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Julia Staffel
University of Colorado, Boulder
  1. How Do Beliefs Simplify Reasoning?Julia Staffel - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):937-962.
    According to an increasingly popular epistemological view, people need outright beliefs in addition to credences to simplify their reasoning. Outright beliefs simplify reasoning by allowing thinkers to ignore small error probabilities. What is outright believed can change between contexts. It has been claimed that thinkers manage shifts in their outright beliefs and credences across contexts by an updating procedure resembling conditionalization, which I call pseudo-conditionalization (PC). But conditionalization is notoriously complicated. The claim that thinkers manage their beliefs via PC is (...)
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  2. Credences and Suspended Judgments as Transitional Attitudes.Julia Staffel - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):281-294.
    In this paper, I highlight an interesting difference between belief on the one hand, and suspended judgment and credence on the other hand. This difference is the following: credences and suspended judgments are suitable to serve as transitional as well as terminal attitudes in our reasoning, whereas beliefs are only appropriate as terminal attitudes. The notion of a transitional attitude is not an established one in the literature, but I argue that introducing it helps us better understand the different roles (...)
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  3. Probability Without Tears.Julia Staffel - forthcoming - Teaching Philosophy.
    This paper is about teaching probability to students of philosophy who don’t aim to do primarily formal work in their research. These students are unlikely to seek out classes about probability or formal epistemology for various reasons, for example because they don’t realize that this knowledge would be useful for them or because they are intimidated by the material. However, most areas of philosophy now contain debates that incorporate probability, and basic knowledge of it is essential even for philosophers whose (...)
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  4. Are Credences Different From Beliefs?Roger Clarke & Julia Staffel - forthcoming - In Blake Roeber, Matthias Steup, John Turri & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, Vol. 3. Wiley Blackwell.
    This is a three-part exchange on the relationship between belief and credence. It begins with an opening essay by Roger Clarke that argues for the claim that the notion of credence generalizes the notion of belief. Julia Staffel argues in her reply that we need to distinguish between mental states and models representing them, and that this helps us explain what it could mean that belief is a special case of credence. Roger Clarke's final essay reflects on the compatibility of (...)
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  5. Transitional Attitudes and the Unmooring View of Higher-Order Evidence.Julia Staffel - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper proposes a novel answer to the question of what attitude agents should adopt when they receive misleading higher-order evidence that avoids the drawbacks of existing views. The answer builds on the independently motivated observation that there is a difference between attitudes that agents form as conclusions of their reasoning, called terminal attitudes, and attitudes that are formed in a transitional manner in the process of reasoning, called transitional attitudes. Terminal and transitional attitudes differ both in their descriptive and (...)
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  6. Updating Incoherent Credences - Extending the Dutch Strategy Argument for Conditionalization.Glauber De Bona & Julia Staffel - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In this paper, we ask: how should an agent who has incoherent credences update when they learn new evidence? The standard Bayesian answer for coherent agents is that they should conditionalize; however, this updating rule is not defined for incoherent starting credences. We show how one of the main arguments for conditionalization, the Dutch strategy argument, can be extended to devise a target property for updating plans that can apply to them regardless of whether the agent starts out with coherent (...)
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  7. Reasons Fundamentalism and Rational Uncertainty – Comments on Lord, The Importance of Being Rational.Julia Staffel - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):463-468.
    In his new book "The Importance of Being Rational", Errol Lord aims to give a real definition of the property of rationality in terms of normative reasons. If he can do so, his work is an important step towards a defense of ‘reasons fundamentalism’ – the thesis that all complex normative properties can be analyzed in terms of normative reasons. I focus on his analysis of epistemic rationality, which says that your doxastic attitudes are rational just in case they are (...)
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