At university, I chose philosophy and physics as majors. It shouldn't thus come as a surprise that I'm interested in the ways in which physics and the other sciences, but also philosophy make progress. As far as the sciences are concerned, a strong focus of my research has been on the epistemology of models and simulations. A recent result of this research is a handbook about the methods with which simulations can be made credible, co-edited with Nicole J. Saam. In the last four years, I have started to work on the philosophical method of reflective equilibrium (RE) in a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Since I take modeling to be a very fruitful research strategy, I've been particularly interested to develop a model of RE. I am now looking forward to explore our model further in this new project.
I study individual and collective reasoning -- both in scientific and normative domains -- from an epistemological, and esp. veritistic perspective. Informed by detailed logical analyses of actual debates and controversies, I develop formal models of rational argumentation which can be explored by means of computer simulations. I have also published on questions in philosophy of economics, philosophy of climate science, general philosophy of science, and applied ethics.
My research and teaching is driven by a strong interest in methodology, especially in methods of concept formation, argumentation, justification and rational decision. A core theme running through my philosophical work is the interplay of theoretical and formal accounts with informal understanding and practice. As I see it, this is also the driving factor in explication and reflective equilibrium, which I have been studying and applying in a number of projects, addressing a broad range of topics in epistemology, philosophy and history of logic, argumentation theory, symbol theory and metaethics.
In my previous work on reflective equilibrium, I relied on the seminal ideas of Nelson Goodman and Catherine Z. Elgin to develop an account of reflective equilibrium which also hooks up to debates about theory choice, epistemic justification and understanding. This account is the background for the formal model that lies at the heart of the project “How far does reflective equilibrium take us?”.