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Philosophy of Probability

Edited by Darrell Rowbottom (Lingnan University)
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  1. added 2014-08-31
    Dietrich Franz & Christian List, From Degrees of Belief to Beliefs: Lessons From Judgment-Aggregation Theory.
    What is the relationship between degrees of belief and (all-or-nothing) beliefs? Can the latter be expressed as a function of the former, without running into paradoxes? We reassess this “belief-binarization” problem from the perspective of judgment-aggregation theory. Although some similarities between belief binarization and judgment aggregation have been noted before, the literature contains no general study of the implications of aggregation-theoretic impossibility and possibility results for belief binarization. We seek to fill this gap. At the centre of this paper is (...)
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  2. added 2014-08-22
    Isaac Choi (forthcoming). Is Petitionary Prayer Superfluous? Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
  3. added 2014-08-19
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Probabilistic Opinion Pooling Generalized -- Part One: General Agendas.
    How can different individuals' probability assignments to some events be aggregated into a collective probability assignment? Classic results on this problem assume that the set of relevant events -- the agenda -- is a sigma-algebra and is thus closed under disjunction (union) and conjunction (intersection). We drop this demanding assumption and explore probabilistic opinion pooling on general agendas. One might be interested in the probability of rain and that of an interest-rate increase, but not in the probability of rain or (...)
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  4. added 2014-08-19
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Probabilistic Opinion Pooling Generalised -- Part Two: The Premise-Based Approach.
    How can different individuals' probability functions on a given sigma-algebra of events be aggregated into a collective probability function? Classic approaches to this problem often require 'event-wise independence': the collective probability for each event should depend only on the individuals' probabilities for that event. In practice, however, some events may be 'basic' and others 'derivative', so that it makes sense first to aggregate the probabilities for the former and then to let these constrain the probabilities for the latter. We formalize (...)
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  5. added 2014-08-18
    Peter Brössel (forthcoming). Keynes’s Coefficient of Dependence Revisited. Erkenntnis.
    Probabilistic dependence and independence are among the key concepts of Bayesian epistemology. This paper focuses on the study of one specific quantitative notion of probabilistic dependence. More specifically, section 1 introduces Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and shows how it is related to pivotal aspects of scientific reasoning such as confirmation, coherence, the explanatory and unificatory power of theories, and the diversity of evidence. The intimate connection between Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and scientific reasoning raises the question of how Keynes’s coefficient (...)
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  6. added 2014-08-18
    Jeffrey Sanford Russell, John Hawthorne & Lara Buchak (forthcoming). Groupthink. Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    How should a group with different opinions (but the same values) make decisions? In a Bayesian setting, the natural question is how to aggregate credences: how to use a single credence function to naturally represent a collection of different credence functions. An extension of the standard Dutch-book arguments that apply to individual decision-makers recommends that group credences should be updated by conditionalization. This imposes a constraint on what aggregation rules can be like. Taking conditionalization as a basic constraint, we gather (...)
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  7. added 2014-08-12
    Paul D. Thorn & Gerhard Schurz (2013). Ampliative Inference Under Varied Entropy Levels. In Christoph Beierle & Gabriele Kern-Isberner (eds.), Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Dynamics of Knowledge and Belief (DKB-2013). Fakultät für Mathematik und Informatik, FernUniversität in Hagen. 77-88.
  8. added 2014-08-08
    Andrew Bacon (forthcoming). Stalnaker's Thesis in Context. Review of Symbolic Logic.
    In this paper I present a precise version of Stalnaker's thesis and show that it is both consistent and predicts our intuitive judgments about the probabilities of conditionals. The thesis states that someone whose total evidence is E should have the same credence in the proposition expressed by 'if A then B' in a context where E is salient as they have conditional credence in the proposition B expresses given the proposition A expresses in that context. The thesis is formalised (...)
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  9. added 2014-08-08
    Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Yoaav Isaacs (forthcoming). Evil and Evidence. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    The problem of evil is the most prominent argument against the existence of God. Skeptical theists contend that it is not a good argument. Their reasons for this contention vary widely, involving such notions as CORNEA, epistemic appearances, 'gratuitous' evils, 'levering' evidence, and the representativeness of goods. We aim to clarify some confusions about these notions, and also to offer a few new responses to the problem of evil.
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  10. added 2014-08-04
    Simon D'Alfonso (2014). Review of 'Quitting Certainties'. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 34:34-36.
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  11. added 2014-07-31
    Christopher J. G. Meacham (forthcoming). The Meta-Reversibility Objection. In Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric Winsberg (eds.), Time's Arrow and the Probability Structure of the World.
    One popular approach to statistical mechanics understands statistical mechanical probabilities as measures of rational indifference. Naive formulations of this ``indifference approach'' face reversibility worries - while they yield the right prescriptions regarding future events, they yield the wrong prescriptions regarding past events. This paper begins by showing how the indifference approach can overcome the standard reversibility worries by appealing to the Past Hypothesis. But, the paper argues, positing a Past Hypothesis doesn't free the indifference approach from all reversibility worries. For (...)
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  12. added 2014-07-23
    Nathaniel Sharadin (forthcoming). Problems for Pure Probabilism About Promotion (and a Disjunctive Alternative). Philosophical Studies:1-16.
    Humean promotionalists about reasons think that whether there is a reason for an agent to ϕ depends on whether her ϕ-ing promotes the satisfaction of at least one of her desires. Several authors have recently defended probabilistic accounts of promotion, according to which an agent’s ϕ-ing promotes the satisfaction of one of her desires just in case her ϕ-ing makes the satisfaction of that desire more probable relative to some baseline. In this paper I do three things. First, I formalize (...)
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  13. added 2014-07-03
    Yann Benétreau-Dupin (forthcoming). Blurring Out Cosmic Puzzles. Philosophy of Science.
    The Doomsday argument and anthropic arguments are illustrations of a paradox. In both cases, a lack of knowledge apparently yields surprising conclusions. Since they are formulated within a Bayesian framework, the paradox constitutes a challenge to Bayesianism. Several attempts, some successful, have been made to avoid these conclusions, but some versions of the paradox cannot be dissolved within the framework of orthodox Bayesianism. I show that adopting an imprecise framework of probabilistic reasoning allows for a more adequate representation of ignorance (...)
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  14. added 2014-07-03
    Ilho Park (forthcoming). Confirmation Measures and Collaborative Belief Updating. Synthese.
    There are some candidates that have been thought to measure the degree to which evidence incrementally confirms a hypothesis. This paper provides an argument for one candidate—the log-likelihood ratio measure. For this purpose, I will suggest a plausible requirement that I call the Requirement of Collaboration. And then, it will be shown that, of various candidates, only the log-likelihood ratio measure l satisfies this requirement. Using this result, Jeffrey conditionalization will be reformulated so as to disclose explicitly what determines new (...)
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  15. added 2014-06-12
    Theodore Bach (2014). A Unified Account of General Learning Mechanisms and Theory‐of‐Mind Development. Mind and Language 29 (3):351-381.
    Modularity theorists have challenged that there are, or could be, general learning mechanisms that explain theory-of-mind development. In response, supporters of the ‘scientific theory-theory’ account of theory-of-mind development have appealed to children's use of auxiliary hypotheses and probabilistic causal modeling. This article argues that these general learning mechanisms are not sufficient to meet the modularist's challenge. The article then explores an alternative domain-general learning mechanism by proposing that children grasp the concept belief through the progressive alignment of relational structure that (...)
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  16. added 2014-06-09
    John R. Welch (forthcoming). Moral Strata. Springer.
    This volume recreates the received notion of reflective equilibrium. It reconfigures reflective equilibrium as both a cognitive ideal and a method for approximating this ideal. The ideal of reflective equilibrium is restructured using the concept of discursive strata, which are formed by sentences and differentiated by function. Sentences that perform the same kind of linguistic function constitute a stratum. The book shows how moral discourse can be analyzed into phenomenal, instrumental, and teleological strata, and the ideal of reflective equilibrium reworked (...)
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