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Prof. Dr. Gregor Betz

Sprechstunden: nach Vereinbarung
Raum: Geb. 20.12, Raum 109.1
Tel.: +49 721 608 45672
Fax: +49 721 608 43084
gregor betzKxj4∂kit edu

Gregor Betz @ Google Scholar


I'm currently developing a theory of complex, non-deductive reasoning that does justice to our inferential practices, unifies practical and theoretical reasoning, integrates decision theory, and shows that reasoning is truth-conducive (in one way or another, the books A2-A5 contribute to this effort).

Areas of expertise: reasoning, argumentation theory, general philosophy of science (esp. inference, confirmation, theory change, prediction, science and values, science and democracy), philosophy of climate science, philosophy of economics, social epistemology, applied ethics, Descartes

Areas of interest (non-exclusive): meta-ethics, action theory, pragmatism, formal epistemology, political philosophy, rational hermeneutics

Philosophical theses I've been arguing for include:

  • The paradoxes of confirmation can be resolved by factoring in the specific dialectic context within which scientific inferences are drawn.
  • Poppers method of corroboration can be veritistically vindicated.
  • Doxastic diversity and argumentative criticism enable collective truth approximation (Mill's thesis).
  • Discriminating between trustworthy sources according to perceived expertise is not necessarily truth-conducive.
  • Scientific policy advice ought to live up the ideal of value free science (pace the argument from inductive risks).
  • There exist situations of deep uncertainty where decisions ought to be based on mere possibilistic predictions, which come along with their own methodology (pace decision-theoretic probabilism, EUM, risk analysis and CBA).

In my research, I rely both on informal and formal methods (e.g. computer simulation), and I make extensive use of case studies, especially from economics and climate science, and from policy debates.

I'm also developing argumentation technologies, and am involved in the Argunet Team.




  • Prediction or Prophecy? The Boundaries of Economic Foreknowledge and Their Socio-Political Consequences. Wiesbaden: DUV 2006. [SpringerLink]
  • Theorie dialektischer Strukturen. Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann 2010. [Amazon] [Review by F. Zenker in Argumentation]
  • Descartes' »Meditationen über die Grundlagen der Philosophie«. Ein systematischer Kommentar. Stuttgart: Reclam 2011. [Amazon]
  • Ethical Aspects of Climate Engineering. With S. Cacean. Karlsruhe: KIT Scientific Publishing 2012. [KIT Scientific Publishing]
  • Debate Dynamics: How Controversy Improves Our Beliefs. Synthese Library. Dordrecht: Springer 2012. [SpringerLink] [TOC and Introduction as PDF] [Illustrative movie]

Articles (selection)

  • "On degrees of justification", Erkenntnis, 77, 2012, pp. 237-272. [link] [Supplementary interactive calculation of DOJs, based on the free Wolfram CDF Player] [Postscriptum 08/2012]
  • "In defence of the value free ideal", European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3, 2013, S. 207-220. [link]
  • "Are climate models credible worlds? Prospects and limitations of possibilistic climate prediction", European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5, 2015, S. 191-215. [link]
  • "Truth in evidence and truth in arguments without logical omniscience", British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, online first, 2015. [link] doi: 10.1093/bjps/axv015.
  • "Accounting for possibilities in decision making", in: Sven Ove Hansson und Gertrude Hirsch Hadorn (Hrsg.), The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis. Reasoning about Uncertainty, Cham: Springer 2016, S. 135-169. [link]

Complete list of publications

Short CV

since 10/2015 Professor of philosophy of science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
04/2013-09/2013 Fellow at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald, Germany.
10/2010-09/2015 Juniorprofessor of philosophy of science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
10/2009-09/2010 Fellow at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald, Germany.
10/2008-09/2010 Juniorprofessor of philosophy of simulation at the Institute of Philosophy, Universität Stuttgart.
06/2008 Dr. habil., Habilitation in philosophy at the Freie Universität Berlin with Habilitation thesis "Theorie dialektischer Strukturen".
10/2005-09/2008 Lecturer at the Institute of Philosophy, Freie Universität Berlin.
01/2005-09/2005 Scientific assistant at the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU).
11/2004 Dr. phil. (Ph.D.), dissertation in philosophy at the Freie Universität Berlin with Ph.D. thesis "Prediction or Prophecy – A Study on the Boundaries of Economic Foreknowledge".
07/2002 M.A., Master degree in philosophy (major), mathematics (minor) and political sciences (minor) at the Freie Universität Berlin.


  • Shared Research Group LOBSTER (Limits and Objectivity of Scientific Foreknowledge: The Case of Energy Outlooks) [link]
  • EuTRACE [link]
  • DFG SPP Climate Engineering [link]
  • Helmholtz Research School Energy Scenarios [link]
  • Helmholtz Alliance Future Infrastructures for Meeting Energy Demands - Towards Sustainability and Social Compatibility [link]
  • Argunet: Argument Mapping Software [link]
  • ArDys: Simulating Complex Debate (simulation package that underpins the book Debate Dynamics) [link]