Alexandru Marcoci

About

Alexandru Marcoci

I am a Fellow in the Department of Government at LSE and before that I received my PhD in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. I divide my research time between the following projects. Firstly, together with James Nguyen I investigate whether large scientific collaborations can be treated as group agents. Secondly, I collaborate with the SWARM project and together with Mark Burgman and Ans Vercammen I develop and test rubrics for evaluating the quality of reasoning in intelligence reports. Thirdly, Luc Bovens and I argue for a more inclusive policy for bathroom access. Finally, I work together with Diana Popescu on an abstract model explaining ideological polarization.

Journal articles

Forth. A. Marcoci. Monty Hall saves Dr. Evil: On Elga's Restricted Principle of Indifference. Erkenntnis Abstract

In this paper I show that Elga's argument for a restricted principle of indifference for self-locating belief relies on the kind of mistaken reasoning that recommends the 'staying' strategy in the Monty Hall problem.

Forth. A. Marcoci and J. Nguyen. Objectivity, Ambiguity and Theory Choice. Erkenntnis Abstract

Kuhn argued that scientific theory choice is, in some sense, a rational matter, but one that is not fully determined by shared objective scientific virtues like accuracy, simplicity, and scope. Okasha imports Arrow's impossibility theorem into the context of theory choice to show that rather than not fully determining theory choice, these virtues cannot determine it at all. If Okasha is right, then there is no function (satisfying certain desirable conditions) from 'preference' rankings supplied by scientific virtues over competing theories (or models, or hypotheses) to a single all-things-considered ranking. This threatens the rationality of science. In this paper we show that if Kuhn's claims about the role that subjective elements play in theory choice are taken seriously, then the threat dissolves.

Conference proceedings

2017. A. Marcoci and J. Nguyen. Scientific Rationality by Degrees. In M. Massimi, J.W. Romeijn, and G. Schurz (eds.) EPSA15 Selected Papers. European Studies in Philosophy of Science, Vol. 5 (Springer) Abstract

In a recent paper, Samir Okasha imports Arrow's impossibility theorem into the context of theory choice. He shows that there is no function (satisfying certain desirable conditions) from profiles of preference rankings over competing theories, models or hypotheses provided by scientific virtues to a single all-things-considered ranking. This is a prima facie threat to the rationality of theory choice. In this paper we show this threat relies on an all-or-nothing understanding of scientific rationality and articulate instead a notion of rationality by degrees. The move from all-or-nothing rationality to rationality by degrees will allow us to argue that theory choice can be rational enough.

Reviews

2015. A. Marcoci. Review of Quitting Certainties: A Bayesian Framework Modeling Degrees of Belief, by Michael G. Titelbaum. Economics and Philosophy

Media

May 1, 2018. How do you win an argument? An LSE IQ podcast episode for which I was interviewed. Lead

So, what makes a good argument and, more importantly, what's the best way to argue effectively? In this episode, producers James Rattee, Nathalie Abbott and Sue Windebank consider how to debate with conspiracy theorists, see how US intelligence agencies are building tools to formulate better arguments, and ask whether certain people – and points of view – are too dangerous to confront. This episode features the following LSE academics: Dr Owen Griffiths, LSE Department of Philosophy, Dr Bryan Roberts, LSE Department of Philosophy, Dr Bart Cammaerts, LSE Department of Media and Communications, Professor Martin Bauer, LSE Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science and Dr Alexandru Marcoci, LSE Department of Government.

Apr. 17, 2018. L. Bovens and A. Marcoci. Gender-neutral restrooms require new (choice) architecture. Behavioural Public Policy Blog Lead

"What’s not to love about gender-neutral restrooms?" ask Bovens and Marcoci. Their spread could only come about trough a sensitive mix of good design and nudges; working on social norms and behaviours. Some discomforts may, however, prove to be beyond nudging, and an incremental, learning approach is probably required.

Dec. 1, 2017. L. Bovens and A. Marcoci. To those who oppose gender-neutral toilets: they’re better for everybody. The Guardian Lead

Bovens and Marcoci's research into the economics of these facilities shows they cut waiting for women, and address the concerns of trans and disabled people.

Recent and upcoming presentations

Scientific consensus without inconsistency (with J. Nguyen)Venues

2018 PSA Biennial Meeting, Seattle (November 1-4, 2018)

2018 APA Central Division Meeting, Chicago (February 21-24, 2018, presented by JN)

BSPS 2017 Annual Conference, Edinburgh (July 13-14, 2017)

An efficiency argument for gender-neutral restrooms (with L. Bovens)Venues

Second Annual PPE Society Meeting, New Orleans (March 15-17, 2018)

PPE Conference, LSE (December 7, 2017)

Formal Ethics 2017, University of York (June 21-23, 2017)

A dynamic model of polarization (with D. E. Popescu)Venues

Festival of Ideas 3, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (April 4-6, 2018)

On Elga's principle of indifference for self-locating beliefs Venues

Theory choice vs. social choice (with J. Nguyen)Venues

Current activities

Gender Neutral Restrooms Co-organiser of Bathroom Wars: The case for unisex facilities Symposium at the Second Annual PPE Society Meeting, New Orleans (March 15-17, 2018). Speakers: Luc Bovens (LSE/UNC), Alexandru Marcoci, Mary Anne Case (Chicago Law School), Terry Kogan (Utah Law School)

Teaching

This year I am teaching GV100 Introduction to Political Theory. Below you can find the webpages of two courses I taught in the past.

award In 2017 I received the Department of Government's Class Teacher Award and I was a finalist in the Students' Union Teaching Excellence Awards for Sharing Subject Knowledge. In 2015 I was awarded a Honourable Commendation for Excellent Class Teaching by the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. In 2014 I won the Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award for Collaborative Research and Guidance.

Contact

Department of Government
London School of Economics & Political Science
Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE.
A.Marcoci@lse.ac.uk

This website is inspired by RobertsSchupbachBeallSider.