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Peter Baumann
Swarthmore College
Peter Baumann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
  1. No Luck With Knowledge? On a Dogma of Epistemology.Peter Baumann - 2014 - 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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  2.  47
    Epistemic Contextualism: A Defense.Peter Baumann - 2016 - New York: Oxford University Press UK.
    Peter Baumann develops and defends a distinctive version of epistemic contextualism, the view that the truth conditions or the meaning of knowledge attributions of the form "S knows that p" can vary with the context of the attributor. The first part of the book examines arguments for contextualism and develops Baumann's version. It begins by dealing with the argument from cases and ordinary usage, and then addresses "theoretical" arguments, from reliability and from luck. The second part of the book discusses (...)
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  3. Contextualism and the Factivity Problem.Peter Baumann - 2008 - 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 probleIn the contextualist (...)
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  4. Epistemic closure.Peter Baumann - 2011 - In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge. pp. 597--608.
    This article gives an overview over different principles of epistemic closure, their attractions and their problems.
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  5.  46
    Inductive Knowledge and Lotteries: Could One Explain Both ‘Safely’?Haicheng Zhao & Peter Baumann - 2021 - Ratio 34 (2):118-126.
    Safety accounts of knowledge claim, roughly, that knowledge that p requires that one's belief that p could not have easily been false. Such accounts have been very popular in recent epistemology. However, one serious problem safety accounts have to confront is to explain why certain lottery‐related beliefs are not knowledge, without excluding obvious instances of inductive knowledge. We argue that the significance of this objection has hitherto been underappreciated by proponents of safety. We discuss Duncan Pritchard's recent solution to the (...)
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  6.  96
    Is Knowledge Safe?Peter Baumann - 2008 - 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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  7. Empiricism, Stances, and the Problem of Voluntarism.Peter Baumann - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):27-36.
    Voluntarism about beliefs is the view that persons can be free to choose their beliefs for non-epistemic (truth-related) reasons (cf. Williams 1973). One problem for belief voluntarism is that it can lead to Moore-paradoxality. The person might believe that -/- a.) there are also good epistemic reasons for her belief, or that b.) there are no epistemic reasons one way or the other, or that c.) there are good epistemic reasons against her belief. -/- If the person is aware of (...)
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  8. Rational Intransitive Preferences.Peter Baumann - 2022 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 21 (1):3-28.
    According to a widely held view, rationality demands that the preferences of a person be transitive. The transitivity assumption is an axiom in standard theories of rational choice. It is also prima facie very plausible. I argue here that transitivity is not a necessary condition of rationality; it is a constraint only in some cases. The argument presented here is based on the non-linearity of differential utility functions. This paper has four parts. First, I present an argument against the transitivity (...)
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  9. Nozick's Defense of Closure.Peter Baumann - 2012 - In Kelly Becker & Tim Black (eds.), The Sensitivity Principle in Epistemology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 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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  10. Close to the Truth.Peter Baumann - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (5):1769-1775.
    We often think or say that someone was wrong about something but almost right about it or close to the truth. This can mean more than one thing. Here, I propose an analysis of the idea of being epistemically close to the truth. This idea plays an important role in our practice of epistemic evaluation and therefore deserves some detailed attention. I start with an exposition of the idea of getting things right by looking at the main forms of reliabilism (...)
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  11. Factivity and Contextualism.Peter Baumann - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):82-89.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  12. Erkenntnistheorie.Peter Baumann - 2015 (3.ed.) - 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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  13.  81
    WAMs: Why Worry?Peter Baumann - 2011 - 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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  14. Epistemic Contrastivism.Peter Baumann - 2017 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Contrastivism about knowledge is the view that one does not just know some proposition. It is more adequate to say that one knows something rather than something else: I know that I am looking at a tree rather than a bush but I do not know that I am looking at a tree rather than a cleverly done tree imitation. Knowledge is a three-place relation between a subject, a proposition and a contrast set of propositions. There are several advantages of (...)
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  15. What Will Be Best for Me? Big Decisions and the Problem of Inter‐World Comparisons.Peter Baumann - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (2):253-273.
    Big decisions in a person’s life often affect the preferences and standards of a good life which that person’s future self will develop after implementing her decision. This paper argues that in such cases the person might lack any reasons to choose one way rather than the other. Neither preference-based views nor happiness-based views of justified choice offer sufficient help here. The available options are not comparable in the relevant sense and there is no rational choice to make. Thus, ironically, (...)
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  16. The Scottish Pragmatist? The Dilemma of Common Sense and the Pragmatist Way Out.Peter Baumann - 1999 - 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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  17. Knowledge, Practical Reasoning and Action.Peter Baumann - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (1):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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  18. Was Moore a Moorean? On Moore and Scepticism.Peter Baumann - 2009 - 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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  19. Knowledge and Dogmatism.Peter Baumann - 2013 - 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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  20. Safety, Virtue, Scepticism: Remarks on Sosa.Peter Baumann - 2015 - 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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  21.  73
    Three Doors, Two Players, and Single-Case Probabilities.Peter Baumann - 2005 - 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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  22. Reliabilism—Modal, Probabilistic or Contextualist.Peter Baumann - 2009 - 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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  23.  75
    Theory Choice and the Intransitivity of 'Is a Better Theory Than'.Peter Baumann - 2005 - 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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  24. The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context, Vol. I – Keith DeRose.Peter Baumann - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):424-427.
    A review and discussion of Keith DeRose's "The Case for Contextualism".
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  25. Contrastivism Rather Than Something Else? On the Limits of Epistemic Contrastivism.Peter Baumann - 2008 - 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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  26. Lotteries And Contexts.Peter Baumann - 2004 - 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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  27.  66
    Necessarily Incompatible Consistent Wants.Peter Baumann - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):489-490.
    This paper argues that the wants or desires of a person can be consistent with each other and still necessarily incompatible with each other and for interesting reasons. It is argued here that this problem is not rare and that there is no solution in sight.
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  28. Meaning and More Meaningful. A Modest Measure.Peter Baumann - 2015 - 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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  29.  1
    Die Autonomie der Person.Peter Baumann - 2000 - mentis.
    This book offers a discussion of practical as well as theoretical autonomy.
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  30.  78
    Practical Conflicts: New Philosophical Essays.Peter Baumann & Monika Betzler (eds.) - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
    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 essays a distinguished roster of philosophers analyse 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 degree (...)
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  31.  93
    Problems for Sinnott-Armstrong's Moral Contrastivism.Peter Baumann - 2008 - 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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  32. Single-Case Probabilities and the Case of Monty Hall: Levy’s View.Peter Baumann - 2008 - 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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  33. Is Everything Revisable?Peter Baumann - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:349-357.
    Over the decades, the claim that everything is revisable (defended by Quine and others) has played an important role in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Some time ago, Katz (1988) argued that this claim is paradoxical. This paper does not discuss this objection but rather argues that the claim of universal revisability allows for two different readings but in each case leads to a contradiction and is false.
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  34.  32
    True Knowledge.Peter Baumann - 2021 - Logos and Episteme (4):463-467.
    That knowledge is factive, that is, that knowledge that p requires that p, has for a long time typically been treated as a truism. Recently, however, some authors have raised doubts about and arguments against this claim. In a recent paper in this journal, Michael Shaffer presents new arguments against the denial of the factivity of knowledge. This article discusses one of Shaffer’s objections: the one from “inconsistency and explosion”. I discuss two potential replies to Shaffer’s problem: dialetheism plus paraconsistency (...)
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  35. Knowledge Across Contexts. A Problem for Subject-Sensitive Invariantism.Peter Baumann - 2016 - Dialogue 55 (2):363-380.
    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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  36.  92
    Experiencing Things Together: What is the Problem?Peter Baumann - 2007 - 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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  37.  9
    Enlightenment as Perfection, Perfection as Enlightenment? Kant on Thinking for Oneself and Perfecting Oneself.Peter Baumann - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy of Education.
  38. Meaning, Knowledge, and Reality. [REVIEW]Peter Baumann - 2000 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 54 (2).
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  39.  38
    On the Subtleties of Reidian Pragmatism: A Reply to Magnus.Peter Baumann - 2004 - 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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  40. Persons, Human Beings, and Respect.Peter Baumann - 2007 - 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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  41.  41
    Is Everything Revisable?Peter Baumann - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    Over the decades, the claim that everything is revisable (defended by Quine and others) has played an important role in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Some time ago, Katz (1988) argued that this claim is paradoxical. This paper does not discuss this objection but rather argues that the claim of universal revisability allows for two different readings but in each case leads to a contradiction and is false.
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  42. “Part of That Force That Always Wills the Evil and Always Produces the Good”. On a Devilish Incoherence.Peter Baumann - 2016 - S.Ph. Essays and Explorations 1 (2):25-33.
    This paper analyzes and discusses Mephisto's famous remark in Goethe's FAUST. It turns out that he is being incoherent in interesting ways.
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  43.  17
    Sorry if! On Conditional Apologies.Peter Baumann - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (5):1079-1090.
    Usually, apologies are made by using non-conditional utterances: “I apologize for ruining your evening!” Very little, if any, attention has been given so far to conditional apologies which typically use utterances such as “If I have ruined your evening, I apologize!” This paper argues that such conditional utterances can constitute genuine apologies and play important moral roles in situations of uncertainty. It also proposes a closer analysis of such conditional apologies and contrasts them with unconditional apologies.
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  44. Menschenwürde und das Bedürfnis nach Respekt.Peter Baumann - 2003 - In Ralf Stoecker (ed.), Menschenwürde – Annäherungen an einen Begriff. öbv&hpt. pp. 19-34.
    Human dignity seems very important to us. At the same time, the concept ‘human dignity’ is extraordinarily 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 human 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 (...)
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  45. Defending the One Percent? Poor Arguments for the Rich?Peter Baumann - 2014 - 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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  46. Molyneux's Question and the Berkeleian Answer.Peter Baumann - 2011 - 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. pp. 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. On the Inflation of Necessities.Peter Baumann - 2012 - 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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  48. Power, Soft or Deep? An Attempt at Constructive Criticism.Peter Baumann & Gisela Cramer - 2017 - Las Torres de Lucca: Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 6 (10):177-214.
    This paper discusses and criticizes Joseph Nye’s account of soft power. First, we set the stage and make some general remarks about the notion of social power. In the main part of this paper we offer a detailed critical discussion of Nye’s conception of soft power. We conclude that it is too unclear and confused to be of much analytical use. However, despite this failure, Nye is aiming at explaining an important but also neglected form of social power: the power (...)
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  49. Knowledge Requires Belief – and It Doesn’T? On Belief as Such and Belief Necessary for Knowledge.Peter Baumann - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):151-167.
    ABSTRACTDoes knowledge entail belief? This paper argues that the answer depends on how one interprets ‘belief’. There are two different notions of belief: belief as such and belief for knowledge. They often differ in their degrees of conviction such that one but not both might be present in a particular case. The core of the paper is dedicated to a defense of this overlooked distinction. The beginning of the paper presents the distinction. It then presents two cases which are supposed (...)
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  50. To Thine Own Self Be Untrue: A Diagnosis of the Cable Guy Paradox.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom & Peter Baumann - 2008 - 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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