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Profile: Kenny Easwaran (University of Southern California, Australian National University)
  1. Branden Fitelson & Kenny Easwaran, Accuracy, Coherence and Evidence.
    Taking Joyce’s (1998; 2009) recent argument(s) for probabilism as our point of departure, we propose a new way of grounding formal, synchronic, epistemic coherence requirements for (opinionated) full belief. Our approach yields principled alternatives to deductive consistency, sheds new light on the preface and lottery paradoxes, and reveals novel conceptual connections between alethic and evidential epistemic norms.
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  2. Branden Fitelson & Kenny Easwaran, Partial Belief, Full Belief, and Accuracy–Dominance.
    Arguments for probabilism aim to undergird/motivate a synchronic probabilistic coherence norm for partial beliefs. Standard arguments for probabilism are all of the form: An agent S has a non-probabilistic partial belief function b iff (⇐⇒) S has some “bad” property B (in virtue of the fact that their p.b.f. b has a certain kind of formal property F). These arguments rest on Theorems (⇒) and Converse Theorems (⇐): b is non-Pr ⇐⇒ b has formal property F.
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  3. Kenny Easwaran (forthcoming). Why Physics Uses Second Derivatives. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt022.
    I defend a causal reductionist account of the nature of rates of change like velocity and acceleration. This account identifies velocity with the past derivative of position and acceleration with the future derivative of velocity. Unlike most reductionist accounts, it can preserve the role of velocity as a cause of future positions and acceleration as the effect of current forces. I show that this is possible only if all the fundamental laws are expressed by differential equations of the same order. (...)
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  4. Kenny Easwaran (2014). Regularity and Hyperreal Credences. Philosophical Review 123 (1):1-41.
    Many philosophers have become worried about the use of standard real numbers for the probability function that represents an agent's credences. They point out that real numbers can't capture the distinction between certain extremely unlikely events and genuinely impossible ones—they are both represented by credence 0, which violates a principle known as “regularity.” Following Skyrms 1980 and Lewis 1980, they recommend that we should instead use a much richer set of numbers, called the “hyperreals.” This essay argues that this popular (...)
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  5. Kenny Easwaran (2013). Expected Accuracy Supports Conditionalization—and Conglomerability and Reflection. Philosophy of Science 80 (1):119-142.
  6. Kenny Easwaran (2013). Why Countable Additivity? Thought 1 (4):53-61.
    It is sometimes alleged that arguments that probability functions should be countably additive show too much, and that they motivate uncountable additivity as well. I show this is false by giving two naturally motivated arguments for countable additivity that do not motivate uncountable additivity.
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  7. Kenny Easwaran & Branden Fitelson (2012). An 'Evidentialist' Worry About Joyce's Argument for Probabilism. Dialetica 66 (3):425-433.
    To the extent that we have reasons to avoid these “bad B -properties”, these arguments provide reasons not to have an incoherent credence function b — and perhaps even reasons to have a coherent one. But, note that these two traditional arguments for probabilism involve what might be called “pragmatic” reasons (not) to be (in)coherent. In the case of the Dutch Book argument, the “bad” property is pragmatically bad (to the extent that one values money). But, it is not clear (...)
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  8. Kenny Easwaran & B. Monton (2012). Mixed Strategies, Uncountable Times, and Pascal's Wager: A Reply to Robertson. Analysis 72 (4):681-685.
    Pascal’s Wager holds that one has pragmatic reason to believe in God, since that course of action has infinite expected utility. The mixed strategy objection holds that one could just as well follow a course of action that has infinite expected utility but is unlikely to end with one believing in God. Monton (2011. Mixed strategies can’t evade Pascal’s Wager. Analysis 71: 642–45.) has argued that mixed strategies can’t evade Pascal’s Wager, while Robertson (2012. Some mixed strategies can evade Pascal’s (...)
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  9. Kenny Easwaran (2011). Bayesianism II: Applications and Criticisms. Philosophy Compass 6 (5):321-332.
    In the first paper, I discussed the basic claims of Bayesianism (that degrees of belief are important, that they obey the axioms of probability theory, and that they are rationally updated by either standard or Jeffrey conditionalization) and the arguments that are often used to support them. In this paper, I will discuss some applications these ideas have had in confirmation theory, epistemol- ogy, and statistics, and criticisms of these applications.
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  10. Kenny Easwaran (2011). Bayesianism II: Criticisms and Applications. Philosophy Compass 6:321-332.
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  11. Kenny Easwaran (2011). Bayesianism I: Introduction and Arguments in Favor. Philosophy Compass 6 (5):312-320.
    Bayesianism is a collection of positions in several related fields, centered on the interpretation of probability as something like degree of belief, as contrasted with relative frequency, or objective chance. However, Bayesianism is far from a unified movement. Bayesians are divided about the nature of the probability functions they discuss; about the normative force of this probability function for ordinary and scientific reasoning and decision making; and about what relation (if any) holds between Bayesian and non-Bayesian concepts.
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  12. Kenny Easwaran (2011). REVIEWS-WD Hart, The Evolution of Logic. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 17 (4):533.
     
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  13. Kenny Easwaran (2011). Varieties of Conditional Probability. In Prasanta Bandyopadhyay & Malcolm Forster (eds.), Handbook for Philosophy of Statistics. North Holland.
    I consider the notions of logical probability, degree of belief, and objective chance, and argue that a different formalism for conditional probability is appropriate for each.
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  14. Kenny Easwaran (2010). Logic and Probability. Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 27 (2):229-253.
    As is clear from the other articles in this volume, logic has applications in a broad range of areas of philosophy. If logic is taken to include the mathematical disciplines of set theory, model theory, proof theory, and recursion theory (as well as first-order logic, second-order logic, and modal logic), then the only other area of mathematics with such wide-ranging applications in philosophy is probability theory.
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  15. Kenny Easwaran (2009). Probabilistic Proofs and Transferability. Philosophia Mathematica 17 (3):341-362.
    In a series of papers, Don Fallis points out that although mathematicians are generally unwilling to accept merely probabilistic proofs, they do accept proofs that are incomplete, long and complicated, or partly carried out by computers. He argues that there are no epistemic grounds on which probabilistic proofs can be rejected while these other proofs are accepted. I defend the practice by presenting a property I call ‘transferability’, which probabilistic proofs lack and acceptable proofs have. I also consider what this (...)
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  16. Kenny Easwaran (2009). Review of Michael Frauchiger, Wilhelm K. Essler (Eds.), Representation, Evidence, and Justification: Themes From Suppes. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (1).
  17. Mark Colyvan & Kenny Easwaran (2008). Mathematical and Physical Continuity. Australasian Journal of Logic 6:87-93.
    In his paper [2], Hud Hudson presents an interesting argument to the conclusion that two temporally–continuous, spatially–unextended material objects can travel together for all but the last moment of their existences and yet end up one metre apart. What is surprising about this is that Hudson argues that it can be achieved without either object changing in size or moving discontinuously. This would be quite a trick were it to work, but it is far from clear that it does. The (...)
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  18. Kenny Easwaran (2008). Strong and Weak Expectations. Mind 117 (467):633-641.
    Fine has shown that assigning any value to the Pasadena game is consistent with a certain standard set of axioms for decision theory. However, I suggest that it might be reasonable to believe that the value of an individual game is constrained by the long-run payout of repeated plays of the game. Although there is no value that repeated plays of the Pasadena game converges to in the standard strong sense, I show that there is a weaker sort of convergence (...)
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  19. Kenny Easwaran (2008). The Role of Axioms in Mathematics. Erkenntnis 68 (3):381 - 391.
    To answer the question of whether mathematics needs new axioms, it seems necessary to say what role axioms actually play in mathematics. A first guess is that they are inherently obvious statements that are used to guarantee the truth of theorems proved from them. However, this may neither be possible nor necessary, and it doesn’t seem to fit the historical facts. Instead, I argue that the role of axioms is to systematize uncontroversial facts that mathematicians can accept from a wide (...)
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  20. Kenny Easwaran (2008). Tracking Reason: Proof, Consequence, and Truth. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 117 (2):296-299.
  21. Kenny Easwaran (2007). Review of F. Schick, Ambiguity and Logic. [REVIEW] Mind 116 (462):478-482.
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