A Retrospective on Isaac Levi: June 30, 1930 – December 25, 2018


Teddy Seidenfeld ;
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Imprecise Probabilities: Theories and Applications, PMLR 103:346-353, 2019.


Isaac Levi’s philosophy places him squarely within the tradition of American Pragmatism: the noble legacy of Peirce, James, and Dewey, evidently influenced by his teachers and colleagues at Columbia University, amongst whom E. Nagel and S. Morgenbesser, and fellow graduate students at Columbia University, e.g., H. E. Kyburg, Jr. and F. Schick. Important for understanding Levi’s original perspective on large scale philosophical problems is the theme that decision theory is embedded in them all. Typical of his work, Levi’s contributions are grounded on significant distinctions, many of which are cast with the aid of sound decision-theory. In this retrospective I review four salient examples of his interests, spanning Levi’s work on 1) belief acceptance, 2) belief revision, 3) social philosophy, and 4) statistical inference.

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