Russell Ahmed-Buehler

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


I am a visiting fellow at the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science. My research interests are normative theories of reasoning (logic, formal epistemology, general philosophy of science, decision theory) as well as related notions (probability and truth). I received my Ph.D. in Logic and the Methodology of Science from the University of California, Berkeley in August 2019.

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My current research focuses on reasoning under uncertainty. A lot of intuitive reasoning appears to make use of objective likelihoods or "degrees of confirmation". Consider, for example, tomorrow's weather forecast ("It's likely to rain tomorrow, so bring your umbrella!") or 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."). Canonical accounts of this phenomenon are both probabilistic and subjective, reducing these claims to reports of epistemic confidence which, as a matter of consistency, are probabilistic. I offer an alternative account of likelihood that is both objective and non-probabilistic.

Recent Work

Drafts available by request.

A Logical Account of Confirmation

How to formalize absolute confirmation in two easy steps, solving language relativity and Bertrand's paradox in the process.

A Revised Characterization of Bertrand's Paradox

In which I argue that everyone is really quite confused, and Bertrand's paradox is properly a paradox of infinity for relative size.

The Problem with Probabilism

In which I point out that Dutch book arguments, representation arguments, and accuracy arguments all presuppose that rational credences are real-valued and that this is more than a little concerning.

Three Grades of Credal Realism

An attempt to endrun much of the discussion on credences and show that they have no inherent structure.

Dissertation: A Logical Theory of Confirmation

In which I develop a logical theory of confirmation; notable highlights include what's really going on with Bertrand's paradox, why d'Alembert's riddle is not silly, and why rational degrees of belief are definitely not probabilities.

Updated February 2019