Biography / QUALIFICATIONS
Dr Vassend joined the School on 17 July 2017 as Assistant Professor after receiving his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the spring of 2017. His research interests lie in Philosophy of Science and Epistemology, and he is particularly interested in formal approaches within both these fields.
The following are some of the central questions that drive Dr Vassend’s research: what does it mean to be rational? Is it possible for practical or otherwise non-evidential factors to influence what it’s rational for someone to believe? Are there epistemic attitudes distinct from belief-states, and if so how should these attitudes rationally interact with beliefs? How do we know when a hypothesis has been confirmed by evidence? Is it possible to quantify the degree to which a piece of evidence confirms a hypothesis? What role, if any, does approximate truth play in rational inference?
Dr Vassend is generally interested in what it takes to be rational. Since science is the archetypical rational human enterprise, he is consequently also very interested in scientific inference. In recent years he has been particularly interested in foundational questions in statistical inference, such as the question of how to properly interpret the probabilities that play a role in statistical analyses. He has published or has papers forthcoming in Philosophy of Science, European Journal for Philosophy of Science, Erkenntnis, Synthese, and Analysis.