In the heat of debate with my niece.

I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. I recently completed my Ph.D. at NYU.

My email address is my first and last names, separated by a period, followed by “”. My name is Turkish. Most people pronounce my first name by using the two English words “sin” and “on”. The last name is pronounced “dor-uh-mudge-uh”.

Abstract: What accounts for how we know that certain rules of reasoning, such as reasoning by Modus Ponens, are valid? If our knowledge of validity must be based on some reasoning, then we seem to be committed to the legitimacy of rule-circular arguments for validity. This paper raises a new difficulty for the rule-circular account for our knowledge of validity. The source of the problem is that, contrary to traditional wisdom, a universal generalization cannot be inferred just on the basis of reasoning about an arbitrary object. I argue in favor of a more sophisticated constraint on reasoning by universal generalization, one which undermines the rule-circular account of our knowledge of validity.

Knowledge of Validity

(appeared in Nous, 44:3, (2010), 403-432)

Abstract: In this paper, I explore a question about deductive reasoning: why am I in a position to immediately infer some deductive consequences of what I know, but not others? I show why the question cannot be answered in the most natural ways of answering it, in particular in Descartes’s way of answering it. I then go on to introduce a new approach to answering the question, an approach inspired by Hume’s view of inductive reasoning.

Intuitions for Inferences

(forthcoming in Philosophical Studies)


(appeared in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language, eds. Delia Graff Fara and Gillian Russell, 2012)

Abstract: After briefly expositing some fundamental issues in current debates about apriority, I go on to critically examine meaning-based explanations of how we acquire apriori justification.


Sinan Dogramaci

Reverse Engineering Epistemic Evaluations

(co-winner of the biennial Rutgers Young Epistemologist Prize, 2011;

appeared in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 84:3, (2012), 513-530.)

Abstract: This paper begins by raising a puzzle about what function our use of the word ‘rational’ could serve. To solve the puzzle, I introduce a view I call Epistemic Communism: we use epistemic evaluations to promote coordination among our basic belief-forming rules, and the function of this is to make the acquisition of knowledge by testimony more efficient.


Abstract: I develop epistemic communism, my view of the function of epistemically evaluative terms such as `rational'. The function is to support the coordination of our belief-forming rules, which in turn supports the reliable acquisition of beliefs through testimony. This view is motivated by the existence of valid inferences that we hesitate to call rational. I defend the view against the worry that it fails to account for a function of evaluations within first-personal deliberation.

I then argue, on the basis of epistemic communism, for a view about rationality itself. I set up the argument by saying what a theory of rational deduction is supposed to do. I claim that such a theory would provide a necessary, sufficient, and explanatorily unifying condition for being a rational rule for inferring deductive consequences. I finally argue that, given epistemic communism and the conventionality that it entails, there is no such theory. Nothing explains why certain rules for deductive reasoning are rational.