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Kevin Dorst (Pittsburgh): “Ambiguity and Uncertainty”

17 November 2021, 4:30 pm6:00 pm

This event will take place online via Zoom.

Everyone is welcome to join using a computer with access to the internet and Zoom. To take part just follow these instructions:

Please note that these events are routinely recorded, with the edited footage being made publicly available on our website and YouTube channel. We will only record the audio, the slides and the speaker and will not include the Q&A section. However, any question asked during the talk itself will feature in the final edit.

Abstract: A variety of findings in psychology and economics support the idea that some types of evidence are more “ambiguous” than others. Although widely discussed, there is no generally-accepted model of ambiguous evidence. I propose a new one: evidence is ambiguous iff it warrants higher-order uncertainty, i.e. warrants being uncertain about how uncertain it warrants being. I’ll argue that this theory is formally tenable and philosophically attractive. Then I’ll put it to empirical work: understanding ambiguity in terms of higher-order uncertainty helps to explain a variety of empirical effects, including biased processing of evidence, overconfidence and conservatism, and ambiguity aversion.


Kevin Dorst is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Pittsburgh.


17 November 2021
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Online via Zoom