Marusic awarded Humboldt research fellowship

Can we responsibly promise to do something when we have evidence that there is a good chance that we won’t do it? For short, can we responsibly promise against the evidence? Berislav Marusic, assistant professor in the department of Philosophy, wants to know. His research in the philosophy of action, the nature of reasons, the philosophy of perception, existentialism and the history of modern philosophy has recently earned him a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Learners. Marusic will spend the 2013-14 Academic year (and for the next 3 summers) working with Sebastian Roedl as a visiting researcher in Leipzig, Germany on a book to be titled “Against the Evidence.”

“I was certainly hoping to receive this fellowship, but one can never know with these things,” says Marusic. “I was very happy.”

Marusic says his book has two goals: First, to identify a version of the problem that arises when we resolve to do something against the evidence, and to examine a number of prima facie plausible responses to it. He will explain why, contrary to the earlier argument, it is nonetheless possible to responsibly promise against the evidence.

Developing a line of argument from Kant (1785), Sartre (1943) and, more recently, Richard Moran (2001), Marusic argues that evidence doesn’t determine what it is rational for us to believe about matters that are up to us.

A Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced researchers allows long-term research projects (6-18 months) that have been self selected in cooperation with an academic host at a research institution in Germany. The fellowship is flexible and can be divided up into as many as three stays within three years. The Humboldt Foundation grants approximately 600 Humboldt Research Fellowships for postdoctoral researchers and experienced researchers annually.

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences, Research

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage