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Profile: Gregor Betz (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
  1. Gregor Betz (2013). Degrees of Justification, Bayes’ Rule, and Rationality. In Frank Zenker (ed.), Bayesian Argumentation – The Practical Side of Probability. Springer.
    Based on the theory of dialectical structures, I review the concept of degree of justification of a partial position a proponent may hold in a controversial debate. The formal concept of degree of justification dovetails with our pre-theoretic intuitions about a thesis' strength of justification. The central claim I'm going to defend in this paper maintains that degrees of justification, as defined within the theory of dialectical structures, correlate with a proponent position's verisimilitude. I vindicate this thesis with the results (...)
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  2. Gregor Betz (2013). In Defence of the Value Free Ideal. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (2):207-220.
    The ideal of value free science states that the justification of scientific findings should not be based on non-epistemic (e.g. moral or political) values. It has been criticized on the grounds that scientists have to employ moral judgements in managing inductive risks. The paper seeks to defuse this methodological critique. Allegedly value-laden decisions can be systematically avoided, it argues, by making uncertainties explicit and articulating findings carefully. Such careful uncertainty articulation, understood as a methodological strategy, is exemplified by the current (...)
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  3. Gregor Betz (2013). Justifying Inference to the Best Explanation as a Practical Meta-Syllogism on Dialectical Structures. Synthese 190 (16):3553-3578.
    This article discusses how inference to the best explanation (IBE) can be justified as a practical meta-argument. It is, firstly, justified as a practical argument insofar as accepting the best explanation as true can be shown to further a specific aim. And because this aim is a discursive one which proponents can rationally pursue in—and relative to—a complex controversy, namely maximising the robustness of one’s position, IBE can be conceived, secondly, as a meta-argument. My analysis thus bears a certain analogy (...)
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  4. Gregor Betz (2013). Revamping Hypothetico-Deductivism: A Dialectic Account of Confirmation. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 78 (5):991-1009.
    We use recently developed approaches in argumentation theory in order to revamp the hypothetico-deductive model of confirmation, thus alleviating the well-known paradoxes the H-D account faces. More specifically, we introduce the concept of dialectic confirmation on the background of the so-called theory of dialectical structures (Betz 2010, 2012b). Dialectic confirmation generalises hypothetico-deductive confirmation and mitigates the raven paradox, the grue paradox, the tacking paradox, the paradox from conceptual difference, and the problem of surprising evidence.
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  5. Gregor Betz (2013). Wertfreiheit, Politikberatung und ethische Expertise. In Florian Steger & Rafaela Hillerbrand (eds.), Praxisfelder angewandter Ethik: Medizin, Technik und Umwelt. Mentis.
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  6. Gregor Betz (2012). Achilles und die Schildkröte. In Georg Bertram (ed.), Philosophische Gedankenexperimente – ein Lese- und Studienbuch. Reclam.
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  7. Gregor Betz (2012). Debate Dynamics: How Controversy Improves Our Beliefs. Springer.
    By means of multi-agent simulations, it investigates the truth and consensus-conduciveness of controversial debates. The book brings together research in formal epistemology and argumentation theory.
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  8. Gregor Betz (2012). Das Schiff des Theseus. In Georg Bertram (ed.), Philosophische Gedankenexperimente – ein Lese- und Studienbuch. Reclam.
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  9. Gregor Betz (2012). Lebende Bücher. In Georg Bertram (ed.), Philosophische Gedankenexperimente – ein Lese- und Studienbuch. Reclam.
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  10. Gregor Betz (2012). On Degrees of Justification. Erkenntnis 77 (2):237-272.
    This paper gives an explication of our intuitive notion of strength of justification in a controversial debate. It defines a thesis' degree of justification within the bipolar argumentation framework of the theory of dialectical structures as the ratio of coherently adoptable positions according to which that thesis is true over all coherently adoptable positions. Broadening this definition, the notion of conditional degree of justification, i.e.\ degree of partial entailment, is introduced. Thus defined degrees of justification correspond to our pre-theoretic intuitions (...)
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  11. Gregor Betz (2012). Pascals Wette. In Georg Bertram (ed.), Philosophische Gedankenexperimente – ein Lese- und Studienbuch. Reclam.
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  12. Gregor Betz (2012). The Case for Climate Engineering Research: An Analysis of the “Arm the Future” Argument. Climatic Change 111 (2):473-485.
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  13. Gregor Betz (2012). Wie ist das 2-Grad-Ziel der internationalen Klimapolitik begründet? In Geert Keil (ed.), Unscharfe Grenzen im Umwelt- und Technikrecht. Nomos.
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  14. Gregor Betz & Sebastian Cacean (2012). Ethical Aspects of Climate Engineering. Karlsruhe. KIT Scientific Publishing.
    This study investigates the ethical aspects of deploying and researching into so-called climate engineering methods, i.e. large-scale technical interventions in the climate system with the objective of offsetting anthropogenic climate change. The moral reasons in favour of and against R&D into and deployment of CE methods are analysed by means of argument maps. These argument maps provide an overview of the CE controversy and help to structure the complex debate.
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  15. Gregor Betz (2011). Descartes' »Meditationen über die Grundlagen der Philosophie«. Ein systematischer Kommentar. Reclam.
    Descartes' "Meditationen" sind vielleicht 'der' Klassiker der Philosophie. Sie behandeln grundlegende Fragen: Welche Arten von Gegenständen kommen in der Welt vor? Was für eine Art von Ding bin ich? Bin ich frei? Was ist Wahrheit? Welchen Status haben logische Wahrheiten oder mathematische Theoreme? Was kann ich wissen? Gregor Betz' systematischer Kommentar rekonstruiert die entsprechenden Gedankengänge und Begründungen und versucht Antworten auf Descartes' Fragen zu geben. Auch andere Philosophen, insbesondere des 20. Jahrhunderts, werden in einen Dialog mit Descartes gestellt. Denn eine (...)
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  16. Gregor Betz (2011). Mehr Besonnenheit, bitte! Über Prognosegrenzen und Politikberatung. Ökologisches Wirtschaften 2011 (2):35-38.
    In einer Welt, in der der Umgang mit Komplexität und Unsicherheit an Bedeutung gewinnt, sind politische Entscheidungsträger immer stärker auf eine wissenschaftliche Beratung angewiesen. Trotz des Bedarfs der politischen Akteure nach konkreten Handlungsempfehlungen sollte seriöse Politikberatung die grundlegenden Werte wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens nicht aus den Augen verlieren.
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  17. Gregor Betz (2011). Prediction. In Ian Jarvie & Jesus Zamora-Bonilla (eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Sage.
  18. Gregor Betz (2010). Besprechung von ‘Zum methodologischen Wert von Vorhersagen’ von Cornelis Menke. [REVIEW] DZPhil 58:329-332.
  19. Gregor Betz (2010). Petitio Principii and Circular Argumentation as Seen From a Theory of Dialectical Structures. Synthese 175 (3):327-349.
    This paper investigates in how far a theory of dialectical structures sheds new light on the old problem of giving a satisfying account of the fallacy of petitio principii, or begging the question. It defends that (i) circular argumentation on the one hand and petitio principii on the other hand are two distinct features of complex argumentation, and that (ii) it is impossible to make general statements about the defectiveness of an argumentation that exhibits these features. Such an argumentation, in (...)
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  20. Gregor Betz (2010). Theorie dialektischer Strukturen. Klostermann.
    Wo Meinungen aufeinanderprallen, um Verständnis geworben und Überzeugungsarbeit geleistet wird, sind Begründungen nicht weit. Für jede Überzeugung gibt es immer ein, zwei Gründe, die mit Gegengründen konfrontiert und, im Gegenzug, mit weiteren Überlegungen verteidigt werden usw. usf. Schnell sind wir verwirrt und drohen, ohne uns der "Grammatikregeln" vernünftigen Argumentierens zu besinnen, nicht mehr durchzublicken. Die Theorie dialektischer Strukturen leistet einen Beitrag zur Grammatik vernünftigen Argumentierens. Sie stellt Begriffe und Verfahren bereit, um Fragen, die sich angesichts einer komplexen Argumentation stellen können, (...)
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  21. Gregor Betz (2010). Warum erfolgreiche Prognosen neuartiger Phänomene methodologisch wertvoll sind. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 58 (2):329-332.
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  22. Gregor Betz (2010). What’s the Worst Case? The Methodology of Possibilistic Prediction. Analyse and Kritik 32 (1):87-106.
    Frank Knight (1921) famously distinguished the epistemic modes of certainty, risk, and uncertainty in order to characterize situations where deterministic, probabilistic or possibilistic foreknowledge is available. Because our probabilistic knowledge is limited, i.e. because many systems, e.g. the global climate, cannot be described and predicted probabilistically in a reliable way, Knight's third category, possibilistic foreknowledge, is not simply swept by the probabilistic mode. This raises the question how to justify possibilistic predictionsincluding the identication of the worst case. The development of (...)
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  23. Gregor Betz (2009). Evaluating Dialectical Structures. Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (3):283 - 312.
    This paper develops concepts and procedures for the evaluation of complex debates. They provide means for answering such questions as whether a thesis has to be considered as proven or disproven in a debate or who carries a burden of proof. While being based on classical logic, this framework represents an (argument-based) approach to non-monotonic, or defeasible reasoning. Debates are analysed as dialectical structures, i.e. argumentation systems with an attack- as well as a support-relationship. The recursive status assignment over the (...)
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  24. Gregor Betz (2009). Underdetermination, Model-Ensembles and Surprises: On the Epistemology of Scenario-Analysis in Climatology. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (1):3 - 21.
    As climate policy decisions are decisions under uncertainty, being based on a range of future climate change scenarios, it becomes a crucial question how to set up this scenario range. Failing to comply with the precautionary principle, the scenario methodology widely used in the Third Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seems to violate international environmental law, in particular a provision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To place climate policy advice on a (...)
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  25. Gregor Betz (2009). What Range of Future Scenarios Should Climate Policy Be Based On? Modal Falsificationism and its Limitations. Philosophia Naturalis 46 (1):133-158.
    Climate policy decisions are decisions under uncertainty and are, therefore, based on a range of future climate scenarios, describing possible consequences of alternative policies. Accordingly, the methodology for setting up such a scenario range becomes pivotal in climate policy advice. The preferred methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be characterised as ,,modal verificationism"; it suffers from severe shortcomings which disqualify it for scientific policy advice. Modal falsificationism, as a more sound alternative, would radically alter the way the (...)
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  26. Gregor Betz (2008). Der Umgang mit Zukunftswissen in der Klimapolitikberatung. Eine Fallstudie zum Stern Review. Philosophia Naturalis 45 (1):95-129.
    The Stern Review on The Economics of Climate Change is a highly influential welfare analysis of climate policy measures which has been published in 2006. This paper identifies and systematically assesses the long-term socioeconomic and climatic predictions the Stern Review relies on, and reflects them philosophically. Being a cost-benefit analysis, the Stern Review has to predict the benefits of climate mitigation policies, i.e.the damaging consequences of climate change which might be avoided, as well as the costs of implementing such policies. (...)
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  27. Gregor Betz (2008). Evaluating Dialectical Structures with Bayesian Methods. Synthese 163 (1):25 - 44.
    This paper shows how complex argumentation, analyzed as dialectical structures, can be evaluated within a Bayesian framework by interpreting them as coherence constraints on subjective degrees of belief. A dialectical structure is a set of arguments (premiss-conclusion structure) among which support- and attack-relations hold. This approach addresses the observation that some theses in a debate can be better justified than others and thus fixes a shortcoming of a theory of defeasible reasoning which applies the bivalence principle to argument evaluations by (...)
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  28. Gregor Betz (2007). Probabilities in Climate Policy Advice: A Critical Comment. Climatic Change 85 (1-2):1-9.
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  29. Gregor Betz, Helen Bohse & Christian Voigt (2007). Argunet. A Virtual Argumentation Platform for Rule-Guided Reasoning. In Frans H. van Eeemeren (ed.), Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation. Sic Sat.
     
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  30. Gregor Betz (2006). Prediction or Prophecy? The Boundaries of Economic Foreknowledge and Their Socio-Political Consequences. DUV.
    Gregor Betz explores the following questions: Where are the limits of economics, in particular the limits of economic foreknowledge? Are macroeconomic forecasts credible predictions or mere prophecies and what would this imply for the way economic policy decisions are taken? Is rational economic decision making possible without forecasting at all?
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  31. Gregor Betz (2005). The Vicious Circle Theorem – a Graph-Theoretical Analysis of Dialectical Structures. Argumentation 19 (1):53-64.
    This article sets up a graph-theoretical framework for argumentation-analysis (dialectical analysis) which expands classical argument-analysis. Within this framework, a main theorem on the existence of inconsistencies in debates is stated and proved: the vicious circle theorem. Subsequently, two corollaries which generalize the main theorem are derived. Finally, a brief outlook is given on further expansions and possible applications of the developed framework.
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  32. Gregor Betz (2004). Empirische und apriorische Grenzen von Wirtschaftsprognose: Oskar Morgenstern nach 70 Jahren Prognoseerfahrung. In Ulrich Frank (ed.), Wissenschaftstheorie in Ökonomie und Wirtschaftsinformatik. DUV.
    Dieser Beitrag diskutiert Oskar Morgensterns These von der Unmöglichkeit von Wirtschaftsprognose. Nach einer kritischen Rekonstruktion Morgensterns Argumente wird diese These in ihrer starken, apriorischen Lesart zurückgewiesen. Demgegenüber gestatten es die Ergebnisse empirischer Prognoseevaluationen, Morgensterns Überlegungen als kontingente Erklärungen des Scheiterns makroökonomischer Vorhersagen umzuinterpretieren. Der Beitrag schließt deshalb mit einer provokanten Konklusion, die bereits Morgenstern zog: der Forderung, Versuche makroökonomischer Vorhersage einzustellen.
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