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::: center home >> events >> conferences >> 2016-17 >> ignorance

Formal Representations of Ignorance

17-18 March 2017
Center for Philosophy of Science
817 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA USA

Registration is required. To register, email yann.bd@pitt.edu


This workshop will bring together several philosophers working directly on formal representations of ignorance. While the notion of ignorance is a familiar one, philosophers have struggled to model the epistemic state in a formal logic of belief. A well-known attempt equates ignorance with indifference in degree of belief represented by additive probability. This strategy amounts to modeling an individual’s epistemic state with an uninformative prior probability distribution such that all events in a partition of the relevant sample space are assigned equal probability. However, the attempt has proven to be futile for a number of reasons. In recent years, John Norton has issued plausible criteria a formal representation of ignorance ought to fulfill and demonstrated that the probability calculus is unable to satisfy such criteria, delivering a fatal blow to probabilists. The challenges laid out by Norton have invited some to seek amendments to classical probability or alternative models that overcome the challenges. The proposed workshop will largely focus on the problems with formal representations of ignorance and consider ways that they may be resolved or exacerbated.


Invited Speakers

Peter Brössel, Assistant Professor
Ruhr University, Bochum & Visiting Scholar, Pitt HPS

Jennifer Carr, Assistant Professor
UC, San Diego

Ben Eva, Postdoctoral Fellow
MCMP, LMU Munich

Susanna Rinard, Assistant Professor

Miriam Schoenfield, Assistant Professor
UT, Austin & Visiting Fellow, NYU

Teddy Seidenfeld, H.A. Simon University Professor of Philosophy and Statistics
Carnegie Mellon University


Organizers and Speakers

Yann Benétreau-Dupin, Postdoctoral Fellow
Pitt Center for Philosophy of Science

Lee Elkin, PhD Candidate
MCMP, LMU Munich & Visiting Scholar, Pitt HPS

John D. Norton, Distinguished Professor
Pitt HPS

The Center for Philosophy of Science











Revised 2/16/17 - Copyright 2010