Hi! My name is Job.

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 obtained my PhD in philosophy at the University of Groningen. Before that, I have been awarded an MA (cum laude) and BA (with Honours Certificate) in philosophy, as well as a BSc in Business Administration, from that same university.


During my graduate studies, I spent a semester at the University of St. Andrews, and made several research visits to the University of Edinburgh.


My area of specialization is epistemology, with a particular focus on the Internalism/Externalism debate about epistemic justification and various accounts of epistemic luck. 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

Research




Publications

forthcoming Towards a Hybrid Account of Luck, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
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

Knowledge as Justified True Belief
What is knowledge? I this paper I indirectly defend the claim that knowledge is justified true belief by arguing that, contrary to common belief, Gettier cases do not provide counterexamples to this claim. 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 one of the most prominent accounts of justification, 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 claim that knowledge is justified true belief. By focussing on the relation between justification and luck we gain a novel defence of the claim that knowledge is justified true belief, and also, as it will turn out, a novel way forward in the vexed internalism/externalism debate.
Epistemic Benefits of the Material Theory of Induction
In this paper, I critically evaluate John D. Norton’s material dissolution of the problem of induction. 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.
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.
The causal theory of knowledge revisited: An interventionist approach (with Alexander Gebharter)
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.

Work in Progress

Argumentation, Dissent, and Luck
In this paper, I integrate findings from anti-luck epistemology, social epistemology and argumentation theory to provide a novel perspective on what is known as the ‘persistent interlocutor’ (Leite, 2008). Apart from the fact that integration of these related fields is worthwhile in general, I argue that the perspective on the persistent interlocutor it allows for is to be preferred to one of the most prominent alternatives in the literature, and in doing so, provides a new perspective on the relation between argumentative norms and epistemic norms.
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.

Teaching




At the University of Groningen:

2019 Business Ethics (also in 2018, 2017)
2019 "Methods" track in philosophy"
2019 Philosophy and Ethics of Business (also in 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.