•  14
    Financial incentives, learning, group consultation, and increased experimental control are among the experimental techniques economists have successfully used to deflect the behavioral challenge posed by research conducted by such scholars as Tversky and Kahneman. These techniques save the economic armchair to the extent that they align laypeople judgments with economic theory by increasing cognitive effort and reflection in experimental subjects. It is natural to hypothesize that a similar stra…Read more
  •  16
    Epistemic Injustice in Finance
    Topoi 1-9. forthcoming.
    This article applies philosophical work on epistemic injustice and cognate concepts to study gender and racial disparity in financial markets. Members of disadvantaged groups often receive inferior financial services. In most jurisdictions, it is illegal to provide discriminatorily disparate treatment to groups defined by gender and skin colour. Racial disparity in financial services is generally considered to be discriminatory. The standard view among most regulators is that gender disparity is…Read more
  •  17
    Stakes Sensitivity and Credit Rating: A New Challenge for Regulators
    Journal of Business Ethics 169 (1): 169-179. 2019.
    The ethical practices of credit rating agencies, particularly following the 2008 financial crisis, have been subject to extensive analysis by economists, ethicists, and policymakers. We raise a novel issue facing CRAs that has to do with a problem concerning the transmission of epistemic status of ratings from CRAs to the beneficiaries of the ratings, and use it to provide a new challenge for regulators. Building on recent work in philosophy, we argue that since CRAs have different stakes than t…Read more
  •  15
    Impermissible Self-Rationalizing Pessimism: In Defence of a Pragmatic Ethics of Belief
    with Nikolaj Nottelmann
    Erkenntnis 86 (2): 257-274. 2021.
    We present an argument against a standard evidentialist position on the ethics of belief. We argue that sometimes a person merits criticism for holding a belief even when that belief is well supported by her evidence in any relevant sense. We show how our argument advances the case for anti-evidentialism in the light of other arguments presented in the recent literature, and respond to a set of possible evidentialist rejoinders.
  •  5
    Pledging Integrity: Oaths as Forms of Business Ethics Management
    Journal of Business Ethics 136 (1): 23-42. 2016.
    The global financial crisis has led to a surprising interest in professional oaths in business. Examples are the MBA Oath, the Economist’s Oath and the Dutch Banker’s Oath, which senior executives in the financial services industry in the Netherlands have been obliged to swear since 2010. This paper is among the first to consider oaths from the perspective of business ethics. A framework is presented for analysing oaths in terms of their form, their content and the specific contribution they mak…Read more
  •  148
    Liberal and Republican Freedom
    Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (4): 418-439. 2009.
    This paper argues that liberal freedom (non-interference) is epistemologically prior to republican freedom (non-domination). I start investigate three relations between liberal and republican freedom: (i) Logical Equivalence, or the question whether republican freedom entails liberal freedom (and vice versa); (ii) Degree Supervenience, or whether changes in the degree (amount, quantity) of republican freedom are mirrored by changes in the degree of liberal freedom (and vice versa); and (iii) Epi…Read more
  •  8
    Afscheid van een Spinozaproject
    Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 91 159-161. 2002.
  •  114
    In this chapter, one considers finance at its very foundations, namely, at the place where assumptions are being made about the ways to measure the two key ingredients of finance: risk and return. It is well known that returns for a large class of assets display a number of stylized facts that cannot be squared with the traditional views of 1960s financial economics (normality and continuity assumptions, i.e. Brownian representation of market dynamics). Despite the empirical counterevidence, no…Read more
  •  235
    This chapter argues for deregulation of the credit-rating market. Credit-rating agencies are supposed to contribute to the informational needs of investors trading bonds. They provide ratings of debt issued by corporations and governments, as well as of structured debt instruments (e.g. mortgage-backed securities). As many academics, regulators, and commentators have pointed out, the ratings of structured instruments turned out to be highly inaccurate, and, as a result, they have argued for tigh…Read more
  •  12
    Common knowledge of payoff uncertainty in games
    Synthese 163 (1): 79-97. 2008.
  •  8
    Media Violence and Freedom of Speech: How to Use Empirical Data
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (5): 493-505. 2008.
  •  6
    The Liberal Value of Privacy
    Law and Philosophy 29 (5): 505-534. 2010.
  •  300
    Game Theory in Philosophy
    Topoi 24 (2): 197-208. 2005.
    Game theory is the mathematical study of strategy and conflict. It has wide applications in economics, political science, sociology, and, to some extent, in philosophy. Where rational choice theory or decision theory is concerned with individual agents facing games against nature, game theory deals with games in which all players have preference orderings over the possible outcomes of the game. This paper gives an informal introduction to the theory and a survey of applications in diverse branch…Read more
  •  36
    Doxastische en epistemische vrijheid
    Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 71 (3): 529. 2009.
  •  78
    On the Narrow Epistemology of Game Theoretic Agents
    In Ondrej Majer, Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen & Tero Tulenheimo (eds.), Games: Unifying Logic, Language, and Philosophy, Springer. 2009.
    I argue that game theoretic explanations of human actions make implausible epistemological assumptions. A logical analysis of game theoretic explanations shows that they do not conform to the belief-desire framework of action explanation. Epistemic characterization theorems (specifying sufficient conditions for game theoretic solution concepts to obtain) are argued to be the canonical way to make game theory conform to that framework. The belief formation practices implicit in epistemic characte…Read more
  •  111
    Reducible and Nonsensical Uses of Game Theory
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (2): 247-266. 2008.
    The mathematical tools of game theory are frequently used in the social sciences and economic consultancy. But how do they explain social phenomena and support prescriptive judgments? And is the use of game theory really necessary? I analyze the logical form of explanatory and prescriptive game theoretical statements, and argue for two claims: (1) explanatory game theory can and should be reduced to rational choice theory in all cases; and (2) prescriptive game theory gives bad advice in some ca…Read more
  •  345
    Epistemic Logic and Epistemology
    In Vincent F. Hendricks & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), New Waves in Epistemology, Palgrave-macmillan. 2008.
    This paper contributes to an increasing literature strengthening the connection between epistemic logic and epistemology (Van Benthem, Hendricks). I give a survey of the most important applications of epistemic logic in epistemology. I show how it is used in the history of philosophy (Steiner's reconstruction of Descartes' sceptical argument), in solutions to Moore's paradox (Hintikka), in discussions about the relation between knowledge and belief (Lenzen) and in an alleged refutation of verifi…Read more
  •  64
    A Note on List's Modal Logic of Republican Freedom
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (3): 341-349. 2008.
    In this note, I show how Christian List's modal logic of republican freedom (as published in this journal in 2006) can be extended (1) to grasp the differences between liberal freedom (noninterference) and republican freedom (non-domination) in terms of two purely logical axioms and (2) to cover a more recent definition of republican freedom in terms of `arbitrary interference' that gains popularity in the literature.
  •  134
    We and the plural subject
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (2): 235-259. 2009.
    Margaret Gilbert's plural subject theory defines social collectives in terms of common knowledge of expressed willingness to participate in some joint action. The author critically examines Gilbert's application of this theory to linguistic phenomena involving "we," arguing that recent work in linguistics provides the tools to develop a superior account. The author indicates that, apart from its own relevance, one should care about this critique because Gilbert's claims about the first person pl…Read more
  •  89
    Overmathematisation in game theory: pitting the Nash Equilibrium Refinement Programme against the Epistemic Programme
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (3): 290-300. 2009.
    The paper argues that the Nash Equilibrium Refinement Programme was less successful than its competitor, the Epistemic Programme. The prime criterion of success is the extent to which the programmes were able to reach the key objective guiding non-cooperative game theory for much of the twentieth century, namely, to develop a complete characterisation of the strategic rationality of economic agents in the form of the ultimate solution concept for any normal form and extensive game. The paper exp…Read more
  •  4
    In this topical book, Boudewijn de Bruin examines the ethical 'blind spots' that lay at the heart of the global financial crisis. He argues that the most important moral problem in finance is not the 'greed is good' culture, but rather the epistemic shortcomings of bankers, clients, rating agencies and regulators. Drawing on insights from economics, psychology and philosophy, de Bruin develops a novel theory of epistemic virtue and applies it to racist and sexist lending practices, subprime mort…Read more
  •  14
    Over de wetenschappelijkheid van de rechtswetenschap
    Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy 38 (3): 236-243. 2009.
    This article provides an outsider perspective on the scientificity of legal studies. First, I argue that the presence of controversies does not mean that legal studies lack the status of a genuine science. Astronomy, mathematics, and economics have their controversies, too. Second, I show that non-empirical, non-normative research is no less scientific than empirical research. This is illustrated by work in mathematical logic. Third, I demonstrate the same claim for non-empirical, normative rese…Read more
  •  32
  •  54
    Epistemic Virtues in Business
    Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4): 583-595. 2013.
    This paper applies emerging research on epistemic virtues to business ethics. Inspired by recent work on epistemic virtues in philosophy, I develop a view in which epistemic virtues contribute to the acquisition of knowledge that is instrumentally valuable in the realisation of particular ends, business ends in particular. I propose a conception of inquiry according to which epistemic actions involve investigation, belief adoption and justification, and relate this to the traditional ‘justified …Read more
  •  114
    Common Knowledge of Payoff Uncertainty in Games
    Synthese 163 (1): 79-97. 2008.
    Using epistemic logic, we provide a non-probabilistic way to formalise payoff uncertainty, that is, statements such as ‘player i has approximate knowledge about the utility functions of player j.’ We show that on the basis of this formalisation common knowledge of payoff uncertainty and rationality (in the sense of excluding weakly dominated strategies, due to Dekel and Fudenberg (1990)) characterises a new solution concept we have called ‘mixed iterated strict weak dominance.’.
  •  117
    Wittgenstein on Circularity in the Frege-Russell Definition of Cardinal Number
    Philosophia Mathematica 16 (3): 354-373. 2008.
    Several scholars have argued that Wittgenstein held the view that the notion of number is presupposed by the notion of one-one correlation, and that therefore Hume's principle is not a sound basis for a definition of number. I offer a new interpretation of the relevant fragments on philosophy of mathematics from Wittgenstein's Nachlass, showing that if different uses of ‘presupposition’ are understood in terms of de re and de dicto knowledge, Wittgenstein's argument against the Frege-Russell def…Read more
  •  102
    In this paper I criticize Popper's conception of the rationality principle in the social sciences. First, I survey Popper's outlook on the role of a principle of rationality in theorizing in the social sciences. Then, I critically examine his view on the status of the principle of rationality concluding that the arguments supporting it are quite weak. Finally, I contrast his standpoint with an alternative conception. This, I show, helps us understand better Popper's reasons for adopting his pers…Read more
  •  109
    Contents. Introduction. 1. Preliminaries. 2. Normal Form Games. 3. Extensive Games. 4. Applications of Game Theory. 5. The Methodology of Game Theory. Conclusion. Appendix. Bibliography. Index. Does game theory—the mathematical theory of strategic interaction—provide genuine explanations of human behaviour? Can game theory be used in economic consultancy or other normative contexts? Explaining Games: The Epistemic Programme in Game Theory—the first monograph on the philosophy of game theory—is …Read more