•  7
    This article responds to Daniel Coren’s very insightful critical discussion of Baumann. It clarifies and defends the view that there is a problem of mutually consistent but necessarily incompatible desires. Distinguishing explicitly between semantic and syntactic consistency, one can show that the problem remains under each interpretation of “consistent.”
  •  38
    Ludwig’s Punch and Bertie’s Comeback. Reconciling Russell and Wittgenstein on the Content of Desires
    Russell: The Journal of Bertrand Russell Studies 40 (2): 132-149. 2020.
    Desires are contentful mental states. But what determines the content of a desire? Two different classic answers were proposed by Russell and by Wittgenstein, starting in the 1910s. Russell proposed a behaviorist account according to which the content of the desire is fixed by the type of state that puts an end to the relevant kind of behavior which was triggered by some initial discomfort. The desire’s content consists in its “satisfaction conditions”. Wittgenstein criticized such an account fo…Read more
  •  22
    Safety accounts of knowledge claim, roughly, that knowledge that p requires that one's belief that p could not have easily been false. Such accounts have been very popular in recent epistemology. However, one serious problem safety accounts have to confront is to explain why certain lottery‐related beliefs are not knowledge, without excluding obvious instances of inductive knowledge. We argue that the significance of this objection has hitherto been underappreciated by proponents of safety. We d…Read more
  •  9
    This paper deals with the core version of the Trolley Problem. In one case many people favor an act which will bring about the death of one person but save five other persons. In another case most people would refuse to “sacrifice” one person in order to save five other lives. Since the two cases seem similar in all relevant respects, we have to explain and justify the diverging verdicts. Since I don’t find current proposals of a solution convincing, I propose an alternative one according to whi…Read more
  •  176
    Close to the Truth
    Philosophia 48 (5): 1769-1775. 2020.
    We often think or say that someone was wrong about something but almost right about it or close to the truth. This can mean more than one thing. Here, I propose an analysis of the idea of being epistemically close to the truth. This idea plays an important role in our practice of epistemic evaluation and therefore deserves some detailed attention. I start with an exposition of the idea of getting things right by looking at the main forms of reliabilism about true belief and belief acquisition. T…Read more
  •  64
    DeRose on Lotteries
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (1): 44-67. 2020.
    This article discusses Keith DeRose’s treatment of the lottery problem in Chapter 5 of his recent The Appearance of Ignorance. I agree with a lot of it but also raise some critical points and questions and make some friendly proposals. I discuss different ways to set up the problem, go into the difference between knowing and ending inquiry, propose to distinguish between two different kinds of lotteries, add to the defense of the idea that one can know lottery propositions, give a critical discu…Read more
  •  150
    Brains in Vats? Don't Bother!
    Episteme 16 (2): 186-199. 2019.
    Contemporary discussions of epistemological skepticism - the view that we do not and cannot know anything about the world around us - focus very much on a certain kind of skeptical argument involving a skeptical scenario (a situation familiar from Descartes’ First Meditation). According to the argument, knowing some ordinary proposition about the world (one we usually take ourselves to know) requires knowing we are not in some such skeptical scenario SK; however, since we cannot know that we are…Read more
  •  153
    Knowledge requires belief – and it doesn’t? On belief as such and belief necessary for knowledge
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (2): 151-167. 2019.
    ABSTRACTDoes knowledge entail belief? This paper argues that the answer depends on how one interprets ‘belief’. There are two different notions of belief: belief as such and belief for knowledge. They often differ in their degrees of conviction such that one but not both might be present in a particular case. The core of the paper is dedicated to a defense of this overlooked distinction. The beginning of the paper presents the distinction. It then presents two cases which are supposed to back up…Read more
  •  91
    Nearly Solving the Problem of Nearly Convergent Knowledge
    Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (10): 16-21. 2018.
    This is a reply to Chris Tweed's recent attempt to solve the problem of "nearly convergent knowledge" and thus defend a binary account of knowledge against a contrastivist alternative. Ingenuous as his proposal is, it still does not solve the problem.
  •  135
    Big decisions in a person’s life often affect the preferences and standards of a good life which that person’s future self will develop after implementing her decision. This paper argues that in such cases the person might lack any reasons to choose one way rather than the other. Neither preference-based views nor happiness-based views of justified choice offer sufficient help here. The available options are not comparable in the relevant sense and there is no rational choice to make. Thus, iron…Read more
  •  358
    Epistemic Contrastivism
    Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2017.
    Contrastivism about knowledge is the view that one does not just know some proposition. It is more adequate to say that one knows something rather than something else: I know that I am looking at a tree rather than a bush but I do not know that I am looking at a tree rather than a cleverly done tree imitation. Knowledge is a three-place relation between a subject, a proposition and a contrast set of propositions. There are several advantages of a contrastivist view but also certain problems with…Read more
  •  18
    Power, Soft or Deep? An Attempt at Constructive Criticism
    with Gisela Cramer
    Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy 6 (10): 177-214. 2017.
    This paper discusses and criticizes Joseph Nye’s account of soft power. First, we set the stage and make some general remarks about the notion of social power. In the main part of this paper we offer a detailed critical discussion of Nye’s conception of soft power. We conclude that it is too unclear and confused to be of much analytical use. However, despite this failure, Nye is aiming at explaining an important but also neglected form of social power: the power to influence the will and not jus…Read more
  •  299
    Power, Soft or Deep? An Attempt at Constructive Criticism
    with Gisela Cramer
    Las Torres de Lucca: Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 6 (10): 177-214. 2017.
    This paper discusses and criticizes Joseph Nye’s account of soft power. First, we set the stage and make some general remarks about the notion of social power. In the main part of this paper we offer a detailed critical discussion of Nye’s conception of soft power. We conclude that it is too unclear and confused to be of much analytical use. However, despite this failure, Nye is aiming at explaining an important but also neglected form of social power: the power to influence the will and not jus…Read more
  •  197
    A review and discussion of Keith DeRose's "The Case for Contextualism".
  •  154
    Was Moore a Moorean? On Moore and Scepticism
    European Journal of Philosophy 17 (2): 181-200. 2009.
    One of the most important views in the recent discussion of epistemological scepticism is Neo-Mooreanism. It turns a well-known kind of sceptical argument (the dreaming argument and its different versions) on its head by starting with ordinary knowledge claims and concluding that we know that we are not in a sceptical scenario. This paper argues that George Edward Moore was not a Moorean in this sense. Moore replied to other forms of scepticism than those mostly discussed nowadays. His own anti-…Read more
  •  15
    Review of McDowell, John. Mind and World (review)
    Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 2 (1): 135-144. 1998.
    Review of McDowell, John. Mind and World.
  •  5
    If You Believe, You Believe
    Logos and Episteme 8 (4): 389-416. 2017.
    Can I be wrong about my own beliefs? More precisely: Can I falsely believe that I believe that p? I argue that the answer is negative. This runs against what many philosophers and psychologists have traditionally thought and still think. I use a rather new kind of argument, – one that is based on considerations about Moore's paradox. It shows that if one believes that one believes that p then one believes that p – even though one can believe that p without believing that one believes that p.
  •  39
    Is Everything Revisable?
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4. 2017.
    Over the decades, the claim that everything is revisable (defended by Quine and others) has played an important role in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Some time ago, Katz (1988) argued that this claim is paradoxical. This paper does not discuss this objection but rather argues that the claim of universal revisability allows for two different readings but in each case leads to a contradiction and is false.
  •  6
    Davidson on Sharing a Language and Correct Language-Use
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 52 (1): 137-160. 1996.
    Donald Davidson has argued against a thesis that is widely shared in the philosophy of language, e.g., by Wittgenstein, Dummett and Kripke: the thesis that successful communication requires that speaker and hearer share a common language. Davidson's arguments, however, are not convincing. Moreover, Davidson's own positive account of communication poses a serious problem: it cannot offer criteria for the correct use of a language, especially in the case of a language that only one speaker speaks.…Read more
  •  195
    Can I be wrong about my own beliefs? More precisely: Can I falsely believe that I believe that p? I argue that the answer is negative. This runs against what many philosophers and psychologists have traditionally thought and still think. I use a rather new kind of argument, – one that is based on considerations about Moore's paradox. It shows that if one believes that one believes that p then one believes that p – even though one can believe that p without believing that one believes that p.
  •  140
    Is Everything Revisable?
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4 349-357. 2017.
    Over the decades, the claim that everything is revisable (defended by Quine and others) has played an important role in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Some time ago, Katz (1988) argued that this claim is paradoxical. This paper does not discuss this objection but rather argues that the claim of universal revisability allows for two different readings but in each case leads to a contradiction and is false.
  •  23
    ¿ Se puede saber lo que se quiere?
    Ideas Y Valores 44 (96-97): 3-22. 1995.
    Can one come to know what one wants? In some very simple cases, the answer has to be positive but in some other cases the answer is not so clear. The answer depends on what kind of self-knowledge one is taking about. This article also aims at elucidating the notion of knowledge of one's own desires.
  •  286
    The possibility of knowledge attributions across contexts (where attributor and subject find themselves in different epistemic contexts) can create serious problems for certain views of knowledge. Amongst such views is subject—sensitive invariantism—the view that knowledge is determined not only by epistemic factors (belief, truth, evidence, etc.) but also by non—epistemic factors (practical interests, etc.). I argue that subject—sensitive invariantism either runs into a contradiction or has to …Read more
  •  171
    Epistemic contrastivism is the view that knowledge is a ternary relation between a person, a proposition and a set of contrast propositions. This view is in tension with widely shared accounts of practical reasoning: be it the claim that knowledge of the premises is necessary for acceptable practical reasoning based on them or sufficient for the acceptability of the use of the premises in practical reasoning, or be it the claim that there is a looser connection between knowledge and practical re…Read more
  •  89
    Problems for Sinnott-Armstrong's moral contrastivism
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232). 2008.
    In his recent book Moral Skepticisms Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues in great detail for contrastivism with respect to justified moral belief and moral knowledge. I raise three questions concerning this view. First, how would Sinnott-Armstrong account for constraints on admissible contrast classes? Secondly, how would he deal with notorious problems concerning relevant reference classes? Finally, how can he account for basic features of moral agency? It turns out that the last problem is the mos…Read more
  •  579
    Defending the One Percent? Poor Arguments for the Rich?
    The Harvard Review of Philosophy XXI 21 106-112. 2014.
    This is a reply to and critique of Gregory Mankiw's recent paper "Defending the One Percent".
  • Der Denker als Seiltänzer. Ludwig Wittgenstein über Religion, Mystik und Ethik (review)
    Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 57 (1). 2003.
  • Muller, Synonymie und Analytizitat: Zwei sinnvolle Begriffe (review)
    Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 24 (1): 94-94. 1999.