I have research interests both in the history of philosophy and in contemporary analytic philosophy.
My historical research focuses on Classical German Philosophy. I am interested in all aspects of the work of authors like Kant, Fichte and Hegel, and have published on topics that include Kant’s moral psychology, Hegel’s metaphysics, philosophy of mind, moral philosophy and political philosophy, and Fichte’s epistemology.
My systematic interests are mainly within the philosophy of mind. They include self-knowledge, cognitive phenomenology, inner speech, pathologies of self-awareness and Bayesian models of the mind. I am the PI of a project on the self-knowledge that rational agents have about their thoughts, rational attitudes and bodily actions (2016-2018, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, see section on projects).
I have side-interests in aesthetics, Wittgenstein, and the history of the so-called "maker's knowledge paradigm".
Im Reich der Freiheit. Hegels Theorie autonomer Vernunft (In the realm of freedom. Hegel's theory of autonomous reason), Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 2013
Recent journal articles
"What is wrong with blind necessity? Schelling's critique of Spinoza's necessitarianism in the Freedom Essay", Journal of the History of Philosophy, forthcoming
"Hegel and arguments for natural kind essentialism", Hegel Bulletin, forthcoming
"Bayes and the first person. Inner speech, consciousness of thoughts and probabilistic inference", Synthese, online first, 2017, 1-28
"Kant on the infallibility of conscience" (with Erasmus Mayr), forthcoming in Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie
"And yet he is a monist. Comments on James Kreines, 'Reason in the world'", Hegel Bulletin, online first, 2016, 1-17
"Hegel's essentialism. Natural kinds and the metaphysics of explanation in Hegel's theory of 'the Concept'", European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2016), 760-787
"Hegel on consciousness, self-consciousness and idealism", International Yearbook of German Idealism 11 (2013) (appeared in 2016)
"Self-knowledge about attitudes: rationalism meets interpretation", Philosophical Explorations 18/2 (2015), 183-198
"Hegel's modal argument against Spinozism. An interpretation of the chapter 'Actuality' in Hegel's Science of Logic", Hegel Bulletin 36/1 (2015), 53-79
Other publications (selection)
"From Brandom's semantics to Hegel's politics: Institutional preconditions of trust", to appear in an edited volume on Brandom's "A spirit of trust", ed. Gilles Bouche, London: Routledge
"Kant, Schopenhauer und Fichte über unser Wissen von unseren körperlichen Handlungen" ("Kant, Schopenhauer and Fichte on our knowledge of our bodily actions"), forthcoming in: Jacinto Rivera de Rosales et al. (eds.), Mit Fichte philosophieren. Perspektiven seiner Gesamtphilosophie nach 200 Jahren, Leiden: Brill
Review of Jörg Noller, Die Bestimmung des Willens, forthcoming in Hegel-Studien
Review of Vincent Descombes, Puzzling Identities, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2016.06.22
Review of Christopher Yeomans, The Expansion of Autonomy. Hegel's Pluralistic Philosophy of Action, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2015.08.36
Articles "Geist"; "Gemüt", in: Georg Mohr / Jürgen Stolzenberg / Marcus Willaschek (eds.), Kant-Lexikon, Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, 2015
Review of Ariberto Acerbi, Il sistema di Fichte, Philosophisches Jahrbuch 122 (2015), 537-539
"Hegel über Vorstellung und repräsentationalen Gehalt" ("Hegel on representation and representational content"), in: Kazimir Drilo / Axel Hutter (eds.), Spekulation und Vorstellung in Hegels enzyklopädischem System, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck 2015, 85-118
"Normativität, Autonomie und das Wissen des Akteurs von seinen Handlungen in Hegels Kritik des Gewissens" ("Normativity, autonomy and the agent's knowledge of his actions in Hegel's critique of conscience"), in: Simon Bunke/Katerina Mihaylova/Antonio Roselli (eds.), Gewissen zwischen Gefühl und Vernunft. Neue Perspektiven auf das 18. Jahrhundert, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2015
"Metaphysik der Kontingenz. Kierkegaards anti-nezessitarische und anti-hegelianische Modaltheorie im 'Zwischenspiel' der Philosophischen Brocken" ("Metaphysics of contingency. Kierkegaard's anti-necessitarian and anti-Hegelian theory of modality in the 'Interlude' of Philosophical Fragments"), in: Axel Hutter / Anders Moe Rasmussen (eds.), Kierkegaard im Kontext des Deutschen Idealismus, Berlin / New York: De Gruyter 2014, 151-202
Review of Sally Sedgwick, Hegel's Critique of Kant. From Dichotomy to Identity, European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2013), e4-e9
"Gewissen und Gewissenhaftigkeit beim späten Kant" ("Conscience and conscientiousness in the late Kant") (with Erasmus Mayr), in: Akten des XI. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses 2010, Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 2013, 329-342
"Scruton and Wittgenstein on expression in music", in: Nick Zangwill / Andy Hamilton (eds.), Scruton's Aesthetics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2012, 62-83
- 2017. Bayes and the first person: consciousness of thoughts, inner speech and probabilistic inference. Synthese. 1-28. doi: 10.1007/s11229-017-1321-3
- 2016. Hegel's essentialism. Natural kinds and the metaphysics of explanation in Hegel's theory of 'the Concept'. European Journal of Philosophy. 28 pages. doi: 10.1111/ejop.12129
- 2016. And yet he is a monist. Comments on James Kreines, 'Reason in the world'. Hegel Bulletin. 17 pages. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/hgl.2016.30
since August 2016: Associate Professor, University of Bergen
2015-2016: Postdoc, Institut Jean Nicod, Paris (host: Elisabeth Pacherie, funded by DAAD)
2011-2015: Fixed-term lecturer (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter), Humboldt University, Berlin (Chair for Classical German Philosophy, Tobias Rosefeldt)
2009-2011: Fixed-term lecturer (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter), Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich (Chair for Philosophy II, Axel Hutter)
2009: research stay, University of Pittsburgh (host: Robert Brandom)
2006-2011: PhD, Ludwig Maximilians University (supervisor: Axel Hutter); major: philosophy, minor: Italian philology
2004: visiting student, University of Pavia
2003-2004: visiting student, Oxford University
2000-2006: M.A., Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich; major: philosophy, minors: musicology, Greek philology
Services to the profession:
Referee for Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, Hegel Bulletin, Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy.
Panel member, Academy of Finland, 2015 and 2016.
Knowing what one thinks and does: a broadly perceptual account
2016-8, funded by the Thyssen Foundation
PI: Franz Knappik
Postdoc: Ole Koksvik
There is a broad range of mental and physical phenomena to which we relate as agents: we are agents of our own bodily actions, of course, but also of our mental actions, such as acts of imagination or processes of deliberation. Finally, we also stand in an agential relation to our rational attitudes, such as beliefs and intentions, insofar as we control them and can be made responsible for them. A common feature of agential phenomena like these seems to be that as agents, we have a particular form of self-knowledge about them.
It is widely held that we possess a specific first-personal, immediate and highly reliable form of knowledge about our current mental states in general (Gertler 2011). But agential phenomena – both mental and bodily – appear to add a further dimension to the first-/third-person asymmetry. Various philosophers have argued that our knowledge of our agency (both mental and bodily) is itself distinctively agential, as it plays a central role in directing our actions (e.g. Anscombe 1957, Burge 1996, Velleman 1989, Moran 2001, Moran 2004): in some sense, such agential knowledge is the cause of its object, rather than the other way round (Anscombe 1957). By contrast, knowledge of other person’s mental and bodily states never seems to stand in such an intimate connection with its objects.
For many authors, this observation has decisive consequences for an adequate explanation of the self-knowledge in question. In particular, many have argued that agential self-knowledge cannot be accounted for in terms of a causal mechanism, e.g. a perception of one’s bodily actions, or a quasi-perceptual introspection of our mental states. For such accounts, it has been argued, necessarily turn ourselves into mere detached bystanders who have a third-personal perspective vis-à-vis their own actions. Instead, these authors have proposed various alternative, non-perceptual accounts (e.g. Shoemaker 1994, Burge 1998, Falvey 2000, Moran 2001, Finkelstein 2001, Bar-On 2004, Bilgrami 2006, Boyle 2009, Fernandez 2013).
This project aims to resist that tendency, and to develop and defend a “broadly perceptual” account (cf. Shoemaker 1994) of agential self-knowledge. It argues that the proposed non-perceptual accounts of agential self-knowledge are unsatisfactory; that the assumption that self-knowledge cannot be agential and based on a causal mechanism at the same time is unwarranted (Knappik 2015); and that there are positive reasons to account for agential self-knowledge in terms of a broadly perceptual mechanism.
The broadly perceptual view of self-knowledge that this project aims to develop holds that agential self-knowledge is based on phenomenal episodes, and that these episodes are brought about by causal mechanisms that track and control our actions and attitudes. In particular, the project explores an approach on which the core of these mechanisms consists in processes of unconscious Bayesian interpretation (Knappik (forthcoming)). On this hypothesis, such processes interpret relevant data - including sensory feedback from one’s bodily actions, simulated sensory events (e.g., phonological imagery), representations of conceptual contents, and representations of attitudinal and metacognitive elements (Koksvik (2011), (forthcoming)) - in terms of corresponding present actions, and of rational attitudes that these actions express (intentions that guide an action, beliefs that are avowed in a conscious judgment etc.). The result is a rich stream of action consciousness that enables us to form correct beliefs about our actions and attitudes, and to do so swiftly and without need for conscious interpretation.
Events related to this project:
First workshop of the project: “The rational role of cognitive phenomenology”, June 6th/7th, 2016, Bergen (confirmed speakers: Marta Jorba, Joelle Proust, Mette Hansen, Elijah Chudnoff, Fabian Dorsch, Ole Koksvik, Franz Knappik).
There are more events to follow.
Relevant publications by project members:
Koksvik, O. (forthcoming) . ”The phenomenology of intuition.” Philosophy Compass
Koksvik, O. (2015). 'Phenomenal Contrast: A Critique'. American Philosophical Quarterly 52, 321–334.
Koksvik, O. (2011). “Intuition.” PhD thesis, The Australian National University
Knappik, F. (forthcoming) "Bayes and the first person. Inner speech, consciousness of thoughts and probabilistic inference", Synthese
Knappik, F. (2015). "Self-knowledge about attitudes: rationalism meets interpretation." Philosophical Explorations 18/2, 183-198
Anscombe, E- (1957) Intention. Oxford: Blackwell
Bar-On, D. (2005). Speaking My Mind: Expression and Self-Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Bilgrami, A. (2006). Self-Knowledge and Resentment, Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press
Boyle, M. (2009). “Two Kinds of Self-Knowledge”, in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78, 133-164
Burge, T. (1996). “Our Entitlement to Self-Knowledge”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 96, 91-116
Fernandez, J. (2013). Transparent Minds. A Study in Self-Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Finkelstein, D. (2011). Expression and the Inner. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press
Gertler, B. (2011). Self-Knowledge, Abingdon / New York: Routledge
Moran, R.. (2001). Authority and Estrangement. An Essay on Self-Knowledge. Princeton: Princeton University Press
Moran, R. (2004). “Anscombe on Practical Knowledge”, in: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 55, 43-68
Shoemaker, S. (1994). "Self-Knowledge and 'Inner Sense'", in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54, 249-314
Velleman, J.D. (1989). Practical Reflection. Princeton: Princeton University Press