What Are Degrees of Belief?

September 11, 2018 - September 12, 2018
University of Leeds

Seminar Room 1, LHRI (29-31 Clarendon Place)
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

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University of Leeds

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In recent decades, philosophers and scientists have increasingly emphasised that belief is not (or not always) an all-or-nothing matter; our opinions about the way the world is often come in degrees. Unfortunately, theorising about the nature and reality of graded belief states has not kept up with the tremendous advances we've made in modelling their normative roles. Most formal epistemologists accept some form of probabilism, but there is no consensus regarding whether such ideals are humanly attainable, how far ordinary humans are from attaining them, or even what it would mean to attain them.

The focus of this workshop is primarily on understanding what degrees of belief *are*, especially as they exist in 'real', non-idealised human agents. Topics include:

  • The conceptual and metaphysical relationships between degrees of belief and other mental states — e.g., outright beliefs, comparative probabilities, and preferences
  • The role of idealisation in probabilistic models of belief and standard theories of decision making, and how such idealisations might relate to and inform us about psychological reality
  • Interpretivist and functionalist approaches to understanding degrees of belief
  • Modelling (reasoning with) degrees of belief for logically fallible and probabilistically incoherent agents

Speakers and titles:

  • Russell Ahmed-Buehler, UC-Berkeley  -  Three Grades of Realism
  • Richard Bradley, London School of Economics  -  From Imprecise Credence to Confidence
  • Seamus Bradley, University of Leeds  -  Formal Epistemology: What are the rules of the game and why bother playing it?
  • Edward Elliott, University of Leeds  -  Betting Against the Zen Monk: Preference-Centric Approaches to the Measurement of Belief
  • Fredrik Haraldsen, University of Agder  -  Credences and the Ordinary Notion of 'Belief'
  • Liz Jackson & Andrew Moon, University of Notre Dame & Virginia Commonwealth University  -  Credence: A Belief First Approach
  • Jason Konek, University of Bristol  -  Epistemic Interpretationism
  • Anna Mahtani, London School of Economics  -  Two-Dimensionalism and the Objects of Credence
  • Orri Stefansson, Copenhagen  -  Reasoning with Unknown Possibilities (based on joint work with Katie Steele)

Location and times:

  • The workshop will be located at Seminar Room 1, LHRI (29-31 Clarendon Place).
  • Talks will begin at 11am on the 11th, and end at 5pm on the 12th.

Attendance is free. To ensure adequate catering, please remember to register by emailing [email protected], along with dietary preferences (i.e., vegetarian / non-vegetarian / vegan / gf).

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September 3, 2018, 7:45pm EET

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