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Profile: Peter Baumann (Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München)
Profile: Peter Baumann (Swarthmore College)
  1.  56
    Peter Baumann (2015). Safety, Virtue, Scepticism: Remarks on Sosa. Croatian Journal of Philosophy (45):295-306.
    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 (...)
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  2. Peter Baumann (2014). No Luck With Knowledge? On a Dogma of Epistemology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3):523-551.
    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 (...)
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  3. Peter Baumann (2015 (3.ed.)). Erkenntnistheorie. Metzler.
    An introduction to epistemology with a focus on different accounts of knowledge, scepticism, belief, truth, rationality and justification, the sources of knowledge.
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  4.  53
    Peter Baumann (2015). Meaning and More Meaningful. A Modest Measure. Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (3):33-49.
    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 (...)
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  5.  13
    Peter Baumann (forthcoming). Knowledge Across Contexts. A Problem for Subject-Sensitive Invariantism. Dialogue.
    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 make very implausible assumptions. The problem has been very much neglected but is so (...)
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  6.  40
    Peter Baumann (2014). Defending the One Percent? Poor Arguments for the Rich? The Harvard Review of Philosophy XXI 21:106-112.
    This is a reply to and critique of Gregory Mankiw's recent paper "Defending the One Percent".
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  7.  18
    Peter Baumann (2011). Epistemic closure. In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge 597--608.
    This article gives an overview over different principles of epistemic closure, their attractions and their problems.
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  8.  19
    Peter Baumann (2012). Nozick's Defense of Closure. In Kelly Becker & Tim Black (eds.), The Sensitivity Principle in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press 11--27.
    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 (...)
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  9.  45
    Peter Baumann (2012). Knowledge, Practical Reasoning and Action. Logos and Episteme 3:7-26.
    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 (and in all (...)
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  10. Darrell P. Rowbottom & Peter Baumann (2009). To Thine Own Self Be Untrue: A Diagnosis of the Cable Guy Paradox. Logique Et Analyse 51 (204):355-364.
    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 (...)
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  11. Peter Baumann (2008). Contextualism and the Factivity Problem. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):580–602.
    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 problem the contextualist (...)
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  12. Peter Baumann (2011). Empiricism, Stances, and the Problem of Voluntarism. Synthese 178 (1):27-36.
    Classical empiricism leads to notorious problems having to do with the (at least prima facie) lack of an acceptable empiricist justification of empiricism itself. Bas van Fraassen claims that his idea of the “empirical stance” can deal with such problems. I argue, however, that this view entails a very problematic form of voluntarism which comes with the threat of latent irrationality and normative inadequacy. However, there is also a certain element of truth in such a voluntarism. The main difficulty consists (...)
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  13.  77
    Peter Baumann (2010). Factivity and Contextualism. Analysis 70 (1):82-89.
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  14. Peter Baumann (2013). Philosophy Upside Down? Metaphilosophy 44 (5):579-588.
    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 both, and it ends (...)
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  15.  43
    Peter Baumann (2011). WAMs: Why Worry? Philosophical Papers 40 (2):155 - 177.
    Abstract One of the most popular objections against epistemic contextualism is the so-called ?warranted assertability? objection. The objection is based on the possibility of a ?warranted assertability manoeuvre?, also known as a WAM. I argue here that WAMs are of very limited scope and importance. An important class of cases cannot be dealt with by WAMs. No analogue of WAMs is available for these cases. One should thus not take WAMs too seriously in the debate about epistemic contextualism.
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  16.  24
    Peter Baumann (2005). Three Doors, Two Players, and Single-Case Probabilities. American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (1):71 - 79.
    The well known Monty Hall-problem has a clear solution if one deals with a long enough series of individual games. However, the situation is different if one switches to probabilities in a single case. This paper presents an argument for Monty Hall situations with two players (not just one, as is usual). It leads to a quite general conclusion: One cannot apply probabilistic considerations (for or against any of the strategies) to isolated single cases. If one does that, one cannot (...)
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  17.  80
    Peter Baumann (2013). Knowledge and Dogmatism. Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):1-19.
    There is a sceptical puzzle according to which knowledge appears to license an unacceptable kind of dogmatism. Here is a version of the corresponding sceptical argument: (1) If a subject S knows a proposition p, then it is OK for S to ignore all evidence against p as misleading; (2) It is never OK for any subject to ignore any evidence against their beliefs as misleading; (3) Hence, nobody knows anything.I distinguish between different versions of the puzzle (mainly a ‘permissibility’ (...)
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  18.  23
    Peter Baumann (2004). Involvement and Detachment: A Paradox of Practical Reasoning. In Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler (eds.), Practical Conflicts. Cambridge University Press 244-261.
    For each of the many goals of an agent it is true that the agent wants its realization. Given further very plausible assumptions, one can show that there is no good reason for an agent not to want the realization of all of his goals. However, it seems also true that reaching all of one’s goals would be extremely boring; most human beings would consider such a life not worth living. In this respect, leading a life is like playing some (...)
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  19.  27
    Peter Baumann (2016). Epistemic Contrastivism, Knowledge and Practical Reasoning. Erkenntnis 81 (1):59-68.
    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 (...)
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  20.  58
    Peter Baumann (2008). Problems for Sinnott-Armstrong's Moral Contrastivism. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):463–470.
    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 most serious one for his account.
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  21.  20
    Peter Baumann (2008). Is Knowledge Safe? American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (1):19 - 30.
    One of the most interesting accounts of knowledge which have been recently proposed is the safety account of knowledge. According to it, one only knows that p if one's true belief that p could not have easily been false: S believes that p ==> p (where "==>" stands for the subjunctive conditional). This paper presents a counter-example and discusses attempts to fix the problem. It turns out that there is a deeper underlying problem which does not allow for a solution (...)
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  22.  18
    Peter Baumann (1995). ¿ Se puede saber lo que se quiere? Ideas Y Valores 96:3-22.
    Can one come to know what one wants? In some very simple cases, the answer has to be positive but in some other cases the answer is not so clear. The answer depends on what kind of self-knowledge one is taking about. This article also aims at elucidating the notion of knowledge of one's own desires.
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  23. Peter Baumann (2010). The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. I – Keith DeRose. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):424-427.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  24.  38
    Peter Baumann (2014). Justification and the Truth-Connection By Clayton Littlejohn. Analysis 74 (4):731-733.
    Review of Littlejohn, "Justification and the Truth Connection".
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  25. Peter Baumann (2008). Contrastivism Rather Than Something Else? On the Limits of Epistemic Contrastivism. Erkenntnis 69 (2):189 - 200.
    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 narrow concerning the third relatum, and overlooks a further relativity of the knowledge relation.
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  26.  69
    Peter Baumann (2009). Reliabilism—Modal, Probabilistic or Contextualist. Grazer Philosophische Studien 79 (1):77-89.
    This paper discusses two versions of reliabilism: modal and probabilistic reliabilism. Modal reliabilism faces the problem of the missing closeness metric for possible worlds while probalistic reliabilism faces the problem of the relevant reference class. Despite the severity of these problems, reliabilism is still very plausible (also for independent reasons). I propose to stick with reliabilism, propose a contextualist (or, alternatively, harmlessly relativist) solution to the above problems and suggest that probabilistic reliabilism has the advantage over modal reliabilism.
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  27.  2
    Peter Baumann (1999). The Scottish Pragmatist? The Dilemma of Common Sense and the Pragmatist Way Out. Reid Studies 2 (2):47-58.
    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.
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  28.  31
    Peter Baumann (2005). Theory Choice and the Intransitivity of 'Is a Better Theory Than'. Philosophy of Science 72 (1):231-240.
    There is a very plausible principle of the transitivity of justifying reasons. It says that if "p" is better justified than "q" (all things considered) and "q" better than "r", then "p" is better justified than "r" (all things considered). There is a corresponding principle of rational theory choice. Call one theory "a better theory than" another theory if all criteria of theory choice considered (explanatory power, simplicity, empirical adequacy, etc.), the first theory meets the criteria better than the second (...)
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  29.  73
    Peter Baumann (2008). Single-Case Probabilities and the Case of Monty Hall: Levy's View. Synthese 162 (2):265 - 273.
    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.
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  30.  71
    Peter Baumann (2009). Was Moore a Moorean? On Moore and Scepticism. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (2):181-200.
    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-sceptical (...)
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  31.  41
    Peter Baumann (2011). A Puzzle About Responsibility. Erkenntnis 74 (2):207-224.
    This paper presents a puzzle about moral responsibility. The problem is based upon the indeterminacy of relevant reference classes as applied to action. After discussing and rejecting a very tempting response I propose moral contextualism instead, that is, the idea that the truth value of judgments of the form S is morally responsible for x depends on and varies with the context of the attributor who makes that judgment. Even if this reply should not do all the expected work it (...)
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  32.  25
    Peter Baumann (2014). Knowledge, Assertion, and Inference. Acta Analytica 29 (4):487-490.
    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 remaining principle, (...)
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  33.  63
    Peter Baumann (2007). Experiencing Things Together: What is the Problem? Erkenntnis 66 (1-2):9 - 26.
    Suppose someone hears a loud noise and at the same time sees a yellow flash. It seems hard to deny that the person can experience loudness and yellowness together. However, since loudness is experienced by the auditory sense whereas yellowness is experienced by the visual sense it also seems hard to explain how.
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  34. Peter Baumann (2000). Die Autonomie der Person. Mentis.
    This book offers a discussion of practical as well as theoretical autonomy.
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  35.  45
    Peter Baumann (2004). Lotteries and Contexts. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):415 - 428.
    There are many ordinary propositions we think we know. Almost every ordinary proposition entails some lottery proposition which we think we do not know but to which we assign a high probability of being true (for instance:I will never be a multi-millionaire entails I will not win this lottery). How is this possible – given that some closure principle is true? This problem, also known as the Lottery puzzle, has recently provoked a lot of discussion. In this paper I discuss (...)
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  36.  42
    Peter Baumann (2007). Persons, Human Beings, and Respect. Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):5-17.
    Human dignity seems very important to us. At the same time, the concept ‘human dignity’ is extrordinarily elusive. A good way to approach the questions “What is it?” and “Why is it important?” is to raise another question first: In virtue of what do human beings have dignity? Speciesism - the idea that human beings have a particular dignity because they are humans - does not seem very convincing. A better answer says that human beings have dignity because and insofar (...)
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  37.  21
    Peter Baumann (1996). Davidson on Sharing a Language and Correct Language-Use. Grazer Philosophische Studien 52:137-160.
    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. Even though Davidson's own position (...)
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  38.  51
    Peter Baumann (2005). Varieties of Contextualism: Standards and Descriptions. Grazer Philosophische Studien 69 (1):229-246.
    Most contextualists agree that contexts differ with respect to relevant epistemic standards. In this paper, I discuss the idea that the difference between more modest and stricter standards should be explained in terms of the closeness or remoteness of relevant possible worlds. I argue that there are serious problems with this version of contextualism. In the second part of the paper, I argue for another form of contextualism that has little to do with standards and a lot with the well-known (...)
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  39.  28
    Peter Baumann (2010). Mind and World, John Mcdowell. Principia 2 (1):135-144.
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  40.  57
    Peter Baumann (2010). The Case for Contexualism. Analysis 70 (1):149-160.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  41.  1
    Peter Baumann (2008). Single-Case Probabilities and the Case of Monty Hall: Levy’s View. Synthese 162 (2):265-273.
    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.
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  42.  58
    Peter Baumann (2009). Counting on Numbers. Analysis 69 (3):446-448.
    1. Here is a very simple game. You come up with a number and I come up with a number. If I come up with the higher number, I win; otherwise you win. You go first. Call this ‘The Very Simple Game’. Few would play it if they had to go first and many if they are guaranteed to go second.2. Here is another one. You come up with a number n and I come up with a number m. If (...)
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  43.  31
    Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler (eds.) (2004). Practical Conflicts: New Philosophical Essays. Cambridge.
    Practical conflicts pervade human life. Agents have many different desires, goals, and commitments, all of which can come into conflict with each other. How can practical reasoning help to resolve these practical conflicts? In this collection of new essays a distinguished roster of philosophers analyze the diverse forms of practical conflict. Their aim is to establish an understanding of the sources of these conflicts, to investigate the challenge they pose to an adequate conception of practical reasoning, and to assess the (...)
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  44.  31
    Peter Baumann (2012). On the Inflation of Necessities. Metaphysica 13 (1):51-54.
    This brief paper argues that Kripke’s thesis of the necessity of origin has some implausible consequences.
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  45. Peter Baumann (2001). Schmutzige Hände? Zum Verhältnis von Moral und Politik. Logos 7:187-215.
    According to the idea of "dirty hands in politics" politicians sometimes have to do what is morally wrong. I discuss the two main versions of this thesis: the "difference-thesis" and the "dilemma-thesis". I argue that there are no convincing arguments for neither of them. Politics, too, lies inside the scope of morality.
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  46.  1
    Peter Baumann (2011). 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 217-234.
    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 (...)
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  47.  27
    Peter Baumann (1998). Can Reliabilists Believe in Subjective Probability? Philosophical Quarterly 48 (191):199-200.
    According to reliabilist conceptions of knowledge, knowledge implies reliable true belief. Since reliability is an irreducibly probabilistic notion, one's view of knowledge also depends on one's view of probability. If one believes that all probability is subjective probability, knowledge becomes a relativized concept: knowledge is relative to a given body of beliefs of a given person at a given time. Since such a relativized conception of knowledge is extremely implausible and since reliabilism seems to capture at least part of the (...)
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  48.  13
    Peter Baumann (2004). On the Subtleties of Reidian Pragmatism: A Reply to Magnus. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 2 (1):73-77.
    In this paper I respond to P.D. Magnus’ critique of an earlier paper of mine on Thomas Reid’s theory of common sense. In the earlier paper (The Scottish Pragmatist? The Dilemma of Common Sense and the Pragmatist Way Out, Reid Studies 2, 1999, 47-57) I argued that Reid faces a dilemma between dogmatism and scepticism but that there are also hints in his work towards a pragmatist way out of the problem. P.D. Magnus, in a response to this paper (Reid’s (...)
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  49.  2
    Peter Baumann (2008). Contrastivism Rather Than Something Else? On the Limits of Epistemic Contrastivism. Erkenntnis 69 (2):189-200.
    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 knowledge relation.
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  50.  2
    Peter Baumann (2004). Lotteries And Contexts. Erkenntnis 61 (2-3):415-428.
    There are many ordinary propositions we think we know. Almost every ordinary proposition entails some "lottery proposition" which we think we do not know but to which we assign a high probability of being true (for instance: “I will never be a multi-millionaire” entails “I will not win this lottery”). How is this possible - given that some closure principle is true? This problem, also known as “the Lottery puzzle”, has recently provoked a lot of discussion. In this paper I (...)
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