Jennifer Carr ⋅ firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Science, University of Leeds
I'm currently a postdoc at the University of Leeds. I work on epistemology and philosophy of language. I did my PhD at MIT.
My current research interests include modals (especially deontic modals), conditionals, epistemic utility theory, modeling beliefs and credences, and normative uncertainty.
Here's my CV.
Papers and Works in Progress
- Epistemic Utility Theory and the Aim of Belief (email me for a recent draft)
- How should rational believers pursue the aim of truth? Epistemic utility theorists have argued that by combining the tools of decision theory with an epistemic form of value—gradational accuracy, proximity to the truth—we can justify various epistemological norms. I argue that deriving these results requires using decision rules that are different in important respects from those used in standard (practical) decision theory. If we use the more familiar decision rules, we can’t justify the epistemic coherence norms that epistemic utility theory had hoped to justify. In short, those of us who are attracted to the project of epistemic utility theory face a dilemma. If we choose ``consequentialist'' rules, then we can vindicate the idea that rational belief has the aim of accuracy—but at the cost of giving up attractive epistemic norms.
- Indeterminate Evidence without Indeterminate Credences (email me for a recent draft)
- Defenders of imprecise credences hold that unspecific evidence requires unspecific credences. I offer a natural strategy for addressing some of the challenges this view faces. But adopting my strategy amounts to going precise in a particular way: instead of attributing to agents sets of credence functions, we attribute them uncertainty over sets of credence functions. I argue that the good reasons that have been offered for going imprecise are equally good, and sometimes better, reasons for adopting this kind of precise view.
- Rationality over Time (email me for a recent draft)
- It's been argued there are no diachronic norms of epistemic rationality. These arguments come partly in response to certain kinds of counterexamples to Conditionalization, but are mainly motivated by a form of internalism that appears to be in tension with any sort of diachronic coherence requirements. I argue that there are, in fact, fundamentally diachronic norms of rationality. And this is to reject at least a strong version of internalism. But I suggest a replacement for Conditionalization that salvages internalist intuitions, and carves a middle ground between (probabilist versions of) conservatism and evidentialism.
- Subjective Oughts in Natural Language (email me for a recent draft)
- The subjective deontic ought generates counterexamples to classical inference rules like modus ponens. It also conflicts with the orthodox view about modals and conditionals in natural language semantics. Most accounts of the subjective ought build substantive and unattractive normative assumptions into the semantics of the modal. I sketch a general semantic account, along with a metasemantic story about the context sensitivity of information-sensitive operators.
- 'If p, ought p'
- Possible worlds semantic accounts of modals, combined with the widely accepted restrictor analysis of conditionals, validate the following schema: If φ, ought φ. This is a terrible thing to validate! I consider two inadequate solutions to this problem and show how they can be combined to generate a more adequate solution. Then I offer a puzzle case for the new account which suggests that we might need a less conservative amendment to the standard semantics.
- Normative Uncertainty and Normative Pluralism (email me for a recent draft)
- I show a way in which normative uncertainty and normative pluralism are functionally equivalent (with some caveats). I argue that the normative noncognitivist can do without normative uncertainty altogether.
- Presupposition and Probability (email me for a (now old) draft)
- This paper explores how probabilities interact with embeddings to generate presuppositions. I offer a pragmatic answer to the so-called 'proviso problem' for presuppositions in dynamic semantics.
- Presuppositions, Conditionals, and Conditional Presuppositions (email me for a (now old) draft)
- I provide an account of why some sentences with false presuppositions are judged true or false, while others seem unevaluable.
- 'If p, ought p'
- Forthcoming in the Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (2013)
- Deontic Modals Without Decision Theory
- Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 17, pp. 167-182. (2012)
- A Puzzle about Iffy ‘Ought’s
- USC Deontic Modality Workshop (2013)
- New York Philosophy of Language Workshop (2013)
- Evaluative Language Seminar Series, University of Edinburgh (2013)
- MIT Work in Progress Series (2012)
- Rationality over Time
- Center for Metaphysics and Mind, University of Leeds (2013)
- University of Missouri, Columbia (2013)
- Washington University, St. Louis (2013)
- Indeterminate Evidence without Indeterminate Credences
- University of Leeds (2013)
- ANU Philosophical Society seminar (2012)
- Subjective Oughts in Natural Language
- Australasian Association of Philosophy Conference (2012)
- NYU–Columbia Graduate Philosophy Conference (2012)
- MITing of the Minds: MIT Philosophy Alumni Conference (2012)
- Presuppositions, Conditionals, and Conditional Presuppositions
- Rutgers–Princeton Graduate Philosophy Conference (2010)
- What to Do About Presupposition Failure
- Harvard–MIT Eminees Workshop in Metaphysics and Epistemology (2010)
|2008-2013||Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D. in Philosophy
M.A. in English and American Literature and Language
B.A. in English Literature with minor in Comparative Literature