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Profile: Jan Willem Wieland (VU University Amsterdam)
  1. Jan Willem Wieland (forthcoming). Access and the Shirker Problem. American Philosophical Quarterly.
    The Access principle places an epistemic restriction on our obligations. This principle falls prey to the ‘Shirker Problem’, namely that shirkers could evade their obligations by evading certain epistemic circumstances. To block this problem, it has been suggested that shirkers have the obligation to learn their obligations. This solution yields a regress, yet it is controversial what the moral of the regress actually is. The aim of this paper is two-fold. First, I spell out this intricate dispute. Second, on the (...)
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  2. Jan Willem Wieland (2014). Infinite Regress Arguments. Springer.
    This book on infinite regress arguments provides (i) an up-to-date overview of the literature on the topic, (ii) ready-to-use insights for all domains of philosophy, and (iii) two case studies to illustrate these insights in some detail. Infinite regress arguments play an important role in all domains of philosophy. There are infinite regresses of reasons, obligations, rules, and disputes, and all are supposed to have their own moral. Yet most of them are involved in controversy. Hence the question is: what (...)
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  3. Jan Willem Wieland (2014). Sceptical Rationality. Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):222-238.
    It is widely assumed that it is rational to suspend one’s belief regarding a certain proposition only if one’s evidence is neutral regarding that proposition. In this paper I broaden this condition, and defend, on the basis of an improved ancient argument, that it is rational to suspend one’s belief even if the available evidence is not neutral – or even close to neutral.
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  4. Jan Willem Wieland (2013). Belief and Truth: A Skeptic Reading of Plato, by Katja Maria Vogt. Mind 122 (488):1204-1207.
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  5. Jan Willem Wieland (2013). Is Justification Dialectical? International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (3):182-201.
    Much of present-day epistemology is divided between internalists and externalists. Different as these views are, they have in common that they strip justification from its dialectical component in order to block the skeptic’s argument from disagreement. That is, they allow that one may have justified beliefs even if one is not able to defend it against challenges and resolve the disagreements about them. Lammenranta (2008, 2011a) recently argued that neither internalism nor externalism convinces if we consider the argument in its (...)
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  6. Jan Willem Wieland (2013). Infinite Regress Arguments. Acta Analytica 28 (1):95-109.
    Infinite regress arguments play an important role in many distinct philosophical debates. Yet, exactly how they are to be used to demonstrate anything is a matter of serious controversy. In this paper I take up this metaphilosophical debate, and demonstrate how infinite regress arguments can be used for two different purposes: either they can refute a universally quantified proposition (as the Paradox Theory says), or they can demonstrate that a solution never solves a given problem (as the Failure Theory says). (...)
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  7. Jan Willem Wieland (2013). Oneindige Regressieargumenten. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Wijsbegeerte 105 (1):1-14.
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  8. Jan Willem Wieland (2013). Strong and Weak Regress Arguments. Logique and Analyse 224:439-461.
    In the literature, regress arguments often take one of two different forms: either they conclude that a given solution fails to solve any problem of a certain kind (the strong conclusion), or they conclude that a given solution fails to solve all problems of a certain kind (the weaker conclusion). This gives rise to a logical problem: do regresses entail the strong or the weaker conclusion, or none? In this paper I demonstrate that regress arguments can in fact take both (...)
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  9. Jan Willem Wieland (2013). What Carroll's Tortoise Actually Proves. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):983-997.
    Rationality requires us to have certain propositional attitudes (beliefs, intentions, etc.) given certain other attitudes that we have. Carroll’s Tortoise repeatedly shows up in this discussion. Following up on Brunero (Ethical Theory Moral Pract 8:557–569, 2005), I ask what Carroll-style considerations actually prove. This paper rejects two existing suggestions, and defends a third.
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  10. Jan Willem Wieland (2012). And So On. Two Theories of Regress Arguments in Philosophy. Ghent University.
    This dissertation is on infinite regress arguments in philosophy. Its main goals are to explain what such arguments from many distinct philosophical debates have in common, and to provide guidelines for using and evaluating them. Two theories are reviewed: the Paradox Theory and the Failure Theory. According to the Paradox Theory, infinite regress arguments can be used to refute an existentially or universally quantified statement (e.g. to refute the statement that at least one discussion is settled, or the statement that (...)
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  11. Jan Willem Wieland (2012). Can Pyrrhonists Act Normally? Philosophical Explorations 15 (3):277-289.
    Pyrrhonism is the view that we should suspend all our beliefs in order to be rational and reach peace of mind. One of the main objections against this view is that it makes action impossible. One cannot suspend all beliefs and act normally at once. Yet, the question is: What is it about actions that they require beliefs? This issue has hardly been clarified in the literature. This is a bad situation, for if the objection fails and it turns out (...)
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  12. Jan Willem Wieland (2012). Carving the World As We Please. Philosophica 84 (1):7-24.
    Nelson Goodman defends the seemingly radical view that, in a certain sense, all facts depend on our perspective on the matter. We make the world, rather than merely find it. The aim of this contribution is three-fold: to make sense of Goodman's metaphysical perspectivalism, clearly explain how it differs from other branches of perspectivalism (epistemic and semantic), and put two issues on the agenda that deserve renewed attention.
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  13. Jan Willem Wieland (2012). De Pyrronistische Zaak. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 74 (3):523-532.
    This article critically reviews a new collection on Pyrrhonism edited by Diego Machuca, Pyrrhonism in Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary Philosophy, which fits within the recent focus on the systematic, philosophical import of Pyrrhonism. In this article I both situate and summarize the problems posed by the authors regarding the Pyrrhonist's position (concerning its coherence, its theoretical motivation, and its practical motivation), and indicate to what extent Pyrrhonists might be able to meet them. I conclude that, so far, Pyrrhonism, i.e. the (...)
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  14. Jan Willem Wieland (2012). Foreword. Philosophica 84.
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  15. Jan Willem Wieland (2012). Regress Argument Reconstruction. Argumentation 26 (4):489-503.
    If an argument can be reconstructed in at least two different ways, then which reconstruction is to be preferred? In this paper I address this problem of argument reconstruction in terms of Ryle’s infinite regress argument against the view that knowledge-how requires knowledge-that. First, I demonstrate that Ryle’s initial statement of the argument does not fix its reconstruction as it admits two, structurally different reconstructions. On the basis of this case and infinite regress arguments generally, I defend a revisionary take (...)
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  16. Jan Willem Wieland (2011). Filling a Typical Gap in a Regress Argument. Logique and Analyse 54 (216):589-–597.
    In this paper I fix a typical regress argument, locate a typical gap in the argument, and try to supply a number of gap-filling readings of its first premise.
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  17. Jan Willem Wieland (2011). On Gratton's Infinite Regress Arguments. [REVIEW] Argumentation 25 (1):107-113.
    Book review of Gratton's Infinite Regress Arguments.
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  18. Jan Willem Wieland (2011). Rules Regresses. AGPC 2010 Proceedings:79-92.
    Is the content of our thoughts determined by norms such as ‘if I know that p, then I ought to believe that p’? Glüer & Wikforss (2009a) set forth a regress argument for a negative answer. The aim of this paper is to clarify and evaluate this argument. In the first part I show how it (just like an argument from Wittgenstein 1953) can be taken as an instance of an argument schema. In the second part, I evaluate the relevant (...)
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  19. Jan Willem Wieland (2011). The Sceptic's Tools: Circularity and Infinite Regress. Philosophical Papers 40 (3):359-369.
    Important sceptical arguments by Sextus Empiricus, Hume and Boghossian (concerning disputes, induction, and relativism respectively) are based on circularities and infinite regresses. Yet, philosophers' practice does not keep circularities and infinite regresses clearly apart. In this metaphilosophical paper I show how circularity and infinite regress arguments can be made explicit, and shed light on two powerful tools of the sceptic.
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  20. Jan Willem Wieland (2010). Anti-Positionalism's Regress. Axiomathes 20 (4):479-493.
    This paper is about the Problem of Order, which is basically the problem how to account for both the distinctness of facts like a’s preceding b and b’s preceding a, and the identity of facts like a’s preceding b and b’s succeeding a. It has been shown that the Standard View fails to account for the second part and is therefore to be replaced. One of the contenders is Anti-Positionalism. As has recently been pointed out, however, Anti-Positionalism falls prey to (...)
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  21. Jan Willem Wieland & Erik Weber (2010). Metaphysical Explanatory Asymmetries. Logique and Analyse 53 (211):345-365.
    The general view is that metaphysical explanation is asymmetric. For instance, if resemblance facts can be explained by facts about their relata, then, by the asymmetry of explanation, these latter facts cannot in turn be explained by the former. The question however is: is there any reason to hold on to the asymmetry? If so, what does it consist in? In the paper we approach these questions by comparing them to analogous questions that have been investigated for scientific explanations. Three (...)
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  22. Jan Willem Wieland (2008). What Problem of Universals? Philosophica 81 (81):7-21.
    What is the Problem of Universals? In this paper we take up the classic question and proceed as follows. In Sect. 1 we consider three problem solving settings and define the notion of problem solving accordingly. Basically I say that to solve problems is to eliminate undesirable, unspecified, or apparently incoherent scenarios. In Sect. 2 we apply the general observations from Sect. 1 to the Problem of Universals. More specifically, we single out two accounts of the problem which are based (...)
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  23. Jan Willem Wieland & Arianna Betti (2008). Relata-Specific Relations: A Response to Vallicella. Dialectica 62 (4):509-524.
    According to Vallicella's 'Relations, Monism, and the Vindication of Bradley's Regress' (2002), if relations are to relate their relata, some special operator must do the relating. No other options will do. In this paper we reject Vallicella's conclusion by considering an important option that becomes visible only if we hold onto a precise distinction between the following three feature-pairs of relations: internality/externality, universality/particularity, relata-specificity/relata-unspecificity. The conclusion we reach is that if external relations are to relate their relata, they must be (...)
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  24. Jan Willem Wieland, Erik Weber & Tim De Mey (2008). Introduction. Philosophica 81.
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