Jakob Ohlhorst


I mostly work on epistemology. My thesis connected epistemic virtues with epistemic entitlements, a type of epistemic warrant without evidence. Beyond that, I have dabbled in deontic logic, the philosophy of psychology, and the debate about relativism. Currently, I am pursuing several principal research projects. See also my CV.

Rehinge extreme beliefs

In this project at the Extreme Beliefs group, I develop a Wittgensteinian hinge epistemological model of extremist world views. Hinge epistemology points to the centrality of some propositions for our beliefs, and the consequences they have. At a second stage, I aim to extend my work on the epistemology of CBT into this project. This project is being funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Virtues in CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the dominant therapeutic paradigm. It emphasises the importance of cognition and conceptualisation for our mental well-being. I am arguing that the model with which CBT works is a perfect match to model our epistemic and moral virtues. This can teach us how to better cultivate virtues. This project has been funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


My book

(2023) Trust Responsibly: Non-evidential Virtue Epistemology. New York: Routledge.  https://doi.org10.4324/9781003374466 Trust Responsibly

I offer a virtue epistemological account of Wrightean epistemic entitlement. Showing how entitlement and other non-evidential accounts are threatened by a version of the problem of demarcation, I lay out how the fact that entitlement enables our having virtues avoids this problem of demarcation. The book is available in open access, thanks to the kind support of the Swiss National Science Foundation

Some papers

(2023) ‘Engineering virtue: constructionist virtue ethics’ Inquiry

(2021) ‘Dual processes, dual virtues’, Philosophical Studies.

(2021) ‘Epistemic austerity : limits to entitlement’, Synthese.

(2021) ‘The Certainties of Delusion’, in Moretti, L. and Pedersen, N. J. L. L. (eds) Non-Evidentialist Epistemology. Leiden: Brill.

(2019) ‘How to tragically deceive yourself’, Les ateliers de l’éthique, 13(2), pp. 48–69.

Work in progress

  • A co-written paper on how we can develop concepts that expand the realm of thought; preprint at 10.31234/ (R&R Noûs)
  • A paper on the epistemic status of our innate cognitive resources (R&R Erkenntnis)
  • A paper on the different kinds of virtues that artificial intelligence can have (R&R AI & Society)
  • A co-written critical commentary on a book about non-ideal epistemology (commissioned for Analysis)
  • A paper on how to cultivate virtue through CBT (under review)
  • A paper on a type of moral virtues inspired by virtue epistemology (under review)
  • A paper on autobiographic memory and a special type of CBT (under review)
  • A paper on how our innate cognitive resources produce the problem of free will (in preparation)
  • A paper on the epistemic structure of extremist world views (in preparation)
  • A paper on two competing accounts of the fundamental structure of our world-views and their formal properties (in preparation)

Some Talks

9. 2023, “Engineering Virtue”, New Directions in Virtue and Vice Epistemology, University of Nottingham, UK (online).

9. 2022, “The mind-expanding powers of conceptual engineering”, Conceptual Engineering Seminar, University of Zürich, Switzerland (online).

8. 2019, “Trust responsibly”, 2019 AHRC DTP Conference on “Trust and Truth”, University of Cambridge, UK.

7. 2019, “Is there a problem of demarcation for hinges?”, 2nd Hinge Epistemology Conference, Panthéon Sorbonne, Paris, France.

11. 2018, “The certainties of delusion”, Belief, Imagination, and Delusion, University of Birmingham, UK.

10. 2017, “What deceiving oneself hinges on”, Self-Deception what it is and what it is worth, University of Basel, Switzerland.

6. 2016, “Luminosity in a Forced-March”, 6th Edinburgh Graduate Epistemology Conference (EGEC), University of Edinburgh, UK.

Organised events

September 2024 , I am co-organising two events:

A workshop on hinge epistemology at the University of Glasgow together with Andrew Sherrod and Martin Miragoli.

A conference on resilience against extremism at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam together with Rik Peels and Anna Haase.


Together with my doctoral supervisor Sven Bernecker and my marvellous colleague Lisa Benossi I also organised the conference Fürwahrhalten – Return of the Kantians at the University of Cologne in May 2019.

This also led to our editing a special issue on the topic at History of Philosophy and Logical analysis. Some of the articles have already come out, look for the name Kant in the titles.