Workshops for 2020-21

All workshops will take place online via Zoom until further notice.


Session 1: Sunday September 27
10:00 am - 11:15 am MST

H. Orri Stefánsson (University of Stockholm & Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies)
Jake Nebel (University of Southern California)

"Calibration Dilemmas in the Ethics of Distribution"
This paper presents a new kind of problem in the ethics of distribution. The problem takes the form of several "calibration dilemmas," in which intuitively reasonable aversion to small-stakes inequalities requires leading theories of distribution to recommend intuitively unreasonable aversion to large-stakes inequalities---e.g., inequalities in which half the population would gain an arbitrarily large quantity of well-being or resources. We first lay out a series of such dilemmas for a family of broadly prioritarian theories. We then consider a widely endorsed family of egalitarian views and show that, despite avoiding the dilemmas for prioritarianism, they are subject to even more forceful calibration dilemmas. We then show how our results challenge common utilitarian accounts of the badness of inequalities in resources (e.g., wealth inequality). These dilemmas leave us with a few options, all of which we find unpalatable. We conclude by laying out these options and suggesting avenues for further research.

For a recording of this lecture click here (access passcode s!s6u57B)

Session 2: Sunday November 1
10:00am - 11:15 am MST

Glauber De Bona  (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Julia Staffel  (University of Colorado at Boulder)

"Updating Incoherent Credences - Extending the Dutch Strategy Argument for Conditionalization"
In this paper, we ask: how should an agent who has incoherent credences update when they learn new evidence? The standard Bayesian answer for coherent agents is that they should conditionalize; however, this updating rule is not defined for incoherent starting credences. We show how one of the main arguments for conditionalization, the Dutch strategy argument, can be extended to devise a target property for updating plans that can apply to them regardless of whether the agent starts out with coherent or incoherent credences. The main idea behind this extension is that the agent should avoid updating plans that increase the possible sure loss from Dutch strategies. This happens to be equivalent to avoiding updating plans that increase incoherence according to a distance-based incoherence measure.