Young Epistemologist Prize 2019

The winner of the Young Epistemologist Prize 2019 is Alex Worsnip (UNC) with his paper “Can Pragmatists Be Moderate?”

Alex will be presenting his paper at the Rutgers Epistemology Conference 2019, May 3 & 4. The paper will be published in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. All are welcome to attend the Rutgers Epistemology Conference. Details about the conference can be found here:

A simple problem for (unrestricted) Conditionalization

Many formal epistemologists think that Conditionalization is always the uniquely rational way to update one’s credences. But this cannot be correct. In certain troublesome cases, Conditionalization would take the thinker to rationally forbidden destinations. Conditionalization has to be restricted somehow, so that it does not apply in these troublesome cases.

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Do We Know that We’re not Brains in Vats?: Follow-Up: Polls and Surveys

This is the first time I’ve been back to Certain Doubts in a while. It seems a bit like walking about a ghost town, with all the posts being announcements and there being no comments. I remember the discussions that went on here. (Those discussions seem to echo about these deserted streets, I’d say – if I were the kind of person to say such a thing.)

In fact, some of my own published work started at in discussions here. And it’s a case of that that brings me back now. Back in June of 2004, I reported the results of some polls I had taken in classes I taught on whether we know that we’re not brains in vats in a post here called “Polls Show that the Skeptic is Right.” The discussion that followed was very helpful to me.

Since then, I’ve conducted the poll several more times — the results of a couple were reported on late-added comments to the old post, and the last time (not reported anywhere until now) was this past January, where the class was quite large, and the results were stronger than ever, in favor of the skeptic.

But I’ve also, in the meantime, with Josh Knobe’s help, conducted an x-phi-style survey on the issue — getting very different results. I suppose, returning to the scene of the crime, this is the place to do an online follow-up report.

And I guess the most efficient way of doing that is to link to how reported and discussed the results in my recent book, The Appearance of Ignorance. I report the survey results in Appendix B of the book and discuss them in Chapter 2, where they play a role in the evaluation of the power of the classical skeptical argument that flows from the key premise that one doesn’t know that one isn’t a BIV. I’ve put that chapter and that appendix (in pre-pub draft form, but this is quite close to how things ended up in the actual book) together into one document, which is here. If you just want the x-phi survey results, the brief appendix which presents them is at the last three pages of that document. If you’re interested in the discussion of the power of the skeptical argument that takes into account those results, as well as the results of my class polls, the relevant part of Chapter 2 is sections 7-9 (at pp. 19-27 of the draft linked to above).

(I suppose also relevant is Appendix A, where I critically (or is it defensively?) discuss two papers in which critics of the classical skeptical argument put forward arguments/paradoxes (a strong argument for a strongly counterintuitive conclusion forms something of a paradox) they claim are better than it is: Jim Pryor’s modified skeptical argument, and Alex Byrne’s championing of the sorites. A draft of Appendix A is here.)

Call for Registration: 4th Foundations of Normativity Workshop, University of Edinburgh

Registration for the 4th Foundations of Normativity Workshop is now open. This year’s installment will focus on contemporary moral epistemology. It will take place on June 14 & 15, 2018, at the University of Edinburgh. Our keynote speakers are Justin Clarke-Doane (Columbia), Sarah McGrath (Princeton), and Paulina Sliwa (Cambridge). Additionally, the workshop will feature invited contributions by Max Lewis (UPenn), Evgenia Mylonaki (Athens), Jared Riggs (Toronto), and Chelsea Rosenthal (NYU).

Attendance is free and open to all, but spaces are limited. To register, please email All sessions are pre-read; participants are expected to have read the papers in advance.

This workshop will be hosted by the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences, with generous support from the Aristotelian Society, the Eidyn Research Centre and the Scots Philosophical Association. For more information and updates, visit:

13th CSSiP: New Trends in Applied Epistemology

The 13th Cologne Summer School in Philosophy (CSSiP) on


takes place in Cologne from August 6 to August 10, 2018. Our special guest is Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern University). Over the last two decades Jennifer Lackey has deepened and significantly enhanced our understanding of social epistemology. In her recent work, including her forthcoming new book, she explores in detail the real-world phenomena related to knowledge in a social context. The Summer School will specifically focus on the following themes:

• Collective Epistemology and Group Belief
• Social Knowing
• Lies and Bullshit
• False Confessions and Credibility
• Epistemology of Punishment

The Summer School mainly aims at professional philosophers and graduate students, but anyone is welcome to apply.

Attendance is free but limited to 50 participants – to be selected on the basis of motivation and qualification. Online application is possible through May 1. Please supply a short letter that sketches your academic background and main motivation for participating in the Summer School. If you are interested in giving a brief presentation (approx. 20 minutes) related to Lackey’s work, please also send an abstract of no more than 1,000 words. We will inform you about the result of your application soon after the deadline.

Apply via email to:

For more information, please visit our website:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Grundmann
Philosophisches Seminar
Universität zu Köln

2nd Call for Abstracts 4th Foundations of Normativity Workshop: Contemporary Moral Epistemology

We welcome submissions of abstracts for pre-read and short presentations at the 4th Foundations of Normativity Workshop, taking place at the University of Edinburgh on June 14 & 15, 2018. This year’s workshop will focus on issues in contemporary moral epistemology. Our invited speakers are Prof. Justin Clarke-Doane (Columbia), Prof. Sarah McGrath (Princeton) and Dr. Paulina Sliwa (Cambridge).


Four submissions will be selected for pre-read and presentation. To be considered, please submit an abstract of 750 to 1000 words (not including references) to with the subject ‘FoN4 submission’ by March 15, 2018. Make sure to send the abstract as a PDF, suitable for blind review, using [papertitle]+abstract as the filename of the abstract. We would like to particularly encourage submissions by members of underrepresented groups. Feel free to indicate that if you are a member of such a group.


The programme committee aims to make selections by April 15, 2018. Invited papers should be ready for circulation by May 25, 2018. There will be limited travel bursaries available for some of the selected participants, with preference given to those without access to research funds from their home institutions.


The workshop is generously supported by the Edinburgh Philosophy Department and the Eidyn research centre. For more information about the event, please visit:

Choice & Inference Revived

After a three year hiatus from Choice & Inference‘s administrative reins, I am once again in charge and am reviving this site as a news feed / conversation forum for formal epistemologists. Please see the official announcement and new changes here. Also, I’d encourage everyone to check out the new site, as well as C&I’s new Facebook and Twitter feeds!