•  50
    Close to the Truth
    Philosophia 48 1-7. forthcoming.
    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 (section1) with an exposition of the idea of getting things right by looking at the main forms of reliabilism about true belief and belief acq…Read more
  •  19
    DeRose on Lotteries
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 1-24. forthcoming.
    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
  •  115
    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
  •  83
    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
  •  72
    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.
  •  93
    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
  •  214
    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
  •  16
    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
  •  175
    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
  •  205
    Practical Conflicts
    Philosophical Review 116 (4): 654-656. 2007.
    This volume contains contributions on different aspects of practical conflicts by: Peter Baumann Monika Betzler Ruth Chang Jon Elster Barbara Guckes Christine M. Korsgaard Isaac Levi Alfred R. Mele Joseph Raz Henry S. Richardson Peter Schaber J. David Velleman Nicholas White.
  •  193
    A review and discussion of Keith DeRose's "The Case for Contextualism".
  •  143
    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
  •  12
    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.
  •  4
    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
  •  157
    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.
  •  104
    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.
  •  88
    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
  • Erkenntnistheorie
    Metzler. 2015 (3.ed.).
    An introduction to epistemology with a focus on different accounts of knowledge, scepticism, belief, truth, rationality and justification, the sources of knowledge.
  •  34
    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
  • A Contradiction for Contextualism?
    In Franck Lihoreau & Manuel Rebuschi (eds.), Epistemology, Context, and Formalism, Springer. pp. 49-57. 2014.
    This discusses a problem for epistemic contextualism having to do with the possibility of evaluating knowledge attributions made in other contexts.
  •  15
    Begrenzte Erkenntnisse?
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 58 (3): 483-489. 2010.
    This is a crtiical discussion of Gabriel's "An den Grenzen der Erkenntnistheorie".
  •  233
    Nozick's defense of closure
    In Kelly Becker & Tim Black (eds.), The Sensitivity Principle in Epistemology, Cambridge University Press. pp. 11--27. 2012.
    This paper argues against common views that at least in many cases Robert Nozick is not forced to deny common closure principles. More importantly, Nozick does not – despite first (and second) appearances and despite his own words – deny closure. On the contrary, he is defending a more sophisticated and complex principle of closure. This principle does remarkably well though it is not without problems. It is surprising how rarely Nozick’s principle of closure has been discussed. He should be see…Read more
  •  753
    To Thine Own Self Be Untrue: A Diagnosis of the Cable Guy Paradox
    with Darrell Patrick Rowbottom
    Logique Et Analyse 51 (204): 355-364. 2008.
    Hájek has recently presented the following paradox. You are certain that a cable guy will visit you tomorrow between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. but you have no further information about when. And you agree to a bet on whether he will come in the morning interval (8, 12] or in the afternoon interval (12, 4). At first, you have no reason to prefer one possibility rather than the other. But you soon realise that there will definitely be a future time at which you will (rationally) assign higher proba…Read more
  • Sind die meisten unserer Meinungen wahr? Zu Donald Davidsons 'extended claim'
    Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 4 116-136. 1997.
    Are our beliefs mostly true? Donald Davidson has proposed some very interesting arguments in favor of his "extended claim" that most our beliefs must be true. The main aim of this paper is to show that Davidson's arguments are not convincing. The most well known of his arguments is the argument of the "omniscient interpreter". The conceivability of a totally ignorant interpreter, however, shows that this argument fails. Davidson offers two more arguments for his extended claim: one of them based…Read more
  •  48
    Knowledge, Assertion, and Inference
    Acta Analytica 29 (4): 487-490. 2014.
    This paper argues that three plausible principles are mutually inconsistent: One ought to assert only what one knows; If it is proper to assert some proposition q, then it is, barring special and not very common circumstances, proper to assert any proposition p from which q has been competently inferred; and Some propositions are both properly assertible and known by competent inference from propositions which one does not know. Each pair of two principles constitutes an argument against the rem…Read more
  •  131
    One of the great attractions of Thomas Reid's account of knowledge is that he attempted to avoid the alternative between skepticism and dogmatism. This attempt, however, faces serious problems. It is argued here that there is a pragmatist way out of the problems, and that there are even hints to this solution in Reid's writings.