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Profile: Igor Douven (University of Groningen)
  1. Lieven Decock, Richard Dietz & Igor Douven (2013). Modelling Comparative Concepts in Conceptual Spaces. In Y. Motomura, Y. Butler & D. Bekki (eds.), New Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence, LNAI 7856. Springer. 69-86.
  2. Lieven Decock & Igor Douven (2013). Qualia Compression. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):129-150.
    Color qualia inversion scenarios have played a key role in various philosophical debates. Most notably perhaps, they have figured in skeptical arguments for the fundamental unknowability of other persons’ color experiences. For these arguments to succeed, it must be assumed that a person's having inverted color qualia may go forever unnoticed. This assumption is now generally deemed to be implausible. The present paper defines a variant of color qualia inversion—termed ‘‘color qualia compression’’—and argues that the possibility of undetectable color qualia (...)
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  3. Lieven Decock & Igor Douven (2013). Qualia Change and Colour Science. In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. 417--428.
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  4. Lieven Decock, Igor Douven, Christoph Kelp & Sylvia Wenmackers (2013). Knowledge and Approximate Knowledge. Erkenntnis:1-22.
    Traditionally, epistemologists have held that only truth-related factors matter in the question of whether a subject can be said to know a proposition. Various philosophers have recently departed from this doctrine by claiming that the answer to this question also depends on practical concerns. They take this move to be warranted by the fact that people’s knowledge attributions appear sensitive to contextual variation, in particular variation due to differing stakes. This paper proposes an alternative explanation of the aforementioned fact, one (...)
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  5. Igor Douven (2013). Inference to the Best Explanation, Dutch Books, and Inaccuracy Minimisation. Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252):428-444.
    Bayesians have traditionally taken a dim view of the Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE), arguing that, if IBE is at variance with Bayes' rule, then it runs afoul of the dynamic Dutch book argument. More recently, Bayes' rule has been claimed to be superior on grounds of conduciveness to our epistemic goal. The present paper aims to show that neither of these arguments succeeds in undermining IBE.
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  6. Igor Douven (2013). 1. The Epistemology of Conditionals. Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4:1.
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  7. Igor Douven (2013). The Epistemology of 'de Se'beliefs. In A. Capone & N. Feit (eds.), Attitudes de Se. University of Chicago.
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  8. Igor Douven (2013). The Formal Epistemology Project. Synthese 190 (1):1-2.
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  9. Igor Douven, Lieven Decock, Richard Dietz & Paul Égré (2013). Vagueness: A Conceptual Spaces Approach. Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (1):137-160.
    The conceptual spaces approach has recently emerged as a novel account of concepts. Its guiding idea is that concepts can be represented geometrically, by means of metrical spaces. While it is generally recognized that many of our concepts are vague, the question of how to model vagueness in the conceptual spaces approach has not been addressed so far, even though the answer is far from straightforward. The present paper aims to fill this lacuna.
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  10. Igor Douven & Christoph Kelp (2013). Proper Bootstrapping. Synthese 190 (1):171-185.
    According to a much discussed argument, reliabilism is defective for making knowledge too easy to come by. In a recent paper, Weisberg aims to show that this argument relies on a type of reasoning that is rejectable on independent grounds. We argue that the blanket rejection that Weisberg recommends of this type of reasoning is both unwarranted and unwelcome. Drawing on an older discussion in the philosophy of science, we show that placing some relatively modest restrictions on the said type (...)
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  11. Igor Douven & Sara Verbrugge (2013). The Probabilities of Conditionals Revisited. Cognitive Science 37 (4):711-730.
    According to what is now commonly referred to as “the Equation” in the literature on indicative conditionals, the probability of any indicative conditional equals the probability of its consequent of the conditional given the antecedent of the conditional. Philosophers widely agree in their assessment that the triviality arguments of Lewis and others have conclusively shown the Equation to be tenable only at the expense of the view that indicative conditionals express propositions. This study challenges the correctness of that assessment by (...)
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  12. K. Krzyżanowska, S. Wenmackers & I. Douven (2013). Inferential Conditionals and Evidentiality. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 22 (3):315-334.
    Many conditionals seem to convey the existence of a link between their antecedent and consequent. We draw on a recently proposed typology of conditionals to argue for an old philosophical idea according to which the link is inferential in nature. We show that the proposal has explanatory force by presenting empirical results on the evidential meaning of certain English and Dutch modal expressions.
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  13. Karolina Krzyżanowska, Sylvia Wenmackers & Igor Douven (2013). Rethinking Gibbard's Riverboat Argument. Studia Logica:1-22.
    According to the Principle of Conditional Non-Contradiction (CNC), conditionals of the form “If p, q” and “If p, not q” cannot both be true, unless p is inconsistent. This principle is widely regarded as an adequacy constraint on any semantics that attributes truth conditions to conditionals. Gibbard has presented an example of a pair of conditionals that, in the context he describes, appear to violate CNC. He concluded from this that conditionals lack truth conditions. We argue that this conclusion is (...)
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  14. David Over, Igor Douven & Sara Verbrugge (2013). Scope Ambiguities and Conditionals. Thinking and Reasoning 19 (3-4):284-307.
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  15. Niki Pfeifer & Igor Douven (2013). Formal Epistemology and the New Paradigm Psychology of Reasoning. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-23.
    This position paper advocates combining formal epistemology and the new paradigm psychology of reasoning in the studies of conditionals and reasoning with uncertainty. The new paradigm psychology of reasoning is characterized by the use of probability theory as a rationality framework instead of classical logic, used by more traditional approaches to the psychology of reasoning. This paper presents a new interdisciplinary research program which involves both formal and experimental work. To illustrate the program, the paper discusses recent work on the (...)
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  16. Lieven Decock & Igor Douven (2012). Putnam's Internal Realism: A Radical Restatement. Topoi 31 (1):111-120.
    Putnam’s internal realism is aimed at reconciling realist and antirealist intuitions about truth and the nature of reality. A common complaint about internal realism is that it has never been stated with due precision. This paper attempts to render the position precise by drawing on the literature on conceptual spaces as well as on earlier work of the authors on the notion of identity.
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  17. Lieven Decock & Igor Douven (2012). What Is Graded Membership? Noûs.
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  18. I. Douven (2012). The Sequential Lottery Paradox. Analysis 72 (1):55-57.
    The Lottery Paradox is generally thought to point at a conflict between two intuitive principles, to wit, that high probability is sufficient for rational acceptability, and that rational acceptability is closed under logical derivability. Gilbert Harman has offered a solution to the Lottery Paradox that allows one to stick to both of these principles. The solution requires the principle that acceptance licenses conditionalization. The present study shows that adopting this principle alongside the principle that high probability is sufficient for rational (...)
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  19. Igor Douven (2012). Learning Conditional Information. Mind and Language 27 (3):239-263.
    Some of the information we receive comes to us in an explicitly conditional form. It is an open question how to model the accommodation of such information in a Bayesian framework. This paper presents data suggesting that there may be no strictly Bayesian account of updating on conditionals. Specifically, the data seem to indicate that such updating at least sometimes proceeds on the basis of explanatory considerations, which famously have no home in standard Bayesian epistemology. The paper also proposes a (...)
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  20. Igor Douven (2012). The Lottery Paradox and the Pragmatics of Belief. Dialectica 66 (3):351-373.
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  21. Igor Douven & Christoph Kelp (2012). In Defense of the Rational Credibility Account: A Reply to Casalegno. Dialectica 66 (2):289-297.
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  22. Igor Douven & Jos Uffink (2012). Quantum Probabilities and the Conjunction Principle. Synthese 184 (1):109-114.
    A recent argument by Hawthorne and Lasonen-Aarnio purports to show that we can uphold the principle that competently forming conjunctions is a knowledge-preserving operation only at the cost of a rampant skepticism about the future. A key premise of their argument is that, in light of quantum-mechanical considerations, future contingents never quite have chance 1 of being true. We argue, by drawing attention to the order of magnitude of the relevant quantum probabilities, that the skeptical threat of Hawthorne and Lasonen-Aarnio’s (...)
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  23. Yasmina Jraissati, Elley Wakui, Lieven Decock & Igor Douven (2012). Constraints on Colour Category Formation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (2):171-196.
    This article addresses two questions related to colour categorization, to wit, the question what a colour category is, and the question how we identify colour categories. We reject both the relativist and universalist answers to these questions. Instead, we suggest that colour categories can be identified with the help of the criterion of psychological saliency, which can be operationalized by means of consistency and consensus measures. We further argue that colour categories can be defined as well-structured entities that optimally partition (...)
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  24. Christoph Kelp & Igor Douven (2012). Sustaining a Rational Disagreement. In H. DeRegt, S. Hartmann & S. Okasha (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. 101--110.
    Much recent discussion in social epistemology has focussed on the question of whether peers can rationally sustain a disagreement. A growing number of social epistemologists hold that the answer is negative. We point to considerations from the history of science that favor rather the opposite answer. However, we also explain how the other position can appear intuitively attractive.
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  25. Karolina Krzyżanowska, Sylvia Wenmackers, Igor Douven & Sara Verbrugge, Conditionals, Inference, and Evidentiality. Proceedings of the Logic and Cognition Workshop at ESSLLI 2012; Opole, Poland, 13-17 August, 2012 - Vol. 883 of CEUR Workshop Proceedings.
    At least many conditionals seem to convey the existence of a link between their antecedent and consequent. We draw on a recently proposed typology of conditionals to revive an old philosophical idea according to which the link is inferential in nature. We show that the proposal has explanatory force by presenting empirical results on two Dutch linguistic markers.
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  26. Jeanne Peijnenburg, Branden Fitelson & Igor Douven (2012). Introduction to the Special Issue: Probability, Confirmation and Fallacies. Synthese 184 (1):1-1.
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  27. Sylvia Wenmackers, Danny E. P. Vanpoucke & Igor Douven (2012). Probability of Inconsistencies in Theory Revision. European Physical Journal B 85 (1):44 (15).
    We present a model for studying communities of epistemically interacting agents who update their belief states by averaging (in a specified way) the belief states of other agents in the community. The agents in our model have a rich belief state, involving multiple independent issues which are interrelated in such a way that they form a theory of the world. Our main goal is to calculate the probability for an agent to end up in an inconsistent belief state due to (...)
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  28. Lieven Decock & Igor Douven (2011). Similarity After Goodman. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1):61-75.
    In a famous critique, Goodman dismissed similarity as a slippery and both philosophically and scientifically useless notion. We revisit his critique in the light of important recent work on similarity in psychology and cognitive science. Specifically, we use Tversky’s influential set-theoretic account of similarity as well as Gärdenfors’s more recent resuscitation of the geometrical account to show that, while Goodman’s critique contained valuable insights, it does not warrant a dismissal of similarity.
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  29. Igor Douven (2011). A Role for Normativism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5):252-253.
    Elqayam & Evans (E&E) argue against prescriptive normativism and in favor of descriptivism. I challenge the assumption, implicit in their article, that there is a choice to be made between the two approaches. While descriptivism may be the right approach for some questions, others call for a normativist approach. To illustrate the point, I briefly discuss two questions of the latter sort.
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  30. Igor Douven (2011). Decision Theory and Rationality, José Luis Bermúdez. Oxford University Press, 2009. 189 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 27 (1):59-64.
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  31. Igor Douven (2011). Further Results on the Intransitivity of Evidential Support. Review of Symbolic Logic 4 (4):487-497.
    It is known that evidential support, on the Bayesian definition of this notion, is intransitive. According to some, however, the Bayesian definition is too weak to be materially adequate. This paper investigates whether evidential support is transitive on some plausible probabilistic strengthening of that definition. It is shown that the answer is negative. In fact, it will appear that even under conditions under which the Bayesian notion of evidential support is transitive, the most plausible candidate strengthenings are not.
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  32. Igor Douven (2011). Similarity After Goodman. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1):61-75.
    In a famous critique, Goodman dismissed similarity as a slippery and both philosophically and scientifically useless notion. We revisit his critique in the light of important recent work on similarity in psychology and cognitive science. Specifically, we use Tversky’s influential set-theoretic account of similarity as well as Gärdenfors’s more recent resuscitation of the geometrical account to show that, while Goodman’s critique contained valuable insights, it does not warrant a dismissal of similarity.
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  33. Igor Douven & Richard Dietz (2011). A Puzzle About Stalnaker's Hypothesis. Topoi 30 (1):31-37.
    According to Stalnaker’s Hypothesis, the probability of an indicative conditional, $\Pr(\varphi \rightarrow \psi),$ equals the probability of the consequent conditional on its antecedent, $\Pr(\psi | \varphi)$ . While the hypothesis is generally taken to have been conclusively refuted by Lewis’ and others’ triviality arguments, its descriptive adequacy has been confirmed in many experimental studies. In this paper, we consider some possible ways of resolving the apparent tension between the analytical and the empirical results relating to Stalnaker’s Hypothesis and we argue (...)
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  34. Igor Douven & Christoph Kelp (2011). Truth Approximation, Social Epistemology, and Opinion Dynamics. Erkenntnis 75 (2):271-283.
  35. Igor Douven & Jan-Willem Romeijn (2011). A New Resolution of the Judy Benjamin Problem. Mind 120 (479):637-670.
    Van Fraassen's Judy Benjamin problem has generally been taken to show that not all rational changes of belief can be modelled in a probabilistic framework if the available update rules are restricted to Bayes's rule and Jeffrey's generalization thereof. But alternative rules based on distance functions between probability assignments that allegedly can handle the problem seem to have counterintuitive consequences. Taking our cue from a recent proposal by Bradley, we argue that Jeffrey's rule can solve the Judy Benjamin problem after (...)
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  36. Richard Dietz & Igor Douven (2010). Ramsey's Test, Adams' Thesis, and Left-Nested Conditionals. Review of Symbolic Logic 3 (3):467-484.
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  37. Igor Douven (2010). A Coherent Collection in Defense of Realism. Metascience 19 (1):97-99.
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  38. Igor Douven (2010). Ramsey's Test, Adams' Thesis, and Left-Nested Conditionals. Review of Symbolic Logic 3 (3):467-484.
    Adams famously suggested that the acceptability of any indicative conditional whose antecedent and consequent are both factive sentences amounts to the subjective conditional probability of the consequent given the antecedent. The received view has it that this thesis offers an adequate partial explication of Ramseys test is extendible to left-nested conditionals, that is, conditionals whose antecedent is itself conditional in form. We argue that this interpretation of van Fraassen thesis for left-nested conditionals.
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  39. Igor Douven (2010). Simulating Peer Disagreements. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (2):148-157.
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  40. Igor Douven (2010). The Context-Insensitivity Of. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):313-326.
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  41. Igor Douven (2010). The Pragmatics of Belief. Journal of Pragmatics 42 (1):35-47.
    This paper argues that pragmatic considerations similar to the ones that Grice has shown pertain to assertability pertain to acceptability. It further shows how this should affect some widely held epistemic principles. The idea of a pragmatics of belief is defended against some seemingly obvious objections.
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  42. Igor Douven & Lieven Decock (2010). Identity and Similarity. Philosophical Studies 151 (1):59-78.
    The standard approach to the so-called paradoxes of identity has been to argue that these paradoxes do not essentially concern the notion of identity but rather betray misconceptions on our part regarding other metaphysical notions, like that of an object or a property. This paper proposes a different approach by pointing to an ambiguity in the identity predicate and arguing that the concept of identity that figures in many ordinary identity claims, including those that appear in the paradoxes, is not (...)
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  43. Igor Douven, Leon Horsten & Jan-Willem Romeijn (2010). Probabilist antirealism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):38-63.
    Until now, antirealists have offered sketches of a theory of truth, at best. In this paper, we present a probabilist account of antirealist truth in some formal detail, and we assess its ability to deal with the problems that are standardly taken to beset antirealism.
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  44. Igor Douven & Sara Verbrugge (2010). The Adams Family. Cognition 117 (3):302-318.
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  45. Lieven Decock & Igor Douven (2009). Two Accounts of Similarity Compared. In. In Hieke Alexander & Leitgeb Hannes (eds.), Reduction, Abstraction, Analysis. Ontos Verlag. 387--389.
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  46. I. Douven (2009). Review: Bradley Monton: Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. [REVIEW] Mind 118 (470):504-507.
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  47. Igor Douven (2009). Assertion, Moore, and Bayes. Philosophical Studies 144 (3):361 - 375.
    It is widely believed that the so-called knowledge account of assertion best explains why sentences such as “It’s raining in Paris but I don’t believe it” and “It’s raining in Paris but I don’t know it” appear odd to us. I argue that the rival rational credibility account of assertion explains that fact just as well. I do so by providing a broadly Bayesian analysis of the said type of sentences which shows that such sentences cannot express rationally held beliefs. (...)
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  48. Igor Douven (2009). Can the Skepticism Debate Be Resolved? Synthese 168 (1):23 - 52.
    External world skeptics are typically opposed to admitting as evidence anything that goes beyond the purely phenomenal, and equally typically, they disown the use of rules of inference that might enable one to move from premises about the phenomenal alone to a conclusion about the external world. This seems to bar any a posteriori resolution of the skepticism debate. This paper argues that the situation is not quite so hopeless, and that an a posteriori resolution of the debate becomes possible (...)
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  49. Igor Douven (2009). Grondslagen en toepassingen van de formele epistemologie. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Wijsbegeerte 101 (4).
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