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November 2014

No Choice Group meeting due to PSA

5 November 2014, 12:00 am

Mike Otsuka (LSE): How to guard against the risk of living too long: a Hobbesian voluntarist case for socialized pensions

12 November 2014, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: I defend the view that a defined benefit pension plan can be justified as a social union of social unions, where each social union is a Hobbesian Leviathan of our cohorts that it is to the mutual benefit of each to contract into, to pool and tame the longevity risks that we face as individuals by taking advantage of…

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Shlomi Segall (Hebrew University of Jerusalem): Bad for Whom? On the Disvalue of Inequality

19 November 2014, 5:50 pm7:00 pm

Abstract: Suppose inequality is bad as such, what kind of bad is it? Is inequality bad in a general (or impersonal) way or in a personal way? Is inequality bad for someone in particular, or just bad in general? Some (e.g. Larry Temkin) believe that in so far as inequality is non-instrumentally bad, its badness must be impersonal, while others…

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Brian Hill (HEC; Paris)

26 November 2014, 5:50 pm7:00 pm
December 2014

Orri Stefansson (Collège d’études mondiales, Paris): Desiring what one believes to be good

3 December 2014, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: The Desire-as-Belief thesis (DAB) states that a rational person desires a proposition exactly to the degree that she believes or expects the proposition to be good. Many people take David Lewis, the originator of the thesis, to have shown it to be inconsistent with Bayesian decision theory. However, as we show, Lewis’ argument was based on an Invariance assumption…

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Harold Nax (ETH, Zurch): Meritocracy and the efficiency-equality tradeoff: the case of public goods

10 December 2014, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: One of the fundamental tradeoffs underlying society is that between equality and efficiency. The challenge for institutional design is to strike the right balance. Game-theoretic models of public goods provision under assortativity succinctly capture this tradeoff: under complete non-assortativity (society is randomly formed), theory predicts maximal inefficiency but perfect equality; higher levels of assortativity (society matches contributors with contributors)…

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January 2015

Andrew Ellis (Economics, LSE), joint with Michele Piccione: Complexity, Correlation, and Choice

14 January 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Often a profile of actions rather than a single action determines payoffs. The former case is more complex, as the correlations among outcomes across actions are payoff-relevant. Existing choice-theoretic models do not allow this complexity to affect behavior. To construct such a model, we introduce a framework that explicitly models choice of an action profile. We show that the…

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February 2015

Panel Discussion on “Happiness and Wellbeing”

12 February 2015, 6:15 pm7:45 pm
CLM 5.02, Clement House, Aldywch
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Dr. Saamdu Chetri (Bhutan Gross National Happiness Centre): “Empowering society with GNH” Prof. Paul Anand (Economics, Open University): "Multi-dimensional Wellbeing for the Assessment of Progress" Dr. Alex Voorhoeve (Philosophy, LSE): "Why Happiness is not the End" Chair: Prof. Richard Bradley On 12 February the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, together with the LSE Choice Group, will host a…

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Nick Baigent (LSE): “Revealed Preference – or should it be Revealed Choice?”

18 February 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
March 2015

Shaun Hargreaves-Heap (KCL): An experiment on the stability of social preferences

4 March 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: This paper examines the robustness of individual pro-sociality and individual discriminatory behaviour, as measured by the in-group bias in pro-sociality. Discriminatory behaviour is not robust in two respects. First, there is discrimination in aggregate in the Trust and Public goods game but it disappears in the market framed decision over whether to compete. Second, individual discrimination in one decision…

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Antony Millner (LSE Grantham Institute): Resolving intertemporal conflicts: Economics vs. Politics

18 March 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Intertemporal conflicts occur when a group of agents with heterogeneous time preferences must make a collective decision. How should this be done? We examine two methods: an ‘Economics’ approach that emphasizes efficiency, and a ‘Politics’ approach in which agents vote over plans. If the group can commit to intertemporal plans Economics Pareto dominates Politics, regardless of whether agents’ preferences are…

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April 2015

Elliott Sober (Wisconsin): The Philosophical Significance of Stein’s Paradox

8 April 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Charles Stein discovered a paradox in 1955 that many statisticians think is of fundamental importance.  Here we explore its philosophical implications.  We outline the nature of Stein’s result and of subsequent work on shrinkage estimators; then we describe how these results are related to Bayesianism and to model selection criteria like AIC.  We also discuss their bearing on scientific realism…

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Jennifer Carr (Leeds): Accuracy without Consequences

29 April 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Veritism is the claim that the fundamental source of epistemic value of doxastic states is accuracy. I present some puzzles that show that in order for epistemic utility theory to vindicate veritism, its decision rules must be revised. But the revisionary form of epistemic utility conflicts with evidentialism. So epistemic utility theorists face a dilemma: they must give up…

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May 2015

Campbell Brown (Glasgow): Is Close Enough Good Enough?

13 May 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Suppose that we can spare someone a great harm, but only at the cost of allowing a lesser harm to befall a larger group of people. Does what we should do in this situation depend on the number of people in this group? According to the Close Enough View, the numbers matter only if the harm to the group…

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June 2015

Christopher Hitchcock (Caltech): Updating on the Credences of Others

10 June 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: How should you update your credences upon learning the credences of others? Because of the complexity of Bayesian conditionalization in this context, there has been considerable interest in developing simple heuristics, the most popular being linear averaging. However, linear averaging has a number of drawbacks: it does not commute with itself, nor with conditionalization; it does not preserve independence;…

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Brian Skyrms (University of California, Irvine): TBA

24 June 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: TBA

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July 2015

Matthew Adler (Duke): “Extended preferences and measuring well-being”

1 July 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: In this talk, I present an account of interpersonal comparisons – the so-called "extended preferences" account – for the case where individuals have heterogeneous preferences. The term "extended preferences" was introduced by John Harsanyi. My account builds from Harsanyi's pioneering work concerning interpersonal comparisons, and in recognition of his contribution I use that term. The key insights are, first,…

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October 2015

Luke Elson (Reading): “Indeterminacy and Permissibility”

21 October 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract:I defend a decision theory for action under indeterminacy: we ought to maximise an analogue of expected value. I argue that this decision theory renders the right result in the standard puzzling cases of action under indeterminacy, and allows indeterminism about vagueness to capture the decision-theoretic advantages of epistemicism. A surprising upshot of the view is that it is sometimes…

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Luke Fenton-Glynn (UCL): “Probabilistic Actual Causation”

28 October 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Suzy will throw a stone at a particular bottle if and only if Billy does not throw a stone at the bottle. Suzy is a better shot than Billy. In fact, Billy throws his stone at the bottle and, as luck would have it, he hits and breaks the bottle. Here Suzy’s intention to throw iff Billy doesn’t raises…

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November 2015

Peter Dennis (LSE): “What is Interpersonal Justification?”

4 November 2015, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: We seek not only to be justified in our beliefs, but also to justify our beliefs to one another. While traditional epistemology has focused on the former kind of justification (viz. personal justification), it is through the latter kind (viz. interpersonal justification) that our most successful forms of enquiry make progress. Contrary to the received view, I argue that…

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