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Profile: Claus Beisbart (University of Berne)
  1. Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (forthcoming). Computersimulationen in der Angewandten Politischen Philosophie - Ein Beispiel. In Carl-Friedrich Gethmann (ed.), Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft. Meiner. 601ß634.
    In den vergangenen Jahren hat die Europäische Union (EU) wiederholt versucht, ihre Institutionen zu reformieren. Als der Entwurf für eine Europäische Verfassung und später der Vertrag von Lissabon ausgehandelt wurden, betraf einer der meistdiskutiertesten Streitpunkte die Frage, nach welcher Entscheidungsregel der EU-Ministerrat abstimmen sollte. Diese Frage ist eine genuin normative Frage. Deshalb sollten auch politische Philosophen und Ethiker etwas zu dieser Frage beitragen können. Im folgenden wollen wir uns dieser Herausforderung stellen und alternative Entscheidungsregeln für den EU-Ministerrat bewerten. Dabei erweisen (...)
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  2. Claus Beisbart & Luc Bovens, Minimizing the Threat of a Positive Majority Deficit in Two-Tier Voting Systems with Equipopulous Units.
    The mean majority deficit in a two-tier voting system is a function of the partition of the population. We derive a new square-root rule: For odd-numbered population sizes and equipopulous units the mean majority deficit is maximal when the member size of the units in the partition is close to the square root of the population size. Furthermore, within the partitions into roughly equipopulous units, partitions with small even numbers of units or small even-sized units yield high mean majority deficits. (...)
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  3. Claus Beisbart (2012). How Can Computer Simulations Produce New Knowledge? European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):395-434.
    It is often claimed that scientists can obtain new knowledge about nature by running computer simulations. How is this possible? I answer this question by arguing that computer simulations are arguments. This view parallels Norton’s argument view about thought experiments. I show that computer simulations can be reconstructed as arguments that fully capture the epistemic power of the simulations. Assuming the extended mind hypothesis, I furthermore argue that running the computer simulation is to execute the reconstructing argument. I discuss some (...)
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  4. Claus Beisbart (2012). Varieties of Goodness at Work: The Relationship Between Business and Morality. Inquiry 55 (4):405-430.
    Abstract What do we mean to say when we call some person a good business manager? And where do the criteria flow from by which we judge people good business managers? I answer these questions by drawing on von Wright's distinction between several varieties of goodness. We can then discriminate between instrumental, technical and moral senses of the expression ?to be a good business manager?. The first two senses presume that business managers have a characteristic task or that they engage (...)
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  5. Claus Beisbart & John D. Norton (2012). Why Monte Carlo Simulations Are Inferences and Not Experiments. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):403-422.
    Monte Carlo simulations arrive at their results by introducing randomness, sometimes derived from a physical randomizing device. Nonetheless, we argue, they open no new epistemic channels beyond that already employed by traditional simulations: the inference by ordinary argumentation of conclusions from assumptions built into the simulations. We show that Monte Carlo simulations cannot produce knowledge other than by inference, and that they resemble other computer simulations in the manner in which they derive their conclusions. Simple examples of Monte Carlo simulations (...)
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  6. Claus Beisbart (2011). Gabriele Gramelsberger: Computerexperimente. Zum Wandel der Wissenschaft im Zeitalter des Computers. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (1):185-188.
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  7. Claus Beisbart (2011). Probabilistic Modeling in Physics. In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. 143.
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  8. Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (2011). Introduction. In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oup Oxford.
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  9. Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.) (2011). Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press.
    This volume is the first to provide a philosophical appraisal of probabilities in all of physics.
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  10. Luc Bovens & Claus Beisbart (2011). Measuring Voting Power for Dependent Voters Through Causal Models. Synthese 179 (1):35 - 56.
    We construct a new measure of voting power that yields reasonable measurements even if the individual votes are not cast independently. Our measure hinges on probabilities of counterfactuals, such as the probability that the outcome of a collective decision would have been yes, had a voter voted yes rather than no as she did in the real world. The probabilities of such counterfactuals are calculated on the basis of causal information, following the approach by Balke and Pearl. Opinion leaders whose (...)
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  11. Claus Beisbart (2010). Groups Can Make a Difference: Voting Power Measures Extended. [REVIEW] Theory and Decision 69 (3):469-488.
    The voting power of a voter—the extent to which she can affect the outcome of a collective decision—is often quantified in terms of the probability that she is critical. This measure is extended to a series of power measures of different ranks. The measures quantify the extent to which a voter can be part of a group that can jointly make a difference as to whether a bill passes or not. It is argued that the series of these measures allow (...)
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  12. Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (2010). Welfarist Evaluations of Decision Rules Under Interstate Utility Dependencies. Social Choice and Welfare 34 (2):315-344.
    We provide welfarist evaluations of decision rules for federations of states and consider models, under which the interests of people from different states are stochastically dependent. We concentrate on two welfarist standards; they require that the expected utility for the federation be maximized or that the expected utilities for people from different states be equal. We discuss an analytic result that characterizes the decision rule with maximum expected utility, set up a class of models that display interstate dependencies and run (...)
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  13. Claus Beisbart (2009). Can We Justifiably Assume the Cosmological Principle in Order to Break Model Underdetermination in Cosmology? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (2):175 - 205.
    If cosmology is to obtain knowledge about the whole universe, it faces an underdetermination problem: Alternative space-time models are compatible with our evidence. The problem can be avoided though, if there are good reasons to adopt the Cosmological Principle (CP), because, assuming the principle, one can confine oneself to the small class of homogeneous and isotropic space-time models. The aim of this paper is to ask whether there are good reasons to adopt the Cosmological Principle in order to avoid underdetermination (...)
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  14. Claus Beisbart (2009). How to Fix Directions Or Are Assignments of Vector Characteristics Attributions of Intrinsic Properties? Dialectica 63 (4):503-524.
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  15. Claus Beisbart (2009). Kant's Characterization of Natural Ends. Kant Yearbook 1 (1).
  16. Claus Beisbart (2008). Review of M. Wille, Mathematics and the Synthetic A Priori: Epistemological Investigations Into the Status of Mathematical Axioms. [REVIEW] Philosophia Mathematica 16 (1):130-132.
  17. Claus Beisbart (2008). Normativity and Naturalism, Edited by Peter Schaber. European Journal of Philosophy 16 (2):325-329.
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  18. Claus Beisbart (2007). Theoriebeladenheit Und Objektivität. Zur Rolle Von Beobachtungen in den Naturwissenschaften. Reihe Epistemische Stu-Dien, Schriften Zur Erkenntnis- Und Wissenschaftstheorie. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 38 (1):193-200.
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  19. Claus Beisbart & Luc Bovens, Welfarist Evaluations of Decision Rules for Boards of Representatives.
    We consider a decision board with representatives who vote on proposals on behalf of their constituencies. We look for decision rules that realize utilitarian and (welfarist) egalitarian ideals. We set up a simple model and obtain roughly the following results. If the interests of people from the same constituency are uncorrelated, then a weighted rule with square root weights does best in terms of both ideals. If there are perfect correlations, then the utilitarian ideal requires proportional weights, whereas the egalitarian (...)
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  20. Luc Bovens & Claus Beisbart (2007). Factions in Rousseau's du Contrat Social and Federal Representation. Analysis 67 (293):12–20.
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  21. Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (2006). Welfarism and the Assessment of Social Decision Rules. In Jerome Lang & Ulle Endriss (eds.), Computational Social Choice 2006. University of Amsterdam.
    The choice of a social decision rule for a federal assembly affects the welfare distribution within the federation. But which decision rules can be recommended on welfarist grounds? In this paper, we focus on two welfarist desiderata, viz. (i) maximizing the expected utility of the whole federation and (ii) equalizing the expected utilities of people from different states in the federation. We consider the European Union as an example, set up a probabilistic model of decision making and explore how different (...)
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  22. Claus Beisbart & Tobias Jung (2006). Privileged, Typical, or Not Even That? – Our Place in the World According to the Copernican and the Cosmological Principles. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 37 (2):225 - 256.
    If we are to constrain our place in the world, two principles are often appealed to in science. According to the Copernican Principle, we do not occupy a privileged position within the Universe. The Cosmological Principle, on the other hand, says that our observations would roughly be the same, if we were located at any other place in the Universe. In our paper we analyze these principles from a logical and philosophical point of view. We show how they are related, (...)
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  23. Claus Beisbart, Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (2005). A Utilitarian Assessment of Alternative Decision Rules in the Council of Ministers. European Union Politics 6 (4):395-419.
    We develop a utilitarian framework to assess different decision rules for the European Council of Ministers. The proposals to be decided on are conceptualized as utility vectors and a probability distribution is assumed over the utilities. We first show what decision rules yield the highest expected utilities for different means of the probability distri- bution. For proposals with high mean utility, simple bench- mark rules (such as majority voting with proportional weights) tend to outperform rules that have been proposed in (...)
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  24. Stephan Hartmann, Claus Beisbart & Luc Bovens (2005). A Utilitarian Assessment of Alternative Decision Rules in the Council of Ministers. European Union Politics 6 (4):395-419.
    We develop a utilitarian framework to assess different decision rules for the European Council of Ministers. The proposals to be decided on are conceptualized as utility vectors and a probability distribution is assumed over the utilities. We first show what decision rules yield the highest expected utilities for different means of the probability distribution. For proposals with high mean utility, simple benchmark rules (such as majority voting with proportional weights) tend to outperform rules that have been proposed in the political (...)
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  25. Claus Beisbart (2004). Richard Johns, A Theory of Physical Probability Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 24 (1):34-36.
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