ChloƩ de Canson


I am a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics. I work primarily in epistemology and decision theory. Previously, I read the MPhil Philosophy in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge (2015-2016), and the BSc Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method here at LSE (2012-2015).

Almost all my research concerns what it is rational to believe. In particular, I am interested in how what it is rational to believe depends on factors beyond the agent's evidence; such as her previous beliefs, the concepts she uses to describe the world, the aspects of the world she focuses on, and her values. Below, I describe two current research projects. Beyond my primary research, I am interested in intersectional oppression and physical illness, particularly their epistemic features.

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Induction. I argue that Hume's problem of induction, Goodman's new riddle, and the Bayesian problem of the priors are identical. This has two implications at odds with the consensus on these issues: firstly, conditionalisation is irrelevant to induction; and secondly, Goodman's riddle is not about which concepts to reason with. A significant part of this project consists in a study of the priors and the problem therewith. It turns out, I argue, that many commonly accepted views are false: for instance, an agent who possesses evidence may face the problem of the priors.

Salience. Agents focus on particular, salient aspects of the world. Those might be the aspects they are interested in, or the aspects they expect to learn about, or the aspects that have been highlighted to them. According to orthodoxy, which aspects of a situation are salient to the agent does not impact what it is rational for that agent to do. I disagree. I argue that, contrary to the consensus position, what is salient to an agent may have normative relevance, for instance if the agent is risk-averse.

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When I am not doing research, I enjoy translating the writings of Simone Weil, reading fiction, reading and writing poetry, and playing the violin (very badly!).


Contact

Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method
London School of Economics
Houghton Street, WC2A 2AE London
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c.de-canson [at] lse.ac.uk