Epistemic & Personal Transformation:
Dealing with the Unknowable and Unimaginable


  • DateMonday 13 May – Tuesday 14 May 2019

  • WhereInnes Room, Building 21C,UQ, St Lucia campus

This free cross-disciplinary workshop will bring together participants from philosophy, economics and related fields for invited talks relating to four topics: ethics and uncertainty, transformative experience, climate change, and formal and empirical models of learning and surprise.

This workshop is part of the ARC funded Epistemically Feasible Choice project to consider how to make choices in situations where standard decision theoretic problems may fail, either because of unforeseeable surprises or because choices will lead to transformative experiences that change our valuation of outcomes in ways we cannot anticipate.

Organised by Professor John Quiggin and Dr Ted Shear. .

Download schedule and abstracts (PDF, 172.5 KB) 


Day 1: Monday, 13 May

08:30 - 09:00am Arrival

09:00 - 09:30am  Welcome and opening remarks

Session 1: Formal modelling

09:30 - 10:30am Evan Piermont “Partial, Dynamic Awareness” with Joseph Y. Halpern

10:30 - 10:45am Morning coffee

10:45 - 11:45am Ted Shear and John Quiggin “Justification logic with probabilistic confidence”

11:45am - 12:45pm Katie Steele “Belief Revision for Growing Awareness”

01:00 - 02:00pm Lunch

Session 2: Climate change and Natural Sciences

02:00 - 03:00pm Matt Kopec “Climate Change, Manufactured Uncertainty and the Pragmatic Precautionary Principle”

03:00 - 04:00pm Joel Katzav “Issues in the theoretical foundations of climate science” with Wendy S. Parker

04:00 - 04:30pm Afternoon coffee

04:30 - 05:30pm Bruno van Swindern "Understanding consciousness in the smallest animal brains"

7:00 Dinner for speakers at Pane e Vino (124 Albert St, Brisbane City)

Day 2: Tuesday, 14 May

Session 3: Transformative experience

09:00 - 10:00am L.A. Paul & John Quiggin “Education as a transformative experience”

10:00 - 10:30am Morning coffee

10:30 - 11:30am David Braddon-Mitchell "Surviving (to some degree)"

11:30pm - 12:30pm Yuri Cath “Transformative Choices and the Structure of Experience”

12:30 - 01:30pm Lunch

01:30 - 02:30pm Brian Weatherson “Desire as Belief and Moral Newcomb Problems”

02:30 - 03:00pm Panel Discussion

03:00 - 03:30pm Afternoon coffee

Confirmed speakers

Funding and support

This workshop is made possible through the generous support provided by BEL and HAPI and funding from the Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant # DP160100903 led by John Quiggin and L.A. Paul.


Dr Ted Shear
School of Economics
Colin Clark building (#39)
The University of Queensland
St Lucia 4072 Australia