Information-based epistemology maintains that ‘being informed’ is an independent cognitive state that cannot be reduced to knowledge or to belief, and the modal logic KTB has been proposed as a model. But what distinguishes the KTB analysis of ‘being informed’, the Brouwersche schema (B), is precisely its downfall, for no logic of information should include (B) and, more generally, no epistemic logic should include (B), either.
Coherentism maintains that coherent beliefs are more likely to be true than incoherent beliefs, and that coherent evidence provides more confirmation of a hypothesis when the evidence is made coherent by the explanation provided by that hypothesis. Although probabilistic models of credence ought to be well-suited to justifying such claims, negative results from Bayesian epistemology have suggested otherwise. In this essay we argue that the connection between coherence and confirmation should be understood as a relation mediated by the causal relationships (...) among the evidence and a hypothesis, and we offer a framework for doing so by fitting together probabilistic models of coherence, confirmation, and causation. We show that the causal structure among the evidence and hypothesis is sometimes enough to determine whether the coherence of the evidence boosts confirmation of the hypothesis, makes no difference to it, or even reduces it. We also show that, ceteris paribus, it is not the coherence of the evidence that boosts confirmation, but rather the ratio of the coherence of the evidence to the coherence of the evidence conditional on a hypothesis. (shrink)
Michael Dummett famously maintained that analytic philosophy was simply philosophy that followed Frege in treating the philosophy of language as the basis for all other philosophy (1978, 441). But one important insight to emerge from computer science is how difficult it is to animate the linguistic artifacts that the analysis of thought produces. Yet, modeling the effects of thought requires a new skill that goes beyond analysis: procedural literacy. Some of the most promising research in philosophy makes use of a (...) variety of modeling techniques that go beyond basic logic and elementary probability theory. What unifies this approach is a focus on what Alan Perlis called procedural literacy. This essay argues that the future spoils in philosophical research will disproportionally go to those who are procedurally literate. (shrink)
Modeling a complex phenomena such as the mind presents tremendous computational complexity challenges. Modeling field theory (MFT) addresses these challenges in a non-traditional way. The main idea behind MFT is to match levels of uncertainty of the model (also, a problem or some theory) with levels of uncertainty of the evaluation criterion used to identify that model. When a model becomes more certain, then the evaluation criterion is adjusted dynamically to match that change to the model. This process is called (...) the Dynamic Logic of Phenomena (DLP) for model construction and it mimics processes of the mind and natural evolution. This paper provides a formal description of DLP by specifying its syntax, semantics, and reasoning system. We also outline links between DLP and other logical approaches. Computational complexity issues that motivate this work are presented using an example of polynomial models. (shrink)
In his groundbreaking book, Against Coherence (2005), Erik Olsson presents an ingenious impossibility theorem that appears to show that there is no informative relationship between probabilistic measures of coherence and higher likelihood of truth. Although Olsson's result provides an important insight into probabilistic models of epistemological coherence, the scope of his negative result is more limited than generally appreciated. The key issue is the role conditional independence conditions play within the witness testimony model Olsson uses to establish his result. Olsson (...) maintains that his witness model yields charitable ceteris paribus conditions for any theory of probabilistic coherence. Not so. In fact, Olsson's model, like Bayesian witness models in general, selects a peculiar class of models that are in no way representative of the range of options available to coherence theorists. Recent positive results suggest that there is a way to develop a formal theory of coherence after all. Further, although Bayesian witness models are not conducive to the truth, they are conducive to reliability. (shrink)
Yet, in broader terms, formal epistemology is not merely a methodological tool for epistemologists, but a discipline in its own right. On this programmatic view, formal epistemology is an interdisciplinary research program that covers work by philosophers, mathematicians, computer scientists, statisticians, psychologists, operations researchers, and economists who aim to give mathematical and sometimes computational representations of, along with sound strategies for reasoning about, knowledge, belief, judgment and decision making.
Jon Williamson's Objective Bayesian Epistemology relies upon a calibration norm to constrain credal probability by both quantitative and qualitative evidence. One role of the calibration norm is to ensure that evidence works to constrain a convex set of probability functions. This essay brings into focus a problem for Williamson's theory when qualitative evidence specifies non-convex constraints.
Rabern and Rabern (Analysis 68:105–112 2 ) and Uzquiano (Analysis 70:39–44 4 ) have each presented increasingly harder versions of ‘the hardest logic puzzle ever’ (Boolos The Harvard Review of Philosophy 6:62–65 1 ), and each has provided a two-question solution to his predecessor’s puzzle. But Uzquiano’s puzzle is different from the original and different from Rabern and Rabern’s in at least one important respect: it cannot be solved in less than three questions. In this paper we solve Uzquiano’s puzzle (...) in three questions and show why there is no solution in two. Finally, to cement a tradition, we introduce a puzzle of our own. (shrink)
Focused correlation compares the degree of association within an evidence set to the degree of association in that evidence set given that some hypothesis is true. A difference between the confirmation lent to a hypothesis by one evidence set and the confirmation lent to that hypothesis by another evidence set is robustly tracked by a difference in focused correlations of those evidence sets on that hypothesis, provided that all the individual pieces of evidence are equally, positively relevant to that hypothesis. (...) However, that result depends on a very strong equal relevance condition on individual pieces of evidence. In this essay, we prove tracking results for focused correlation analogous to Wheeler and Scheines’s results but for cases involving unequal relevance. Our result is robust as well, and we retain conditions for bidirectional tracking between incremental confirmation measures and focused correlation. (shrink)
One goal of normative multi-agent system theory is to formulate principles for normative system change that maintain the rule-like structure of norms and preserve links between norms and individual agent obligations. A central question raised by this problem is whether there is a framework for norm change that is at once specific enough to capture this rule-like behavior of norms, yet general enough to support a full battery of norm and obligation change operators. In this paper we propose an answer (...) to this question by developing a bimodal logic for norms and obligations called NO. A key to our approach is that norms are treated as propositional formulas, and we provide some independent reasons for adopting this stance. Then we define norm change operations for a wide class of modal systems, including the class of NO systems, by constructing a class of modal revision operators that satisfy all the AGM postulates for revision, and constructing a class of modal contraction operators that satisfy all the AGM postulates for contraction. More generally, our approach yields an easily extendable framework within which to work out principles for a theory of normative system change. (shrink)
Many philosophers of science have argued that a set of evidence that is "coherent" confirms a hypothesis which explains such coherence. In this paper, we examine the relationships between probabilistic models of all three of these concepts: coherence, confirmation, and explanation. For coherence, we consider Shogenji's measure of association (deviation from independence). For confirmation, we consider several measures in the literature, and for explanation, we turn to Causal Bayes Nets and resort to causal structure and its constraint on probability. All (...) else equal, we show that focused correlation, which is the ratio of the coherence of evidence and the coherence of the evidence conditional on a hypothesis, tracks confirmation. We then show that the causal structure of the evidence and hypothesis can put strong constraints on how coherence in the evidence does or does not translate into confirmation of the hypothesis. (shrink)
Classical modal logics, based on the neighborhood semantics of Scott and Montague, provide a generalization of the familiar normal systems based on Kripke semantics. This paper defines AGM revision operators on several first-order monotonic modal correspondents, where each first-order correspondence language is defined by Marc Pauly’s version of the van Benthem characterization theorem for monotone modal logic. A revision problem expressed in a monotone modal system is translated into first-order logic, the revision is performed, and the new belief set is (...) translated back to the original modal system. An example is provided for the logic of Risky Knowledge that uses modal AGM contraction to construct counter-factual evidence sets in order to investigate robustness of a probability assignment given some evidence set. A proof of correctness is given. (shrink)
While in principle probabilistic logics might be applied to solve a range of problems, in practice they are rarely applied at present. This is perhaps because they seem disparate, complicated, and computationally intractable. However, we shall argue in this programmatic paper that several approaches to probabilistic logic into a simple unifying framework: logically complex evidence can be used to associate probability intervals or probabilities with sentences.
This essay presents results about a deviation from independence measure called focused correlation . This measure explicates the formal relationship between probabilistic dependence of an evidence set and the incremental confirmation of a hypothesis, resolves a basic question underlying Peter Klein and Ted Warfield's ‘truth-conduciveness’ problem for Bayesian coherentism, and provides a qualified rebuttal to Erik Olsson's claim that there is no informative link between correlation and confirmation. The generality of the result is compared to recent programs in Bayesian epistemology (...) that attempt to link correlation and confirmation by utilizing a conditional evidential independence condition. Several properties of focused correlation are also highlighted. Introduction Correlation Measures 2.1 Standard covariance and correlation measures 2.2 The Wayne–Shogenji measure 2.3 Interpreting correlation measures 2.4 Correlation and evidential independence Focused Correlation Conclusion Appendix CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
In V. N. Huynh (ed.): Interval / Probabilistic Uncertainty and Non-Classical Logics, Advances in Soft Computing Series, Springer 2008, pp. 268-279. This paper proposes a common framework for various probabilistic logics. It consists of a set of uncertain premises with probabilities attached to them. This raises the question of the strength of a conclusion, but without imposing a particular semantics, no general solution is possible. The paper discusses several possible semantics by looking at it from the perspective of probabilistic argumentation.
Logic is a celebrated representation language because of its formal generality. But there are two senses in which a logic may be considered general, one that concerns a technical ability to discriminate between different types of individuals, and another that concerns constitutive norms for reasoning as such. This essay embraces the former, permutation-invariance conception of logic and rejects the latter, Fregean conception of logic. The question of how to apply logic under this pure invariantist view is addressed, and a methodology (...) is given. The pure invariantist view is contrasted with logical pluralism, and a methodology for applied logic is demonstrated in remarks on a variety of issues concerning non-monotonic logic and non-monotonic inference, including Charles Morgan’s impossibility results for non-monotonic logic, David Makinson’s normative constraints for non-monotonic inference, and Igor Douven and Timothy Williamson’s proposed formal constraints on rational acceptance. (shrink)
Epistemic naturalism holds that the results or methodologies from the cognitive sciences are relevant to epistemology, and some have maintained that scientific methods are more compatible with externalist theories of justification than with internalist theories. But practically all discussions about naturalized epistemology are framed exclusively in terms of cognitive psychology, which is only one of the cognitive sciences. The question addressed in this essay is whether a commitment to naturalism really does favor externalism over internalism, and we offer reasons for (...) thinking that naturalism in epistemology is compatible with both internalist and externalist conceptions of justification. We also argue that there are some distinctively internalist aims that are currently being studied scientifically and these notions, and others, should be studied by scientific methods. (shrink)
Summary. This paper proposes a common framework for various probabilistic logics. It consists of a set of uncertain premises with probabilities attached to them. This raises the question of the strength of a conclusion, but without imposing a particular semantics, no general solution is possible. The paper discusses several possible semantics by looking at it from the perspective of probabilistic argumentation.
This paper presents the progicnet programme. It proposes a general framework for probabilistic logic that can guide inference based on both logical and probabilistic input. After an introduction to the framework as such, it is illustrated by means of a toy example from psychometrics. It is shown that the framework can accommodate a number of approaches to probabilistic reasoning: Bayesian statistical inference, evidential probability, probabilistic argumentation, and objective Bayesianism. The framework thus provides insight into the relations between these approaches, it (...) illustrates how the results of different approaches can be combined, and it provides a basis for doing efficient inference in each of the approaches. (shrink)
Henry Kyburg’s lottery paradox (1961, p. 197) arises from considering a fair 1000 ticket lottery that has exactly one winning ticket. If this much is known about the execution of the lottery it is therefore rational to accept that one ticket will win. Suppose that an event is very likely if the probability of its occurring is greater than 0.99. On these grounds it is presumed rational to accept the proposition that ticket 1 of the lottery will not win. Since (...) the lottery is fair, it is rational to accept that ticket 2 won’t win either—indeed, it is rational to accept for any individual ticket i of the lottery that ticket i will not win. However, accepting that ticket 1 won’t win, accepting that ticket 2 won’t win, . . . , and accepting that ticket 1000 won’t win entails that it is rational to accept that no ticket will win, which entails that it is rational to accept the contradictory proposition that one ticket wins and no ticket wins. (shrink)
C.P. Snow observed that universities are largely made up of two broad types of people, literary intellectuals and scientists, yet a typical individual of each type is barely able, if able at all, to communicate with his counterpart. Snow's observation, popularized in his 1959 lecture Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (reissued by Cambridge 1993), goes some way to explaining the two distinct cultures one hears referred to as "the humanities" and "the sciences." Snow's lecture is a study of these (...) two cultures, their rules, hierarchies, and educational traditions, which raises the following question: to what degree are "the humanities" and "the sciences" a consequence of how we organize and fund modern universities? Rather than a happenstance of interests and temperament, perhaps "humanist" and "scientist" are largely bureaucratic categories. (shrink)
We examine the notion of conditionals and the role of conditionals in inductive logics and arguments. We identify three mistakes commonly made in the study of, or motivation for, non-classical logics. A nonmonotonic consequence relation based on evidential probability is formulated. With respect to this acceptance relation some rules of inference of System P are unsound, and we propose refinements that hold in our framework.
A bounded formula is a pair consisting of a propositional formula φ in the first coordinate and a real number within the unit interval in the second coordinate, interpreted to express the lower-bound probability of φ. Converting conjunctive/disjunctive combinations of bounded formulas to a single bounded formula consisting of the conjunction/disjunction of the propositions occurring in the collection along with a newly calculated lower probability is called absorption. This paper introduces two inference rules for effecting conjunctive and disjunctive absorption and (...) compares the resulting logical system, called System Y, to axiom System P. Finally, we demonstrate how absorption resolves the lottery paradox and the paradox of the preference. (shrink)
The structural view of rational acceptance is a commitment to developing a logical calculus to express rationally accepted propositions sufficient to represent valid argument forms constructed from rationally accepted formulas. This essay argues for this project by observing that a satisfactory solution to the lottery paradox and the paradox of the preface calls for a theory that both (i) offers the facilities to represent accepting less than certain propositions within an interpreted artificial language and (ii) provides a logical calculus of (...) rationally accepted formulas that preserves rational acceptance under consequence. The essay explores the merit and scope of the structural view by observing that some limitations to a recent framework advanced James Hawthorne and Luc Bovens are traced to their framework satisfying the first of these two conditions but not the second. (shrink)
This paper presents statistical default logic, an expansion of classical (i.e., Reiter) default logic that allows us to model common inference patterns found in standard inferential statistics, including hypothesis testing and the estimation of a populations mean, variance and proportions. The logic replaces classical defaults with ordered pairs consisting of a Reiter default in the ﬁrst coordinate and a real number within the unit interval in the second coordinate. This real number represents an upper-bound limit on the probability of accepting (...) the consequent of an applied default and that consequent being false. A method for constructing extensions is then deﬁned that preserves this upper bound on the probability of error under a (skeptical) non-monotonic consequence relation. (shrink)
Statistical Default Logic (SDL) is an expansion of classical (i.e., Reiter) default logic that allows us to model common inference patterns found in standard inferential statistics, e.g., hypothesis testing and the estimation of a population‘s mean, variance and proportions. This paper presents an embedding of an important subset of SDL theories, called literal statistical default theories, into stable model semantics. The embedding is designed to compute the signature set of literals that uniquely distinguishes each extension on a statistical default theory (...) at a pre-assigned error-bound probability. (shrink)
In this essay we advance the view that analytical epistemology and artiﬁcial intelligence are complementary disciplines. Both ﬁelds study epistemic relations, but whereas artiﬁcial intelligence approaches this subject from the perspective of understanding formal and computational properties of frameworks purporting to model some epistemic relation or other, traditional epistemology approaches the subject from the perspective of understanding the properties of epistemic relations in terms of their conceptual properties. We argue that these two practices should not be conducted in isolation. We (...) illustrate this point by discussing how to represent a class of inference forms found in standard inferential statistics. This class of inference forms is interesting because its members share two properties that are common to epistemic relations, namely defeasibility and paraconsistency. Our modeling of standard inferential statistical arguments exploits results from both logical artificial intelligence and analytical epistemology. We remark how our approach to this modeling problem may be generalized to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of epistemic relation. (shrink)
No one has a well developed solution to Duhem's problem, the problem of how experimental evidence warrants revision of our theories. Deborah Mayo proposes a solution to Duhem's problem in route to her more ambitious program of providing a philosophical account of inductive inference and experimental knowledge. This paper is a response to Mayo's Error Statistics (ES) program, paying particular attention to her response to Duhem's problem. It turns out that Mayo's purported solution to Duhem's problem is very significant to (...) her project, for the epistemic license claimed by ES and the philosophical underpinnings to her account of experimental knowledge depend on this solution. By introducing the partition problem, I argue that ES fails to solve Duhem's problem and therefore fails to provide an adequate account of experimental knowledge. (shrink)
Using a two-part instrument consisting of eight vignettes and twenty character traits, the study sampled 141 employees of a mid-west financial firm regarding their predispositions to prefer utilitarian or formalist forms of ethical reasoning. In contrast with earlier studies, we found that these respondents did not prefer utilitarian reasoning. Several other hypotheses were tested involving the relationship between (1) people's preferences for certain types of solutions to issues and (2) the forms of reasoning they use to arrive at those solutions; (...) the nature of the relationship between utilitarian and formalist categories; and the possibility of measuring ethical predispositions using different methods. (shrink)