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Johannes Himmelreich
Stanford University
  1. Epistemic Landscapes, Optimal Search, and the Division of Cognitive Labor.Jason McKenzie Alexander, Johannes Himmelreich & Christopher Thompson - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (3):424-453,.
    This article examines two questions about scientists’ search for knowledge. First, which search strategies generate discoveries effectively? Second, is it advantageous to diversify search strategies? We argue pace Weisberg and Muldoon, “Epistemic Landscapes and the Division of Cognitive Labor”, that, on the first question, a search strategy that deliberately seeks novel research approaches need not be optimal. On the second question, we argue they have not shown epistemic reasons exist for the division of cognitive labor, identifying the errors that led (...)
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  2.  68
    Never Mind the Trolley: The Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles in Mundane Situations.Johannes Himmelreich - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (3):669-684.
    Trolley cases are widely considered central to the ethics of autonomous vehicles. We caution against this by identifying four problems. Trolley cases, given technical limitations, rest on assumptions that are in tension with one another. Furthermore, trolley cases illuminate only a limited range of ethical issues insofar as they cohere with a certain design framework. Furthermore, trolley cases seem to demand a moral answer when a political answer is called for. Finally, trolley cases might be epistemically problematic in several ways. (...)
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    Responsibility for Killer Robots.Johannes Himmelreich - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    Future weapons will make life-or-death decisions without a human in the loop. When such weapons inflict unwarranted harm, no one appears to be responsible. There seems to be a responsibility gap. I first reconstruct the argument for such responsibility gaps to then argue that this argument is not sound. The argument assumes that commanders have no control over whether autonomous weapons inflict harm. I argue against this assumption. Although this investigation concerns a specific case of autonomous weapons systems, I take (...)
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  4. Asylum for Sale: A Market Between States That is Feasible and Desirable.Johannes Himmelreich - 2017 - Journal of Applied Philosophy (2):217-232.
    The asylum system faces problems on two fronts. States undermine it with populist politics, and migrants use it to satisfy their migration preferences. To address these problems, asylum services should be commodified. States should be able to pay other states to provide determination and protection-elsewhere. In this article, I aim to identify a way of implementing this idea that is both feasible and desirable. First, I sketch a policy proposal for a commodification of asylum services. Then, I argue that this (...)
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  5.  10
    Punishing Groups: When External Justice Takes Priority Over Internal Justice.Johannes Himmelreich & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):134-150.
    Punishing groups raises a difficult question, namely, how their punishment can be justified at all. Some have argued that punishing groups is morally problematic because of the effects that the punishment entails for their members. In this paper we argue against this view. We distinguish the question of internal justice—how punishment-effects are distributed—from the question of external justice—whether the punishment is justified. We argue that issues of internal justice do not in general undermine the permissibility of punishment. We also defend (...)
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  6.  57
    The Paraphrase Argument Against Collective Actions.Johannes Himmelreich - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):81-95.
    This paper is about the status of collective actions. According to one view, collective actions metaphysically reduce to individual actions because sentences about collective actions are merely a shorthand for sentences about individual actions. I reconstruct an argument for this view and show via counterexamples that it is not sound. The argument relies on a paraphrase procedure to unpack alleged shorthand sentences about collective actions into sentences about individual actions. I argue that the best paraphrase procedure that has been put (...)
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  7.  53
    Agency as Difference-Making: Causal Foundations of Moral Responsibility.Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science
    We are responsible for some things but not for others. In this thesis, I investigate what it takes for an entity to be responsible for something. This question has two components: agents and actions. I argue for a permissive view about agents. Entities such as groups or artificially intelligent systems may be agents in the sense required for responsibility. With respect to actions, I argue for a causal view. The relation in virtue of which agents are responsible for actions is (...)
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  8.  52
    Agency and Embodiment: Groups, Human–Machine Interactions, and Virtual Realities.Johannes Himmelreich - 2016 - Ratio:197-213.
    This paper develops a taxonomy of kinds of actions that can be seen in group agency, human–machine interactions, and virtual realities. These kinds of actions are special in that they are not embodied in the ordinary sense. I begin by analysing the notion of embodiment into three separate assumptions that together comprise what I call the Embodiment View. Although this view may find support in paradigmatic cases of agency, I suggest that each of its assumptions can be relaxed. With each (...)
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  9.  38
    From Individual to Collective Intentionality: New Essays, Edited by Sara Rachel Chant, Frank Hindriks and Gerhard Preyer. Oxford University Press, 2014, 225 Pages. [REVIEW]Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (3):479-486.