Hi! My name is Job.

I am a philosopher. My research is in normative philosophy. I teach business ethics and philosophical writing skills. This is my website.

About Me

I am currently appointed as lecturer at the University of Groningen. I teach courses in various areas of philosophy, including epistemology, philosophy of science, business ethics, and logic. I also teach various writing skills courses and coordinate BA and MA theses at the faculty of philosophy.

From April 2023 onwards, I will move to the faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen as a Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Business Ethics and Sustainability.

I obtained my PhD in philosophy at the University of Groningen.

My area of specialization is normative philosophy, with a focus on modal accounts of knowledge and the internalism/externalism debate about epistemic justification. My areas of competence include philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, logic and argumentation theory, as well as (business) ethics.

You can reach me at jobdegrefte@gmail.com



2022 The Persistent Interlocutor., Argumentation, Online first: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-022-09578-2
A Persistent Interlocutor (PI) is someone who, in argumentative contexts, does not cease to question her opponent's premises. The epistemic relevance of the PI has been debated throughout the history of philosophy. Pyrrhonians famously claim that our inability to dialectically vindicate our claims against a PI implies skepticism. Adam Leite disagrees (2005). Micheal Resorla argues that the debate is based on a false premise (2009). In this paper, I argue that these views all fail to accurately account for the epistemic relevance of the PI. I then briefly present an account that aims to do better in this regard.
2022 A Modal Criterion for Epistemic Argumentation., Informal Logic, 42(2), pp. 389–415
In this paper, I adopt a pluralistic framework on argumentation, where the norms governing argumentation depend on the aim with which we engage in the practice. A domain of specifically epistemic argumentation is singled out, and I argue based on recent findings in modal epistemology that this domain is governed by the modal norm of safety; where a belief is safe just in case it is produced by a method that would not easily produce a false belief. While this criterion is well-known and uncontroversial in epistemology, it has hitherto not been applied to epistemic theories of argumentation. I show the fruitfulness of bringing this modal norm into our theory of argumentation by arguing that this allows for a novel and superior perspective of the relevance of the persistent interlocutor in argumentation theory, and on the relation between dialectical and epistemic norms more generally.
2022 Situational factors shape moral judgements in the trolley dilemma in Eastern, Southern and Western countries in a culturally diverse sample, (With B. Bago, M. Kovacs et al.), Nature Human Behaviour, Online first: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-022-01319-5
The study of moral judgements often centres on moral dilemmas in which options consistent with deontological perspectives (that is, emphasizing rules, individual rights and duties) are in conflict with options consistent with utilitarian judgements (that is, following the greater good based on consequences). Greene et al. (2009) showed that psychological and situational factors (for example, the intent of the agent or the presence of physical contact between the agent and the victim) can play an important role in moral dilemma judgements (for example, the trolley problem). Our knowledge is limited concerning both the universality of these effects outside the United States and the impact of culture on the situational and psychological factors affecting moral judgements. Thus, we empirically tested the universality of the effects of intent and personal force on moral dilemma judgements by replicating the experiments of Greene et al. in 45 countries from all inhabited continents. We found that personal force and its interaction with intention exert influence on moral judgements in the US and Western cultural clusters, replicating and expanding the original findings. Moreover, the personal force effect was present in all cultural clusters, suggesting it is culturally universal. The evidence for the cultural universality of the interaction effect was inconclusive in the Eastern and Southern cultural clusters (depending on exclusion criteria). We found no strong association between collectivism/individualism and moral dilemma judgements.
2021 Knowledge as Justified True Belief, Erkenntnis, Online first: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10670-020-00365-7
What is knowledge? I this paper I defend the claim that knowledge is justified true belief by arguing that, contrary to common belief, Gettier cases do not refute it. My defence will be of the anti-luck kind: I will argue that (1) Gettier cases necessarily involve veritic luck, and (2) that a plausible version of reliabilism excludes veritic luck. There is thus a prominent and plausible account of justification according to which Gettier cases do not feature justified beliefs, and therefore, do not present counterexamples to the tripartite analysis. I defend the account of justification against objections, and contrast my defence of the tripartite analysis to similar ones from the literature. I close by considering some implications of this way of thinking about justification and knowledge.
2021 The causal theory of knowledge revisited: An interventionist approach, (With A. Gebharter), Ratio, 34 (3), 193-202
Goldman (1967) proposed that a subject s knows p if and only if p is appropriately causally connected to s's believing p. He later on abandoned this theory (Goldman, 1976). The main objection to the theory is that the causal connection required by Goldman is compatible with certain problematic forms of luck. In this paper we argue that Goldman's causal theory of knowledge can overcome the luck problem if causation is understood along interventionist lines. We also show that the modified theory leads to the correct results in contexts involving other prominent forms of epistemic luck and compare it with other accounts on the market.
2020 Epistemic benefits of the material theory of induction, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Part A. 84, 99-105.
C. D. Broad famously labelled the problem of providing our inductive practices with a proper justification "the scandal of philosophy" (Broad, 1952). Recently, John Norton has provided a dissolution of this problem (2014). According to Norton, inductive inference is grounded in particular facts obtaining within particular domains (J. Norton, 2003b, 2010, 2014). Because the material theory does not involve a universal schema of induction, Norton claims it dissolves the problem of induction (which implies that such universal schemas cannot be justified). In this paper, I critically evaluate Norton's dissolution. In particular, I argue that the problem of induction is an epistemological problem, that Norton's material theory entails an externalist epistemology, and that it is a common feature of such epistemologies that they dissolve the problem of induction. The upshot is that the material theory is not unique in its ability to reap the specifically epistemic benefits of dissolving the problem of induction, and thus that the epistemic advantages of the material theory over extant alternatives in this regard are fewer than it may appear at first sight.
2020 Towards a Hybrid Account of Luck, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 101, 240-255.
The concept of luck is important in various areas of philosophy. In this paper I argue that two prominent accounts of luck, the modal and the probabilistic account of luck, need to be combined to accommodate the various ways in which luck comes in degrees. I briefly sketch such a hybrid account of luck, distinguish it from two similar accounts recently proposed, and consider some objections.
2019 Pritchard vs. Pritchard on Luck, Metaphilosophy, 50(1-2), 3-15.
This paper argues for a particular account of luck by comparing two distinct versions of the modal account of luck that have been provided by Duncan Pritchard (2005, 2014). More specifically, it argues that there are three respects in which Pritchard's earlier modal account of luck is preferable to his later account: it accounts better for the fact that luck comes in degrees, it includes a significance condition, and it better acknowledges the subjective nature of luck. The paper then discusses two consequences of the points it makes for epistemology: an alleged pragmatic encroachment, and a particular view on the relation between knowledge, luck, and justification.
2018 Epistemic Justification and Epistemic Luck, Synthese (SI: Epistemic Justification), 195(9), 3821-3836.
Among epistemologists, it is not uncommon to relate various forms of epistemic luck to the vexed debate between internalists and externalists. But there are many internalism/externalism debates in epistemology, and it is not always clear how these debates relate to each other. In the present paper I investigate the relation between epistemic luck and prominent internalist and externalist accounts of epistemic justification. I argue that the dichotomy between internalist and externalist concepts of justification can be characterized in terms of epistemic luck. Whereas externalist theories of justification are incompatible with veritic luck but not with reflective luck, the converse is true for internalist theories of justification. These results are found to explain and cohere with some recent findings from elsewhere in epistemology, and support a surprising picture of justification, on which internalism and externalism are complementary rather than contradictory positions.

Under Review

A Safe Fallibilism
Much of what we take to be knowledge is less than perfectly supported by our evidence; often, that is, our evidence falls short of entailing the truth of our knowledgeable beliefs. Fallibilism maintains that such imperfect knowledge is possible, infallibilism denies this. Whereas fallibilism was the dominant position in twentieth-century epistemology, recent defences of infallibilism have reignited the debate. This paper proposes a novel kind of fallibilism and some considerations in its favour. Contrary to standard probabilistic interpretations of fallibilism, the kind of fallibilism developed here is based on the modal notion of safety.

Work in Progress

Epistemic Nudging
Libertarian paternalism as developed by Thaler and Sunstein (2009) is similar in many respects to epistemic paternalism as proposed by Ahlstrom-Vij (2013). Yet there are subtle differences. This paper maps out the commonalities and differences between to program, in order to see to what extent the arguments in support of both programs carry over.


At the University of Groningen:

2022 Business Ethics (also in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017)
2022 Skills Curriculum Philosophy(also in 2021, 2020, 2019)
2022 Philosophy and Ethics of Business (also in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017)
2019 Tutorial Religious Epistemology
2019 Sustainability for Engineers
2019 Ethics and International Business (also in 2018, 2017)
2018 Research Skills for Philosophy
2018 Critical Thinking and Logic
2018 Philosophy of Social Science (also in 2017)
2018 Philosophy of Science in the Study of Religion and Culture
2017 Logic and Argumentation
2016 Advanced Epistemology
2016 Current Issues in Epistemology
(All courses taught at the University of Groningen as coordinator or lecturer)

You can find my C.V. here.