Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  •  499
    In defence of the value free ideal
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2): 207-220. 2013.
    The ideal of value free science states that the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic (e.g. moral or political) values. It has been criticized on the grounds that scientists have to employ moral judgements in managing inductive risks. The paper seeks to defuse this methodological critique. Allegedly value-laden decisions can be systematically avoided, it argues, by making uncertainties explicit and articulating findings carefully. Such careful uncertainty arti…Read more
  •  200
    This article discusses how inference to the best explanation can be justified as a practical meta - argument. It is, firstly, justified as a practical argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in — and relative to — a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one’s position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, as a meta - argument. My analysis thus b…Read more
  •  150
    On Degrees of Justification
    Erkenntnis 77 (2): 237-272. 2012.
    This paper gives an explication of our intuitive notion of strength of justification in a controversial debate. It defines a thesis' degree of justification within the bipolar argumentation framework of the theory of dialectical structures as the ratio of coherently adoptable positions according to which that thesis is true over all coherently adoptable positions. Broadening this definition, the notion of conditional degree of justification, i.e.\ degree of partial entailment, is introduced. Thu…Read more
  •  118
    Weiter Denken - Über Philosophie, Wissenschaft Und Religion (edited book)
    with Dirk Koppelberg, David Löwenstein, and Anna Wehofsits
    De Gruyter. 2015.
    Wer philosophiert, argumentiert. Der Band vereint Beiträge zur Argumentationstheorie, Erkenntnistheorie, Wissenschaftstheorie, Existenzphilosophie, Religionsphilosophie und Metaphilosophie. Er zeigt auf, dass auch theoretische Fragen von lebenspraktischer Bedeutung sind.
  •  116
    This paper investigates in how far a theory of dialectical structures sheds new light on the old problem of giving a satisfying account of the fallacy of petitio principii, or begging the question. It defends that (i) circular argumentation on the one hand and petitio principii on the other hand are two distinct features of complex argumentation, and that (ii) it is impossible to make general statements about the defectiveness of an argumentation that exhibits these features. Such an argumentati…Read more
  •  108
    Revamping Hypothetico-Deductivism: A Dialectic Account of Confirmation (review)
    Erkenntnis 78 (5): 991-1009. 2013.
    We use recently developed approaches in argumentation theory in order to revamp the hypothetico-deductive model of confirmation, thus alleviating the well-known paradoxes the H-D account faces. More specifically, we introduce the concept of dialectic confirmation on the background of the so-called theory of dialectical structures (Betz 2010, 2012b). Dialectic confirmation generalises hypothetico-deductive confirmation and mitigates the raven paradox, the grue paradox, the tacking paradox, the pa…Read more
  •  100
    Frank Knight (1921) famously distinguished the epistemic modes of certainty, risk, and uncertainty in order to characterize situations where deterministic, probabilistic or possibilistic foreknowledge is available. Because our probabilistic knowledge is limited, i.e. because many systems, e.g. the global climate, cannot be described and predicted probabilistically in a reliable way, Knight's third category, possibilistic foreknowledge, is not simply swept by the probabilistic mode. This raises t…Read more
  •  96
    Evaluating Dialectical Structures
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (3): 283-312. 2009.
    This paper develops concepts and procedures for the evaluation of complex debates. They provide means for answering such questions as whether a thesis has to be considered as proven or disproven in a debate or who carries a burden of proof. While being based on classical logic, this framework represents an (argument-based) approach to non-monotonic, or defeasible reasoning. Debates are analysed as dialectical structures, i.e. argumentation systems with an attack- as well as a support-relationshi…Read more
  •  96
    Underdetermination, Model-ensembles and Surprises: On the Epistemology of Scenario-analysis in Climatology
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1): 3-21. 2009.
    As climate policy decisions are decisions under uncertainty, being based on a range of future climate change scenarios, it becomes a crucial question how to set up this scenario range. Failing to comply with the precautionary principle, the scenario methodology widely used in the Third Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seems to violate international environmental law, in particular a provision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To pl…Read more
  •  85
    Are climate models credible worlds? Prospects and limitations of possibilistic climate prediction
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (2): 191-215. 2015.
    Climate models don’t give us probabilistic forecasts. To interpret their results, alternatively, as serious possibilities seems problematic inasmuch as climate models rely on contrary-to-fact assumptions: why should we consider their implications as possible if their assumptions are known to be false? The paper explores a way to address this possibilistic challenge. It introduces the concepts of a perfect and of an imperfect credible world, and discusses whether climate models can be interpreted…Read more
  •  81
    This paper shows how complex argumentation, analyzed as dialectical structures, can be evaluated within a Bayesian framework by interpreting them as coherence constraints on subjective degrees of belief. A dialectical structure is a set of arguments (premiss-conclusion structure) among which support- and attack-relations hold. This approach addresses the observation that some theses in a debate can be better justified than others and thus fixes a shortcoming of a theory of defeasible reasoning w…Read more
  •  78
    Truth in Evidence and Truth in Arguments without Logical Omniscience
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4): 1117-1137. 2016.
    Science advances by means of argument and debate. Based on a formal model of complex argumentation, this article assesses the interplay between evidential and inferential drivers in scientific controversy, and explains, in particular, why both evidence accumulation and argumentation are veritistically valuable. By improving the conditions for applying veritistic indicators , novel evidence and arguments allow us to distinguish true from false hypotheses more reliably. Because such veritistic ind…Read more
  •  61
    Descartes' "Meditationen" sind vielleicht 'der' Klassiker der Philosophie. Sie behandeln grundlegende Fragen: Welche Arten von Gegenständen kommen in der Welt vor? Was für eine Art von Ding bin ich? Bin ich frei? Was ist Wahrheit? Welchen Status haben logische Wahrheiten oder mathematische Theoreme? Was kann ich wissen? Gregor Betz' systematischer Kommentar rekonstruiert die entsprechenden Gedankengänge und Begründungen und versucht Antworten auf Descartes' Fragen zu geben. Auch andere Philosoph…Read more
  •  45
    Climate policy decisions are decisions under uncertainty and are, therefore, based on a range of future climate scenarios, describing possible consequences of alternative policies. Accordingly, the methodology for setting up such a scenario range becomes pivotal in climate policy advice. The preferred methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be characterised as ,,modal verificationism"; it suffers from severe shortcomings which disqualify it for scientific policy advice.…Read more
  •  44
    Is epistemic trust of veritistic value?
    with Michael Baurmann and Rainer Cramm
    Ethics and Politics 15 (2): 25-41. 2013.
    Epistemic trust figures prominently in our socio-cognitive practices. By assigning different degrees of competence to agents, we distinguish between experts and novices and determine the trustworthiness of testimony. This paper probes the claim that epistemic trust furthers our epistemic enterprise. More specifically, it assesses the veritistic value of competence attribution in an epistemic community, i.e., in a group of agents that collaboratively seek to track down the truth. The results, obt…Read more
  •  37
    Ethical Aspects of Climate Engineering. Karlsruhe
    with Sebastian Cacean
    KIT Scientific Publishing. 2012.
    This study investigates the ethical aspects of deploying and researching into so-called climate engineering methods, i.e. large-scale technical interventions in the climate system with the objective of offsetting anthropogenic climate change. The moral reasons in favour of and against R&D into and deployment of CE methods are analysed by means of argument maps. These argument maps provide an overview of the CE controversy and help to structure the complex debate.
  •  34
    Wo Meinungen aufeinanderprallen, um Verständnis geworben und Überzeugungsarbeit geleistet wird, sind Begründungen nicht weit. Für jede Überzeugung gibt es immer ein, zwei Gründe, die mit Gegengründen konfrontiert und, im Gegenzug, mit weiteren Überlegungen verteidigt werden usw. usf. Schnell sind wir verwirrt und drohen, ohne uns der "Grammatikregeln" vernünftigen Argumentierens zu besinnen, nicht mehr durchzublicken. Die Theorie dialektischer Strukturen leistet einen Beitrag zur Grammatik vernü…Read more
  •  34
    Gregor Betz explores the following questions: Where are the limits of economics, in particular the limits of economic foreknowledge? Are macroeconomic forecasts credible predictions or mere prophecies and what would this imply for the way economic policy decisions are taken? Is rational economic decision making possible without forecasting at all?
  •  34
    The Stern Review on The Economics of Climate Change is a highly influential welfare analysis of climate policy measures which has been published in 2006. This paper identifies and systematically assesses the long-term socioeconomic and climatic predictions the Stern Review relies on, and reflects them philosophically. Being a cost-benefit analysis, the Stern Review has to predict the benefits of climate mitigation policies, i.e.the damaging consequences of climate change which might be avoided, …Read more
  •  32
    In diesem Beitrag möchte ich begründen, warum das 2-Grad-Ziel der internatio- nalen Klimapolitik einen vernünftigen Umgang mit unscharfen Grenzen darstellt. Ich werde zunächst skizzieren, aus welchen Überlegungen das 2-Grad-Ziel ent- standen ist und wie es Eingang fand in die internationale Klimapolitik. Daraufhin werde ich darlegen, dass sich traditionelle Entscheidungsanalyseverfahren (Kos- tennutzenanalyse, kurz: KNA) nicht problemlos auf klimapolitische Fragestel- lungen anwenden lassen…Read more
  •  30
    Based on the theory of dialectical structures, I review the concept of degree of justification of a partial position a proponent may hold in a controversial debate. The formal concept of degree of justification dovetails with our pre-theoretic intuitions about a thesis' strength of justification. The central claim I'm going to defend in this paper maintains that degrees of justification, as defined within the theory of dialectical structures, correlate with a proponent position's verisimilitude.…Read more
  •  30
    Mehr Besonnenheit, bitte! Über Prognosegrenzen und Politikberatung
    Ökologisches Wirtschaften 2011 (2): 35-38. 2011.
    In einer Welt, in der der Umgang mit Komplexität und Unsicherheit an Bedeutung gewinnt, sind politische Entscheidungsträger immer stärker auf eine wissenschaftliche Beratung angewiesen. Trotz des Bedarfs der politischen Akteure nach konkreten Handlungsempfehlungen sollte seriöse Politikberatung die grundlegenden Werte wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens nicht aus den Augen verlieren.
  •  28
    By means of multi-agent simulations, it investigates the truth and consensus-conduciveness of controversial debates. The book brings together research in formal epistemology and argumentation theory.
  •  26
    With the evidence for anthropogenic climate change piling up, suggesting that climate impacts of GHG emissions might have been underestimated in the past (Allison et al. 2009; WBGU 2009), and mitigation policies apparently lagging behind what many scientists consider as necessary reductions in order to prevent dangerous climate change, the debate about intentional climate change, or “climate engineering”, as we shall say in the following, has gained momentum in the past years. While efforts to t…Read more
  •  26
    Philosophy of science for science communication in twenty-two questions
    with David Lanius
    In Annette Leßmöllmann, Marcelo Dascal & Thomas Gloning (eds.), Science Communication. pp. 3-28. 2020.
    Philosophy of science attempts to reconstruct science as a rational cognitive enterprise. In doing so, it depicts a normative ideal of knowledge acquisition and does not primarily seek to describe actual scientific practice in an empirically adequate way. A comprehensive picture of what good science consists in may serve as a standard against which we evaluate and criticize actual scientific practices. Such a normative picture may also explain why it is reasonable for us to trust scientists – to…Read more