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Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Mind Research Interest Group Talk (Snow Xueyin Zhang, Berkeley)

Friday April 5, 2024, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Mind Research Group welcomes Snow Xueyin Zhang, an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Berkeley. Dr. Zhang works on formal epistemology (particularly Bayesian), philosophy of probability, and the philosophy of statistics. She is also interested in Chinese philosophy, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of cognitive science.

Talk Title

Deference Done Multiple Ways

Talk Abstract

We defer to experts about questions of their expertise. But how should our opinion be constrained by information about the opinion of an expert? Two received answers in the literature are Total Reflection (Van Fraassen 1989; Gaifman 1986; Christensen 2010) and New Reflection (Hall 2004; Elga 2013). Recently, some theorists have challenged these two answers on the ground that they either preclude rational modesty or permit anti-reliability (Pettigrew & Titelbaum 2014; Dorst et al. 2021; Levinstein 2023). This talk has two goals. First, I argue that there are many kinds of epistemic experts, and how one should defer to a given expert E depends on the kind of expert E is. Second, I propose one way of classifying experts based on (i) the kind of practical decision problems that it is rational for the agent to coordinate with the expert and (ii) the manner of their coordination. One upshot of this taxonomy is that it uncovers some new deference principles and open questions that have not been investigated in the literature.

About the Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Mind Research Group

One of six departmental research interest groups, the Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Mind Group undertakes research in philosophy of mind, philosophy of cognitive science, traditional and formal epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language.



Friday April 5, 2024
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Jackman Humanities Building, Room 100 (Main Floor Lecture Hall)
170 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8 Canada
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Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Mind Group
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