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Rik Peels
VU University Amsterdam
  1. Against Doxastic Compatibilism.Rik Peels - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):679-702.
    William Alston has argued that the so-called deontological conception of epistemic justification, on which epistemic justification is to be spelled out in terms of blame, responsibility, and obligations, is untenable. The basic idea of the argument is that this conception is untenable because we lack voluntary control over our beliefs and, therefore, cannot have any obligations to hold certain beliefs. If this is convincing, however, the argument threatens the very idea of doxastic responsibility. For, how can we ever be responsible (...)
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  2. Why Responsible Belief is Blameless Belief.Anthony Robert Booth & Rik Peels - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (5):257-265.
    What, according to proponents of doxastic deontologism, is responsible belief? In this paper, we examine two proposals. Firstly, that responsible belief is blameless belief (a position we call DDB) and, secondly, that responsible belief is praiseworthy belief (a position we call DDP). We consider whether recent arguments in favor of DDP, mostly those recently offered by Brian Weatherson, stand up to scrutiny and argue that they do not. Given other considerations in favor of DDP, we conclude that the deontologist should (...)
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  3. Believing at Will is Possible.Rik Peels - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):1-18.
    There are convincing counter-examples to the widely accepted thesis that we cannot believe at will. For it seems possible that the truth of a proposition depend on whether or not one believes it. I call such scenarios cases of Truth Depends on Belief and I argue that they meet the main criteria for believing at will that we find in the literature. I reply to five objections that one might level against the thesis that TDB cases show that believing at (...)
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  4.  84
    What Kind of Ignorance Excuses? Two Neglected Issues.Rik Peels - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):478-496.
    The philosophical literature displays a lively debate on the conditions under which ignorance excuses. In this paper, I formulate and defend an answer to two questions that have not yet been discussed in the literature on exculpatory ignorance. First, which kinds of propositional attitudes that count as ignorance provide an excuse? I argue that we need to consider four options here: having a false belief, suspending judgement on a true proposition, being deeply ignorant of a truth, and having a true (...)
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  5. What is Ignorance?Rik Peels - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (1):57-67.
    This article offers an analysis of ignorance. After a couple of preliminary remarks, I endeavor to show that, contrary to what one might expect and to what nearly all philosophers assume, being ignorant is not equivalent to failing to know, at least not on one of the stronger senses of knowledge. Subsequently, I offer two definitions of ignorance and argue that one’s definition of ignorance crucially depends on one’s account of belief. Finally, I illustrate the relevance of my analysis by (...)
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  6. The Empirical Case Against Introspection.Rik Peels - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2461-2485.
    This paper assesses five main empirical scientific arguments against the reliability of belief formation on the basis of introspecting phenomenal states. After defining ‘reliability’ and ‘introspection’, I discuss five arguments to the effect that phenomenal states are more elusive than we usually think: the argument on the basis of differences in introspective reports from differences in introspective measurements; the argument from differences in reports about whether or not dreams come in colours; the argument from the absence of a correlation between (...)
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  7. Why Responsible Belief Is Permissible Belief.Rik Peels & Anthony Robert Booth - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):75-88.
    This paper provides a defence of the thesis that responsible belief is permissible rather than obliged belief. On the Uniqueness Thesis (UT), our evidence is always such that there is a unique doxastic attitude that we are obliged to have given that evidence, whereas the Permissibility Thesis (PT) denies this. After distinguishing several varieties of UT and PT, we argue that the main arguments that have been levied against PT fail. Next, two arguments in favour of PT are provided. Finally, (...)
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  8.  83
    Responsible Belief and Epistemic Justification.Rik Peels - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2895-2915.
    For decades, philosophers have displayed an interest in what it is to have an epistemically justified belief. Recently, we also find among philosophers a renewed interest in the so-called ethics of belief: what is it to believe responsibly and when is one’s belief blameworthy? This paper explores how epistemically justified belief and responsible belief are related to each other. On the so-called ‘deontological conception of epistemic justification’, they are identical: to believe epistemically responsibly is to believe epistemically justifiedly. I argue (...)
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  9.  23
    Ten Reasons to Embrace Scientism.Rik Peels - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 63:11-21.
  10. A Modal Solution to the Problem of Moral Luck.Rik Peels - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (1):73-88.
    In this article I provide and defend a solution to the problem of moral luck. The problem of moral luck is that there is a set of three theses about luck and moral blameworthiness each of which is at least prima facie plausible, but that, it seems, cannot all be true. The theses are that (1) one cannot be blamed for what happens beyond one’s control, (2) that which is due to luck is beyond one’s control, and (3) we rightly (...)
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  11. Tracing Culpable Ignorance.Rik Peels - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (4):575-582.
    In this paper, I respond to the following argument which several authors have presented. If we are culpable for some action, we act either from akrasia or from culpable ignorance. However, akrasia is highly exceptional and it turns out that tracing culpable ignorance leads to a vicious regress. Hence, we are hardly ever culpable for our actions. I argue that the argument fails. Cases of akrasia may not be that rare when it comes to epistemic activities such as evidence gathering (...)
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  12.  71
    Ignorance is Lack of True Belief: A Rejoinder to Le Morvan.Rik Peels - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (2):345-355.
    In this paper, I respond to Pierre Le Morvan’s critique of my thesis that ignorance is lack of true belief rather than absence of knowledge. I argue that the distinction between dispositional and non-dispositional accounts of belief, as I made it in a previous paper, is correct as it stands. Also, I criticize the viability and the importance of Le Morvan’s distinction between propositional and factive ignorance. Finally, I provide two arguments in favor of the thesis that ignorance is lack (...)
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  13.  35
    The Metaphysics of Degrees.René Woudenberg & Rik Peels - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):46-65.
    Degree-sentences, i.e. sentences that seem to refer to things that allow of degrees, are widely used both inside and outside of philosophy, even though the metaphysics of degrees is much of an untrodden field. This paper aims to fill this lacuna by addressing the following four questions: [A] Is there some one thing, such that it is degree sensitive? [B] Are there things x, y, and z that stand in a certain relation to each other, viz. the relation that x (...)
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  14.  21
    The Metaphysics of Degrees.René van Woudenberg & Rik Peels - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):46-65.
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  15. Some Metaphysical Implications of a Credible Ethics of Belief.Nikolaj Nottelmann & Rik Peels - 2013 - In New Essays on Belief: Structure, Constitution, and Content. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 230-250.
    Any plausible ethics of belief must respect that normal agents are doxastically blameworthy for their beliefs in a range of non-exotic cases. In this paper, we argue, first, that together with independently motivated principles this constraint leads us to reject occurrentism as a general theory of belief. Second, we must acknowledge not only dormant beliefs, but tacit beliefs as well. Third, a plausible ethics of belief leads us to acknowledge that a difference in propositional content cannot in all contexts count (...)
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  16. A Conceptual Map of Scientism.Rik Peels - manuscript
    I argue that scientism in general is best understood as the thesis that the boundaries of the natural sciences should be expanded in order to include academic disciplines or realms of life that are widely considered not to belong to the realm of science. However, every adherent and critic of scientism should make clear which of the many varieties of scientism she adheres to or criticizes. In doing so, she should specify whether she is talking about (a) academic or universal (...)
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  17.  61
    The New View on Ignorance Undefeated.Rik Peels - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):741-750.
    In this paper, I provide a defence of the New View, on which ignorance is lack of true belief rather than lack of knowledge. Pierre Le Morvan has argued that the New View is untenable, partly because it fails to take into account the distinction between propositional and factive ignorance. I argue that propositional ignorance is just a subspecies of factive ignorance and that all the work that needs to be done can be done by using the concept of factive (...)
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  18.  12
    Responsible Belief: A Theory in Ethics and Epistemology, by Rik Peels, New York, Oxford University Press, 2017: A Précis of Responsible Belief: A Theory in Ethics and Epistemology. [REVIEW]Rik Peels - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (4):601-643.
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  19.  85
    Does Doxastic Responsibility Entail the Ability to Believe Otherwise?Rik Peels - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3651-3669.
    Whether responsibility for actions and omissions requires the ability to do otherwise is an important issue in contemporary philosophy. However, a closely related but distinct issue, namely whether doxastic responsibility requires the ability to believe otherwise, has been largely neglected. This paper fills this remarkable lacuna by providing a defence of the thesis that doxastic responsibility entails the ability to believe otherwise. On the one hand, it is argued that the fact that unavoidability is normally an excuse counts in favour (...)
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  20. Responsible Belief: A Theory in Ethics and Epistemology.Rik Peels - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
    This book develops and defends a theory of responsible belief. The author argues that we lack control over our beliefs, but that we can nonetheless influence them. It is because we have intellectual obligations to influence our beliefs that we are responsible for them.
     
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  21. Belief-Policies Cannot Ground Doxastic Responsibility.Rik Peels - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (3):561-569.
    William Alston has provided a by now well-known objection to the deontological conception of epistemic justification by arguing that since we lack control over our beliefs, we are not responsible for them. It is widely acknowledged that if Alston’s argument is convincing, then it seems that the very idea of doxastic responsibility is in trouble. In this article, I attempt to refute one line of response to Alston’s argument. On this approach, we are responsible for our beliefs in virtue of (...)
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  22.  34
    The Metaphysics of Degrees.Rik Peels & René van Woudenberg - manuscript
    Degree-sentences, i.e. sentences that seem to refer to things that allow of degrees, are widely used both inside and outside of philosophy, even though the metaphysics of degrees is much of an untrodden field. This paper aims to fill this lacuna by addressing the following four questions: [A] Is there some one thing, such that it is degree sensitive? [B] Are there things x, y, and z that stand in a certain relation to each other, viz. the relation that x (...)
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  23.  18
    Kevin Diller, Theology’s Epistemological Dilemma: How Karl Barth and Alvin Plantinga Provide a Unified Response.Rik Peels - 2016 - Journal of Analytic Theology 4 (1):421-427.
  24. Hume's Law Violated?Rik Peels - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (3):449-455.
    Introduction: Prinz’s SentimentalismMany ethicists claim that one cannot derive an ought from an is. In others words, they think that one cannot derive a statement that has prescriptive force from purely descriptive statements. This thesis plays a crucial role in many theoretical and practical ethical arguments. Since, according to many, David Hume advocated a view along these lines, this thesis has been called ‘Hume’s Law’. In this paper, I adopt this widespread terminology, whether or not Hume did indeed take this (...)
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  25.  31
    Does God Have a Sense of Humor?Rik Peels - 2015 - Faith and Philosophy 32 (3):271-292.
    This paper provides a defense of the thesis that God has a sense of humor. First, I sketch the four main theories of what it is to have a sense of humor that we find in the literature. Next, I argue that three arguments against the thesis that God has a sense of humor fail to convince. Then, I consider what one might take to be four biblical reasons to think that God has a sense of humor and argue that (...)
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  26.  16
    Can God Be Jealous?Rik Peels - forthcoming - Heythrop Journal.
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  27.  16
    Het Fundamentele Argument Tegen Sciëntisme.Rik Peels - 2015 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 107 (3):267-284.
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  28.  44
    Is Omniscience Impossible?Rik Peels - 2013 - Religious Studies 49 (4):481-490.
    In a recent paper, Dennis Whitcomb argues that omniscience is impossible. But if there cannot be any omniscient beings, then God, at least as traditionally conceived, does not exist. The objection is, roughly, that the thesis that there is an omniscient being, in conjunction with some principles about grounding, such as its transitivity and irreflexivity, entails a contradiction. Since each of these principles is highly plausible, divine omniscience has to go. In this article, I argue that Whitcomb's argument, if sound, (...)
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  29.  45
    A Bodiless Spirit?Rik Peels - 2013 - Philo 16 (1):62-76.
    The main conclusion of Herman Philipse’s God in the Age of Science? is that we should all be atheists. Remarkably, however, the book contains no argument whatsoever for atheism. Philipse defends the argument from evil and the argument from divine hiddenness, but those arguments count only against an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God, not against just any god. He also defends the claim that there cannot be any bodiless spirits, but, of course, not all religions take their gods to be bodiless. (...)
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  30.  7
    Response to Critics: The Influence Account of Responsible Belief Defended.Rik Peels - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (4):633-643.
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  31. Does God Repent?Rik Peels - forthcoming - In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion Vol 7.
    Several passages in documents that have authority for religious believers, such as the Bible, suggest that God sometimes repents. Few philosophers and theologians, however, have embraced the thought that God repents. The primary reason for rejecting this idea seems to be that repenting conflicts with being perfectly good and being omniscient, properties that are characteristically ascribed to God. I suggest that the issue can well be approached in terms of a paradox: it seems simultaneously (i) that God repents (this is (...)
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  32.  53
    Epistemic Desiderata and Epistemic Pluralism.Rik Peels - 2010 - Journal of Philosophical Research 35:193-207.
    In this article I argue that Alston’s recent meta-epistemological approach in terms of epistemic desiderata is not as epistemically plural as he claims it to be. After some preliminary remarks, I briefly recapitulate Alston’s epistemic desiderata approach. Next, I distinguish two ways in which one might consider truth to be an epistemic desideratum. Subsequently, I argue that only one truth-conducive desideratum can count as an epistemic desideratum. After this, I attempt to show that none of the higher-order desiderata that are (...)
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  33.  41
    Are Naturalism and Moral Realism Incompatible?Rik Peels - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (1):77-86.
    In a recent paper, Alvin Plantinga has argued that there is good reason to think that naturalism and moral realism are incompatible. He has done so by arguing that the most important argument for the compatibility of these two theses, which has been provided by Frank Jackson, fails and that any other argument that serves the same purpose is likely to fail for the same reason. His argument against the compatibility of naturalism and moral realism, then, is indirect: he argues (...)
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  34. The Ethics of Belief and Christian Faith as Commitment to Assumptions.Rik Peels - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (1):97-107.
    In this paper I evaluate Zamulinski’s recent attempt to rebut an argument to the conclusion that having any kind of religious faith violates a moral duty. I agree with Zamulinski that the argument is unsound, but I disagree on where it goes wrong. I criticize Zamulinski’s alternative construal of Christian faith as existential commitment to fundamental assumptions. It does not follow that we should accept the moral argument against religious faith, for at least two reasons. First, Zamulinski’s Cliffordian ethics of (...)
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  35.  44
    Doxastic Doubt, Fiducial Doubt, and Christian Faith. A Response to Gunter Zimmermann.Rik Peels - 2007 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 49 (2):183-198.
    In this paper I respond to Gunter Zimmermann's article on doubt and faith in God that was published in this journal last year, by offering some criticisms of his views and elaborating on certain issues that Zimmermann leaves nearly or entirely untouched. First, I argue that Zimmermann's analysis of doxastic doubt is incomplete. Next, I defend the thesis that whether some specific doxastic doubt is compatible with someone's faith depends in at least four regards on the person who has that (...)
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  36.  8
    Does Evolution Conflict with God's Character?Rik Peels - 2018 - Modern Theology 34 (4):544-564.
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  37.  27
    Epistemic Justification, Rights, and Permissibility.Anthony Booth & Rik Peels - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (3):405-411.
    Can we understand epistemic justification in terms of epistemic rights? In this paper, we consider two arguments for the claim that we cannot and in doing so, we provide two arguments for the claim that we can. First, if, as many think, William James is right that the epistemic aim is to believe all true propositions and not to believe any false propositions, then there are likely to be situations in which believing a proposition serves one of these goals, whereas (...)
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  38.  6
    We Need to Know More About Ignorance.Rik Peels - 2018 - The Philosophers' Magazine 81:57-61.
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  39. Introduction: The Cognitive Science of Religion, Philosophy and Theology: A Survey of the Issues.Hans Van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert Van den Brink - 2018 - In Hans Van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert BVan den Brink (eds.), New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion - The Rationality of Religious Belief. Dordrecht: Springer.
    Introduction for 'New Developments in Cognitive Science of Religion - The Rationality of Religious Belief' forthcoming with Springer. -/- We discuss the philosophical debate over Cognitive Science of Religion and give an outline of the book.
     
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  40.  61
    Sin and Human Cognition of God.Rik Peels - 2011 - Scottish Journal of Theology 64 (4):390-409.
    In this paper I argue that the effects of sin for our cognition of God primarily consist in a lack of knowledge by acquaintance of God and the relevant ensuing propositional knowledge. In the course of my argument, I make several conceptual distinctions and offer analyses of 1Cor 13:9-12 and Rom 1:18-23. As it turns out, we have ample reason to think that sin has had and still has profound consequences for our cognition of God, but there is no reason (...)
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  41.  14
    Samuel M. Powell. The Impassioned Life: Reason and Emotion in the Christian Tradition.Rik Peels - 2018 - Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 4 (1):124.
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  42.  21
    Is Science Like a Crossword Puzzle? Foundherentist Conceptions of Scientific Warrant.Rik Peels - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):82-101.
    This paper argues that the crossword puzzle analogy is great for scientific rationality, but not scientific warrant. It provides a critical analysis of foundherentist conceptions of scientific warrant, especially that of Susan Haack, and closely related positions, such as non-doxastic coherentism. Foundherentism takes the middle ground between foundationalism and coherentism. The main idea is that warrant, including that of scientific theories, is like warrant of crossword entries: the degree to which a theory is warranted depends on one’s observations, the extent (...)
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  43. Epistemische pluraliteit.Rik Peels - 2007 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 4.
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  44.  39
    The Effects of Sin Upon Human Moral Cognition.Rik Peels - 2010 - Journal of Reformed Theology 4 (1):42-69.
    This article provides an elaborate defense of the thesis that we have no reason to think that sin has any direct effects upon our moral cognition. After a few methodological comments and conceptual distinctions, the author treats certain biblical passages on humans' evil hearts, the function of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Genesis 2 and 3, Paul's comments on the moral situation of the Gentiles in Romans 2, and Paul's ideas on the Gentiles' futility of (...)
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  45. Divine Foreknowledge and Eternal Damnation: The Theory of Middle Knowledge as Solution to the Soteriological Problem of Evil.Rik Peels - 2006 - Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 48 (2):160-75.
    Traditionally, Christians have hold the two following beliefs: the belief that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good on the one hand and the belief that God has actualized a possible world in which some people freely reject Christ and are damned eternally, while others freely accept Him and are saved on the other. The combination of these two beliefs seems to result in a contradiction. This serious and well-known problem is called the soteriological problem of evil. In this article (...)
     
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  46.  13
    A New Case for Atheism.Rik Peels - 2013 - Philo 16 (1):5-8.
  47.  10
    Freddy Mortier . De Hoer van de Duivel. Illusies En Godsgeloof. Leuven/Den Haag: Acco, 403 Pp., 32 €.Rik Peels - 2013 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 105 (3):195-197.
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  48.  5
    S.J. Grabill, Rediscovering the Natural Law in Reformed Theological Ethics, Grand Rapids/Cambridge 2006: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 310 Pagina's. ISBN 0-8028-6313-2. [REVIEW]Rik Peels - 2008 - Philosophia Reformata 73 (1):115-118.
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  49. Scientism: Prospects and Problems.Jeroen de Ridder, Rik Peels & René van Woudenberg (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
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  50. De waarde van kennis.Rik Peels - 2008 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 100 (2):148-150.
    Na een decennia lange discussie over de afzonderlijk noodzakelijke en tezamen voldoende condities voor kennis is gedurende de afgelopen jaren onder epistemologen een debat ontstaan over de waarde van kennis. Een goede theorie van wat kennis inhoudt, zo is bij velen de gedachte, zal moeten kunnen uitleggen waarom wij waarde(n) hechten aan kennis. Iets nauwkeuriger geformuleerd: een goede kennistheorie zal duidelijk moeten kunnen maken waarom wij meer epistemische waarde hechten aan kennis dan aan waar geloof. Dit probleem wordt wel het (...)
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