientists (most notably, Jesse Shera) have long argued that social epistemology is central to library science. For example, librarians typically want patrons to be better informed when they leave the library. I teach a course that applies various results in social epistemology to library and information science.
In addition to courses about social epistemology, I teach some courses for those who intend to become managers of information services. In particular, I teach a course that looks at decision making techniques that will allow managers to run their libraries more efficiently. Also I teach a course that looks specifically at the economics of disseminating information and its impact on information services.
Finally, I teach a course on ethics for library and information professionals. This course applies ethical theories to important issues (censorship, privacy, intellectual property, etc.) that regularly confront all library and information professionals. By the way, I am also one of the organizers of the annual Information Ethics Roundtable which focuses on these same issues.
- PhD, University of California, Irvine, Philosophy
- MA, University of California, Irvine, Philosophy
- BA, University of California, Irvine, Philosophy
- BA, University of California, Irvine, Psychology
- Social Epistemology
- Philosophy of Information
- Information Ethics
Research on Lying and Deception:
- "What is Lying?", Journal of Philosophy, 106, 1, (2009): 29-56.
- "Lying and Deception", Philosophers' Imprint, 10, 11, (2010).
- "What Liars Can Tell Us about the Knowledge Norm of Practical Reasoning", Southern Journal of Philosophy, 49, 4, (2011): 347-367.
- "Floridi on Disinformation", Etica & Politica, 13, 2, (2011): 201-214.
- "Davidson was Almost Right about Lying", Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 91, 2, (2013): 337-353.
- "Lying as a Violation of Grice's First Maxim of Quality", dialectica, 66, 4, (2012): 563-581.
- (with Adam Arico) "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: An Empirical Study of the Concept of Lying", Philosophical Psychology, 26, 6, (2013): 790-816.
- "What is Deceptive Lying?", Paper presented at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, (2011).
- "A Functional Analysis of Disinformation", Paper presented at the iConference, (2014).
- "Epistemic Values and Disinformation", Virtue Epistemology Naturalized, ed. Abrol Fairweather, Springer, forthcoming.
- "The Varieties of Disinformation", The Philosophy of Information Quality, eds. Luciano Floridi and Phyllis Illari, Springer, forthcoming.
- "Skyrms on the Possibility of Universal Deception", Philosophical Studies, forthcoming.
- "Are Bald-Faced Lies Deceptive After All?", Ratio, forthcoming.
Popular Writing on Lying and Deception:
- "The Most Terrific Liar You Ever Saw in Your Life", The Catcher in the Rye and Philosophy, (2012): 11-21.
- "The Many Faces of Deception", Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy, Open Court, (2011): 159-177.
- "Lies, Incorporated", Philip K. Dick and Philosophy, Open Court, (2011): 163-173.
- "The Mendacity Bifurcation", The Big Bang Theory and Philosophy, Wiley-Blackwell, (2012): 203-216.
- "It is a Great Crime to Lie to a King", Game of Thrones and Philosophy, Wiley-Blackwell, (2012): 19-32.
- "What if Nobody Walks the Straight and Narrow Track?", The Wire and Philosophy, Open Court, (2013): 97-104.
- "Are Apes Sneaky Enough to be People?", Planet of the Apes and Philosophy, Open Court, (2013): 27-38.
- "When It's Right to Lie to a Bootlegger", Boardwalk Empire and Philosophy, Open Court, (2013): 101-113.
- "They're Screwing Around with Us!", Ender's Game and Philosophy, Open Court, (2013): 107-114.
- "Epistemic Warfare on the Homefront", Homeland and Philosophy, ed. Robert Arp, Open Court, forthcoming.
- "Becoming Better Philosophers of Lying", Q&A for UANews.
- A discussion of Lying with Roy Sorensen on Philosophy TV.
- A discussion of Christmas Lies on Philosophy TV.
- "Toward an Epistemology of Wikipedia", Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology,59, 10, (2008): 1662-74.
- (with Dennis Whitcomb) "Epistemic Values and Information Management", The Information Society, 25, 3, (2009): 175-189.
- "Social Epistemology and Information Science", Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 40, (2006).
- (editor) Special issue on "Social Epistemology and Information Science", Social Epistemology, 16, 1, (2002).
- (with Martin Frické) "Indicators of Accuracy of Consumer Health Information on the Internet", Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 9, 1, (2002): 73-79.
- Information Quality
- Social Epistemology and Information Science
- Economics of Information
- Decision Making for Library and Information Professionals
- Ethics for Library and Information Professionals
- 2003-present, Co-organizer of the Information Ethics Roundtable.
- 2006-present, Chair of the Research Group on the History and Philosophy of Information.
- 2009-present, Associate Editor, Episteme: A Journal of Individual and Social Epistemology.
- 2011, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, University of St. Andrews.
- Erdös number is 5.
- Number of Journal of Philosophy articles written which begin with a quote by Philip Marlowe is 2.
- Visited the Reichenbach Fall where Sherlock Holmes faked his own death.
Areas of Study:
My teaching areas are Information Ethics, Decision Making for Information Professionals, Social Epistemology, Information Quality, and Economics of Information. My research areas are Social Epistemology, Information Quality, and Philosophy of Information. My main LIS service has been to organize the SIRLS Research Brown Bag Series, the SIRLS Distinguished Lectures, and the annual Information Ethics Roundtable. The Roundtable has brought together LIS researchers and practitioners to discuss such topics as Privacy, Cultural Property, Information Rights, and Disinformation.