Aarhus University Seal

Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen

PhD, Dr.Phil., Professor, Head of Department

Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen


I received my PhD in 2008 from the Faculty of Philosophy at Cambridge University, where I held a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and was a member of Darwin College . I have taught at Aarhus University since then. 

In January 2009, I received the Danish Ministry of Science and Innovation's 'Young Elite Researcher Prize'. In 2011, I received a DFF starting grant, and was named DFF Research Leader under the Sapere Aude program. I edit The Philosophical Lexicon, previously edited by Dan Dennett.

Link to CV: CV November 2019





I work mainly in epistemology and related fields. A substantial part of my work is devoted to the nature of belief and epistemic norms, but I have also written on topics such as higher-order defeat, disagreement, mindreading, causation, luck, knowledge ascriptions, thought experiments, the precautionary principle, and more.

Below is a sample of representative articles (for a full list with links to online versions, see my Philpapers or Google Scholar profiles).

Higher-order defeat and doxastic resilience (Higher-Order Evidence: New Essays. OUP 2019)

Brings attention to an overlooked feature of higher-order defeat, namely that it can undermine the resilience of a credence. Shows how this can help resolve puzzles concerning conditionalization and epistemic akrasia.

Group disagreement: a belief aggregation perspective (w. M. Skipper. Synthese 2019) 

Explores what peer disagreement amounts to when the disagreeing parties are groups rather than individuals, given that we think of groups beliefs as aggregates of member beliefs.

A higher-order approach to disagreement (w. M. Skipper & JC Bjerring. Episteme 2018)

Outlines a formal framework for representing higher-order evidence, and relies on this to motivate a new interpretation of the ‘equal weight view’ of peer-disagreement. 

Epistemic instrumentalism, permissibility, and reasons for belief (Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. OUP 2018)

Outlines a new version of epistemic instrumentalism, according to which epistemic permissibility norms can be understood in terms of wide-scope norms of instrumental rationality, and positive epistemic reasons can be understood in terms of instrumental transmission.

Fictional persuasion and the nature of belief (Art and Belief. OUP 2017)

Considers a variety of explanations of the psychological phenomenon that engaging with fiction tends to affect ‘real world’ beliefs. Argues that none of the explanations undermine the idea that belief aims at truth.

Philosophical thought experiments as heuristics for theory discovery (w. S. Praëm. Synthese 2015)

Brings attention to the role of thought experiments in discovering new theories, rather than in justifying or refuting them, and develops a taxonomy of distinct ways of serving this purpose.

Why desire reasoning is developmentally prior to belief reasoning (w. J. Michael. Mind & Language 2015)

Explains why young children acquire the concept of desire before acquiring the concept of belief, in terms of the cognitive tasks acquiring these concepts enable.

Knowing the answer to a loaded question (Theoria 2015)

Defends the reductive account of knowledge-wh and binary account of propositional knowledge, and motivates a general theory of knowledge ascriptions that embed presuppositional expressions.

Truth as the aim of epistemic justification (The Aim of Belief. OUP 2013)

Argues that defenders of the view that epistemic justification aims at truth should embrace the consequence that epistemic justification (in one important sense of that term) is factive.

Against the contrastive account of singular causation (British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 2012)

Argues that although general causation and causal explanation may well be contrastive in nature, singular causation is not.

Luck as an epistemic notion (Synthese 2010)

Develops a new theory of luck, according to which the improbability condition on luck is understood in epistemic terms. Considers implications for anti-luck epistemology.

Weighing the aim of belief (Philosophical Studies 2009)

Defends the idea that belief aims at truth from the objection that this aim cannot be weighed against other aims and therefore isn’t a genuine aim.

Against essential normativity of the mental (Philosophical Studies 2008)

Presents two new arguments against the thesis that intentional states are essentially norm-governed.

No norm needed: on the aim of belief (Philosophical Quarterly 2006)

Argues that transparency in doxastic deliberation doesn’t entail a constitutive norm of correctness governing belief, but instead can be explained by a teleological account of belief.



View all (73) »

View all (116) »

View all (5) »

ID: 3616955