The Logic of Conceivability

Daniel Hoek


LoC online seminar session on Wednesday, October 7: Daniel Hoek (Virginia Tech) on Questions in Action

Time: 17:00- 19.00 (Amsterdam time)

Location: virtually (zoom)

If you are interested in attending the talk, please, contact Anthia Solaki. 

Title: Questions in Action
Abstract: 
Choices confront agents with questions. Lost in a dark forest and coming to a fork in the road, you wonder Which path will get me out of here? The choice of how many eggs to buy at the supermarket raises the question. How many eggs go into a spaghetti carbonara for four? And so on: whenever you make a choice, you face a question. In this talk, I outline a systematic account of the role that questions play in decision-making, in the form of a new, inquisitive decision theory.

Inquisitive decision theory can account for many ordinary patterns of behaviour that classical decision theory does not capture. In particular, we can account for the distinction between recognition and recall, and for belief states that are not closed under deduction. The theory builds on a converging set of insights about the role of questions from epistemology (Dretske 1970, Schaffer 2004, Friedman 2017/2020, Hawke 2018) the philosophy of language (Blaauw 2012, Yalcin 2018), linguistics (Ciardelli and Roelofsen 2015, Bledin and Rawlins 2020), cognitive science (Koralus and Mascarenhas 2013), decision theory (Elga and Rayo 2016, 2019) and the metaphysics of propositions (Yablo 2014, Fine 2017).

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