My own philosophical interests led me to investigate the letter which Smith submitted to The Times, along with eighteen other signatures from renowned philosophers, each objecting to the honorary degree which Cambridge was about to award Jacques Derrida. While Smith's letter has been esteemed for sober defense of philosophy, it has also been viewed as rather notorious by Derrida and postmodern sympathizers. After having contacted Smith at the State University of New York at Buffalo, we agreed to meet and discuss (...) the matter in more detail. What follows are my inquiries, and his account, of his letter to The Times letters page, 9 May, 1992. (shrink)
Under the general tutelage of Kant, Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) introduced American pragmatism to yet another philosophical dialectic: between a neglected transcendental instinct and earthly authorities. The dialectic became Peirce’s response to various evolutionary schemes in the 19th century. Guided by the recollected voices of Socrates, Jesus, St. John, Anselm, and Kant, as well as his own brand of pragmatism, Peirce eventually developed a “Neglected Argument for the Reality of God” a century ago, in 1908. Here, Peirce endorsed a more (...) adventurous god than ecclesiastical or theological authorities could imagine, a god of love (agapism) and chance (tychism), but still rife with fallibility. (shrink)
This brief paperback is designed for symbolic/formal logic courses. It features the tree method proof system developed by Jeffrey. The new edition contains many more examples and exercises and is reorganized for greater accessibility.
Richard Jeffrey is beyond dispute one of the most distinguished and influential philosophers working in the field of decision theory and the theory of knowledge. His work is distinctive in showing the interplay of epistemological concerns with probability and utility theory. Not only has he made use of standard probabilistic and decision theoretic tools to clarify concepts of evidential support and informed choice, he has also proposed significant modifications of the standard Bayesian position in order that it provide a (...) better fit with actual human experience. Probability logic is viewed not as a source of judgment but as a framework for explaining the implications of probabilistic judgments and their mutual compatability This collection of essays spans a period of some 35 years and includes what have become some of the classic works in the literature. There is also one completely new piece, while in many instances Jeffrey includes afterthoughts on the older essays. (shrink)
This paper describes and discusses the Enron Corporation debacle. The paper presents the business ethics background and leadership mechanisms affecting Enron''s collapse and eventual bankruptcy. Through a systematic analysis of the organizational culture at Enron (following Schein''s frame of reference) the paper demonstrates how the company''s culture had profound effects on the ethics of its employees.
This paper is designed to do three things while discussing the challenge of ethical behavior in organization. First, it discusses some reasons why unethical behavior occurs in organization. Secondly, the paper highlights the importance of organizational culture in establishing an ethical climate within an organization. Finally, the paper presents some suggestions for creating and maintaining an ethically-oriented culture.
Turning around and changing an organization's culture does not happen by chance. The purpose of this paper is to offer insights into what is needed for an organization to successfully transform itself from a culture and experience that does not support individual ethical behavior. The recent bond trading scandal at Salomon Brothers will be used to demonstrate that a successful ethical turnaround does not just happen spontaneously. In particular, we argue that new leadership, altering policies, structure, behavior, and beliefs are (...) paramount to successfully change to an organizational culture that supports ethical behavior. Schein's five primary mechanisms available to leaders for embedding and reinforcing culture will be used to systematically analyze efforts to change Salomon Brothers' culture. (shrink)
This paper is designed to do four things. First, the paper discusses the importance of groupthink in contributing to unethical behavior. Second, the paper discribes how groupthink contributed to unethical behavior in three organizations (Beech-Nut, E. F. Hutton, and Salomon Brothers). Third, symptoms of groupthink (such as arrogance, overcommitment, and excessive loyalty to the group) will be presented along with two methods for programming conflict (devil's advocate and dialectic) into an organization and group's decisions. Finally, the paper introduces some prescriptions (...) for reducing the probability of groupthink. (shrink)
The paper describes and discusses unethical behavior in organizations, as a result of (interacting) disputable leadership and ethical climate. This paper presents and analyzes the well-known bond trading scandal at Salomon Brother to demonstrate the development of an unethical organizational culture under the leadership of John Gutfreund. The paper argues that leaders shape and reinforce an ethical or unethical organizational climate by what they pay attention to, how they react to crises, how they behave, how they allocate rewards, and how (...) they hire and fire individuals. (shrink)
Increasingly the business environment is tending toward a global economy. The current study compares the results of the Attitudes Towards Business Ethics Questionnaire (ATBEQ) reported in the literature for samples from the United States of America, Israel, Western Australia, and South Africa to a new sample (n = 125) from Turkey. The results indicate that while there are some shared views towards business ethics across countries, significant differences do exist between Turkey and each of the other countries in the study. (...) Similarities and differences are discussed in terms of the countries' ratings on the Corruption Perceptions Index (as reported by the Internet Center for Corruption Research) and Hofstede's Theory of International Cultures. Recommendations for managers interacting with employees from differing countries are provided. (shrink)
Business ethics is once again a hot topic as examples of improper business practices that violate commonly accepted ethical norms are brought to our attention. With the increasing number of scandals business schools find themselves on the defensive in explaining what they are doing to help respond to the call to teach ‘‘more’’ business ethics. This paper focuses on two issues germane to business ethics teaching efforts: the ‘‘targeted output’’ goals of teaching business ethics and when in the curriculum business (...) ethics should be taught. (shrink)
The recent corporate scandals in the United States have caused a renewed interest and focus on teaching business ethics. Business schools and their faculties are reexamining the teaching of business ethics and are reassessing their responsibilities to produce honest and truthful managers who live lives of integrity and ethical accountability. The authors recognize that no agreement exists among business schools and their faculties regarding what should be the content and pedagogy of a course in business ethics. However, the authors hold (...) that regardless of one’s biases regarding the content and pedagogy, the effective teaching of business ethics requires that the instructor in designing and delivering a business ethics course needs to focus particular attention on four principal questions: (1) what are the objectives or targeted learning outcomes of the course? (2) what kind of learning environment should be created? (3) what learning processes need to be employed to achieve the goals? and (4) what are the roles of the participants in the learning experience? The answers to these questions provide the foundations for any business ethics course. The answers are major determinants of the impact of a business ethics course on the thinking of students and the views on the ethical and professional accountabilities and responsibilities of managers in the workplace. (shrink)
The institutionalization of ethics is an important task for today's organizations if they are to effectively counteract the increasingly frequent occurrences of blatantly unethical and often illegal behavior within large and often highly respected organizations. This article discusses the importance of institutionalizing organizational ethics and emphasizes the importance of several variables (psychological contract, organizational commitment, and an ethically-oriented culture) to the institutionalization of ethics within any organization.... institutionalizing ethics may sound ponderous, but its meaning is straightforward. It means getting ethics (...) formally and explicitly into daily business life. It means getting ethics into company policy formation at the board and top management levels and through a formal code, getting ethics into all daily decision making and work practices down the line, at all levels of employment. It means grafting a new branch on the corporate decision tree — a branch that reads right/wrong (Purcell and Weber, 1979, p. 6). (shrink)
Edited by three leading figures in the field, this exciting volume presents cutting-edge work in decision theory by a distinguished international roster of contributors. These mostly unpublished papers address a host of crucial areas in the contemporary philosophical study of rationality and knowledge. Topics include causal versus evidential decision theory, game theory, backwards induction, bounded rationality, counterfactual reasoning in games and in general, analyses of the famous common knowledge assumptions in game theory, and evaluations of the normal versus extensive form (...) formulations of complex decision problems. (shrink)
Research on whistleblowing has not yet provided a finite set of variables which have been shown to influence an employee's decision to report wrongdoing. Prior research on business ethics suggests that ethical business decisions are influenced by both organizational as well as intrapersonal variables. As such, this paper attempts to predict the decision to whistleblow using organizational and intrapersonal variables. External whistleblowing was found to be significantly related to supervisor support, informal policies, gender, and ideal values. External whistleblowing was not (...) found to be significantly predicted by formal policies, organizational tenure, age, education, satisfaction, or commitment. (shrink)
"To some people, life is very simple . . . no shadings and grays, all blacks and whites. . . . Now, others of us find that good, bad, right, wrong, are many-sided, complex things. We try to see every side; but the more we see, the less sure we are.".
Derrida describes the relationship between ethics and politics as an absolute hiatus . One problematic consequence of this formulation is that there seems to be no way for the ethical law to bear on political practice. I attempt to locate a link between the ethical and the political within this hiatus, through a reading of texts by two thinkers whose confrontation is suggested by Derrida: Carl Schmitt and Emmanuel Levinas. The link between the ethical and the political is that they (...) are respectively defined by the prohibition and the sanctioning of the same act: killing. In the discourses of both thinkers, killing is pivotal on account of its exceptional character. Through an analysis of the role of the exception in their work, I determine that Schmitts conception of the political requires Levinass conception of the ethical as its formal condition. I end by considering what consequences this derivation has for politics. Key Words: decision Jacques Derrida the ethical ethics exception killing Emmanuel Levinas the political politics Carl Schmitt. (shrink)
From a point of view like de Finetti's, what is the judgmental reality underlying the objectivistic claim that a physical magnitude X determines the objective probability that a hypothesis H is true? When you have definite conditional judgmental probabilities for H given the various unknown values of X, a plausible answer is sufficiency, i.e., invariance of those conditional probabilities as your probability distribution over the values of X varies. A different answer, in terms of conditional exchangeability, is offered for use (...) when such definite conditional probabilities are absent. (shrink)
The approach to decision theory floated in my 1965 book is reviewed (I), challenged in various related ways (II–V) and defended, firstad hoc (II–IV) and then by a general argument of Ellery Ells's (VI). Finally, causal decision theory (in a version sketched in VII) is exhibited as a special case of my 1965 theory, according to the Eellsian argument.
Isaac Levi and I have different views of probability and decision making. Here, without addressing the merits, I will try to answer some questions recently asked by Levi (1985) about what my view is, and how it relates to his.
This study attempts to help explain the ethical decision making of individual employees by determining how the perceived organizational environment is related to that decision. A self- administered questionnaire design was used for gathering data in this study with a sample size of 245 full-time employees. Perceived supervisor expectation, formal policies, and informal policies were used to assess the expressed ethical decision of the respondents. The findings indicate that the perceived organizational environment is significantly related to the ethical decision of (...) the respondent. (shrink)
Efforts to counter software piracy are an increasing focus of software publishers. This study attempts to develop a profile of those who illegally copy software by looking at undergraduate and graduate students and the extent to which they pirate software. The data indicate factors that can be used to profile the software pirater. In particular, males were found to pirate software more frequently than females and older students more than younger students, based on self-reporting.
This study considers the ethical decision making of individual employees and the influence their perception of organizational expectations has on employee feelings about the decision making process. A self-administered questionnaire design was used for gathering data in this study, with a sample size of 245 full-time employees. The match between the ethical alternative chosen by the respondent and that alternative perceived to be encouraged by his/her organization was found to be significantly related to both feelings of discomfort and feelings of (...) intrapersonal role conflict. Implications for these findings are discussed. (shrink)
Logicism Lite counts number‐theoretical laws as logical for the same sort of reason for which physical laws are counted as as empirical: because of the character of the data they are responsible to. In the case of number theory these are the data verifying or falsifying the simplest equations, which Logicism Lite counts as true or false depending on the logical validity or invalidity of first‐order argument forms in which no numbertheoretical notation appears.
As employees continue to lie, cheat, and steal from their employers, researchers have tried to help managers understand and possibly predict such deviant behavior. This study considers the specific employee misconduct of ethical rule breaking. Hirschi (1969) suggested that deviant behavior can be better understood by social bonding theory. The social bonding model includes four elements; attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief. It is proposed that Hirschi's social bonding theory can be used to understand ethical rule breaking by employees. Using a (...) sample of 200 employees, the results indicate that the social bonding elements of attachment and involvement can be used to better understand the reported likelihood of ethical rule breaking of employees. Recommendations for better applying the social bonding model to ethical rule breaking are suggested. (shrink)
Business schools have a responsibility to incorporate applied business ethics courses as part of their undergraduate and MBA curriculum. The purpose of this article is to take a background and historical look at reasons for the new emphasis on ethical coursework in business schools. The article suggests a prescription for undergraduate and graduate education in applied business ethics and explores in detail the need to increase applied business ethics courses in business schools to enhance the ethical development of students.
This study examines the influence of ethical fit on employee attitudes and intentions to turnover. The results of this investigation provides support for the conjecture that ethical work climate is an important variable in the study of person-organization fit. Ethical fit was found to be significantly related to turnover intentions, continuance commitment, and affective commitment, but not to job satisfaction. Results are discussed in regard to some of the affective and cognitive distinctions among satisfaction, commitment, and behavioral intentions.
The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between the ethical climate of the organization and the development of person-organization fit. The relationship between an individual's stage of moral development and his/her perceived ethical work environment was examined using a sample of 86 working students. Results indicate that a match between individual preferences and present position proved most satisfying. Subjects expressing a match between their preferences for an ethical work climate and their present ethical work (...) climate indicated that they were less likely to leave their positions. (shrink)
Building an effective classroom learningenvironment requires that business ethicsteachers pay particular attention to creating aclassroom environment that values the ideasothers have to offer. This article discussesthe importance of conversational learning tobusiness ethics teaching for effectivelearning. The paper also considers thebusiness ethics teacher's role in using aconversational learning approach to teachingbusiness ethics and some learning processesused to create a classroom climate conducive tothis approach for those interested in creatingnew kinds of conversation in their businessethics teaching efforts.
As businesses become more global, the opportunities for employees to work with individuals from different cultures increase. Research in cross-cultural interactions has increased in response to such changes. This research study considers employee attitudes and perceived organizational support for the use of deception within the work environment. In this study, two types of deception have been considered; deception for personal gain and deception for the organization's benefit. The reported likelihood for committing these two types of deception for United States and (...) Israeli employees was gathered. The results indicate that United States employees are more likely to deceive others for personal gain than the Israeli employees. In addition, the results indicate that United States employees were more likely to perceive organizational support for the use of deception for personal gain than were the Israeli employees. No differences between the two samples were found for personal or organizational support for deception for the organization's benefit. Differences are explained using Hofstede's (1991) theory of international cultures. (shrink)
This book offers a concise survey of basic probability theory from a thoroughly subjective point of view whereby probability theory is a mode of judgement. Written by one of the greatest figures in the field of probability theory, the book is both a summation and a synthesis of a lifetime of wrestling with such problems and issues.
The case and commentaries below were developed as part of a project, Graduate Research Ethics Education, undertaken by the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF Grant No. SBR 9421897 and NSF Grant No. 9817880). The project aims at training graduate students in research ethics and building a community of scientists and engineers who are interested in and capable of teaching research ethics. As part of the project, each graduate student participant develops a (...) case for use in teaching and writes a commentary to go with the case, and then a staff member is asked to write additional commentary on the case. The case below was written in the second year of the project and was published in Research Ethics: Cases and Commentaries edited by B. Schrag, Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, Bloomington, Indiana, Vol. II (1998). Publication of these cases and commentaries will be a recurring feature of Science and Engineering Ethics. (shrink)
This article explores the issue of rebuilding an organization’s reputation following an ethical scandal. We divide our discussion into four parts. First, we discuss the concept of reputation. We note its relevance to today’s organizations, offer several contemporary definitions along with highlighting its benefits and downsides. In the second section, we offer the work of anthropologist, Victor Turner, on social drama along with other views on organizational efforts to rebuild their reputation to include reputation management routines. In the third section, (...) Turner’s redressive actions are integrated with Edgar Schein’s leadership mechanisms for building or changing culture to provide further understanding of organizational efforts to rebuild reputation following ethical scandals. Finally, in the fourth section of the article, we extend the integration of the Turner and Schein work with single- and double-loop redressive actions for rebuilding reputation. (shrink)
Jonathan Weisberg has argued that Jeffrey Conditioning is inherently “anti-holistic” By this he means, inter alia, that JC does not allow us to take proper account of after-the-fact defeaters for our beliefs. His central example concerns the discovery that the lighting in a room is red-tinted and the relationship of that discovery to the belief that a jelly bean in the room is red. Weisberg’s argument that the rigidity required for JC blocks the defeating role of the red-tinted light (...) rests on the strong assumption that all posteriors within the distribution in this example are rigid on a partition over the proposition that the jelly bean is actually red. But individual JC updates of propositions do not require such a broad rigidity assumption. Jeffrey conditionalizers should consider the advantages of a modest project of targeted updating focused on particular propositions rather than seeking to update the entire distribution using one obvious partition. Although Weisberg’s example fails to show JC to be irrelevant or useless, other problems he raises for JC (the commutativity and inputs problems) remain and actually become more pressing when we recognize the important role of background information. (shrink)
This paper discusses simultaneous belief updates. I argue here that modeling such belief updates using the Principle of Minimum Information can be regarded as applying Jeffrey conditionalization successively, and so that, contrary to what many probabilists have thought, the simultaneous belief updates can be successfully modeled by means of Jeffrey conditionalization.
Bayesian decision theory can be viewed as the core of psychological theory for idealized agents. To get a complete psychological theory for such agents, you have to supplement it with input and output laws. On a Bayesian theory that employs strict conditionalization, the input laws are easy to give. On a Bayesian theory that employs Jeffrey conditionalization, there appears to be a considerable problem with giving the input laws. However, Jeffrey conditionalization can be reformulated so that the problem (...) disappears, and in fact the reformulated version is more natural and easier to work with on independent grounds. (shrink)
Richard Jeffrey's generalization of Bayes' rule of conditioning follows, within the theory of belief functions, from Dempster's rule of combination and the rule of minimal extension. Both Jeffrey's rule and the theory of belief functions can and should be construed constructively, rather than normatively or descriptively. The theory of belief functions gives a more thorough analysis of how beliefs might be constructed than Jeffrey's rule does. The inadequacy of Bayesian conditioning is much more general than Jeffrey's (...) examples of uncertain perception might suggest. The ``parameter α '' that Hartry Field has introduced into Jeffrey's rule corresponds to the "weight of evidence" of the theory of belief functions. (shrink)
Since the beginning of the ?eighties of the present century, a circle of relatively young American sociologists who are followers of Jeffrey Alexander are making energetic and spectacular efforts to supply sociology with a uniform and comprehensive theoretical framework by continuing Talcott Parsons' lifework. The present article is an appreciation of Alexander's achievements in the justification of a general sociological theory (especially a theory of action and social order) while pointing to objections that can be raised against the character (...) of his theory. A scrutiny of Alexander's metatheoretical deliberations and of his interpretations of sociological classics such as Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and Parsons reveals that Alexander's metatheoretical frame is not flexible enough to actually reconstruct the problem situation of the classics. Pointers are given toward a theory of action that is not subject to the antinomy of utilitarianism and normativism, so that it is more adequate and appropriate to the heritage of the sociological classics, both from a theoretical and an interpretative angle. (shrink)
In Tsuji 1997 the concept of Jeffrey-Keynes algebras was introduced in order to construct a paraconsistent theory of decision under uncertainty. In the present paper we show that these algebras can be used to develop a theory of decision under uncertainty that measures the degree of belief on the quasi (or partial) truth of the propositions. As applications of this new theory of decision, we use it to analyze Popper's paradox of ideal evidence and to indicate a possible way (...) of formalizing Keynes' theory of economic action. (shrink)
This paper is partly a tribute to Richard Jeffrey, partly a reflection on some of his writings, The Logic of Decision in particular. I begin with a brief biography and some fond reminiscences of Dick. I turn to some of the key tenets of his version of Bayesianism. All of these tenets are deployed in my discussion of his response to the St. Petersburg paradox, a notorious problem for decision theory that involves a game of infinite expectation. Prompted by (...) that paradox, I conclude with some suggestions of avenues for future research. (shrink)
Abstract. Suppose that several individuals who have separately assessed prior probability distributions over a set of possible states of the world wish to pool their individual distributions into a single group distribution, while taking into account jointly perceived new evidence. They have the option of (i) first updating their individual priors and then pooling the resulting posteriors or (ii) first pooling their priors and then updating the resulting group prior. If the pooling method that they employ is such that they (...) arrive at the same final distribution in both cases, the method is said to be externally Bayesian, a property first studied by Madansky (1964). We show that a pooling method for discrete distributions is externally Bayesian if and only if it commutes with Jeffrey conditioning, parameterized in terms of certain ratios of new to old odds, as in Wagner (2002), rather than in terms of the posterior probabilities of members of the disjoint family of events on which such conditioning originates. (shrink)
Jeffrey Stout addresses two of the main criticisms of liberal democracy by its contemporary neotraditionalist Christian critics: that liberal democracy is destructive of social tradition, and thereby of virtue in the citizenry, and that liberal democracy is inherently secular, committed to expunging religious voices from the public arena. I judge that Stout effectively answers these charges: liberal democracy has its own tradition, it cultivates the virtues relevant to that, and it is not inherently hostile to piety. What Stout does (...) not do, I suggest, is take the next step of showing, positively, that Christianity can and should affirm the substance of liberal democratic society. This is due, in good measure, to the fact that Stout never tells us, except in off-hand comments, what he takes the substance of liberal democracy to be. And this, in turn, is due to his way of employing pragmatism: he uses pragmatism to give an account of human society generally, not of liberal democratic society. I raise some questions about the general account that pragmatism gives of human society, and thus about the account that it would give of liberal democracy. (shrink)
A glance at the sky raises my probability of rain to .7. As it happens, the conditional probabilities of each state given rain remain the same, and similarly for their conditional probabilities given no rain. As Jeffrey (1983, Ch. 11) points out, my new distribution P2 is therefore fixed by the law of total probability. For example, P2(RC) = P2(RC | R)P2(R)+P2(RC | ¯.
Jeffrey Tillman is perceptive in noticing that certain Protestant theologians have used evolutionary theory to become more sympathetic to Roman Catholic views of Christian love. But he is incorrect in saying that these formulations deemphasize a place for self-sacrifice in Christian love. Christian love defined as a strenuous equal-regard for both other and self also requires sacrificial efforts to restore love as equal-regard when finitude and sin undermine genuine mutuality and community.
To the Editor: It was with great interest that our Canadian Palliative Sedation Therapy Guideline working group read Jeffrey Berger's recent article ("Rethinking Guidelines for the Use of Palliative Sedation," May-June 2010). Given our own group's efforts to develop national guidelines, we have rethought the issue of palliative sedation therapy several times over the past year.The use of clear and concise definitions is fundamental to the development of any consensus guidelines on this topic. In the article, the term "palliative (...) sedation to unconsciousness," or PSU, implies the concerning assumption that sedation will knowingly be to unconsciousness in the palliative case under consideration. This conflicts with .. (shrink)
Jeffrey (1983) proposed a generalization of conditioning as a means of updating probability distributions when new evidence drives no event to certainty. His rule requires the stability of certain conditional probabilities through time. We tested this assumption (“invariance”) from the psychological point of view. In Experiment 1 participants offered probability estimates for events in Jeffrey’s candlelight example. Two further scenarios were investigated in Experiment 2, one in which invariance seems justified, the other in which it does not. Results (...) were in rough conformity to Jeffrey (1983)’s principle. (shrink)
A simple rule of probability revision ensures that the final result of a sequence of probability revisions is undisturbed by an alteration in the temporal order of the learning prompting those revisions. This Uniformity Rule dictates that identical learning be reflected in identical ratios of certain new-to-old odds, and is grounded in the old Bayesian idea that such ratios represent what is learned from new experience alone, with prior probabilities factored out. The main theorem of this paper includes as special (...) cases (i) Field's theorem on commuting probability-kinematical revisions and (ii) the equivalence of two strategies for generalizing Jeffrey's solution to the old evidence problem to the case of uncertain old evidence and probabilistic new explanation. (shrink)
I show that David Lewis’s principal principle is not preserved under Jeffrey conditionalization. Using this observation, I argue that Lewis’s reason for rejecting the desire as belief thesis and Adams’s thesis applies also to his own principal principle. 1 Introduction2 Adams’s Thesis, the Desire as Belief Thesis, and the Principal Principle3 Jeffrey Conditionalization4 The Principal Principles Not Preserved under Jeffrey Conditionalization5 Inadmissible Experiences.
Richard Jeffrey and Michael Goldstein have both introduced systematic approaches to the structure of opinion changes. For both approaches there are theorems which indicate great generality and width of scope. The main questions addressed here will be to what extent the basic forms of representation are intertranslatable, and how we can conceive of such programs in general.
Many strands are woven into the ideas and work of Jeffrey Gray. From a background of classical languages and a spell in military intelligence spent honing skills in languages and typing, he took two BA degrees (in modern languages and psychology) at Oxford University. He then trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), London, capping this with a PhD on the sources of emotional behaviour.
Suppose n Bayesian agents need to make a decision as a group. The groupas a whole is also supposed to be a Bayesian agent whose probabilities andutilities are derived or aggregated in reasonable ways from the probabilitiesand utilities of the group members. The aggregation could beex ante, i.e., interms of expected utilities, or it could be ex post, i.e., in terms of utilitiesonly, or in terms of utilities and probabilities separately. This study exploresthe ex post approach. Using the Bolker/Jeffrey (...) framework, we show thatex post aggregation is subject to an instability phenomenon. That is, it mayhappen that the group preference between actions ``flips back and forth'''' dependingon the level of detail in which the decision problem is described. Structurally verysimilar phenomena also occur elsewhere in social choice theory, in statistics (Simpson''sParadox), and in voting theory (Ostrogorski''s Paradox). (shrink)
In this commentary, after first summarizing the three major theses of Jeffrey's paper Probability and Falsification: Critique of the Popper Program, and sketching out what I take to be his central argument, I criticize Jeffrey on two grounds. The first is that he has failed to explain why his version of Bayesianism provides us with better theories upon which to make decisions; the second is that he has offered a theory about decision-making that by-passes the important question: How (...) can we make more rational decisions? (shrink)
(2013). Review of Jeffrey P. Spike, Thomas R. Cole, Richard Buday, Freeman Williams, and Mary Ann Pendino, The Brewsters. The American Journal of Bioethics: Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 52-54. doi: 10.1080/15265161.2013.760988.
In this paper, I argue for a view largely favorable to the Thirder view: when Sleeping Beauty wakes up on Monday, her credence in the coin’s landing heads is less than 1/2. Let’s call this “the Lesser view.” For my argument, I (i) criticize Strict Conditionalization as the rule for changing de se credences; (ii) develop a new rule; and (iii) defend it by Gaifman’s Expert Principle. Finally, I defend the Lesser view by making use of this new rule.
Since Francis Crick popularized the term `Neural Correlate of Consciousness' (NCC), it has been the focus of what is perhaps the most exciting research area in the cognitive sciences. Different researchers and laboratories have offered different brain structures as candidates for the NCC prize. Different chunks of gray matter have been identified as the potential seat of consciousness. Some researchers attempt to identify the NCC via a characterization of the cognitive aspects of consciousness, such as its functional significance or intentional (...) directedness, while others attempt a direct identification of the NCC, without any cognitive intermediary. Needless to say, no consensus is in sight on any of this. (shrink)