Conference & Schedule

Bristol-Groningen Conference in Formal Epistemology 2015

The Department of Philosophy at The University of Bristol and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Groningen will hold a conference in Formal Epistemology on July 7th & 8th, 2015 at the University of Bristol.

The conference will be held in Lecture Theatre 1, Arts Complex, 3-5 Woodland Road on the 7th July, and Lecture Theatre 2, Arts Complex, 3-5 Woodland Road on the 8th July. Please see the contact us page for maps & directions.

Invited speakers:

Michael Caie (University of Pittsburgh)
Anna Mahtani (London School of Economics)
Arthur Paul Pedersen (Max Planck Institute for Human Development/LMU Munich)
Julia Staffel (Washington University in St.Louis)

Submitted talks:

Jeff Dunn (DePauw University) – Epistemic Consequentialism and the Perspective of the Agent
Konstantin Genin (Carnegie Mellon University) – Theory Choice, Theory Change and Truth-Conduciveness (co-author Kevin T. Kelley)
Remco Heesen (Carnegie Mellon University) – Communism and the Incentive to Share in Science
Leszek Wronski (Jagiellonian University) – The “Ought-Can” Principle and Quadratic Inaccuracy Measures

Attendance at the conference is free, but participants are asked to register by e-mail: bristolgroningen2015@gmail.com

Schedule

Tuesday 7th July

9:30 – 10:00 – Coffee & Registration
10:00 – 11:30 – Michael Caie (University of Pittsburgh)
11:30 – 11:45 – Break
11.45 – 13:15 – Jeff Dunn (DePauw University)
13:15 – 14:45 – Lunch
14:45 – 16:15 – Leszek Wronski (Jagiellonian University)
16:15 – 16:30 – Break
16:30 – 18:00 – Anna Mahtani (London School of Economics)

Wednesday 8th July

9:30 – 10:00 – Coffee & Registration
10:00 – 11:30 – Arthur Paul Pedersen (Max Planck Institute for Human Development/LMU Munich)
11:30 – 11:45 – Break
11.45 – 13:15 – Konstantin Genin (Carnegie Mellon University)
13:15 – 14:45 – Lunch
14:45 – 16:15 – Remco Heesen (Carnegie Mellon University)
16:15 – 16:30 – Break
16:30 – 18:00 – Julia Staffel (Washington University in St.Louis)

Abstracts:

Michael Caie – Agreement Theorems for Self-Locating Belief

Call an *uncentered proposition* one that may only vary in truth-value across worlds. Call a *centered proposition* one that may vary in truth value not only across worlds but also across individuals or times. For agents who have epistemic and credal states defined over sets of uncentered propositions there are strict formal limitations on the extent to which such agents may disagree given knowledge of one another’s epistemic and credal states.

In this talk, I’ll explore what sorts of formal constraints there on disagreement amongst agents with epistemic and credal states defined over sets of propositions that include centered propositions given knowledge of one another’s epistemic and credal states. Drawing on some formal results, I’ll then provide an argument against both the standard Thirder and Halfer responses to the Sleeping Beauty problem.

Anna Mahtani

Many have argued that a rational agent’s attitude towards a proposition may be better represented by a credal range than by a single number. I show that in such cases an agent will have unstable betting behaviour – and so will behave in an unpredictable way. I use this point to argue against a range of responses to Elga’s challenge in his paper ‘Subjective probabilities should be sharp’ – including Elga’s own solution.

Arthur Paul Pedersen – Slightly More Radical Personal Probability

In this talk I shall introduce a slightly more radical theory of personal probability.  This theory is radical because it departs from the classical doctrine of personal probabilism and more generally from the predominant canon of strict Bayesianism.  It is slightly more radical because (i) it departs from the strict Bayesian canon more than other amended theories of personal probability do, but (ii) it does not introduce dubious requirements on attitudinal states, and (iii) it does not abandon mandatory requirements on attitudinal states. Specifically, the theory I shall introduce advances constitutional reform along two dimensions: (a) it repeals gratuitous requirements the strict Bayesian canon imposes on attitudinal states (e.g., credal and valuational completeness and Archimedeanness), and (b) it enacts mandatory requirements the strict Bayesian canon fails to impose on attitudinal states (e.g., strict coherence and and simple dominance).  During my talk I shall describe both qualitative and quantitative formulations of this slightly more radical theory of personal probability and decision and explain why these formulations are, in a very precise sense, equivalent.

Julia Staffel – Accuracy and Degrees of Incoherence

Proponents of accuracy-first epistemology claim that the most fundamental epistemic end is to have degrees of belief that are as accurate, i.e. as close to the truth, as possible. Other epistemic norms or goods are only valuable to the extent that they help promote this end. In this paper, we show how accuracy-firsters can defend a version of the norm that it is better to have less, rather than more incoherent credences. This result is an attractive addition to the norms that accuracy-firsters have already argued for, for example that our credences should be coherent, rather than incoherent.

The summer school and conference are supported by the European Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust.

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