Positions

Overview

  • I grew up in southern Illinois (about as far away from Chicago as you can be while remaining in the state). When I was growing up I was convinced that I was going to be a lawyer; however, as a junior in college I decided that I was more interested in philosophy than law. So, I added a philosophy major and decided to pursue a graduate education with the hopes of becoming a philosophy professor. I find many areas of philosophy to be extremely exciting and worthwhile, but my primary philosophical interests remain within the realm of epistemology (the branch of philosophy that deals with knowledge and rational belief).

    In addition to my philosophical interests I am also a fan of science fiction and fantasy (Yoda and Darth Vader can both be found in my office along with Han Solo’s alter-ego, Indiana Jones). I have been able to combine my interests in philosophy and sci-fi/fantasy by writing articles for philosophy and pop culture books — including Philosophy and Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy and Doctor Who. If I were to sum up the way that I approach teaching philosophy in a pithy phrase it would be something like this: “philosophy is fun, so learning it should be too.”
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2019 Dispelling the disjunction objection to explanatory inferencePhilosophers' Imprint.  19. 2019
    2019 In Defense of the Explanationist Response to SkepticismInternational Journal for the Study of Skepticism.  9:38-50. 2019
    2018 Explanationist aid for phenomenal conservatismSynthese.  195:3035-3050. 2018
    2018 Explanatory virtues are indicative of truthLogos & Episteme : an International Journal of Epistemology.  9:63-73. 2018
    2018 Which question do polls about evolution and belief really ask, and why does it matter?Public Understanding of Science.  27:2-10. 2018
    2017 An Isolation Objection to Phenomenal ConservatismErkenntnis.  82:1381-1390. 2017
    2017 A Clean Bill of Health for the Interventionist Account of the Basing Relation: A Reply to FlowerreeSyndicate Philosophy2017
    2017 It Matters Which Explanation Is Best: A Reply to Cutter and SwensonSyndicate Philosophy2017
    2017 Syndicate Philosophy 2017
    2017 The Coherence of Explanationist Evidentialism: A Reply to SmartSyndicate Philosophy2017
    2017 Undaunted explanationismLogos & Episteme : an International Journal of Epistemology.  8:117-127. 2017
    2016 Believe in or about Evolution?Bioscience.  66:187-188. 2016
    2016 Skepticism and elegance: An explanationist rejoinderInternational Journal for the Study of Skepticism.  6:30-43. 2016
    2015 Is Forgotten Evidence a Problem for Evidentialism?Southern Journal of Philosophy.  53:471-480. 2015
    2015 Explanation and the Nature of Scientific KnowledgeScience and Education.  24:827-854. 2015
    2015 A New Evil Demon? No Problem for Moderate InternalistsActa Analytica.  30:97-105. 2015
    2015 Explanationism: Defended on All SidesLogos & Episteme : an International Journal of Epistemology.  6:333-349. 2015
    2015 Interventionism DefendedLogos & Episteme : an International Journal of Epistemology.  6:61-73. 2015
    2015 No knowledge without evidencePhilosophy Research Archives.  40:369-376. 2015
    2014 Why Explanatoriness Is Evidentially RelevantThought: A Journal of Philosophy.  3:145-153. 2014
    2014 Evidentialism, Explanationism, and Beliefs About the FutureErkenntnis.  79:99-109. 2014
    2014 Pick Your Poison: Beg the question or embrace circularityInternational Journal for the Study of Skepticism.  4:125-140. 2014
    2014 Testimonial Knowledge from LiesPhilosophia.  42:459-468. 2014
    2013 Two skeptical arguments or only one?Philosophical Studies.  164:289-300. 2013
    2013 Explanationist evidentialismEpisteme.  10:299-315. 2013
    2013 Review of Audi, Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge 3rd EditionScience and Education.  22. 2013
    2013 Review of Gauch, Scientific Method in BriefTeaching Philosophy.  36. 2013
    2013 Review of Steup and Sosa, Contemporary Debates in EpistemologyScience and Education.  22. 2013
    2012 A predictivist argument against scepticismAnalysis.  72:660-665. 2012
    2012 The interventionist account of causation and the basing relationPhilosophical Studies.  159:357-382. 2012
    2012 Against Hanna on Phenomenal ConservatismActa Analytica.  27:45-54. 2012
    2008 The virtues of epistemic conservatismSynthese.  164:185-200. 2008
    2008 Descartes and the Creation of Eternal TruthsSouthwest Philosophical Studies.  30:65-70. 2008

    Book

    Year Title Altmetric
    2018 Best explanations: New essays on inference to the best explanation 2018
    2016 The Nature of Scientific Knowledge An Explanatory Approach 2016
    2014 Evidentialism and epistemic justification 2014

    Chapter

    Year Title Altmetric
    2018 Best explanations: An introduction.  1-3. 2018
    2018 The evidential impact of explanatory considerations.  121-129. 2018
    2016 Hero or Villain? 2016
    2016 Living for More 2016
    2016 The One, the Only, Darrow 2016
    2015 The Doctor Lies 2015
    2014 Who is Raistlin Majere? 2014
    2013 Evolutionary Theory and the Epistemology of Science 2013
    2012 "Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen": Is Ozzy Going Insane?.  163-170. 2012

    Research Overview

  • Keywords - Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science
  • Teaching Activities

  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Summer Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Summer Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL203 - Philosophy of Religion (Summer Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Spring Term 2019) 2019
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL405 - Epistemology (Fall Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL203 - Philosophy of Religion (Summer Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL292 - Topics in Philosophy (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • PHL491 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2018) 2018
  • HON111 - Interdisc: Philosophy (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • HON211 - Interdisc: Philosophy (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL311 - Philosophy of Science (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL470 - Phil Probs in Natural/Soc Sci (Fall Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL203 - Philosophy of Religion (Summer Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL291 - Topics in Philosophy (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL405 - Epistemology (Spring Term 2017) 2017
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL490 - Philosophy Seminar (Fall Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL203 - Philosophy of Religion (Summer Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL490 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2016) 2016
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Fall Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL203 - Philosophy of Religion (Summer Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL290 - Topics in Philosophy (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL490 - Philosophy Seminar (Spring Term 2015) 2015
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL405 - Epistemology (Fall Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL203 - Philosophy of Religion (Summer Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL100 - Intro to Philosophy (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Spring Term 2014) 2014
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL470 - Phil Probs in Natural/Soc Sci (Fall Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL116 - Bioethics (Summer Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL116 - Bioethics (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL116 - Bioethics (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL499 - Directed Studies - RES (Spring Term 2013) 2013
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2012) 2012
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2012) 2012
  • PHL115 - Contemporary Moral Issues (Fall Term 2012) 2012
  • PHL405 - Epistemology (Fall Term 2012) 2012
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Rochester 2012
  • Full Name

  • Kevin McCain