LogiCIC/LIRa Session: Teddy Seidenfeld

On Thursday November 5th 2015, we will have a joint LogiCIC/LIRa session with Teddy Seidenfeld. Everyone is cordially invited!

Speaker: Teddy Seidenfeld (Carnegie Mellon University)

Date and Time: Thursday, November 5th 2015, 16:00-17:30

Venue: Science Park 107, Room F1.15

Title: A modest proposal to use Rates of Incoherence as a guide for personal uncertainties about logic and mathematics.

Based on joint work with Mark Schervish and Joseph Kadane.

Abstract and outline of the session.  It is an old and familiar challenge to normative theories of personal probability that they do not make room for non-trivial uncertainties about (the non-controversial parts of) logic and mathematics. Savage (1967) gives a frank presentation of the problem, noting that his own (1954) classic theory of rational preference serves as a poster-child for the challenge.
First is a review of the challenge.
Second, I comment on two approaches that try to solve the challenge by making surgical adjustments to the canonical theory of coherent personal probability. One approach relaxes the Total Evidence Condition: see Good (1971). The other relaxes the closure conditions on a measure space: see Gaifman (2004). Hacking (1967) incorporates both approaches.
Third, I summarize an account of rates of incoherence; explain how to model uncertainties about logical and mathematical questions with rates of incoherence; and outline how to use this approach in order to guide the uncertain agent in the use of, e.g., familiar, numerical Monte Carlo methods in order to improve her/his credal state about such questions.

The presentation is based on the recent paper: SSK, What kind of uncertainty is that? The Journal of Philosophy, 2012.