Vera Flocke

Vera Flocke

Assistant Professor, Philosophy


  • Ph.D., Philosophy, New York University, 2019
  • M.A., Philosophy, Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin, 2012
  • M.Litt., Philosophy, Universities of St. Andrews and Stirling, 2011
  • B.A., Political Science, Freie Universtat Berlin, 2008

About Vera Flocke

I am interested in objectivity and its opposite, standpoint-dependence. It seems that some questions cannot be answered by discovering a fact, but only by adopting a standpoint. For example, some people think that that there is no “absolute” fact with regard to whether marmite is tasty; it depends on your taste (or, more generally, your standpoint). More controversially, some people argue that there is no “absolute” fact with regard to whether factory farming is wrong; and some think that the answer to certain mathematical questions is standpoint dependent. These views often seem very appealing, but they also raise puzzling questions. What is the content of a non-objective question? How can we tell whether a given question is non-objective? And how can we go about answering a non-objective question?

In my past work, I have approached some of these questions from a historical perspective, and developed a new interpretation of Rudolf Carnap’s notion of a “framework”. “Framework-dependence” can be understood as another word for non-objectivity. I have also developed a view, called “Ontological Expressivism”, according to which ontological questions—philosophical questions concerning what exists—are not objective.

In my future work, I aim to deepen and expand this work, by developing a general theory of the content of non-objective questions, and applying it in several areas of philosophical interest, including metaethics and set theory.