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Anna Mahtani (LSE): “The Awareness Growth Illusion”
11 May, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
This event will take place online via Zoom.
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Abstract: There has been recent interest in the phenomenon of ‘awareness growth’ – where an agent starts off unaware of a proposition and so assigns it no credence, and then becomes aware of it and assigns it a credence, redistributing credences in other propositions accordingly. This phenomenon creates a problem for Bayesian epistemologists who standardly claim that a rational agent’s credences change only by conditionalization. I show that we can handle these cases if we adopt a contextualist account of credences. I describe this contextualist account of credences, and show how cases of apparent awareness growth can be understood in light of this account. I argue that this approach dissolves a number of problems that philosophers working on awareness growth have faced.
Anna Mahtani is an Associate Professor at the LSE. She works on the philosophy of language, along with decision theory, formal epistemology and welfare economics, and the relationship between these areas.