b.r (at) berkeley (dot) edu \\ PhilPeople

I am a Ph.D. candidate with UC-Berkeley's Group in Logic and the Methodology of Science. My primary interests lie in normative theories of reasoning and related notions (e.g., probability and truth). Couched in more traditional terminology, I specialize in logic, formal epistemology, and philosophy of science.

Research

My research focuses on measures of epistemic uncertainty. Though the preferred phrasing has shifted over time, the idea that there exist objective degrees of likelihood, confirmation, or probability intermediate between certainly true and certainly false is encoded in everything from tomorrow's weather forecast ("There's a 90% chance of rain tomorrow, so bring your umbrella!") to your doctor's decision to prescribe a particular drug ("For someone in your position, the data shows that this is the best course of treatment."). What is 'probability' in this wider, non-mathematical context? Is there any reason to think that there can be a right answer as to what evidence shows? I defend the dual position that the notion of confirmation-likelihood-probability at issue here doesn't actually conform to the mathematical theory of probability and that there is in fact a right answer as to what the evidence shows.

Current Work

*Drafts available by request.*

Dissertation: Absolute Confirmation and Rational Credence

In which I propose a general framework for work on rational credence and argue that Keynes was (mostly) right all along; notable highlights include the proper resolution of the paradoxes of indifference, why rational degrees of belief are not probabilities, the proper definition of absolute confirmation, and the value of probabilism.

Possibility and Confirmation

How to deal with the mystery cube factory, why d'Alembert's riddle is important, and a formalization of absolute confirmation.

Bertrand's Paradox

A short overview and analysis of Bertrand's paradox; alternatively, why Bertrand's paradox is specific neither to probabilities nor to intervals.

Three Grades of Credal Realism

An attempt to endrun much of the discussion of credence and show that it has no inherent structure.

Teaching

Primary Instructor

2016: Introduction to Logic

Secondary Instructor

2019: Berkeley Connect

2018: Berkeley Connect

2017: Science and Human Understanding

2016: Ancient Philosophy

2015: Philosophical Methods

2014: Intermediate Logic (Computability Theory)

Intermediate Logic (Model Theory)

2013: Introduction to Logic

Updated February 2019