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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. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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