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Mikael JanvidStällföreträdande prefekt

Om mig

Mitt främsta forskningsområde är kunskapsteori. Frågeställningar som jag närmare bestämt intresserar mig för rör

(i)  Kullkastare (eng. "defeaters"). Kullkastare utgör rättfärdigandets "baksida" eftersom de i stället för att rättfärdiga en övertygelse kullkastar eller underminerar den. Här är jag i färd med att utveckla en externalistisk modell för kullkastare.

(ii) Förståelse som kognitivt/epistemiskt tillstånd eller förmåga.

(iii) afrikansk kunskapsteori

(iv) Skepticism, i synnerhet vilken roll underbestämning spelar för skeptiska arguments (eventuella) framgång.

(v) Rättfärdigande a priori, dvs rättfärdigande som inte grundar sig på erfarenheten.

Därutöver är jag också intresserad av de humanistiska vetenskapernas vetenskapsteori, afrikansk filosofi samt den teoretiska filosofins historia.


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Between Particularism and Universalism: The Promise of Epistemic Contextualism in African Epistemology

    2021. Mikael Janvid. Pathways to Alternative Epistemologies in Africa, 19-33


    This chapter proposes a version of epistemic contextualism, called inferentialist contextualism, as a promising research program within African epistemology. My suggestion should be seen against the background of the earlier debate between the seemingly incompatible positions of universalism and particularism. Whilst universalism has been charged with not allowing for diversity, of forcing African culture into the Procrustean bed of Western thought, particularism seems to block cross-cultural dialogue. A compromise is therefore called for. I argue that inferentialist contextualism can fill this need. One promising feature is that whilst traditional epistemology always places the burden of justification on the subject of knowledge, inferentialist contextualism distinguishes between three different contexts: except for the traditional one, a second where the burden of proof is shared by both the subject and any fellow who might challenge the belief and a third context where the burden lies solely on the inquiring fellow. The notion of default entitlement depicts beliefs falling within this third context and will be elaborated in some detail here. I argue that inferential contextualism permits greater contextual variety than traditional epistemology without collapsing into relativism.

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  • Testimony in African epistemology revisited

    2021. Mikael Janvid. South African Journal of Philosophy 40 (3), 279-289


    This article addresses important epistemological issues raised by Barry Hallen and J. Olubi Sodipo’s pioneering philosophical fieldwork among Yoruba herbalists or masters of medicine (onisegun). More precisely, I shall primarily investigate, as well as object to, the unduly restrictive view they take on testimony in Yoruba epistemic practice. With this criticism as the starting point, but still based on the cases Hallen and Sodipo provide, I explore different ways in which an “oral culture” like Yoruba (as traditionally depicted) can rely on testimony as a source of justification without succumbing to the gullible and uncritical attitude towards tradition such societies have been charged with. To this purpose, I put to use relevant developments in analytic epistemology taking place after Hallen and Sodipo published their work.

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  • Getting a Grasp of the Grasping Involved in Understanding

    2018. Mikael Janvid. Acta Analytica 33 (3), 371-383


    This paper investigates some epistemic properties that distinguish understanding from knowledge. In particular, the focus is on how to spell out the notion of grasping the relationships between propositions that constitute objectual understanding: what kind of epistemic access is required for grasping to occur and to what extent is the act of grasping voluntary? A modest form of access is suggested as an answer to the first question and a largely negative answer to the second. The worry that my suggestion is too permissive in crediting subjects with understanding is addressed. The results are then finally briefly contrasted to Ernest Sosa's notion of knowing full well where one contrast precisely concerns the voluntary character of the respective epistemic states.

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  • Defeater Goes External

    2017. Mikael Janvid. Philosophia (Ramat Gan) 45 (2), 701-715


    This paper proposes a new externalist account of defeaters, in terms of reliable indicators, as an integral part of a unified externalist account of warrant and defeat. It is argued that posing externalist conditions on warrant, but internalist conditions on defeat lead to undesirable tensions. The proposal is contrasted to some rival accounts and then tested on some widely discussed cases, like the airport case. Misleading defeaters, where Laurence BonJour's reliable clairvoyants serve as examples, also receive treatment, partly because they illustrate how internalist constraints are inserted into the set up of the problem and therefore unduly constrain the domain of satisfactory solutions. Lastly, the proposal is defended against some objections. Firstly, that by posing externalist conditions on defeat, the account becomes too open. Secondly, that an externalist account fails to take into account the epistemic assessments of our fellows in the epistemic practice of forming beliefs and making epistemic claims, which can be based on accessible warrant only.

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  • Understanding Understanding: An Epistemological Investigation

    2014. Mikael Janvid. Philosophia (Ramat Gan) 42 (4), 971-985


    Understanding has received growing interest from epistemologists in recent years, but no consensus regarding its epistemic properties has yet been reached. This paper extracts, but also rejects, candidates of epistemic properties for construing an epistemological model of understanding from the writings of epistemologists participating in the current discussion surrounding that state. On the basis of these results, a suggestion is put forward according to which understanding is a non-basic epistemic state of warrant rather than knowledge. It is argued that this move provides a satisfactory conciliatory answer to the central question whether understanding is a factive epistemic state. Some differ- ences between understanding and knowledge are recorded along the way: for instance, that in contrast to knowledge, understanding does not require belief and that, even though neither knowledge nor understanding iterates, so that a subject can both know without knowing that she knows, as well as understanding without understanding that she understands, the reasons for the failure is different. 

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  • The Challenges of Traveling without Itinerary: The Overrding Case

    2013. Mikael Janvid. Defeasibility in Philosophy, 59-73


    As an important step towards a comprehensive model of challenges and defeaters, it is here argued that securing a previously held epistemic status for a belief in the face of an overriding challenge does not require us to reach a higher epistemic standard than the one the belief originally reached. In the course of the investigation, criteria for when the epistemic status of beliefs are challenged and defeated are suggested. At the end of the paper, these results are then more briefly applied to shed some light on the problem of misleading evidence.

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  • Knowledge versus Understanding: The Cost of Avoiding Gettier

    2012. Mikael Janvid. Acta Analytica 27 (2), 183-197


    In the current discussion on epistemic value, several philosophers argue that understanding enjoys higher epistemological significance and epistemic value than knowledge-the epistemic state the epistemological tradition has been preoccupied with. By noting a tension between the necessary conditions for understanding in the perhaps most prominent of these philosophers, Jonathan Kvanvig, this paper disputes the higher epistemological relevance of understanding. At the end, on the basis of the results of the previous sections, some alternative comparative contrasts between knowledge and understanding are briefly explored, including one in which an analogue to the KK-principle for knowledge, the "UU-principle", does not hold for a different reason than that for which the former principle fails.

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  • Towards a Default and Challenge Model of A Priori Warrant

    2012. Mikael Janvid. Journal of Philosophical Research (JPR) 37, 135-154


    This paper outlines a default and challenge account of a priori warrant by unfolding the three stages of the epistemic dialectic in which such warrant comes to the fore. Among the virtues of this account is that it does not rely on controversial assumptions regarding non-experiential sources of warrant, like intellectual intuition, but instead relies on features of our epistemic practice, more precisely, its default and challenge structure. What distinguishes beliefs to which you are warranted a priori is not that their source of warrant resides in some intellectual faculty, but rather the characteristic ways in which these beliefs can be successfully defended against challenges. The paper ends in a discussion of whether a priori warranted beliefs are empirically indefeasible, arguing that it is misguided to demand such indefeasibility of a priori warranted beliefs since that demand is not made for other sources of warrant. The question that rather should be posed is whether beliefs for which a priori warrant is provided qualify as knowledge on a consistent basis, and this question can be given an affirmative answer even in the face of empirical defeasibility.

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  • Empirical Indefeasibility and Nonfactuality: Assessing Field's Evaluative Approach to the A Priori

    2010. Mikael Janvid. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (30), 183-197


    Hartry Field has recently presented an original and interesting approach to the a priori. Its main theses are, first, that certain rules are empirically indefeasible and, second, that the reasonableness of these rules are not based on any factual property. After an introduction, Field’s approach is presented in section II. Section III examines his claims concerning empirical indefeasibility. It will be argued that his general argument for empirical indefeasibility fails along with the particular examples of rules he gives. Alternative ways of preserving empirical indefeasibility are suggested that are compatible with overdetermination under certain assumptions. In section IV, Field’s arguments for the nonfactuality of epistemological concepts, such as reasonableness, are found wanting. At the end, an alternative way of understanding the link between the epistemological concept in question and truth-conduciveness is proposed that preserves the factuality of the epistemological concept.

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  • The Value of Lesser Goods: The Epistemic Value of Entitlement

    2009. Mikael Janvid. Acta Analytica 24 (4), 263-274


    Abstract  The notion of entitlement plays an important role in some influential epistemologies. Often the epistemological motive for introducing the concept is to accommodate certain externalist intuitions within an internalist framework or, conversely, to incorporate internalist traits into an otherwise externalist position. In this paper two prominent philosophers will be used as examples: Tyler Burge as a representative of the first option and Fred Dretske as one of the second. However, even on the assumption that the concept of entitlement is sufficiently clarified, accomplishing these results is easier said than done – especially if we also want to ascribe positive epistemic value to entitlement. It will be shown that the epistemic value of entitlement is either granted at the expense of the epistemic value of justification or the value ends up below the level of value at which the epistemologists employing the concept of entitlement are aiming.

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  • Defeaters and Rising Standards of Justification

    2008. Mikael Janvid. Acta Analytica 23 (1), 45-54


    The purpose of this paper is to refute the widespread view that challenging a knowledge-claim always raises the original standards of justification – a view often associated with contextualism. To that purpose the distinction between undermining and overriding defeaters will be used. Three kinds of challenges will be considered that differ in their degree of specification. In all three kinds of challenges, the rising standards of justification model fails to capture the dialectic of justification in the case of undermining defeaters. At the end, the skeptical challenge will more briefly be given a similar analysis.

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  • The Experiential Defeasibility and Overdetermination of A Priori Justification

    2008. Mikael Janvid. Journal of Philosophical Research 33


    The question whether a belief justified a priori is indefeasible in general and experientially indefeasible in particular has received different answers. In a recent and interesting paper “Experientially Defeasible A Priori Justification”, Joshua Thurow argues that many a priori justified beliefs are defeasible by experience. The argument takes the form of an objection against Albert Casullo’s recent book A Priori Justification where Casullo, according to Thurow, denies that if a justified belief is non-experientially defeasible, then that belief is also experientially defeasible.

    This paper examines Thurow’s two arguments in the first two sections I-II. In the last section, III, an alternative line of argument for Thurow’s thesis is suggested that employs other parts of the framework that Casullo provides – especially the thesis of the overdetermination of justification. It will be argued that the prospects for this suggestion are brighter than for both of Thurow’s arguments.

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