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Philosophy of Probability

Edited by Darrell Rowbottom (Lingnan University)
Assistant editor: Joshua Luczak (University of Western Ontario)
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  1. added 2015-05-18
    Jürgen Landes & Jon Williamson, Justifying Objective Bayesianism on Predicate Languages.
    Objective Bayesianism says that the strengths of one’s beliefs ought to be probabilities, calibrated to physical probabilities insofar as one has evidence of them, and otherwise sufficiently equivocal. These norms of belief are often explicated using the maximum entropy principle. In this paper we investigate the extent to which one can provide a unified justification of the objective Bayesian norms in the case in which the background language is a first-order predicate language, with a view to applying the resulting formalism (...)
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  2. added 2015-05-18
    C. Howson (2014). What Probability Probably Isn't. Analysis 75 (1):53-59.
    Joyce and others have claimed that degrees of belief are estimates of truth-values and that the probability axioms are conditions of admissibility for these estimates with respect to a scoring rule penalizing inaccuracy. In this article, I argue that the claim that the rules of probability are truth-directed in this way depends on an assumption that is both implausible and lacks any supporting evidence, strongly suggesting that the probability axioms have nothing intrinsically to do with truth-directedness.
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  3. added 2015-04-24
    Philippe Gagnon (forthcoming). Review of Amir D. Aczel, Why Science Does Not Disprove God (New York: W. Morrow, 2014). [REVIEW] ESSSAT News and Reviews 25 (2).
    Review of the book by mathematician and science writer Amir Aczel, Why Science does not Disprove God, recently reissued in paperback, with a focus on the chapters on mathematics and God, and criticisms from the standpoint of the epistemology of the science and religion dialogue.
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  4. added 2015-04-16
    Conor Mayo-Wilson & Gregory Wheeler (forthcoming). Scoring Imprecise Credences: A Mildly Immodest Proposal. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
  5. added 2015-04-15
    H. Orri Stefánsson & Richard Bradley (forthcoming). How Valuable Are Chances? Philosophy of Science.
  6. added 2015-04-13
    Jason Konek & Ben Levinstein, The Foundations of Epistemic Decision Theory.
    According to accuracy-first epistemology, accuracy is the fundamental epistemic good. Epistemic norms — Probabilism, Conditionalization, the Principal Principle, etc. — have their binding force in virtue of helping to secure this good. To make this idea precise, accuracy-firsters invoke Epistemic Decision Theory (EpDT) to determine which epistemic policies are the best means toward the end of accuracy. Hilary Greaves and others have recently challenged the tenability of this programme. Their arguments purport to show that EpDT encourages obviously epistemically irrational behavior. (...)
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  7. added 2015-04-13
    Aaron Bronfman (2015). Deference and Description. Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1333-1353.
    Consider someone whom you know to be an expert about some issue. She knows at least as much as you do and reasons impeccably. The issue is a straightforward case of statistical inference that raises no deep problems of epistemology. You happen to know the expert’s opinion on this issue. Should you defer to her by adopting her opinion as your own? An affirmative answer may appear mandatory. But this paper argues that a crucial factor in answering this question is (...)
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  8. added 2015-04-10
    Max Baker-Hytch & Matthew A. Benton (forthcoming). Defeatism Defeated. Philosophical Perspectives.
    Many epistemologists are enamored with a defeat condition on knowledge. In this paper we present some implementation problems for defeatism, understood along either internalist or externalist lines. We then propose that one who accepts a knowledge norm of belief, according to which one ought to believe only what one knows, can explain away much of the motivation for defeatism. This is an important result, because on the one hand it respects the plausibility of the intuitions about defeat shared by many (...)
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  9. added 2015-04-06
    Lane DesAutels (forthcoming). Toward a Propensity Interpretation of Stochastic Mechanism for the Life Sciences. Synthese:1-33.
    In what follows, I suggest that it makes good sense to think of the truth of the probabilistic generalizations made in the life sciences as metaphysically grounded in stochastic mechanisms in the world. To further understand these stochastic mechanisms, I take the general characterization of mechanism offered by MDC :1–25, 2000) and explore how it fits with several of the going philosophical accounts of chance: subjectivism, frequentism, Lewisian best-systems, and propensity. I argue that neither subjectivism, frequentism, nor a best-system-style interpretation (...)
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  10. added 2015-04-06
    Alena Vencovská & Jeff B. Paris (2015). The Twin Continua of Inductive Methods. [REVIEW] In Andrés Villaveces, Roman Kossak, Juha Kontinen & Åsa Hirvonen (eds.), Logic Without Borders: Essays on Set Theory, Model Theory, Philosophical Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics. De Gruyter. 355-366.
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  11. added 2015-04-06
    Tommaso Flaminio, Lluis Godo & Hykel Hosni, Coherence in the Aggregate: A Betting Method for Belief Functions on Many-Valued Events.
    Betting methods, of which de Finetti's Dutch Book is by far the most well-known, are uncertainty modelling devices which accomplish a twofold aim. Whilst providing an interpretation of the relevant measure of uncertainty, they also provide a formal definition of coherence. The main purpose of this paper is to put forward a betting method for belief functions on MV-algebras of many-valued events which allows us to isolate the corresponding coherence criterion, which we term coherence in the aggregate. Our framework generalises (...)
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  12. added 2015-04-06
    Jon Williamson, Deliberation, Judgement and the Nature of Evidence.
    A normative Bayesian theory of deliberation and judgement requires a procedure for merging the evidence of a collection of agents. In order to provide such a procedure, one needs to ask what the evidence is that grounds Bayesian probabilities. After finding fault with several views on the nature of evidence , it is argued that evidence is whatever is rationally taken for granted. This view is shown to have consequences for an account of merging evidence, and it is argued that (...)
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  13. added 2015-04-06
    Benjamin Lennertz (2015). Quantificational Credences. Philosophers' Imprint 15 (9).
    In addition to full beliefs, agents have attitudes of varying confidence, or credences. For instance, I do not believe that the Boston Red Sox will win the American League East this year, but I am at least a little bit confident that they will – i.e. I have a positive credence that they will. It is also common to think that agents have conditional credences. For instance, I am very confident – i.e. have a conditional credence of very-likely strength – (...)
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  14. added 2015-04-06
    Hendrik van der Breggen, Hume, Miracle Reports, and Credibility.
    The purpose of this thesis is to gain an accurate appreciation of the force of David Hume's arguments against reasonable belief in the truth of miracle reports . To avoid the possibility of misrepresenting Hume's arguments, which are found in his essay "Of Miracles," I expend considerable effort in attempting to interpret them fairly and charitably. Because an important claim in Part One of his two-part essay is understood by Hume in private correspondence to mean something significantly different from its (...)
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  15. added 2015-03-26
    Matthew Harrison-Trainor, Wesley H. Holliday & Thomas F. Icard (forthcoming). A Note on Cancellation Axioms for Comparative Probability. Theory and Decision.
    We prove that the generalized cancellation axiom for incomplete comparative probability relations introduced by Rios Insua (1992) and Alon and Lehrer (2014) is stronger than the standard cancellation axiom for complete comparative probability relations introduced by Scott (1964), relative to their other axioms for comparative probability in both the finite and infinite cases. This result has been suggested but not proved in the previous literature.
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  16. added 2015-03-26
    David Godden & Frank Zenker (2015). Denying Antecedents and Affirming Consequents: The State of the Art. Informal Logic 35 (1):88-134.
    Recent work on conditional reasoning argues that denying the antecedent [DA] and affirming the consequent [AC] are defeasible but cogent patterns of argument, either because they are effective, rational, albeit heuristic applications of Bayesian probability, or because they are licensed by the principle of total evidence. Against this, we show that on any prevailing interpretation of indicative conditionals the premises of DA and AC arguments do not license their conclusions without additional assumptions. The cogency of DA and AC inferences rather (...)
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  17. added 2015-03-22
    Paul Anand (1993). Foundations of Rational Choice Under Risk. Oxford University Press.
  18. added 2015-03-03
    Gerd Niestegge (2015). Dynamical Correspondence in a Generalized Quantum Theory. Foundations of Physics 45 (5):525-534.
    In order to figure out why quantum physics needs the complex Hilbert space, many attempts have been made to distinguish the C*-algebras and von Neumann algebras in more general classes of abstractly defined Jordan algebras . One particularly important distinguishing property was identified by Alfsen and Shultz and is the existence of a dynamical correspondence. It reproduces the dual role of the selfadjoint operators as observables and generators of dynamical groups in quantum mechanics. In the paper, this concept is extended (...)
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