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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. 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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  3. 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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  4.  21
    Inductive Knowledge and Lotteries: Could One Explain Both ‘Safely’?Haicheng Zhao & Peter Baumann - forthcoming - Ratio.
    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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  5.  95
    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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  6. 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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  7. Factivity and Contextualism.Peter Baumann - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):82-89.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  8.  37
    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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  9.  78
    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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  10. 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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  11.  61
    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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  12.  59
    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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  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.  71
    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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  22. 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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  23.  73
    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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  24.  89
    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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29.  35
    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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  30.  90
    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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  31. 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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  32.  69
    Varieties of Contextualism: Standards and Descriptions.Peter Baumann - 2005 - 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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  33.  17
    Defending the One Percent?Peter Baumann - 2014 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 21:106-112.
    This paper discusses and criticizes Greg Mankiw's recent defense of "the one percent".
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  34.  64
    A Puzzle About Responsibility: A Problem and its Contextualist Solution.Peter Baumann - 2011 - 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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  35.  50
    Can Reliabilists Believe in Subjective Probability?Peter Baumann - 1998 - 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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  36.  40
    Ist der Begriff des Wissens inkohärent?Peter Baumann - 2001 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 55 (4):594 - 601.
    This is a response to Ansgar Beckermann's argument to the effect that the concept of knowledge is incoherent and should thus be given up.
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  37.  96
    Counting on Numbers.Peter Baumann - 2009 - 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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  38.  4
    Epistemologische Aspekte in Kants Moralphilosophie.Peter Baumann - 2001 - In Ralph Schumacher, Rolf-Peter Horstmann & Volker Gerhardt (eds.), Kant Und Die Berliner Aufklärung: Akten des Ix. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. Bd. I: Hauptvorträge. Bd. Ii: Sektionen I-V. Bd. Iii: Sektionen Vi-X: Bd. Iv: Sektionen Xi-Xiv. Bd. V: Sektionen Xv-Xviii. De Gruyter. pp. 3-12.
    This paper discusses the close and complicated relation between 3 dimensions of Kant's theory of the pure will: the epistemological aspect (morality is a priori), the motivational aspect (moral motivation is free of sensual inclinations), the content-aspect (the categorical imperative as the supreme moral principle). Kant runs these 3 aspects together at times and it is necessary to consider them as independent parts of a complex theory.
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  39. A Contradiction for Contextualism?Peter Baumann - 2014 - In Franck Lihoreau & Manuel Rebuschi (eds.), Epistemology, Context, and Formalism. Springer. pp. 49-57.
    This discusses a problem for epistemic contextualism having to do with the possibility of evaluating knowledge attributions made in other contexts.
     
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  40. Begriffe Analysieren?Peter Baumann - 2015 - In Dirk Koppelberg & Stefan Tolksdorf (eds.), Erkenntnistheorie – wie und wozu? mentis. pp. 133-151.
    This article discusses the very limited definability of philosophically interesting concepts as well as the prospects for the project of conceptual analysis.
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  41.  17
    Begrenzte Erkenntnisse?Peter Baumann - 2010 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 58 (3):483-489.
    This is a crtiical discussion of Gabriel's "An den Grenzen der Erkenntnistheorie".
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  42. Brains in Vats? Don't Bother!Peter Baumann - 2019 - Episteme 16 (2):186-199.
    Contemporary discussions of epistemological skepticism - the view that we do not and cannot know anything about the world around us - focus very much on a certain kind of skeptical argument involving a skeptical scenario (a situation familiar from Descartes’ First Meditation). According to the argument, knowing some ordinary proposition about the world (one we usually take ourselves to know) requires knowing we are not in some such skeptical scenario SK; however, since we cannot know that we are not (...)
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  43. Über Zwang.Peter Baumann - 2000 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie:71-84.
    What is coercion? Not only is an answer to this question interesting in itself but it can also help us to better understand the nature of freedom of action. I start with a critical discussion of Harry Frankfurt’s conception of coercion and voluntary action. Despite several objections, it turns out that some of Frankfurt’s ideas and arguments can also be used in a different way and prove to be crucial for a more plausible conception of coercion and free action.
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  44.  10
    Coercion and the Varieties of Free Action.Peter Baumann - 2003 - Ideas Y Valores 52 (122):31-49.
    Are we free? What does "freedom" mean here? In the following, I shall only focus with freedom of action. My main thesis is that there is not just one basic type of free action but more. Philosophers, however, tend to assume that there is just one way to act freely. Hence, a more detailed analysis of free action is being called for. I will distinguish between different kinds of free action and discuss the relations between them. The analysis of different (...)
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  45. 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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  46. Disculpas.Peter Baumann - 2009 - In Flor Emilce Cely & William Duica (eds.), Intersubjetividad. Ensayos filosóficos sobre autoconciencia, sujeto y acción. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. pp. 271-281.
    A discussion of different aspects (including the logical form) of apologies.
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  47. Die Autonomie der Person.Peter Baumann - 2000 - mentis.
    This book offers a discussion of practical as well as theoretical autonomy.
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  48. Der Denker als Seiltänzer. Ludwig Wittgenstein über Religion, Mystik und Ethik. [REVIEW]Peter Baumann - 2003 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 57 (1).
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  49. Die Motive des Gehorsams bei Max Weber: eine Rekonstruktion.Peter Baumann - 1993 - Zeitschrift für Soziologie 22:355-370.
    This article is concerned with a central but neglected aspect of Weber's theory of authority: the distinction between different motives of obedience. Weber's list of motives of "Fügsamkeit" raises an important problem: it seems to be incoherent. Since Weber was a very systematic author this is rather astonishing. More important: this problem questions the special status of the belief in legitimacy and the important role this belief in supporting and stabilizing authority. In other words, the problem questions the foundations of (...)
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  50.  63
    DeRose on Lotteries.Peter Baumann - 2020 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 10 (1):44-67.
    This article discusses Keith DeRose’s treatment of the lottery problem in Chapter 5 of his recent The Appearance of Ignorance. I agree with a lot of it but also raise some critical points and questions and make some friendly proposals. I discuss different ways to set up the problem, go into the difference between knowing and ending inquiry, propose to distinguish between two different kinds of lotteries, add to the defense of the idea that one can know lottery propositions, give (...)
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