Kevin T. Kelly

Professor and Director of the Center for Formal Epistemology
Department of Philosophy
Carnegie Mellon University

Baker Hall 135K
412 268 8567

Research Interests

I am interested mainly in the connection between scientific method and finding the truth.  Whereas most philosophers see the uncertainty of inductive inference as an argument for skepticism that must be defeated, I am motivated by an insight commonplace in theoretical computer science---that a given procedure is justified by the demonstrable, negative fact that no other method could do better.  In the context of the problem of induction, the fact that no possible method could find the truth with an a priori guarantee against fallibility that justifies reversals of opinion as experience increases.  This alternative viewpoint has led to publications in a number of areas:
  • Formal learning theory
  • Ockham's razor and realism (NSF project page)
  • The philosophy of induction
  • The lottery paradox and the logic of acceptance
  • Computationally bounded scientific rationality
  • Analysis of epistemic regresses
  • The learning power of belief revision
  • Relativism and convergent realism
  • Causal inference
I also have side interests in:
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Eastern philosophy

Selected Publications



  • 80-105: Freshman Seminar on Mysticism
  • 80-120: Reflections on Science
  • 80-201: Epistemology
  • 80-202: Metaphysics
  • 80-210: Self-paced Introduction to Logic
  • 80-220: Philosophy of Science
  • 80-251: Ancient Philosophy
  • 80-252: Medieval Philosophy
  • 80-252: History of Modern Philosophy
  • 80-265: Philosophy of Religion
  • 80-310: Logic and Computability
  • 80-311: Logic and Artificial Intelligence
  • 80-311: Goedel and Undecidability
  • 80-312: Probability and Artificial Intelligence
  • 80-351: Kant
  • 80-812: Seminar on Formal Learning Theory
  • 80-411/711: Computability and Learnibility
  • 80-411/711: Descriptive Set Theory
  • 80-518: Epistemology Seminar
  • 80-602: Proseminar


Mountain climbing
Scratch-built sailing models