Tutor: Sprenger Jan
Supervisor: Sprenger Jan
Progetto: Can Bayesianism account for the theory of confirmation, and therefore provide an explanation of scientific rationality?
Master Degree in Philosophy and Forms of Knowledge, University of Pisa. Grade: 110/110L
- Dissertation title: Bayesian model and scientific rationality: can Bayesianism explain the theory of confirmation? Supervisor: Prof. Pierluigi Barrotta
Bachelor Degree in Philosophy, University of Pisa. Grade: 110/100L
- Dissertation title: On criticisms to the frequentist conception of probability. Supervisor: Prof. Luca Bellotti
- Italian: Mother tongue
- English: Academic IELTS 7.0
Poster Presentation: Can Bayesianism account for the theory of confirmation, and therefore provide an explanation of scientific rationality? (Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students, Munich)
- Università degli Studi di Torino: International Workshop: Belief and immagination
- Università degli Studi di Torino: SIFA Midterm Conference on Fiction and Imagination
- Università degli Studi di Torino: Formal Epistemology Workshop. FEW 2019.
- Università degli Studi di Torino: New Perspectives on the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception.Turin-Bochum joint workshop.
Research Interests: Bayesian Philosphy of Science, Probability Theory, General Philosophy of Science
Report of first Phd year
Scientific and Didactic Relation
Name Cristina Sagrafena
University Università degli Studi di Torino
Name of Tutor/Supervisor Jan Sprenger
1) List of institutional or curricular courses
Reading Group (Turin)
Lectures on Classics in Analytic Philosophy: Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein
Genoa, January 28th – February 1st, 2019
Theory of Argumentation and Rolling Seminar
Genoa, February 5th – March 26th, 2019 (once a week)
Course in advanced logic on metatheorems and Godel's theorem
Turin, April 1st, 5th, 9th, 15th, 2019
Fiction and Imagination, Graduate Conference
Turin, June 17th -18th, 2019
Lectures on the Philosophy of Perception
Turin, June 25th and June 28th, 2019
2) List of working papers written in those occasions
For Lectures on Classics in Analytic Philosophy:
“La semplicità degli oggetti del Tractatus: assoluta o relativa?”
For course in advanced logic: Logic exam (passed; mark: 8/10)
For Rolling seminar: “A Bayesian account of justification?”
For Philosophy of Perception: forthcoming paper, due for the end of October
3) list of other courses followed
Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students
Munich, July 28th – August 3rd , 2019
(B) Research and diffusion
1) List of seminars and conferences to which I have participated
Science & More Talks (Turin)
International Workshop: Belief and Imagination
Turin, December 4th, 2018
New Perspectives on the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception. Turin-Bochum joint workshop
Turin, December 10th – 11th, 2018
Formal Epistemology Workshop. FEW 2019
Turin, June 19th - 21st, 2019
2) List of Talks
Poster Presentation: Can Bayesianism account for the theory of confirmation, and therefore provide an explanation of scientific rationality?
(Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students, Munich)
(C) Project of the dissertation
1) Update of the planning of your research program
Overview of the initial project:
The initial aim of the project was to investigate if it was possible a Bayesian theory of confirmation and therefore a Bayesian explanation of scientific rationality. With this last expression I referred to intuitions of scientific reasoning shared by scientific community, which are ways or methodologies by which the evidence can confirm or not scientific hypotheses. Explaining these features therefore is equivalent to provide a theory of conformation, whose main concern is to propose a persuasive analysis of how results of observations and/or experiments serve to support or undermine scientific hypotheses.
The initial draft of the project reaches a negative assessment of Bayesianism in this regard, in that it highlighted that its successes could be undermined by its flaws.
What changed about the initial draft of the project:
The project stated an identity between the theory of confirmation and the explanation of scientific rationality. However this is not the case, because, while
the theory of confirmation has a descriptive role, the explanation of scientific rationality has a normative role, namely what should be done to be rational in science.
In the initial project, I stated that Bayesianism's struggle to justify the principle of conditionalization by the classic Dutch Book argument, affects the Bayesian explanation of those features I assumed to constitute scientific rationality.
The reasoning that lead to such a conclusion was the following:
(i) Conditionalization is necessary to interpret Bayes' Theorem as a rule of learning from experience.
(ii) The scientific rationality features are based on the learning from experience, in that they specify how evidence can confirm or not a scientific hypothesis.
Conclusion: If the principle of conditionalization cannot be justified, Bayesianism struggles to explain the aforementioned features.
However, this charge is not completely fair, because a dynamic dutch book argument have been developed to justify the principle of conditionalization. Therefore if a critic has to be made, it has to follow from this recognition.
In the project, I highlighted that Bayesianism struggles to account for the feature that more than any other is associated with scientific reasoning, namely objectivity. Moreover I pointed out that such difficulty can undermine the achievements of Bayesianism in accounting for scientific rationality because some of these accounts require an objective evaluation of degrees of beliefs.
However in the project I considered just an idea of objectivity. Therefore, if the charge wants to be fair, it has to be seen if Bayesian models can account for other ideas of objectivity.
What to do next:
What changed about the initial draft of the project makes clear that the project is to wide. In fact, it addresses to many problems, about which there are independent researches, and it is not possible, in a Phd thesis, to consider all of them.
The first thing to do is therefore to focus on one specific area, and state a precise question to which provide an original solution.
Along with this, a deepening on probability and statistic notions, as tools to develop the project, is necessary.