•  83
    Updating Incoherent Credences - Extending the Dutch Strategy Argument for Conditionalization
    with Glauber De Bona
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    In this paper, we ask: how should an agent who has incoherent credences update when they learn new evidence? The standard Bayesian answer for coherent agents is that they should conditionalize; however, this updating rule is not defined for incoherent starting credences. We show how one of the main arguments for conditionalization, the Dutch strategy argument, can be extended to devise a target property for updating plans that can apply to them regardless of whether the agent starts out with coh…Read more
  •  228
    This paper is about teaching probability to graduate and undergraduate students of philosophy who don’t aim to do primarily formal work in their research. These students are unlikely to seek out classes that are explicitly about probability or formal epistemology for various reasons, for example because they don’t realize that this knowledge would be useful for them or because they are intimidated by the material. However, most areas of philosophy now contain debates that incorporate probability…Read more
  •  154
    Pro Tem Rationality
    Philosophical Perspectives 35. forthcoming.
    Epistemologists routinely distinguish between two kinds of justification or rationality – the propositional and the doxastic kind – in order to characterize importantly different ways in which an attitude can be justified or rational for a person. I argue that these notions, as they are commonly understood, are well suited to capture rationality judgments about the attitudes that agents reach as conclusions of their reasoning. Yet, these notions are ill-suited to capture rationality judgments ab…Read more
  •  88
    How should thinkers cope with uncertainty? Julia Staffel breaks new ground in the study of rationality by answering this question and many others. She also explains how it is better to be less irrational, because less irrational degrees of belief are generally more accurate and better at guiding our actions.
  •  111
    Normative uncertainty and probabilistic moral knowledge
    Synthese 198 (7): 6739-6765. 2019.
    The aim of this paper is to examine whether it would be advantageous to introduce knowledge norms instead of the currently assumed rational credence norms into the debate about decision making under normative uncertainty. There is reason to think that this could help us better accommodate cases in which agents are rationally highly confident in false moral views. I show how Moss’ view of probabilistic knowledge can be fruitfully employed to develop a decision theory that delivers plausible verdi…Read more
  •  206
    The Importance of Being Rational, by Errol Lord (review)
    Philosophical Review 128 (4): 523-527. 2019.
  •  23
    A Process Model of Wisdom from Adversity
    with Michel Ferrari, Igor Grossmann, and Stephen Grimm
    Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (3): 471-473. 2019.
  •  163
    Reasons Fundamentalism and Rational Uncertainty – Comments on Lord, The Importance of Being Rational
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2): 463-468. 2020.
    In his new book "The Importance of Being Rational", Errol Lord aims to give a real definition of the property of rationality in terms of normative reasons. If he can do so, his work is an important step towards a defense of ‘reasons fundamentalism’ – the thesis that all complex normative properties can be analyzed in terms of normative reasons. I focus on his analysis of epistemic rationality, which says that your doxastic attitudes are rational just in case they are correct responses to the obj…Read more
  •  384
    Credences and suspended judgments as transitional attitudes
    Philosophical Issues 29 (1): 281-294. 2019.
    In this paper, I highlight an interesting difference between belief on the one hand, and suspended judgment and credence on the other hand. This difference is the following: credences and suspended judgments are suitable to serve as transitional as well as terminal attitudes in our reasoning, whereas beliefs are only appropriate as terminal attitudes. The notion of a transitional attitude is not an established one in the literature, but I argue that introducing it helps us better understand the …Read more
  •  189
    Bayesian Norms and Non-Ideal Agents
    In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton M. Littlejohn (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy Evidence, Routledge. forthcoming.
    Bayesian epistemology provides a popular and powerful framework for modeling rational norms on credences, including how rational agents should respond to evidence. The framework is built on the assumption that ideally rational agents have credences, or degrees of belief, that are representable by numbers that obey the axioms of probability. From there, further constraints are proposed regarding which credence assignments are rationally permissible, and how rational agents’ credences should chang…Read more
  •  62
    Attitudes in Active Reasoning
    In Magdalena Balcerak Jackson & Brendan Balcerak Jackson (eds.), Reasoning: New Essays on Theoretical and Practical Thinking, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    Active reasoning is the kind of reasoning that we do deliberately and consciously. In characterizing the nature of active reasoning and the norms it should obey, the question arises which attitudes we can reason with. Many authors take outright beliefs to be the attitudes we reason with. Others assume that we can reason with both outright beliefs and degrees of belief. Some think that we reason only with degrees of belief. In this paper I approach the question of what kinds of beliefs can partic…Read more
  •  123
    Subjective Probability and its Dynamics
    with Alan Hajek
    In Markus Knauff & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), MIT Handbook of Rationality, Mit Press. forthcoming.
    This chapter is a philosophical survey of some leading approaches in formal epistemology in the so-called ‘Bayesian’ tradition. According to them, a rational agent’s degrees of belief—credences—at a time are representable with probability functions. We also canvas various further putative ‘synchronic’ rationality norms on credences. We then consider ‘diachronic’ norms that are thought to constrain how credences should respond to evidence. We discuss some of the main lines of recent debate, and c…Read more
  •  89
    I argue that in order to account for normative uncertainty, an expressivist theory of normative language and thought must accomplish two things: Firstly, it needs to find room in its framework for a gradable conative attitude, degrees of which can be interpreted as representing normative uncertainty. Secondly, it needs to defend appropriate rationality constraints pertaining to those graded attitudes. The first task – finding an appropriate graded attitude that can represent uncertainty – is no…Read more
  •  70
    Three Puzzles about Lotteries
    In Igor Douven (ed.), Lotteries, Knowledge, and Rational Belief, Cambridge University Press. forthcoming.
    In this article, I discuss three distinct but related puzzles involving lotteries: Kyburg’s lottery paradox, the statistical evidence problem, and the Harman-Vogel paradox. Kyburg’s lottery paradox is the following well-known problem: if we identify rational outright belief with a rational credence above a threshold, we seem to be forced to admit either that one can have inconsistent rational beliefs, or that one cannot rationally believe anything one is not certain of. The statistical evid…Read more
  •  461
    How do Beliefs Simplify Reasoning?
    Noûs 53 (4): 937-962. 2019.
    According to an increasingly popular epistemological view, people need outright beliefs in addition to credences to simplify their reasoning. Outright beliefs simplify reasoning by allowing thinkers to ignore small error probabilities. What is outright believed can change between contexts. It has been claimed that thinkers manage shifts in their outright beliefs and credences across contexts by an updating procedure resembling conditionalization, which I call pseudo-conditionalization (PC). But …Read more
  •  92
    Why be coherent?
    with Glauber De Bona
    Analysis 78 (3): 405-415. 2018.
    Bayesians defend norms of ideal rationality such as probabilism, which they claim should be approximated by non-ideal thinkers. Yet, it is not often discussed exactly in what sense it is beneficial for an agent’s credence function to approximate probabilistic coherence. Some existing research indicates that approximating coherence leads to improvements in accuracy, whereas other research suggests that it decreases Dutch book vulnerability. Yet, the existing results don’t settle whether there is …Read more
  •  75
    Should I pretend I'm perfect?
    Res Philosophica 94 (2): 301-324. 2017.
    Ideal agents are role models whose perfection in some normative domain we try to approximate. But which form should this striving take? It is well known that following ideal rules of practical reasoning can have disastrous results for non-ideal agents. Yet, this issue has not been explored with respect to rules of theoretical reasoning. I show how we can extend Bayesian models of ideally rational agents in order to pose and answer the question of whether non-ideal agents should form new degrees …Read more
  •  85
    Accuracy for Believers
    Episteme 14 (1): 39-48. 2017.
    In Accuracy and the Laws of Credence Richard Pettigrew assumes a particular view of belief, which states that people don't have any other doxastic states besides credences. This is in tension with the popular position that people have both credences and outright beliefs. Pettigrew claims that such a dual view of belief is incompatible with the accuracy-first approach. I argue in this paper that it is not. This is good news for Pettigrew, since it broadens the appeal of his framework.
  •  189
    Until recently, it seemed like no theory about the relationship between rational credence and rational outright belief could reconcile three independently plausible assumptions: that our beliefs should be logically consistent, that our degrees of belief should be probabilistic, and that a rational agent believes something just in case she is sufficiently confident in it. Recently a new formal framework has been proposed that can accommodate these three assumptions, which is known as “the stabili…Read more
  •  73
    Measuring the overall incoherence of credence functions
    Synthese 192 (5): 1467-1493. 2015.
    Many philosophers hold that the probability axioms constitute norms of rationality governing degrees of belief. This view, known as subjective Bayesianism, has been widely criticized for being too idealized. It is claimed that the norms on degrees of belief postulated by subjective Bayesianism cannot be followed by human agents, and hence have no normative force for beings like us. This problem is especially pressing since the standard framework of subjective Bayesianism only allows us to distin…Read more
  •  38
    Graded Incoherence for Accuracy-Firsters
    with Glauber De Bona
    Philosophy of Science 84 (2): 189-213. 2017.
    This paper investigates the relationship between two evaluative claims about agents’ de- grees of belief: (i) that it is better to have more, rather than less accurate degrees of belief, and (ii) that it is better to have less, rather than more probabilistically incoherent degrees of belief. We show that, for suitable combinations of inaccuracy measures and incoherence measures, both claims are compatible, although not equivalent; moreover, certain ways of becoming less incoherent always guarant…Read more
  •  110
    Reply to Roy Sorensen, 'Knowledge-lies'
    Analysis 71 (2): 300-302. 2011.
    Sorensen offers the following definition of a ‘knowledge-lie’: ‘An assertion that p is a knowledge-lie exactly if intended to prevent the addressee from knowing that p is untrue but is not intended to deceive the addressee into believing p.’ According to Sorensen, knowledge-lies are not meant to deceive their addressee, and this fact is supposed to make them less bad than ordinary lies. I will argue that standard cases of knowledge-lies, including almost all the cases Sorensen considers, do in f…Read more
  •  241
    Can there be reasoning with degrees of belief?
    Synthese 190 (16): 3535-3551. 2013.
    In this paper I am concerned with the question of whether degrees of belief can figure in reasoning processes that are executed by humans. It is generally accepted that outright beliefs and intentions can be part of reasoning processes, but the role of degrees of belief remains unclear. The literature on subjective Bayesianism, which seems to be the natural place to look for discussions of the role of degrees of belief in reasoning, does not address the question of whether degrees of belief play…Read more
  •  73
    Disagreement and Epistemic Utility-Based Compromise
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (3): 273-286. 2015.
    Epistemic utility theory seeks to establish epistemic norms by combining principles from decision theory and social choice theory with ways of determining the epistemic utility of agents’ attitudes. Recently, Moss, 1053–69, 2011) has applied this strategy to the problem of finding epistemic compromises between disagreeing agents. She shows that the norm “form compromises by maximizing average expected epistemic utility”, when applied to agents who share the same proper epistemic utility function…Read more