Chloé 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 at the intersection of formal epistemology and philosophy of language; but also on the philosophy of probability more broadly, especially on probabilities in physics. In 2017/2018, together with Joe Roussos, I am organising a feminism reading group.

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).

My e-mail address is c.de-canson@lse.ac.uk. Here is a copy of my CV. I also have a profile on academia.edu. Finally, I want to thank Aron Vallinder for his website template.

Some work in progress.

  • Salience and the Sure-Thing Principle

    Two decision-theoretic paradoxes have been presented as counterexamples to the Sure-Thing Principle: the Two-Envelope Paradox, and Allais’ Paradox. In this paper, I isolate the feature of the Sure-Thing Principle which generates these paradoxes, and I formulate a restricted version of it, which avoids them. The analysis leads to a surprising result; namely, that the Sure-Thing Principle is relative to the way in which possibilities are described, in a way I make precise. This has important implications for decision theory: it implies that there is an additional layer of description-relativism in the individuation of decision-theoretic situations, beyond standard intensionality. (formerly "The Paradox of the Two Envelopes")

    • 1. London-Berkeley Graduate Conference in Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley (05-06 May 2017)
    • 2. Workshop on Philosophy of Language for Decision Theory, London School of Economics (25-26 May 2017) [website]
    • 3. Workshop on the Foundations of Normative Decision Theory, University of Oxford (20-21 June 2018) [website]
    • 4. Athena in Action: A Networking and Mentoring Workshop for Graduate Student Women in Philosophy, Princeton University (26-29 June 2018) [website]
  • The Method of Arbitrary Functions

    There is widespread excitement in the literature about the method of arbitrary functions: many believe that it might provide a novel objective basis for non-trivial probabilities against a background of determinism. In this paper, I argue that it cannot.

    • 1. Workshop on Probability, Determinism, and Agency, London School of Economics (19 May 2017) [website]
    • 2. Conference on Reasoning and Argumentation in Science, Center for Advanced Studies, LMU Munich (31 May-02 June 2017) [website]
    • 3. Conference of the Society for the Metaphysics of Science, New York City (05-07 October 2017) [website]
  • Three Problems of Induction

    In this paper, I use tools of Bayesianism to differentiate between three versions of the problem of induction. The first problem of induction is the so-called problem of statistical inference, which asks which updating rule to use. The second is the problem of the priors, which asks which prior probabilities to assign to propositions in the algebra. The third is the problem of algebra choice, which is that of picking a way of grouping together possible states of the world. I examine what the relations are between these problems, and I conclude that, viewed under this light, the problems of induction are more threatening than usually acknowledged.

    • 1. Ninth European Congress of Analytic Philosophy, LMU Munich (21-26 August 2017) [website]
    • 2. Five Years MCMP: Quo Vadis, Mathematical Philosophy?, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, LMU Munich (2-6 June 2016) [website]
  • Rape, Consent, and Coercion

    In this paper, I argue that the best way to differentiate between morally good and morally bad sex appeals to the notion of coercion, as opposed to that of consent. The driving consideration is that consent is an attitude de dicto, such that agents consent to things under a description. In light of this, consent becomes unappealing as the distinguishing mark of morally good sex. I propose that we move instead to coercion (or lack thereof), which does not suffer from the same problems.

    • 1. Choice Group, London School of Economics (14 February 2018) [website]
    • 2. Africana and Feminist Philosophy Lecture Series, Keats House, London (8 February 2018)