Seminar in Philosophy, Logic and Games

A link for each seminar is to be posted here shortly before it begins.

Thursday, March 4, 6:30 PM EST
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Jenn McDonald

CUNY Graduate Center

Causal Models as Relative to Modal Profile

Abstract. A recent development in the philosophy of causation uses the framework of causal models, such as structural equation models, to define actual causation. There are two components to such a definition. The first is to identify how to define causation in terms of a given model or given class of models. The second is to provide an account of what qualifies models as given – or apt – such that they can be plugged into the first stage. A naïve hypothesis is that a model is apt just in case it is accurate. In this talk I will argue, however, that the accuracy of a model is not a determinate function of a model, an interpretation, and a situation. A given model on a given interpretation can still be deemed accurate or inaccurate of the same situation. As I demonstrate, this is because accuracy is relative to a set of background possibilities – what I call a modal profile. I argue that this reveals a heretofore hidden element in how causal models represent – that models represent situations only relative to some modal profile or other. I propose that this calls for an additional component of an interpretation: an interpretation is an assignment of content to the variables and a specification of modal profile.


Thursday, February 25, 6:30 PM EST
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Rohit Parikh

Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy
City University of New York

Covid-19 and Knowledge based Computation

Abstract. The purpose of this project is to combine insights from the logic of knowledge (act according to what you know), and graph theory (spread of infection follows the edges of a graph). We show how knowledge based algorithms can be used to combine safety with economic and social activity.

Thursday, February 18, 6:30 PM EST
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Arthur Paul Pedersen

Department of Computer Science
City University of New York

Discussion.Chapter 6, "Two-Person Cooperative Games" (spec. pp. 114-124), from R. Duncan Luce and Howard Raiffa's Games and Decisions.

Thursday, February 11, 6:30 PM EST
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Jayant Shah

Department of Mathematics
Northeastern University

Discussion. Robert J. Aumann and Michael Maschler's "Game Theoretic Analysis of a Bankruptcy Problem from the Talmud," Journal of Economic Theory, 36(2): 195-213, August 1985.

Thursday, February 4, 6:30 PM EST
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Rohit Parikh

Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy
City University of New York

Discussion. Jan van Eijck and Rineke Verbrugge's"Formal Approaches to Social Procedures," from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Thursday, January 28, 6:30 PM EST
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Rohit Parikh

Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy
City University of New York

Applications of Epistemic Logic to Society

Thursday, January 21, 6:30 PM EST
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Rohit Parikh

Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy
City University of New York

Discussion.Chapter 4, "Conflict," from A.D. Taylor and A.M. Pacelli's Mathematics and Politics: Strategy, Voting, Power and Proof

Thursday, January 14, 6:30 PM EST
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Maryam Bibi

Brookyln College
City University of New York

Discussion.Chapter 3, "Political Power," from A.D. Taylor and A.M. Pacelli's Mathematics and Politics: Strategy, Voting, Power and Proof

Thursday, January 7, 6:30 PM EST
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Rohit Parikh

Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy
City University of New York

Discussion.Chapter 2, "Yes-No Voting," from A.D. Taylor and A.M. Pacelli's Mathematics and Politics: Strategy, Voting, Power and Proof

Wednesday, December 30, 6:30 PM EST
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Rohit Parikh

Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy
City University of New York

Discussion.Chapter 1, "Social Choice," from A.D. Taylor and A.M. Pacelli's Mathematics and Politics: Strategy, Voting, Power and Proof

Thursday, December 17, 6:30 PM EST
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Barbara H. Partee

Department of Linguistics
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Language and Logic: Ideas and Controversies in the History of Formal Semantics Slides

Thursday, December 3, 6:30 PM EST
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Simon Huttegger

Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science
University of California, Irvine

Discussion. On de Finetti's representation theorem for exchangeability, Chapter 7, "Unification," from Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms' Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Thursday, November 12, 6:30 PM EST
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Rohit Parikh

Computer Science, Mathematics, Philosophy
City University of New York

Discussion. Chapter 8, "Algorithmic Randomness," from Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms' Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Thursday, November 5, 6:30 PM EST
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Arthur Paul Pedersen

Department of Computer Science
City University of New York

Discussion. Chapter 6, "Inverse Inference: From Bayes and Laplace to Modern Statistics," from Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms' Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Thursday, October 29, 6:30 PM EST
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Cailin O'Connor

Department of Logic & Philosophy of Science
University of California, Irvine

Abstract. Standard accounts of convention include notions of arbitrariness. But many have conceived of conventionality as an all or nothing affair. In this paper, I develop a framework for thinking of conventions as coming in degrees of arbitrariness. In doing so, I introduce an information theoretic measure intended to capture the degree to which a solution to a certain social problem could have been otherwise. As the paper argues, this framework can help improve explanation aimed at the cultural evolution of social traits. Good evolutionary explanations recognize that most functional traits are also conventional, at least to some degree, and vice versa.

Thursday, October 22, 6:30 PM EST
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Paul Krasucki

Security
Accenture (Fortune Global 500 Company)

Discussion. Chapter 5, "Mathematics," from Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms' Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Thursday, October 15, 6:30 PM EST
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Jayant Shah

Department of Mathematics
Northeastern University

Discussion. Chapter 4, "Frequency," from Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms' Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Thursday, October 8, 6:30 PM EST
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Ada Coronado

Department of Philosophy
The Graduate Center, CUNY

Discussion. Chapter 3, "Psychology," from Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms' Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Wednesday September 30, 11:00 AM EST
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Todd Stambaugh

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
John Jay College, CUNY

Coincidence of Bargaining Solution Slides

Abstract. In 1950, a month before his dissertation on non-coorperative games was accepted at Princeton and 3 months after his famous solution concept was announced to the world in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, John Nash had published "The Bargaining Problem," in which he proposed the titular problem and gave the first solution. In the years after, several other solutions were developed, notably those by Kalai and Smorodinsky, Kalai, and Harsanyi. In this talk I will outline the problem itself, present four different solutions, and describe the precise conditions under which various sets of these solutions coincide.

Thursday, September 17, 6:30 PM EST
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Larry Moss

Department of Mathematics
Indiana University

Discussion. Chapter 2, "Judgment," from Persi Diaconis and Brian Skyrms' Ten Great Ideas about Chance

Thursday, August 20, 6:30 PM EST
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José Luis Bermúdez

Department of Philosophy
Texas A&M University

Rational Frames?