“Problems in Epistemic Space” by Jens Christian Bjerring

Philosophy Seminar Series: 9 Feb 2012, 2-4pm, Philosophy Resource Room; Speaker: Jens Christian Bjerring, Lecturer, Aarhus University (Denmark); Moderator: Dr. Ben Blumson

When a proposition might be the case, for all an agent knows, we can say that the proposition is epistemically possible for the agent. In the standard possible worlds framework, we analyze modal claims using quantification over possible worlds. It is natural to expect that something similar can be done for modal claims involving epistemic possibility. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the prospects of constructing a space of worlds—epistemic space—that allows us to model what is epistemically possible for ordinary, non-ideally rational agents like you and me. I will argue that we cannot successfully construct such a space of worlds without giving up core tenets of the standard possible worlds framework. In turn, this will make a case for the conditional claim that if we want to model epistemic possibility for ordinary agents, we must look for alternatives to the possible worlds framework.

About the speaker: Dr. Bjerring was awarded the PhD degree in philosophy from the Australian National University in November 2010. Currently, he is lecturing at Aarhus University (Denmark). He is particularly interested in issues in epistemology, philosophy of language, logic, mind and metaphysics.


More information on the Philosophy Seminar Series can be found here. A list of past talks in the series can be found here.

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