The Department of Logic & Philosophy of Science Colloquium Series presents

"Risks and Beliefs"
with Brad Armendt, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

November 1, 2013
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Social Science Tower, Room 777

By way of background, Armend's talk will begin with brief attention to familiar points concerning a standard defense of subjective probabilism, the Dutch book argument. The Ramsey/Skyrms interpretation of the argument, and a commitment to the stake-invariance of rational belief, should defuse most doubts concerning the additivity of rational partial belief. One doubt that may remain concerns failures of additivity rooted in the believer's sensitivity to (degrees of) risk. Armend will then consider theories that treat an agent's risk-sensitivity as within the bounds of rationality, but incompatible with expected utility theory, and not captured by the shape of an agent's utility curve. He will respond to one argument against expected utility theory, namely that its treatment of plausible risk-aversion in choices with moderate stakes entails implausible risk-aversion when stakes are increased. He will go on to argue that there are difficulties for treatments of rational risk-sensitivity via global risk functions, and contrast them with the approach taken by (cumulative) prospect theory.

For further information, please contact Patty Jones, or 949-824-1520.

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