The Doomsday Argument says we should increase our subjective probability that Doomsday will occur once we take into account how many humans have lived before us. One objection to this conclusion is that we should accept the Self-Indication Assumption (SIA): Given the fact that you exist, you should (other things equal) favor hypotheses according to which many observers exist over hypotheses on which few observers exist. Nick Bostrom argues that we should not accept the SIA, because it can be used (...) without knowledge of birth rank. Bradley Monton tries to construct a Doomsday Argument without knowledge of birth rank. I argue that Monton fails. The argument he constructs has implicit knowledge of birth rank and it is this knowledge that does the work. Furthermore, I argue that provided we dont have certain specific information about the future, the Doomsday Argument requires knowledge of birth rank. (shrink)
This article defends the Doomsday Argument, the Halfer Position in Sleeping Beauty, the Fine-Tuning Argument, and the applicability of Bayesian confirmation theory to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. It will argue that all four problems have the same structure, and it gives a unified treatment that uses simple models of the cases and no controversial assumptions about confirmation or self-locating evidence. The article will argue that the troublesome feature of all these cases is not self-location but selection effects.
The paper discusses the sense in which the changes undergone by normative economics in the twentieth century can be said to be progressive. A simple criterion is proposed to decide whether a sequence of normative theories is progressive. This criterion is put to use on the historical transition from the new welfare economics to social choice theory. The paper reconstructs this classic case, and eventually concludes that the latter theory was progressive compared with the former. It also briefly comments on (...) the recent developments in normative economics and their connection with the previous two stages. (Published Online April 18 2006) Footnotes1 This paper suspersedes an earlier one entitled “Is There Progress in Normative Economics?” (Mongin 2002). I thank the organizers of the Fourth ESHET Conference (Graz 2000) for the opportunity they gave me to lecture on this topic. Thanks are also due to J. Alexander, K. Arrow, A. Bird, R. Bradley, M. Dascal, W. Gaertner, N. Gravel, D. Hausman, B. Hill, C. Howson, N. McClennen, A. Trannoy, J. Weymark, J. Worrall, two annonymous referees of this journal, and especially the editor M. Fleurbaey, for helpful comments. The editor's suggestions contributed to determine the final orientation of the paper. The author is grateful to the LSE and the Lachmann Foundation for their support at the time when he was writing the initial version. (shrink)
Origin of the movement: J. H. Stirling. --T. H. Green. --Edward Caird. --John Caird. --William Wallace. --D. G. Ritchie. --F. H. Bradley. --Bernard Bosanquet. --John Watson. --Henry Jones. --J. H. Muirhead. --J. S. Mackenzie. --Lord Haldane. --J. E. McTaggart as an interpreter of Hegel. --Appendix: Hegelianism and human personality.
Fish, S. Georgics of the mind: Bacon's philosophy and the experience of his Essays.--Brett, R. L. Thomas Hobbes.--Watt, I. Realism and the novel.--Tuveson, E. Locke and Sterne.--Kampf, L. Gibbon and Hume.--Frye, N. Blake's case against Locke.--Abrams, M. H. Mechanical and organic psychologies of literary invention.--Ryle, G. Jane Austen and the moralists.--Schneewind, J. B. Moral problems and moral philosophy in the Victorian period.--Donagan, A. Victorian philosophical prose: J. S. Mill and F. H. Bradley.--Pitcher, G. Wittgenstein, nonsense, and Lewis Carroll.--Bolgan, A. (...) C. The philosophy of F. H. Bradley and the mind and art of T. S. Eliot: an introduction.--Davie, D. Yeats, Berkeley, and Romanticism.--Ross, M. L. The mythology of friendship: D. H. Lawrence, Bertrand Russell, and "The Blind man".--Rosenbaum, S. P. The philosophical realism of Virginia Woolf.--Bibliography (p. 357-360). (shrink)