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2024 Mesthene Lecture-Prof. Agnes Callard, Univ of Chicago

Thursday, April 25, 2024, 03:00pm - 05:00pm

Title: You Need More Salt Than You Think

Abstract: The exploration/exploitation tradeoff features as an active area of research in many parts of natural, social and informational science. Those studying animal foraging, reinforcement learning, human development, the behavior of firms (e.g., questions about how many resources to allocate to R&D), are all forced to grapple with a scenario in which a system faces a choice between an option which is in some way proven to generate rewards, and one which might, if given the chance. In this talk, I explain both what philosophers have to give to, and what they might take from, the discussion in this widely spread scientific literature. The distinction between exploration and exploitation is not clearly characterized by the scientists who make use of it; once philosophers step in to do so, it has the potential to transform the very foundations of our own action theory.

Location Philosophy Dept. Seminar RM