Miriam Schoenfield

I  am an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin and the Director of the Texas Prison Education Initiative.

Most of my research involves using formal tools from probability theory to address questions about how to rationally form or revise our opinions in response to information.  I'm particularly interested in the extent to which learning facts about our beliefs' causal history poses a skeptical challenge.

Towards the bottom of this page are some pieces aimed at a general audience.

Here is my C.V.

You can contact me by emailing mschoenfield (at) utexas.edu.

Work in Progress 

Higher Order Troubles for Higher Order Defeat 

Why I am Not a Boltzmann Brain


Are you Now or Have you Ever Been an Impermissivist? A  conversation among friends and enemies of epistemic freedom - with Sophie Horowitz and Sinan Dogramaci 

           Contemporary Debates in Epistemology 3rd edition 2024

 Meditations on Beliefs Formed Arbitrarily 

           Oxford Studies in Epistemology Volume 7 2023

             Winner of the Sanders Prize in Epistemology 

Deferring to Doubt

           Proceedings of the Aristotlean Society 2022 122(3):269-290.

(I have two pieces for a general audience on themes related to “Deferring to Doubt” and social  influences on belief: a podcast for Parlia,  and an article for Aeon)

Dilating and Contracting Arbitrarily - with David Builes and Sophie Horowitz

            Noûs 2022 56(1): 3-20

Accuracy and Verisimilitude: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

             The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 2022 73(2):373-406 

Can Imprecise Probabilities Be Practically Motivated?  A Challenge to the Desirability of Ambiguity Aversion

           Philosophers’ Imprint 2020 20(30): 1-21

Permissivism and the Value of Rationality: A Challenge to the Uniqueness Thesis

             Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2019 99(2): 286-297. 

            Winner of the Young Epistemologist Prize

An Accuracy Based Approach to Higher Order Evidence

             Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2018 96(3): 690-715

 Conditionalization does not (in general) Maximize Expected Accuracy

                Mind 2017 126(504): 1155-1187 

The Accuracy and Rationality of Imprecise Credences*

                Noûs 2017 51(4): 667-685

Bridging Rationality and Accuracy

                  The Journal of Philosophy 2015 112(2): 633-657

Moral Vagueness is Ontic Vagueness

                 Ethics 2015 126(2): 257-282

Internalism without Luminosity

                 Philosophical Issues 2015 25(1): 252-272

A Dilemma for Calibrationism 

                   Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2015 91(2): 425-55 

Permission to Believe: Why Permissivism is True and What it Tells Us about Irrelevant Influences on Belief

                   Noûs 2014, 48(2): 193-218

Decision Making in the Face of Parity

                  Philosophical Perspectives 2014, 28 (1): 263 -277

Chilling Out on Epistemic Rationality: A Defense of Imprecise Credences (and other imprecise doxastic attitudes)  

                  Philosophical Studies 2012, 158(2): 197-219

Writing and Interviews for a General Audience

Parlia - “Can We Trust What We Believe”? (Audio)

Aeon - “Why Do You Believe What You Do”

A 1500 word article describing my views on social influences on belief.

Five Questions Podcast Episode - An interview with Kieran Setiya (Audio)

Interview with Amanda Vanstone on Counterpoint at ABC (Audio)

(starting at 27 minutes)

Interview with 3AM Magazine

A discussion of some of the themes in my research for a general audience

“Ants in Your Pants” 

A short piece on decision making for a blog about ants

Works No Longer in Progress

Two Notions of Epistemic Rationality

My more developed views about about the two notions of rationality that I refer to in this paper are now in a paper titled “Bridging Rationality and Accuracy”  in The Journal of Philosophy. (See above).  This paper, however, provides a more informal characterization that gets at a similar idea. If you'd like a copy, please email me.

*Note: there were errors in footnotes 14 and 20 in the published version of “The Accuracy and Rationality of Imprecise Credences.” They are corrected in the version linked here.