•  359
    What might be and what might have been
    with Benjamin Schnieder and Alexander Steinberg
    In S.-J. Conrad & S. Imhof (eds.), Strawson - Concept and Object, Ontos. 2010.
    The article is an extended comment on Strawson’s neglected paper ‘Maybes and Might Have Beens’, in which he suggests that both statements about what may be the case and statements about what might have been the case can be understood epistemically. We argue that Strawson is right about the first sort of statements but wrong about the second. Finally, we discuss some of Strawson’s claims which are related to positions of Origin Essentialism.
  •  316
    Grounding mental causation
    Synthese 193 (6): 1909-1923. 2016.
    This paper argues that the exclusion problem for mental causation can be solved by a variant of non-reductive physicalism that takes the mental not merely to supervene on, but to be grounded in, the physical. A grounding relation between events can be used to establish a principle that links the causal relations of grounded events to those of grounding events. Given this principle, mental events and their physical grounds either do not count as overdetermining physical effects, or they do so in …Read more
  •  130
    Quinean Updates: In Defense of "Two Dogmas"
    Journal of Philosophy 115 (2): 57-91. 2018.
    Quine challenged traditional views of the a priori by appealing to two key premises: that any statement may be held true “come what may” and that no statement is immune to revision in light of new experience. Chalmers has recently developed a seemingly compelling response to each of these claims. The critique is particularly threatening because it seems to rest on the Bayesian premise that upon acquiring evidence E, a rational agent will update her credence in any statement S to equal her prior …Read more
  •  124
    Recently, Yalcin (Epistemic modals. Mind, 116 , 983–1026, 2007) put forward a novel account of epistemic modals. It is based on the observation that sentences of the form ‘ & Might ’ do not embed under ‘suppose’ and ‘if’. Yalcin concludes that such sentences must be contradictory and develops a notion of informational consequence which validates this idea. I will show that informational consequence is inadequate as an account of the logic of epistemic modals: it cannot deal with reasoning from u…Read more
  •  115
    Wondering what might be
    Philosophical Studies 149 (3). 2010.
    This paper explores the possibility of supplementing the suppositional view of indicative conditionals with a corresponding view of epistemic modals. The most striking feature of the suppositional view consists in its claim that indicative conditionals are to be evaluated by conditional probabilities. On the basis of a natural link between indicative conditionals and epistemic modals, a corresponding thesis about the probabilities of statements governed by epistemic modals can be derived. The pa…Read more
  •  103
    The dynamics of indexical belief
    Erkenntnis 72 (3). 2010.
    Indexical beliefs pose a special problem for standard theories of Bayesian updating. Sometimes we are uncertain about our location in time and space. How are we to update our beliefs in situations like these? In a stepwise fashion, I develop a constraint on the dynamics of indexical belief. As an application, the suggested constraint is brought to bear on the Sleeping Beauty problem.
  •  93
    Modus Ponens Under the Restrictor View
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (6): 1001-1028. 2018.
    There is a renewed debate about modus ponens. Strikingly, the recent counterexamples in Cantwell, Dreier and MacFarlane and Kolodny are generated by restricted readings of the ‘if’-clause. Moreover, it can be argued on general grounds that the restrictor view of conditionals developed in Kratzer and Lewis leads to counterexamples to modus ponens. This paper provides a careful analysis of modus ponens within the framework of the restrictor view. Despite appearances to the contrary, there is a rob…Read more
  •  85
    Chance and actuality
    Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242): 105-129. 2011.
    The relation between chance and actuality gives rise to a puzzle. On the one hand, it may be a chancy matter what will actually happen. On the other hand, the standard semantics for ‘actually’ implies that sentences beginning with ‘actually’ are never contingent. To elucidate the puzzle, I defend a kind of objective semantic indeterminacy: in a chancy world, it may be a chancy matter which proposition is expressed by sentences containing ‘actually’. I bring this thesis to bear on certain counter…Read more
  •  71
    A Note on Comparative Probability
    with Nick Haverkamp
    Erkenntnis 76 (3): 395-402. 2012.
    A possible event always seems to be more probable than an impossible event. Although this constraint, usually alluded to as regularity , is prima facie very attractive, it cannot hold for standard probabilities. Moreover, in a recent paper Timothy Williamson has challenged even the idea that regularity can be integrated into a comparative conception of probability by showing that the standard comparative axioms conflict with certain cases if regularity is assumed. In this note, we suggest that t…Read more
  •  71
    Counterfactuals and Arbitrariness
    Mind 123 (492): 1021-1055. 2014.
    The pattern of credences we are inclined to assign to counterfactuals challenges standard accounts of counterfactuals. In response to this problem, the paper develops a semantics of counterfactuals in terms of the epsilon-operator. The proposed semantics stays close to the standard account: the epsilon-operator substitutes the universal quantifier present in standard semantics by arbitrarily binding the open world-variable. Various applications of the suggested semantics are explored including, …Read more
  •  65
    Decisions and Higher‐Order Knowledge
    Noûs 51 (3): 463-483. 2017.
    A knowledge-based decision theory faces what has been called the prodigality problem : given that many propositions are assigned probability 1, agents will be inclined to risk everything when betting on propositions which are known. In order to undo probability 1 assignments in high risk situations, the paper develops a theory which systematically connects higher level goods with higher-order knowledge.
  •  61
    Modalised conditionals: a response to Willer
    Philosophical Studies 163 (3): 673-682. 2013.
    A paper by Schulz (Philos Stud 149:367–386, 2010) describes how the suppositional view of indicative conditionals can be supplemented with a derived view of epistemic modals. In a recent criticism of this paper, Willer (Philos Stud 153:365–375, 2011) argues that the resulting account of conditionals and epistemic modals cannot do justice to the validity of certain inference patterns involving modalised conditionals. In the present response, I analyse Willer’s argument, identify an implicit presu…Read more
  •  56
    The current debate about peer disagreement has so far mainly focused on the question of whether peer disagreements provide genuine counterevidence to which we should respond by revising our credences. By contrast, comparatively little attention has been devoted to the question by which process, if any, such revision should be brought about. The standard assumption is that we update our credences by conditionalizing on the evidence that peer disagreements provide. In this paper, we argue that non…Read more
  •  39
    A note on two theorems by Adams and M c Gee
    Review of Symbolic Logic 2 (3): 509-516. 2009.
    Three-valued accounts of conditionals frequently promise (a) to conform to the probabilistic view that conditionals are evaluated by conditional probabilities, and (b) to yield a plausible account of compounds of conditionals. However, McGee (1981) shows that probabilistic validity, the conception of validity most naturally associated with the probabilistic view, cannot be characterized by a finite matrix. Adams (1995) indicates a further generalization of this result. Nevertheless, Adams (1986)…Read more
  •  14
    The Past Tense View of Counterfactuals Revisited
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6. 2019.
  •  10
    Degrees of Doxastic Justification
    Erkenntnis 1-30. forthcoming.
    This paper studies degrees of doxastic justification. Dependency relations among different beliefs are represented in terms of causal models. Doxastic justification, on this picture, is taken to run causally downstream along appropriate causal chains. A theory is offered which accounts for the strength of a derivative belief in terms of the strength of the beliefs on which it is based, and the epistemic quality of the belief-forming mechanisms involved. It is shown that the structure of degrees …Read more
  •  7
    Strong knowledge, weak belief?
    Synthese 1-13. forthcoming.
    According to the knowledge norm of belief, one should believe p only if one knows p. However, it can easily seem that the ordinary notion of belief is much weaker than the knowledge norm would have it. It is possible to rationally believe things one knows to be unknown The aim of belief, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013). One response to this observation is to develop a technical notion of ‘outright’ belief. A challenge for this line of response is to find a way of getting a grip on the tar…Read more
  •  5
    Uncertain preferences in rational decision
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (6): 605-627. 2020.
    ABSTRACT Is uncertainty about preferences rationally possible? And if so, does it matter for rational decision? It is argued that uncertainty about preferences is possible and should play the same role in rational decision-making as uncertainty about worldly facts. The paper develops this hypothesis and defends it against various objections.
  •  4
    According to a suggestion by Williamson, outright belief comes in degrees: one has a high/low degree of belief iff one is willing to rely on the content of one’s belief in high/low-stakes practical reasoning. This paper develops an epistemic norm for degrees of outright belief so construed. Starting from the assumption that outright belief aims at knowledge, it is argued that degrees of belief aim at various levels of strong knowledge, that is, knowledge which satisfies particularly high epistem…Read more
  •  3
    Kann ich rational und ein Außenseiter sein? Außenseitermeinungen in der Wissenschaft
    Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 75 (1): 71-93. 2021.
    The present paper addresses the question of whether outsiders in science can be rational. This question is addressed on three levels: the level of beliefs of outsiders, the level of decisions of out-siders, and the level of assertions of outsiders. It is argued that outsiders can indeed be rational but only within tightly constrained limits.
  • Themes From Early Analytic Philosophy: Essays in Honour of Wolfgang Künne (edited book)
    with Benjamin Schnieder
    Rodopi. 2011.
    This volume contains fifteen essays in honour of Wolfgang Künne. The essays deal with issues from the philosophy of language and logic, broadly conceived. They cover topics ranging from truth, reference, and the ontology of abstract objects, to action, intentionality, and speech acts. By taking into account the works of early analytic philosophers—including Bolzano, Frege, Peirce, Husserl, and Wittgenstein—they foster our understanding of the history of the ideas discussed, while at the same tim…Read more