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November 2015

Joe Mazor (LSE): “Moral Foundations of Fair Division”

11 November 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: The “fair division” approach to problems of distribution is increasingly prominent in welfare economics. Complex variations of hypothetical problems like dividing a cake have been analysed in detail, and the solutions have been applied to real world problems such as dividing an inheritance and allocating land rights. Although the problems of heterogeneity and indivisibility that are considered in these…

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Ralf Bader (Oxford): “Separability, choice consistency, and transitivity”

18 November 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: This paper focuses on the problem of option individuation as it arises in the context of separability, choice consistency and transitivity.

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Hilary Greaves (Oxford): “Against the badness of death”

25 November 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Orthodox choice-theoretic approaches (decision theory, social choice theory and so on) take the primary axiological notion to be an overall ordering of possible worlds. This is appropriate, since it is only via such an overall ordering that axiology plausibly connects to normativity. In possible contrast, many moral philosophers are more directly concerned with the goodness or badness of certain…

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December 2015

Ofra Magidor (Oxford): “Reflections on Reasons”

2 December 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: In this paper (co-authored with John Hawthorne), we offer a series reflections on the rather complex ideology of reasons. We start by introducing some common notions in the reasons literature: normative reasons; possessed normative reasons; and motivating reasons. In the first part of the paper we argue for a series of theses concerning these notions: that the normative reason…

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Magda Osman (Queen Mary University of London): “The value of effort”

9 December 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: The aim of this presentation is to provide psychological insights into the relationship between rewards and effort. The association between the two may seem trivially simple, that is, we put more in to get more back. In addition to this, other simple assumptions that are held in psychological and behavioural economic literature (i.e. effort is aversive, effort aversion is…

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February 2016

Franz Dietrich (CNRS): “Decisions under uncertainty with variable concepts of outcomes and states”

4 February 2016, 11:30 am1:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: A notorious problem with Savage's decision theory and much of the literature on decisions under uncertainty is the reliance on ready-made and fixed concepts of outcomes and states. Real decision makers first of all need to form such concepts before even beginning to engage into expected-utility reasoning. Worse, a real agent’s concepts of outcomes and states – that is,…

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James Joyce (Michigan): “Accuracy, Updating, and the Choice of Scoring Rules”

4 February 2016, 2:00 pm3:30 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Proponents of an accuracy-centered epistemology have argued that proper scoring rules can be used to assess the accuracy of degrees of belief (or “credences”), and have suggested that certain core epistemic norms for credecnces can be understood and justified with the help of such rules. Many who go this route are attracted to the idea that revising credences in light…

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Gerald Lang (Leeds): “Equality and Variation”

24 February 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Egalitarians usually task themselves with answering the "equality of what?" question, having assumed that we already enjoy a status as "abstract" equals. But what is it about us which is such that we are owed an equal amount of something-or-other? This is what Jeremy Waldron calls "basic equality". Human beings come in all shapes and sizes, and exhibit striking…

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March 2016

Massimo Renzo (KCL): “Political Self-Determination and Wars of National Defense”

2 March 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: A war of national defense (WND) is a war waged by a victim state (V) to defend itself against an attack whose aim is not to kill any of the members of V, but rather to acquire control over certain “political goods.” These political goods include: i) the control of V’s political institutions; ii) the imposition of certain political and…

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LSE PhD student session – Alexandru Marcoci, Mantas Radzvilas: TBA

9 March 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: TBA   #LSEChoiceGroup

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Wulf Gaertner (LSE): “Burden Sharing in Deficit Countries: A Questionnaire-Experimental Investigation”

23 March 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Background for this study on how to share a burden is the most recent economic situation in several countries in Southern Europe and in Ireland. These countries were forced to introduce severe budget cuts after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 which had unleashed a financial crisis in many industrialised countries of the Western world. We do not ask…

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April 2016

Special LSE PhD student session: Katherine Furman & Catherine Greene

27 April 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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#LSEChoiceGroup

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May 2016

Special LSE PhD student session: Goreti Faria & James Nguyen

4 May 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
Parish Hall, Room 1.02, Sheffield St
London, WC2A 2HA United Kingdom
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Goreti Faria: "A Preference for Late Resolution of Uncertainty" Kreps and Porteus (1978) (KP) offer an axiomatic approach to dynamic decision problems that allows us to explicitly model preferences regarding how a decision is made. In particular, their model makes it possible to explicitly model preferences for the timing of the resolution of uncertainty. In the orthodox framework (vNM) uncertainties resolving…

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Michael Morreau (UiT: Arctic University of Norway): “From Diverse Grading standards to Collective Acuity”

11 May 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Juries, committees and expert panels appraise all manner of things. Often they do so by awarding grades: ordered evaluative predicates such as Excellent, Average and Poor, or the qualitative probability expressions Likely, Tossup and Unlikely … #LSEChoiceGroup

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Erik Olsson (Lund): “Linking as Voting: Condorcet-style Theorems for the World Wide Web”

18 May 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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A webmaster’s decision to link to a webpage can be interpreted as a “vote” for that webpage. But how far does the parallel between linking and voting extend? … #LSEChoiceGroup

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Wlodek Rabinowicz (Lund & LSE): “Incommensurability Meets Risk”

25 May 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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The problem to be discussed in this talk concerns interaction between value incommensurability and risk, More specifically, it focuses on value comparisons between risky actions whose outcomes are guaranteed to be mutually incommensurable in value: they will be incommensurable whatever state the world is in. It might seem that the actions compared should themselves in all such cases be incommensurable. But this intuition, as we shall see, might well be challenged; indeed, it should be challenged… #LSEChoiceGroup

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June 2016

Geoff Brennan (ANU & UNC): “Do Normative Facts Matter… to what is feasible?”

8 June 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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#LSEChoiceGroup

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September 2016

Cailin O’Connor (UC Irvine): “The Emergence of Bargaining Inequity”

21 September 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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If you ask someone to divide a pie between two imaginary recipients, they are likely to recommend a 50/50 split. Philosophers like Brian Skyrms and Jason Alexander have employed evolutionary game theory to explain why such "fair" divisions are almost universally observed in experimental work, and to explain the ubiquity of stated norms of fairness in human societies. When one moves away from an idealized lab setting, however, resource division is rarely governed by these stated norms. In this talk, Cailin O’Connor will use evolutionary game theory to show why unequal patterns of division often emerge between social groups.

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October 2016

Roberto Veneziani & Marco Mariotti (QML): “The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference”

5 October 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Roberto Veneziani and Marco Mariotti analyse the liberal ethics of noninterference in social choice. A liberal principle, capturing noninterfering views of society and inspired by John Stuart Mill's conception of liberty, is examined. The principle expresses the idea that society should not penalise individuals after changes in their situation that do not affect others. An impossibility for liberal approaches is highlighted: every social decision rule that satisfies unanimity and a general principle of noninterference must be dictatorial. This raises some important issues for liberal approaches in social choice and political philosophy.

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Bernhard Salow (Cambridge): “Avoiding Risk and Avoiding Evidence” (with Catrin Campbell-Moore)

12 October 2016, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Lara Buchak defends a decision theory designed to allow for rational risk avoidance, and shows that it entails that rational agents can be instrumentally required to avoid evidence. We argue that, if Buchak's theory is correct, then rational agents can also be epistemically required to avoid evidence. We also argue that both of these consequences rely only on very weak assumptions about how rational agents respond to evidence.

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