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Sophie Kikkert

I'm a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP). Previously, I was a Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities ‘Human Abilities’ in Berlin. Before that, I obtained my PhD at the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). 

I am interested in what it takes to have and exercise abilities, and in how we learn about our own abilities. I further investigate how the abilities that we have and believe we have affect our aspirations and choices. My most recent project concerns the relation between abilities and disability. 

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Research

My research centres on various topics within social philosophy, modal epistemology, metaphysics, and practical rationality. Currently, I focus on three interrelated projects. First, I investigate how an agent’s social context may hinder their epistemic access to their own abilities. Second, I examine which options someone rationally ought to represent, given their beliefs about their abilities. And third, I am developing a new theory of disability with a special focus on enculturation and the normativity of ability. 

Publications

'Ability's Two Dimensions of Robustness'  (2022). Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society,  https://doi.org/10.1093/arisoc/aoac002

I individuate two dimensions along which abilities can be robust. Dimension I distinguishes the successful exercise of abilities, which requires local control, from cases of lucky success. Dimension II concerns the global availability of relevant acts, which ensures that an agent has the option to perform some act across a variety of scenarios. I show how this framework resolves a point of tension in the literature regarding the strength of the robustness required for ability and explain how it provides insight in the relation between ability possession and exercise. 

 

Manuscripts in Preparation

'Society-relative Abilities'

'Ability Knowledge and Epistemic Disadvantage' 

'Does Ability Distribute over Disjunction?'

'Knowing What You Can Do’  (with Tom Schoonen)

'Is Disability a Lack of Certain Abilities?'

Book Reviews
 

Kikkert, S. and Vetter, B. (2024). 'Options and Agency', Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00048402.2024.2339470  

Teaching

Ability and Disability (LMU)

SS24 Postgraduate and Upper Level Undergraduate Course. 

The Big Questions: Introduction to Philosophy (LSE)

Topics included: radical scepticism; personal identity; free will; theories of truth; consciousness; animal sentience; arguments for the existence of God; the ethics of belief; utilitarianism; Kantian ethics; death and the meaning of life.

Philosophy of the Social Sciences (LSE)

Topics included: models; the value-free ideal; (causal) explanation; prediction; individualism and holism; social ontology and social kinds; hermeneutical injustice; rational and structural explanation; institutions; objectivity; bias and discrimination.

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YAYOI KUSAMA (2002) INFINITY NETS - SEA

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