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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 2016-12-01
    Franz Dietrich, A Theory of Bayesian Groups.
    A group is often construed as a single agent with its own probabilistic beliefs (credences), which are obtained by aggregating those of the individuals, for instance through averaging. In their celebrated contribution “Groupthink”, Russell et al. (2015) apply the Bayesian paradigm to groups by requiring group credences to undergo a Bayesian revision whenever new information is learnt, i.e., whenever the individual credences undergo a Bayesian revision based on this information. Bayesians should often strengthen this requirement by extending it to non-public (...)
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  2. added 2016-11-30
    Bas C. Van Fraassen & Joseph Y. Halpern (forthcoming). Updating Probability: Tracking Statistics as Criterion. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv027.
    For changing opinion, represented by an assignment of probabilities to propositions, the criterion proposed is motivated by the requirement that the assignment should have, and maintain, the possibility of matching in some appropriate sense statistical proportions in a population. This ‘tracking’ criterion implies limitations on policies for updating in response to a wide range of types of new input. Satisfying the criterion is shown equivalent to the principle that the prior must be a convex combination of the possible posteriors. Furthermore, (...)
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  3. added 2016-11-30
    Wolfgang Freitag & Alexandra Zinke (2016). Ranks for the Riddle. Spohn Conditionalization and Goodman's Paradox. In Von Rang und Namen. Philosophical Essays in Honour of Wolfgang Spohn.
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  4. added 2016-11-26
    Jason Konek (2016). Probabilistic Knowledge and Cognitive Ability. Philosophical Review 125 (4):509-587.
    Sarah Moss argues that degrees of belief, or credences, can amount to knowledge in much the way that full beliefs can. This essay explores a new kind of objective Bayesianism designed to take us some way toward securing such knowledge-constituting credences, or “probabilistic knowledge.” Whatever else it takes for an agent's credences to amount to knowledge, their success, or accuracy, must be the product of cognitive ability or skill. The brand of Bayesianism developed here helps ensure this ability condition is (...)
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  5. added 2016-11-11
    Felipe Romero (forthcoming). Can the Behavioral Sciences Self-Correct? A Social Epistemic Study. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    Advocates of the self-corrective thesis argue that scientific method will refute false theories and find closer approximations to the truth in the long run. I discuss a contemporary interpretation of this thesis in terms of frequentist statistics in the context of the behavioral sciences. First, I identify experimental replications and systematic aggregation of evidence (meta-analysis) as the self-corrective mechanism. Then, I present a computer simulation study of scientific communities that implement this mechanism to argue that frequentist statistics may converge upon (...)
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  6. added 2016-11-10
    Michael J. Shaffer (forthcoming). Might/Would Duality and the Probabilities of Counterfactuals. Logique and Analyse.
    In this paper it is shown that Lewis' MWD (might/would duality) and imaging principles lead to wildly implausible probability assignments for would counterfactuals.
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  7. added 2016-11-10
    Carl Martin Allwood & Marcus Selart (2010). Social and Creative Decision Making. In Carl Martin Allwood & Marcus Selart (eds.), Decision making: Social and creative dimensions. Springer Media
    Research on human decision making is at the present time undergoing rapid changes. From previously being much focused on models and approaches with an origin in economy, much of the present day research finds its inspiration from disciplinary approaches concerned with incorporating more of the context that the decision making takes place in. This context includes psychological aspects of the decision maker and social-cultural aspects of the situation he or she acts in. All human decision making occurs in dynamically changing (...)
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  8. added 2016-11-10
    Henry Montgomery, Tommy Gärling, Erik Lindberg & Marcus Selart (1990). Preference Judgments and Choice: Is the Prominence Effect Due to Information Integration or Information Evaluation? In Katrin Borcherding, Oleg Larichev & David Messick (eds.), Contemporary issues in decision making. North-Holland
    Several studies have shown that preference is not necessarily synonymous with choice. In particular, the most preferred object from a set of objects presented in a non—choice context is not necessarily chosen when the same objects are options in a choice situation (Lichtenstein & Slovic, 1971, 1973; Tversky, Sattah, & Slovic, 1988) . Our research on the choice—preference discrepancy replicates these findings and thus bears some resemblance to the study by Tversky, Sattah, and Slovic (1988). Two competing explanations are tested.
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  9. added 2016-11-08
    Marcus Selart, Ole Boe & Kazuhisa Takemura (2000). How Do Decision Heuristic Performance and Social Value Orientaion Matter in the Building of Preferences? Göteborg Psychological Reports 30 (6).
    In the present study it was shown that both decision heuristics and social value orientation play important roles in the building of preferences. This was revealed in decision tasks in which participants were deciding about candidates for a job position. An eye-tracking equipment was applied in order to register participants´ information acquisition. It was revealed that participants performing well on a series of heuristics tasks (availability, representativeness, anchoríng & adjustment,and attribution) including a confidence judgment also behaved more accurately than low (...)
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  10. added 2016-11-07
    Niklas Karlsson, Tommy Gärling & Marcus Selart (1997). Effects of Mental Accounting on Intertemporal Choice. Göteborg Psychological Reports 27 (5).
    Two experiments with undergraduates as subjects were carried out with the aim of replicating and extending previous results showing that the implication of the behavioral life-cycle hypothesis (H. M. Shefrin & R. H. Thaler, 1988) that people classify assets in different mental accounts (current income, current assets, and future income) may explain how consumption choices are influenced by temporary income changes. In both experiments subjects made fictitious choices between paying for a good in cash or according to a more expensive (...)
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  11. added 2016-11-07
    Marcus Selart (1994). Preference Reversals in Judgment and Choice. Gothenburg University Press.
    According to normative decision theory there exists a principle of procedure invariance which states that a decision maker's preference order should remain the same, independently of which response mode is used. For example, the decision maker should express the same preference independently of whether he or she has to judge or decide. Nevertheless, previous research in behavioral decision making has suggested that judgments and choices yield different preference orders in both the risky and the riskless domain. In the latter, the (...)
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  12. added 2016-11-03
    Marcus Selart & Erkki Patokorpi (2009). The Issue of Design in Managerial Decision Making. Problems and Perspectives in Management 7 (4):92-99.
    It is argued that the design of decisions is a process that in many ways is shaped by social factors such as identities, values, and influences. To be able to understand how these factors impact organizational decisions, the focus must be set on the management level. It is the management that shoulders the chief responsibility for designing collective actions, such as decisions. Our propositions indicate that the following measures must be taken in order to improve the quality of organizational decisions: (...)
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  13. added 2016-10-31
    Carl Martin Allwood & Marcus Selart (2010). Decision Making: Social and Creative Dimensions. In Carl Martin Allwood & Marcus Selart (eds.), Decision making: Social and creative dimensions. Springer Media
    This volume presents research that integrates decision making and creativity within the social contexts in which these processes occur. The volume is an essential addition to and expansion of recent approaches to decision making. Such approaches attempt to incorporate more of the psychological and socio-cultural context in which human decision making takes place. The authors come from different disciplines and also belong to a broad spectrum of research traditions. They present innovative chapters dealing with both theoretical and empirical aspects of (...)
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  14. added 2016-10-30
    Wing-Shing Lee & Marcus Selart (2014). The Influence of Emotions on Trust in Ethical Decision Making. Problems a Perspectives in Management 12 (4):573-580.
    This paper attempts to delineate the interaction between trust, emotion, and ethical decision making. The authors first propose that trust can either incite an individual toward ethical decisions or drag him or her away from ethical decisions, depending on different situations. The authors then postulate that the feeling of guilt is central in understanding how trust affects the ethical decision making process. Several propositions based on these assumptions are introduced and implications for practice discussed.
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  15. added 2016-10-27
    Fabrizio Cariani (forthcoming). Chance, Credence and Circles. Episteme.
    This is a discussion of Richard Pettigrew's book "Accuracy and the Laws of Credence". I target Pettigrew's application of the accuracy framework to derive chance-credence principles. My principal contention is that Pettigrew's preferred version of the argument might in one sense be circular and, moreover, that Pettigrew's premises have content that go beyond that of standard chance-credence principles.
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  16. added 2016-10-25
    Tommy Gärling, Niklas Karlsson & Marcus Selart (1999). The Role of Mental Accounting in Everyday Economic Decision Making. In Peter Juslin & Henry Montgomery (eds.), Judgment and decision making. Erlbaum 199-218.
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  17. added 2016-10-25
    Marcus Selart & Daniel Eek (1999). Contingency and Value in Social Decision Making. In Peter Juslin & Henry Montgomery (eds.), Judgment and Decision Making. Erlbaum 261-273.
    This chapter discusses different perspectives and trends in social decision making, especially the actual processes used by humans when they make decisions in their everyday lives or in business situations. The chapter uses cognitive psychological techniques to break down these processes and set them in their social context.
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  18. added 2016-10-25
    Marcus Selart (1997). Aspects of Compatibility and the Construction of Preference. In Rob Ranyard, Ray Crozier & Ola Svenson (eds.), Decision making: Cognitive models and explanations. Routledge 58-72.
    This chapter focuses on the psychological mechanisms behind the construction of preference, especially the actual processes used by humans when they make decisions in their everyday lives or in business situations. The chapter uses cognitive psychological techniques to break down these processes and set them in their social context.
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  19. added 2016-10-25
    Tommy Gärling, Niklas Karlsson, Joakim Romanus & Marcus Selart (1997). Influences of the Past on Choices of the Future. In Rob Ranyard, Ray Crozier & Ola Svenson (eds.), Decision making: Cognitive models and explanations. Routledge 167-189.
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  20. added 2016-10-24
    William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji (forthcoming). Information and Inaccuracy. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw025.
    This article proposes a new interpretation of mutual information. We examine three extant interpretations of MI by reduction in doubt, by reduction in uncertainty, and by divergence. We argue that the first two are inconsistent with the epistemic value of information assumed in many applications of MI: the greater is the amount of information we acquire, the better is our epistemic position, other things being equal. The third interpretation is consistent with EVI, but it is faced with the problem of (...)
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  21. added 2016-10-23
    Daniel Eek & Marcus Selart (2009). The Choice Between Allocation Priciples. International Journal of Psychology 44 (2):109-119.
    One hundred and ninety participants (95 undergraduates and 95 employees) responded to a factorial survey in which a number of case-based organizational allocation tasks were described. Participants were asked to imagine themselves as employees in fictitious organizations and chose among three allocations of employee development schemes invested by the manager in different work groups. The allocations regarded how such investments should be allocated between two parties. Participants chose twice, once picking the fairest and once the best allocation. One between-subjects factor (...)
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  22. added 2016-10-23
    Marcus Selart & Daniel Eek (2005). Is There a Pro-Self Component Behind the Prominence Effect? International Journal of Psychology 40:429-440.
    An important problem for decision-makers in society deals with the efficient and equitable allocation of scarce resources to individuals and groups. The significance of this problem is rapidly growing since there is a rising demand for scarce resources all over the world. Such resource dilemmas belong to a conceptually broader class of situations known as social dilemmas. In this type of dilemma, individual choices that appear ‘‘rational’’ often result in suboptimal group outcomes. In this article we study how people make (...)
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  23. added 2016-10-23
    Bård Kuvaas & Marcus Selart (2004). Effects of Attribute Framing on Cognitive Processing and Evaluation. Organizional Behavior and Human Decision Processes 95:198-207.
    Whereas there is extensive documentation that attribute framing influences the content of peoples thought, we generally know less about how it affects the processes assumed to precede those thoughts. While existing explanations for attribute framing effects rely completely on valence-based associative processing, the results obtained in the present study are also consistent with the notion that negative framing stimulates more effortful and thorough information processing than positive framing. Specifically, results from a simulated business decision-making experiment showed that decision makers receiving (...)
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  24. added 2016-10-23
    Niklas Karlsson, Tommy Gärling & Marcus Selart (1999). Explanations of Effects of Prior Income Changes on Bying Decisions. Journal of Economic Psychology 20:449-463.
    Two experiments with undergraduates as subjects tested explanations of how a prior temporary income change influences choices between buying and deferred buying. In Experiment 1 predictions from the behavioral life-cycle theory (Shefrin & Thaler, 1988), the renewable resources model (Linville & Fischer, 1991) and the loss-sensitivity principle (Garling & Romanus, 1997) were contrasted. The results are inconsistent with the latter two explanations since the framing of buying as positive (buying a new model of a product) or negative (replacing a broken (...)
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  25. added 2016-10-23
    Marcus Selart, Niklas Karlsson & Tommy Gärling (1997). Self-Control and Loss Aversion in Intertemporal Choice. Journal of Socio-Economics 26 (5):513-524.
    The life-cycle theory of saving behavior (Modigliani, 1988) suggests that humans strive towards an equal intertemporal distribution of wealth. However, behavioral life-cycle theory (Shefrin & Thaler, 1988) proposes that people use self-control heuristics to postpone wealth until later in life. According to this theory, people use a system of cognitive budgeting known as mental accounting. In the present study it was found that mental accounts were used differently depending on if the income change was positive or negative. This was shown (...)
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  26. added 2016-10-23
    Henry Montgomery, Marcus Selart, Tommy Gärling & Erik Lindberg (1994). The Judgment-Choice Discrepancy. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 7 (2):145-155.
    The study examines the relative merits of a noncompatibility and a restructuring explanation of the recurrent empirical finding that a prominent attribute looms larger in choices than in judgments. Pairs of equally attractive options were presented to 72 undergraduates who were assigned to six conditions in which they performed (1) only preference judgments or choices, (2) preference judgments or choices preceded by judgments of attractiveness of attribute levels, or (3) preference judgments or choices accompanied by think-aloud reports. The results replicated (...)
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  27. added 2016-10-19
    Brian T. Miller (forthcoming). Updating, Undermining, and Perceptual Learning. Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    As I head home from work, I’m not sure whether my daughter’s new bike is green, and I’m also not sure whether I’m on drugs that distort my color perception. One thing that I am sure about is that my attitudes towards those possibilities are evidentially independent of one another, in the sense that changing my confidence in one shouldn’t affect my confidence in the other. When I get home and see the bike it looks green, so I increase my (...)
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  28. added 2016-10-16
    Michael Caie, Agreement and Updating for Self-Locating Belief.
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  29. added 2016-10-14
    Jonny Blamey (2013). Upping the Stakes and the Preface Paradox. In Frank Zenker (ed.), Bayesian Argumentation. Springer 195-210.
  30. added 2016-10-14
    Jonny Blamey (2013). Upping the Stakes and the Preface Paradox. In Frank Zenker (ed.), Bayesian Argumentation. Springer 195-210.
    Abstract The Preface Paradox, first introduced by David Makinson (1961), presents a plausible scenario where an agent is evidentially certain of each of a set of propositions without being evidentially certain of the conjunction of the set of propositions. Given reasonable assumptions about the nature of evidential certainty, this appears to be a straightforward contradiction. We solve the paradox by appeal to stake size sensitivity, which is the claim that evidential probability is sensitive to stake size. The argument is that (...)
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  31. added 2016-10-13
    William M. Goodman (2010). The Undetectable Difference: An Experimental Look at the ‘Problem’ of P-Values. Statistical Literacy Website/Papers: Www.Statlit.Org/Pdf/2010GoodmanASA.Pdf.
    In the face of continuing assumptions by many scientists and journal editors that p-values provide a gold standard for inference, counter warnings are published periodically. But the core problem is not with p-values, per se. A finding that “p-value is less than α” could merely signal that a critical value has been exceeded. The question is why, when estimating a parameter, we provide a range (a confidence interval), but when testing a hypothesis about a parameter (e.g. µ = x) we (...)
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  32. added 2016-10-10
    Miriam Schoenfield (forthcoming). Conditionalization Does Not (in General) Maximize Expected Accuracy. Mind.
    Greaves and Wallace argue that conditionalization maximizes expected accuracy. In this paper I show that their result only applies to a restricted range of cases. I then show that the update procedure that maximizes expected accuracy in general is one in which, upon learning P, we conditionalize, not on P, but on the proposition that we learned P. After proving this result, I provide further generalizations and show that much of the accuracy-first epistemology program is committed to KK-like iteration principles (...)
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  33. added 2016-10-08
    Jie Zheng, Marcelline R. Harris, Anna Maria Masci, Lin Yu, Alfred Hero, Barry Smith & Yongqun He (2016). The Ontology of Biological and Clinical Statistics (OBCS) for Standardized and Reproducible Statistical Analysis. Journal of Biomedical Semantics 7 (53).
    Statistics play a critical role in biological and clinical research. However, most reports of scientific results in the published literature make it difficult for the reader to reproduce the statistical analyses performed in achieving those results because they provide inadequate documentation of the statistical tests and algorithms applied. The Ontology of Biological and Clinical Statistics (OBCS) is put forward here as a step towards solving this problem. Terms in OBCS, including ‘data collection’, ‘data transformation in statistics’, ‘data visualization’, ‘statistical data (...)
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  34. added 2016-10-06
    Daniel Nolan (forthcoming). Chance and Necessity. Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1).
  35. added 2016-10-04
    Gustavo Cevolani & Gerhard Schurz (forthcoming). Probability, Approximate Truth, and Truthlikeness: More Ways Out of the Preface Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    The so-called Preface Paradox seems to show that one can rationally believe two logically incompatible propositions. We address this puzzle, relying on the notions of truthlikeness and approximate truth as studied within the post-Popperian research programme on verisimilitude. In particular, we show that adequately combining probability, approximate truth, and truthlikeness leads to an explanation of how rational belief is possible in the face of the Preface Paradox. We argue that our account is superior to other solutions of the paradox, including (...)
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  36. added 2016-09-29
    Bernd Lahno (2004). Is Trust the Result of Bayesian Learning? Jahrbuch Für Handlungs- Und Entscheidungstheorei 3:47-68.
  37. added 2016-09-28
    Cael L. Hasse, A Comprehensive Theory of Induction and Abstraction, Part I.
    I present a solution to the epistemological or characterisation problem of induction. In part I, Bayesian Confirmation Theory (BCT) is discussed as a good contender for such a solution but with a fundamental explanatory gap (along with other well discussed problems); useful assigned probabilities like priors require substantive degrees of belief about the world. I assert that one does not have such substantive information about the world. Consequently, an explanation is needed for how one can be licensed to act as (...)
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  38. added 2016-09-23
    Antonio Lieto, Antonio Chella & Marcello Frixione (forthcoming). Conceptual Spaces for Cognitive Architectures: A Lingua Franca for Different Levels of Representation. Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures.
    During the last decades, many cognitive architectures (CAs) have been realized adopting different assumptions about the organization and the representation of their knowledge level. Some of them (e.g. SOAR [35]) adopt a classical symbolic approach, some (e.g. LEABRA[ 48]) are based on a purely connectionist model, while others (e.g. CLARION [59]) adopt a hybrid approach combining connectionist and symbolic representational levels. Additionally, some attempts (e.g. biSOAR) trying to extend the representational capacities of CAs by integrating diagrammatical representations and reasoning are (...)
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  39. added 2016-09-20
    J. Acacio de Barros, Carlos Montemayor & Leonardo De Assis (forthcoming). Contextuality in the Integrated Information Theory. In J. A. de Barros, B. Coecke & E. Pothos (eds.), Lecture Notes on Computer Science.
    Integrated Information Theory (IIT) is one of the most influential theories of consciousness, mainly due to its claim of mathematically formalizing consciousness in a measurable way. However, the theory, as it is formulated, does not account for contextual observations that are crucial for understanding consciousness. Here we put forth three possible difficulties for its current version, which could be interpreted as a trilemma. Either consciousness is contextual or not. If contextual, either IIT needs revisions to its axioms to include contextuality, (...)
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  40. added 2016-09-15
    Roberta L. Millstein (2016). Genetic Drift. Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.
    Genetic drift (variously called “random drift”, “random genetic drift”, or sometimes just “drift”) has been a source of ongoing controversy within the philosophy of biology and evolutionary biology communities, to the extent that even the question of what drift is has become controversial. There seems to be agreement that drift is a chance (or probabilistic or statistical) element within population genetics and within evolutionary biology more generally, and that the term “random” isn’t invoking indeterminism or any technical mathematical meaning, but (...)
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