Formal Epistemology


&The project Formal Epistemology consists of four sub-projects. Methodologically it is part of formal epistemology. Contentwise we will deal with topics from both the traditional theory of knowledge as well as the modern epistemology of belief.One of the central themes of the traditional theory of knowledge is the tripartite definition of knowledge as justified true belief. The project Justification focuses on the notion of justification in this definition. One question is who or what it is that is justified: is it the believed proposition; the person believing this proposition; or the method used by this person to learn new information? Here we aim to go beyond coherentist theories of justification and to acknowledge insights from formal learning theory. In contrast to this the project "Knowledge" takes the notion of knowledge as primitive and uses it to analyze the notion of justification.Historically the projects "Belief" and "Degrees of Belief" are rooted in the work of Hintikka and Ramsey, respectively. Nowadays both epistemic logic as well as the theory of degrees of belief are primarily advanced in Artificial Intelligence. The Lockean Thesis is of particular philosophical interest. It describes a simple relation between qualitative belief and quantitative degrees of belief: qualitative belief consists in sufficiently high degree of belief. An important question is how to justify various theories of degrees of belief: why should a rational agent?s degrees of belief obey certain laws rather than different ones? However, there is no theory of degrees of belief that defines a reasonable notion of qualitative belief satisfying the Lockean Thesis; nor is there a theory of degrees of belief that can be said to be justified beyond reasonable doubt.&

  • Brössel, Peter - Academic staff
  • Eder, Anna-Maria - Academic staff
  • Huber, Franz - Project leader
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Zukunftskolleg
Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Emmy-Noether-Programm third-party funds research funding program 602/07
Further information
Period: 12.04.2007 – 14.04.2013