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Philosophy of Probability

Edited by Darrell Rowbottom (Lingnan University)
Assistant editor: Joshua Luczak (University of Western Ontario, Georgetown University)
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  1. added 2016-06-27
    Wlodek Rabinowicz, Safeguards of a Disunified Mind.
    The papers focuses on pragmatic arguments for various rationality constraints on a decision maker’s state of mind: on her beliefs or preferences. An argument of this kind typically targets constraint violations. It purports to show that a violator of a given constraint can be confronted with a decision problem in which she will act to her guaranteed disadvantage. Dramatically put, she can be exploited by a clever bookie who doesn’t know more than the agent herself. Examples of pragmatic arguments of (...)
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  2. added 2016-06-22
    Charlotte Werndl, Determinism.
    This article focuses on three recent discussions on determinism in the philosophy of science. First, determinism and predictability will be discussed. Then, second, the paper turns to the topic of determinism, indeterminism, observational equivalence and randomness. Finally, third, there will be a discussion about deterministic probabilities. The paper will end with a conclusion.
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  3. added 2016-06-13
    Michael Starks, What Do Paraconsistent, Undecidable, Random, Computable and Incomplete Mean? A Review of Godel's Way: Exploits Into an Undecidable World by Gregory Chaitin, Francisco A Doria , Newton C.A. Da Costa 160p (2012).
    In ‘Godel’s Way’ three eminent scientists discuss issues such as undecidability, incompleteness, randomness, computability and paraconsistency. I approach these issues from the Wittgensteinian viewpoint that there are two basic issues which have completely different solutions. There are the scientific or empirical issues, which are facts about the world that need to be investigated observationally and philosophical issues as to how language can be used intelligibly (which include certain questions in mathematics and logic), which need to be decided by looking at (...)
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  4. added 2016-06-02
    Anna Mahtani (2016). Imprecise Probabilities and Unstable Betting Behaviour. Noûs 50 (2).
    Many have argued that a rational agent's attitude towards a proposition may be better represented by a probability range than by a single number. I show that in such cases an agent will have unstable betting behaviour, and so will behave in an unpredictable way. I use this point to argue against a range of responses to the ‘two bets’ argument for sharp probabilities.
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  5. added 2016-05-24
    Miklós Rédei & Zalán Gyenis, Measure Theoretic Analysis of Consistency of the Principal Principle.
    Weak and strong consistency of thePrincipal Principle are defined in terms of classical probability measure spaces. It is proved that thePrincipal Principle is both weakly and strongly consistent. The Abstract Principal Principle is strengthened by adding a stability requirement to it. Weak and strong consistency of the resulting Stable Abstract Principal Principle are defined. It is shown that the Stable Abstract Principal Principle is weakly consistent. Strong consistency of the Stable Abstract Principal principle remains an open question.
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  6. added 2016-05-24
    Anna Mahtani, Deference, Respect and Intensionality.
    This paper is about the standard Reflection Principle and the Group Reflection Principle. I argue that these principles are incomplete as they stand. The key point is that deference is an intensional relation, and so whether you are rationally required to defer to a person at a time can depend on how that person and that time are designated. In this paper I suggest a way of completing the Reflection Principle and Group Reflection Principle, and I argue that so completed (...)
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  7. added 2016-05-17
    Paul D. Thorn & Gerhard Schurz (forthcoming). Qualitative Probabilistic Inference Under Varied Entropy Levels. Journal of Applied Logic.
    In previous work, we studied four well known systems of qualitative probabilistic inference, and presented data from computer simulations in an attempt to illustrate the performance of the systems. These simulations evaluated the four systems in terms of their tendency to license inference to accurate and informative conclusions, given incomplete information about a randomly selected probability distribution. In our earlier work, the procedure used in generating the unknown probability distribution (representing the true stochastic state of the world) tended to yield (...)
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  8. added 2016-05-11
    Martin Smith (forthcoming). Intuitionistic Probability and the Bayesian Objection to Dogmatism. Synthese:1-13.
    Given a few assumptions, the probability of a conjunction is raised, and the probability of its negation is lowered, by conditionalising upon one of the conjuncts. This simple result appears to bring Bayesian confirmation theory into tension with the prominent dogmatist view of perceptual justification – a tension often portrayed as a kind of ‘Bayesian objection’ to dogmatism. In a recent paper, David Jehle and Brian Weatherson observe that, while this crucial result holds within classical probability theory, it fails within (...)
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  9. added 2016-05-07
    Luca Corti (2016). Hegel's Philosophical Psychology.
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  10. added 2016-05-03
    Anna Szyrwińska (2015). Relacja między nauką o logicznych możliwościach a zasadą zachowania energii. Rola badań Huygensa i Leibniza dla nowożytnej refleksji nad wolnością woli. IDEA – Studia Nad Strukturą I Rozwojem Pojęć Filozoficznych:191-202.
    The article investigates the relationship between Leibniz’s and Huygens’ theory of possibility and the principle of conservation of energy. It assumes that their criticisms of Cartesian views concerning those questions as well as their own achievements contributed to the formation of a new metaphysical basis for modern discussions on the freedom of the will. There are especially two problems whose role is crucial in this context, namely the question of God’s knowledge of the future conditionals (contingentia futura) and the mind-body (...)
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  11. added 2016-04-26
    L. Fenton-Glynn, K. Easwaran, C. Hitchcock & J. Velasco, Updating on the Credences of Others: Disagreement, Agreement, and Synergy.
    We introduce a family of rules for adjusting one's credences in response to learning the credences of others. These rules have a number of desirable features. 1. They yield the posterior credences that would result from updating by standard Bayesian conditionalization on one's peers' reported credences if one's likelihood function takes a particular simple form. 2. In the simplest form, they are symmetric among the agents in the group. 3. They map neatly onto the familiar Condorcet voting results. 4. They (...)
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  12. added 2016-04-26
    Cael L. Hasse, A Comprehensive Theory of Induction and Abstraction.
    I present a solution to the epistemological problem of induction. A universal theory of meaning is developed whereby meaning of a proposition is separated from the proposition and how it is represented. The theory has most similarity with Wittgenstein's early picture theory of meaning but with fundamental differences: (1) Meaning of a proposition is characterised by necessary conditions for truth and falsity as opposed to sufficient ones. In this way propositions are not reduced to atomic ones. (2) Certain assumptions form (...)
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  13. added 2016-04-26
    Anna Mahtani (forthcoming). Deference, Respect and Intensionality. Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    This paper is about the standard Reflection Principle :235–256, 1984) and the Group Reflection Principle :478–502, 2007; Bovens and Rabinowicz in Episteme 8:281–300, 2011; Titelbaum in Quitting certainties: a Bayesian framework modeling degrees of belief, OUP, Oxford, 2012; Hedden in Mind 124:449–491, 2015). I argue that these principles are incomplete as they stand. The key point is that deference is an intensional relation, and so whether you are rationally required to defer to a person at a time can depend on (...)
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  14. added 2016-04-26
    Domagoj Kuić (2016). Predictive Statistical Mechanics and Macroscopic Time Evolution: Hydrodynamics and Entropy Production. Foundations of Physics 46 (7):891-914.
    In the previous papers, it was demonstrated that applying the principle of maximum information entropy by maximizing the conditional information entropy, subject to the constraint given by the Liouville equation averaged over the phase space, leads to a definition of the rate of entropy change for closed Hamiltonian systems without any additional assumptions. Here, we generalize this basic model and, with the introduction of the additional constraints which are equivalent to the hydrodynamic continuity equations, show that the results obtained are (...)
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  15. added 2016-04-26
    Zalán Gyenis, Gabor Hofer-Szabo & Miklós Rédei, Conditioning Using Conditional Expectations: The Borel-Kolmogorov Paradox.
    The Borel-Kolmogorov Paradox is typically taken to highlight a tension between our intuition that certain conditional probabilities with respect to probability zero conditioning events are well defined and the mathematical definition of conditional probability by Bayes’ formula, which loses its meaning when the conditioning event has probability zero. We argue in this paper that the theory of conditional expectations is the proper mathematical device to conditionalize and that this theory allows conditionalization with respect to probability zero events. The conditional probabilities (...)
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  16. added 2016-04-22
    Neri Marsili (forthcoming). Lying and Certainty. In Jörg Meibauer (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Lying. Oxford University Press
  17. added 2016-04-20
    Darrell P. Rowbottom (forthcoming). What Is (Dis)Agreement? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    When do we agree? The answer might once have seemed simple and obvious; we agree that p when we each believe that p. But from a formal epistemological perspective, where degrees of belief are more fundamental than beliefs, this answer is unsatisfactory. On the one hand, there is reason to suppose that it is false; degrees of belief about p might differ when beliefs simpliciter on p do not. On the other hand, even if it is true, it is too (...)
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  18. added 2016-04-19
    J. S. Markovitch, The Psychology of The Two Envelope Problem.
    This article concerns the psychology of the paradoxical Two Envelope Problem. The goal is to find instructive variants of the envelope switching problem that are capable of clear-cut resolution, while still retaining paradoxical features. By relocating the original problem into different contexts involving commutes and playing cards the reader is presented with a succession of resolved paradoxes that reduce the confusion arising from the parent paradox. The goal is to reduce confusion by understanding how we sometimes misread mathematical statements; or, (...)
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  19. added 2016-04-12
    Brian Kim & Anubav Vasudevan (forthcoming). How to Expect a Surprising Exam. Synthese:1-33.
    In this paper, we provide a Bayesian analysis of the well-known surprise exam paradox. Central to our analysis is a probabilistic account of what it means for the student to accept the teacher's announcement that he will receive a surprise exam. According to this account, the student can be said to have accepted the teacher's announcement provided he adopts a subjective probability distribution relative to which he expects to receive the exam on a day on which he expects not to (...)
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  20. added 2016-04-10
    Anubav Vasudevan (2013). On the a Priori and a Posteriori Assessment of Probabilities. Journal of Applied Logic 11 (4):440-451.
    We argue that in spite of their apparent dissimilarity, the methodologies employed in the a priori and a posteriori assessment of probabilities can both be justified by appeal to a single principle of inductive reasoning, viz., the principle of symmetry. The difference between these two methodologies consists in the way in which information about the single-trial probabilities in a repeatable chance process is extracted from the constraints imposed by this principle. In the case of a posteriori reasoning, these constraints inform (...)
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  21. added 2016-04-10
    Anubav Vasudevan & Haim Gaifman (2012). Deceptive Updating and Minimal Information Methods. Synthese 187 (1):147-178.
    The technique of minimizing information (infomin) has been commonly employed as a general method for both choosing and updating a subjective probability function. We argue that, in a wide class of cases, the use of infomin methods fails to cohere with our standard conception of rational degrees of belief. We introduce the notion of a deceptive updating method and argue that non-deceptiveness is a necessary condition for rational coherence. Infomin has been criticized on the grounds that there are no higher (...)
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  22. added 2016-04-07
    Gordon Belot (forthcoming). Undermined. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-11.
    A popular strategy for understanding the probabilities that arise in physics is to interpret them via reductionist accounts of chance—indeed, it is sometimes claimed that such accounts are uniquely well-suited to make sense of the probabilities in classical statistical mechanics. Here it is argued that reductionist accounts of chance carry a steep but unappreciated cost: when applied to physical theories of the relevant type, they inevitably distort the relations of probability that they take as input.
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