11 to 13 October 2012: Conference "Deciding under Non-epistemic Uncertainty"

From Thursday, 11 October to Saturday, 13 October 2012, we will be hosting the conference "Deciding under Non-Epistemic Uncertainty" at Freiburg University, Germany.

The term “non-epistemic uncertainty” may sound like a contradictio in adjecto. But it it not, given the phenomenon of semantic, i. e. non-epistemic, vagueness. Vagueness, according to Grice’s influential working definition, involves the speaker’s uncertainty about “whether to apply the vague expression or to withhold it”, where “one’s not knowing is not due to ignorance of the facts”. This is precisely the situation in which judges often find themselves due to the semantic indeterminacy of legal statutes. Deciding hard cases is a central part of their job description.

The conference will focus on the decisional aspect of the issue and tackle the question whether and to what extent there are rational ways of dealing with non-epistemic uncertainty. Decision theory has delivered a large body of research on rational decision making under epistemic uncertainty. Do these findings translate to non-epistemic cases or do we need different approaches?

The speakers include:

Kees van Deemter (Aberdeen)
Mandeep Dhami (Guildford)
Christoph Engel (Bonn)
Daniel Gruschke (Berlin)
James Hampton (London)
Leo Katz (Philadelphia)
Geert Keil (Berlin)
Adam Kolber (New York)
David Lanius (Berlin)
Ralf Poscher (Freiburg)
Robert van Rooij (Amsterdam)
Frederick Schauer (Charlottesville)
Benedikt Schauberer (Freiburg)
Jan Sieckmann (Bamberg)
Barbara Spellman (Charlottesville)
Andree Weber (Freiburg)
Robert Williams (Leeds)

For a detailed description of the topic of the conference, see here.

For abstracts of the talks see here.