Convergence to the truth is viewed with some ambivalence in philosophy of science. On the one hand, methods of inquiry that lead to the truth in the limit are prized as marks of scientific rationality. But an agent who, by using some method, expects to always converge to the truth seems to fail a minimum standard of epistemic modesty. This point was recently brought home by Gordon Belot in his critique of Bayesian epistemology. In this paper I will study convergence to the truth theorems within the framework of Edward Nelson’s radically elementary probability theory. This theory provides an enriched conceptual framework for investigating convergence and gives rise to an appropriately modest from of Bayesianism.
The seminar is concerned with applying formal methods to fundamental issues, with an emphasis on probabilistic reasoning, decision theory and games. In this context “logic” is broadly interpreted as covering applications that involve formal representations. The topics of interest have been researched within a very broad spectrum of different disciplines, including philosophy (logic and epistemology), statistics, economics, and computer science. The seminar is intended to bring together scholars from different fields of research so as to illuminate problems of common interest from different perspectives. Throughout each academic year, meetings are regularly presented by the members of the seminar and distinguished guest speakers.
02/08/2019 Faculty House, Columbia University
03/22/2019 Faculty House, Columbia University
04/19/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
Efforts to diversify philosophy, at the curricular level, often focus on increasing the content covered in a semester: i.e., making room for more women on the syllabus, making room for more non-Western texts and thinkers, etc. Similarly, efforts to diversify philosophy, at the professional level, often focus on making room for marginalized topics and/or members of under-represented groups at conferences, in anthologies, and among faculty (both in terms of demographics and research specializations). This all serves to create an antagonistic situation where marginalized voices must fight to be heard and those in the discipline must make “tough choices” about where to cede precious resources such as syllabus space, publication credits, and faculty hires. I suggest that part of the antagonism, at least in the case of Asian philosophy, arises because we are trying to fit non-European texts and thinkers into disciplinary structures that are themselves designed to accommodate a Eurocentric model for philosophy. By “disciplinary structures” I mean the philosophical canon and historical narrative as well as departmental course offerings, curricular requirements for majors and minors, classroom pedagogical practices, and academic research methodologies. Truly transformative change must take place at the structural level. In this brief talk, I consider the scope of such changes, in concrete terms, and raise questions about the effects these changes would have on the disciplinary identity of philosophy as we know it today.
With a response from:
Andrew Lambert (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
8 February @Columbia
Patricia Kitcher: The Fact of Reason in Kant’s Moral Psychology
Response: Jessica Tizzard
22 February @NSSR
5 April @Columbia
Beatrice Longuenesse: Residues of First Nature
19 April @NSSR
Angelica Nuzzo: Approaching Hegel’s Logic Obliquely: Melville, Moliere, Beckett
Response: David Carlson
10 May @Columbia
Amy Allen: Turning Dead Ends into Through Streets: Psychoanalysis and the Idea of Progress