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LSE PhD Student Session: Silvia Milano & Christina Easton

24 January 2018, 5:30 pm7:00 pm

Silvia Milano: “Bayesian Beauty”

Abstract: The Sleeping Beauty problem has attracted considerable attention in the literature as a paradigmatic example of how self-locating uncertainty `creates havoc’ for standard Bayesian principles of Conditionalisation and Reflection. Furthermore, it is also thought to raise serious issues for diachronic Dutch Book arguments.

I show that, contrary to the consensus view, it is possible to represent the Sleeping Beauty problem within a standard Bayesian framework. Once the problem is correctly represented, the solution satisfies all the standard Bayesian principles, including Conditionalisation and Reflection, and is immune from Dutch Book arguments.

Moreover, the solution does not make any appeal to the Restricted Principle of Indifference that is generally accepted in the literature on self-locating uncertainty,  which, I argue, is incompatible with the principles of Bayesian reasoning.


Christina Easton: “Women and ‘the philosophical personality’: Evaluating the significance for Philosophy of gender differences in the Cognitive Reflection Test”

Abstract: Frederick’s Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) is purported to test our inclination to overcome impulsive, intuitive thought with effortful, rational reflection. Research suggests that philosophers tend to perform better on this test than non-philosophers, and that men tend to perform better than women. Together these findings could be interpreted as partially explaining the gender gap that exists in Philosophy: there are fewer women in Philosophy because women are less likely to possess the ‘philosophical personality’. The paper discusses a number of routes that avoid this unpalatable conclusion. Firstly, the CRT may not track what it is claimed it tracks. Secondly, the trait tracked by the CRT may not be something we should value in philosophers. Thirdly, even if we accept that the CRT tracks a valuable trait, it might be of limited importance to good philosophising. Lastly, the causal story is likely to be far more complex than this explanation allows.


24 January 2018
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Event Category:




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Lakatos Building
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