•  496
    In philosophy, as in many other disciplines and domains, stable disagreement among peers is a widespread and well-known phenomenon. Our intuitions about paradigm cases, e.g. Christensen's Restaurant Case, suggest that in such controversies suspension of judgment is rationally required. This would prima facie suggest a robust suspension of judgment in philosophy. But we are still lacking a deeper theoretical explanation of why and under what conditions suspension is rationally mandatory. In the f…Read more
  •  349
    Saving safety from counterexamples
    Synthese 197 (12): 5161-5185. 2018.
    In this paper I will offer a comprehensive defense of the safety account of knowledge against counterexamples that have been recently put forward. In Sect. 2, I will discuss different versions of safety, arguing that a specific variant of method-relativized safety is the most plausible. I will then use this specific version of safety to respond to counterexamples in the recent literature. In Sect. 3, I will address alleged examples of safe beliefs that still constitute Gettier cases. In Sect. 4,…Read more
  •  317
    Moral Realism and the Problem of Moral Aliens
    Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology. forthcoming.
    In this paper, I discuss a new problem for moral realism, the problem of moral aliens. In the first section, I introduce this problem. Moral aliens are people who radically disagree with us concerning moral matters. Moral aliens are neither obviously incoherent nor do they seem to lack rational support from their own perspective. On the one hand, moral realists claim that we should stick to our guns when we encounter moral aliens. On the other hand, moral realists, in contrast to anti-realists, …Read more
  •  281
    Progress and Historical Reflection in Philosophy
    In Philosophy and the Historical Perspective, Proceedings of the British Academy. pp. 51-68. 2018.
    What is the epistemic significance of reflecting on a discipline’s past for making progress in that discipline? I assume that the answer to this question negatively correlates with that discipline’s degree of progress over time. If and only if a science is progressive, then what people think or argue in that discipline ceases to be up-to-date. In this paper, I will distinguish different dimensions of disciplinary progress and consequently argue that veritic progress, i.e. collective convergence …Read more
  •  263
  •  238
    The nature of rational intuitions and a fresh look at the explanationist objection
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 74 (1): 69-87. 2007.
    In the first part of this paper I will characterize the specific nature of rational intuition. It will be claimed that rational intuition is an evidential state with modal content that has an a priori source. This claim will be defended against several objections. The second part of the paper deals with the so-called explanationist objection against rational intuition as a justifying source. According to the best reading of this objection, intuition cannot justify any judgment since there is no …Read more
  •  225
    Global meta-philosophical skepticism (i.e. completely unrestricted skepticism about philosophy) based upon disagreement faces the problem of self-defeat since it undercuts its motivating conciliatory principle. However, the skeptic may easily escape this threat by adopting a more modest kind of skepticism, that will be called “extensive meta-philosophical skepticism”, i.e., the view that most of our philosophical beliefs are unjustified, except our beliefs in epistemically fundamental principles…Read more
  •  215
    Descartes' Cogito-Argument
    In Thomas Grundmann, Catrin Misselhorn, Frank Hofmann & Veronique Zanetti (eds.), Anatomie der Subejktivität, Suhrkamp. pp. 255-276. 2005.
  •  204
    Platonism and the Apriori in Thought Experiments
    In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments, Routledge. 2017.
  •  190
    How to respond rationally to peer disagreement: The preemption view
    Philosophical Issues 29 (1): 129-142. 2019.
    In this paper, I argue that the two most common views of how to respond rationally to peer disagreement–the Total Evidence View (TEV) and the Equal Weight View (EWV)–are both inadequate for substantial reasons. TEV does not issue the correct intuitive verdicts about a number of hypothetical cases of peer disagreement. The same is true for EWV. In addition, EWV does not give any explanation of what is rationally required of agents on the basis of sufficiently general epistemic principles. I will …Read more
  •  185
    Standard Analytic Epistemology typically relies on conceptual analysis of folk epistemic terms such as ‘knowledge’ or ‘justification’. A cross-cultural and cross-linguistic perspective on this method leads to the worry that there might not be universally shared epistemic concepts, and that different languages might use folk notions that have different extensions. Moreover, there is no reason to believe that our epistemic common-sense terms pick out what is epistemically most significant or valua…Read more
  •  179
    Introduction: Experimental Philosophy and Its Critics, Parts 1 and 2
    Philosophical Psychology 23 (3): 283-292. 2010.
    In this brief introduction, we would first like to explain how these two special issues of Philosophical Psychology ( 23.3 and 23.4 ) actually came about. In addition, we will provide an outline of their overall structure and shortly summarize the featured papers
  •  167
    Some hope for intuitions: A reply to Weinberg
    Philosophical Psychology 23 (4): 481-509. 2010.
    In a recent paper Weinberg (2007) claims that there is an essential mark of trustworthiness which typical sources of evidence as perception or memory have, but philosophical intuitions lack, namely that we are able to detect and correct errors produced by these “hopeful” sources. In my paper I will argue that being a hopeful source isn't necessary for providing us with evidence. I then will show that, given some plausible background assumptions, intuitions at least come close to being hopeful, i…Read more
  •  160
    Epistemic authority: preemption through source sensitive defeat
    with Jan Constantin
    Synthese 197 (9): 4109-4130. 2020.
    Modern societies are characterized by a division of epistemic labor between laypeople and epistemic authorities. Authorities are often far more competent than laypeople and can thus, ideally, inform their beliefs. But how should laypeople rationally respond to an authority’s beliefs if they already have beliefs and reasons of their own concerning some subject matter? According to the standard view, the beliefs of epistemic authorities are just further, albeit weighty, pieces of evidence. In cont…Read more
  •  160
    Reliabilism and the problem of defeaters
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 79 (1): 65-76. 2009.
    It is widely assumed that justification is defeasible, e.g. that under certain conditions counterevidence removes prior justification of beliefs. In this paper I will first (sect. 1) explain why this feature of justification poses a prima facie problem for reliabilism. I then will try out different reliabilist strategies to deal with the problem. Among them I will discuss conservative strategies (sect. 2), eliminativist stragies (sect. 3) and revisionist strategies (sect. 4). In the final sectio…Read more
  •  160
    Erratum to: Philos Stud DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0226-3Dear Reader, due to production systems the following changes could not be made to this article:In the paragraph immediately preceding the case description (ford-iii), the sentenceHere we explicitly state that Smith’s inference is based only on his belief that Jones owns a Ford, and that this logical inference provides Smith’s only justification for believing that someone in his office owns a Ford (to make things fully precise, we also add a ti…Read more
  •  153
    Fake News: The Case for a Purely Consumer-Oriented Explication
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Our current understanding of ‘fake news’ is not in good shape. On the one hand, this category seems to be urgently needed for an adequate understanding of the epistemology in the age of the internet. On the other hand, the term has an unstable ordinary meaning and the prevalent accounts which all relate fake news to epistemically bad attitudes of the producer lack theoretical unity, sufficient extensional adequacy, and epistemic fruitfulness. I will therefore suggest an alternative account of fa…Read more
  •  146
    Typically, expert judgments are regarded by laypeople as highly trustworthy. However, expert assertions that strike the layperson as obviously false or outrageous, seem to give one a perfect reason to dispute that this judgment manifests expertise. In this paper, I will defend four claims. First, I will deliver an argument in support of the preemption view on expert judgments according to which we should not rationally use our own domain-specific reasons in the face of expert testimony. Second, …Read more
  •  140
    Bonjour‘s Self-Defeating Argument for Coherentism
    Erkenntnis 50 (2-3): 463-479. 1999.
    One of the most influential arguments for the coherence theory of empirical justification is BonJours a priori argument from the internalist regress. According to this argument, foundationalism cannot solve the problem of the internalist regress since internalism is incompatible with basic beliefs. Hence, coherentism seems to be the only option. In my article I contend that this argument is doomed to failure. It is either too strong or too weak. Too strong, since even coherentism cannot stop the…Read more
  •  134
    Facing Epistemic Authorities: Where Democratic Ideals and Critical Thinking Mislead Cognition
    In Sven Bernecker, Amy Floweree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Disrespect for the truth, the rise of conspiracy thinking, and a pervasive distrust in experts are widespread features of the post-truth condition in current politics and public opinion. Among the many good explanations of these phenomena there is one that is only rarely discussed: that something is wrong with our deeply entrenched intellectual standards of (i) using our own critical thinking without any restriction and (ii) respecting the judgment of every rational agent as epistemically releva…Read more
  •  127
    Knowledge from Forgetting
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3): 525-540. 2017.
    This paper provides a novel argument for granting memory the status of a generative source of justification and knowledge. Memory can produce justified output beliefs and knowledge on the basis of unjustified input beliefs alone. The key to understanding how memory can generate justification and knowledge, memory generativism, is to bear in mind that memory frequently omits part of the stored information. The proposed argument depends on a broadly reliabilist approach to justification.
  •  125
    Philosophen berufen sich in Gedankenexperimenten oft auf Intuitionen. Doch werden diese Intuitionen auch von anderen Philosophen oder von philosophischen Laien geteilt? Und durch welche Faktoren werden sie eigentlich bestimmt? Experimentelle Philosophen gehen solchen Fragen seit einigen Jahren mit empirischen Methoden auf den Grund. Ihre Ergebnisse sind mitunter verblüffend und haben für Aufsehen gesorgt. Der vorliegende Band lässt führende Vertreter und Gegner dieser wachsenden Bewegung zu Wort…Read more
  •  123
    Experts: What are they and how can laypeople identify them?
    In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    In this chapter, I survey and assess various answers to two basic questions concerning experts: (1) What is an expert?; (2) How can laypeople identify the relevant experts? These questions are not mutually independent, since the epistemology and the metaphysics of experts should go hand in hand. On the basis of our platitudes about experts, I will argue that the prevailing accounts of experts such as truth-linked, knowledge-linked, understanding-linked or service-oriented accounts are inadequate…Read more
  •  114
    How reliabilism saves the apriori/aposteriori distinction
    Synthese 192 (9): 2747-2768. 2015.
    Contemporary epistemologists typically define a priori justification as justification that is independent of sense experience. However, sense experience plays at least some role in the production of many paradigm cases of a priori justified belief. This raises the question of when experience is epistemically relevant to the justificatory status of the belief that is based on it. In this paper, I will outline the answers that can be given by the two currently dominant accounts of justification, i…Read more
  •  104
    In this paper I will discuss Michael Williamss inferential contextualism – a position that must be carefully distinguished from the currently more fashionable attributer contextualism. I will argue that Williamss contextualism is not stable, though it avoids some of the shortcomings of simple inferential contextualism. In particular, his criticism of epistemological realism cannot be supported on the basis of his own account. I will also argue that we need not give up epistemological realism in …Read more
  •  102
    According to the received view, externalist grounds or reasons need not be introspectively accessible. Roughly speaking, from an externalist point of view, a belief will be epistemically justified, iff it is based upon facts that make its truth objectively highly likely. This condition can be satisfied, even if the epistemic agent does not have actual or potential awareness of the justifying facts. No inner perspective on the belief-forming mechanism and its truth-ratio is needed for a belief to…Read more
  •  96
    Die Unhintergehbarkeit der Intuition
    Thinkling. Talking. Acting (Ed. By J. Brandl, D. Messelken, S. Wedmann). forthcoming.
    In diesem Aufsatz räume ich mit einigen tiefsitzenden Vorurteilen gegen die methodologische Rolle von Intuitionen in der Philosophie auf. Zunächst wird gezeigt, dass Intuitionen eine zentrale Rolle als epistemische Gründe in Gedankenexperimenten spielen. Aber auch völlig andere Methoden des Philosophierens (wie etwa die Transzendentalpragmatik) kommen ohne Rekurs auf Intuitionen als Gründe letztlich nicht aus. Außerdem kläre ich über die Natur von Intuitionen und deren epistemologischen Statu…Read more