Speaker: Adam Bricker (University of Edinburgh)
Title: Representation and Representativeness
Abstract: Both epistemologists and laypeople tend to hesitate in ascribing knowledge on the basis of probabilistic information. For example, we often say that an individual doesn't know she'll lose the lottery, regardless of how likely that belief might be. However, there seem to be at least two reasons we might question the relative reliability of these intuitive judgements. First, empirical evidence suggests that our mental representations of large numbers are simply not that accurate. While clearly not a general problem, this is nonetheless worrying given the disproportionate role large numbers play in these particular intuitions. Second, a more difficult problem is posed when we consider the extent to which these judgements resemble the base rate fallacy. Indeed, upon closer examination, it seems likely that they share an underlying mechanism, the representativeness heuristic. Ultimately, the reliability of these specific intuitive judgements seems to suffer from problems that don't extend to epistemic intuitions more generally.
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