•  2282
    This paper analyzes and discusses Mephisto's famous remark in Goethe's FAUST. It turns out that he is being incoherent in interesting ways.
  •  960
    Epistemic closure
    In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology, Routledge. pp. 597--608. 2011.
    This article gives an overview over different principles of epistemic closure, their attractions and their problems.
  •  806
    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
  •  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".
  •  457
    Molyneux's Question and the Berkeleian Answer
    In Jean Paul Margot & Mauricio Zuluaga (eds.), Jean Paul Margot & Mauricio Zuluaga (eds.), Perspectivas de la Modernidad. Siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII, Colección Artes Y Humanidades. pp. 217-234. 2011.
    Amongst those who answered Molyneux’s question in the negative or at least not in the positive, George Berkeley is of particular interest because he argued for a very radical position. Most of his contribution to the discussion can be found in his Essay towards a New Theory of Vision. I will give an exposition of his view (2) and then move on to a critical discussion of this kind of view, - what one could call the “Berkeleian view” (3). I think that the problems of what has become a standard neg…Read more
  •  455
    Empiricism, stances, and the problem of voluntarism
    Synthese 178 (1): 27-36. 2011.
    Voluntarism about beliefs is the view that persons can be free to choose their beliefs for non-epistemic (truth-related) reasons (cf. Williams 1973). One problem for belief voluntarism is that it can lead to Moore-paradoxality. The person might believe that a.) there are also good epistemic reasons for her belief, or that b.) there are no epistemic reasons one way or the other, or that c.) there are good epistemic reasons against her belief. If the person is aware of the fact that she chose her…Read more
  •  363
    Knowledge, Practical Reasoning and Action
    Logos and Episteme 3 (1): 7-26. 2012.
    Is knowledge necessary or sufficient or both necessary and sufficient for acceptable practical reasoning and rational action? Several authors (e.g., Williamson, Hawthorne, and Stanley) have recently argued that the answer to these questions is positive. In this paper I present several objections against this view (both in its basic form as well in more developed forms). I also offer a sketch of an alternative view: What matters for the acceptability of practical reasoning in at least many cases …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
  •  328
    Zwei Seiten der Kantschen Begründung von Eigentum und Staat
    Kant-Studien 85 (2): 147-159. 1994.
    Abstract. Kant's political philosophy in general is characterized by two aspects which sometimes compete with each other and sometimes supplement each other: an individualist element on the one hand and a social or "communitarian" element on the other hand. This paper deals with Kant's theory of private property. It attempts to show something that is usually overlooked in the secondary literature: that Kant has two, not just one argument for property. One is based on his theory of freedom and ex…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
  •  297
    Philosophy Upside Down?
    Metaphilosophy 44 (5): 579-588. 2013.
    Philip Kitcher recently argued for a reconstruction in philosophy. According to him, the contemporary mainstream of philosophy has deteriorated into something that is of relevance only to a few specialists who communicate with each other in a language nobody else understands. Kitcher proposes to reconstruct philosophy along two axes: a knowledge axis and a value axis. The present article discusses Kitcher's diagnosis as well as his proposal of a therapy. It argues that there are problems with bo…Read more
  •  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
  •  282
    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
  •  267
    Meaning and More Meaningful. A Modest Measure
    Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (3): 33-49. 2015.
    We often describe lives (or parts of lives) as meaningful or as not meaningful. It is also common to characterize them as more or less meaningful. Some lives, we tend to think, are more meaningful than others. But how then can one compare lives with respect to how much meaning they contain? Can one? This paper argues that (i) only a notion of rough equality can be used when comparing different lives with respect to their meaning, and that (ii) the relation of being more meaningful is not transit…Read more
  •  247
    Christoph Jäger (2004) argues that Dretske's information theory of knowledge raises a serious problem for his denial of closure of knowledge under known entailment: Information is closed under known entailment (even under entailment simpliciter); given that Dretske explains the concept of knowledge in terms of "information", it is hard to stick with his denial of closure for knowledge. Thus, one of the two basic claims of Dretske would have to go. Since giving up the denial of closure would comm…Read more
  •  247
    In Baumann (American Philosophical Quarterly 42: 71–79, 2005) I argued that reflections on a variation of the Monty Hall problem throws a very general skeptical light on the idea of single-case probabilities. Levy (Synthese, forthcoming, 2007) puts forward some interesting objections which I answer here.
  •  243
    Contextualism and the Factivity Problem
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3): 580-602. 2008.
    Epistemological contextualism - the claim that the truth-value of knowledge-attributions can vary with the context of the attributor - has recently faced a whole series of objections. The most serious one, however, has not been discussed much so far: the factivity objection. In this paper, I explain what the objection is and present three different versions of the objection. I then show that there is a good way out for the contextualist. However, in order to solve the probleIn the contextualist …Read more
  •  216
    No Luck With Knowledge? On a Dogma of Epistemology
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3): 523-551. 2014.
    Current epistemological orthodoxy has it that knowledge is incompatible with luck. More precisely: Knowledge is incompatible with epistemic luck . This is often treated as a truism which is not even in need of argumentative support. In this paper, I argue that there is lucky knowledge. In the first part, I use an intuitive and not very developed notion of luck to show that there are cases of knowledge which are “lucky” in that sense. In the second part, I look at philosophical conceptions of luc…Read more
  •  197
    A review and discussion of Keith DeRose's "The Case for Contextualism".
  •  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.
  •  180
    Safety, Virtue, Scepticism: Remarks on Sosa
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy (45): 295-306. 2015.
    Ernest Sosa has made and continues to make major contributions to a wide variety of topics in epistemology. In this paper I discuss some of his core ideas about the nature of knowledge and scepticism. I start with a discussion of the safety account of knowledge – a view he has championed and further developed over the years. I continue with some questions concerning the role of the concept of an epistemic virtue for our understanding of knowledge. Safety and virtue hang very closely together for…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
  •  176
    One of the most recent trends in epistemology is contrastivism. It can be characterized as the thesis that knowledge is a ternary relation between a subject, a proposition known and a contrast proposition. According to contrastivism, knowledge attributions have the form “S knows that p, rather than q”. In this paper I raise several problems for contrastivism: it lacks plausibility for many cases of knowledge, is too relaxed concerning the third relatum, and overlooks a further relativity of the …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
  •  157
    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.
  •  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
  •  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
  •  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
  •  150
    On Reflection
    Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256): 510-512. 2014.
    Review of Kornblith, "On Reflection".
  •  140
    On the Inflation of Necessities
    Metaphysica 13 (1): 51-54. 2012.
    This brief paper argues that Kripke’s thesis of the necessity of origin has some implausible consequences