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Profile: Luc Bovens (London School of Economics)
  1. Luc Bovens, A Lockean Defense of Grandfathering Emission Rights.
    However, in reality we see that developed countries currently have much higher emission rates per capita and will continue to have higher rates than developing countries for some time to come. There is talk of ‘grandfathering’— setting emission targets for developed countries in line with their present or past emission levels. What, if anything, can be said in defense of grandfathering?
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  2. Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann, Utilitarianism, Degressive Proportionality and the Constitution of a Federal Assembly.
    A federal assembly consists of a number of representatives for each of the nations (states, Länder, cantons,...) that make up the federation. How many representatives should each nation receive? What makes this issue worth quibbling about is that the model of representation that is instituted will have an impact on the welfare distribution over the nations in the federation that will ensue over due course. We will investigate what models of representation yield welfare distributions that score higher on a utilitarian (...)
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  3. Stephan Hartmann & Luc Bovens, The Variety-of-Evidence Thesis and the Reliability of Instruments: A Bayesian-Network Approach.
    The variety of evidence thesis in confirmation theory states that more varied supporting evidence confirms a hypothesis to a greater degree than less varied evidence. Under a very plausible interpretation of this thesis, positive test results from multiple independent instruments confirm a hypothesis to a greater degree than positive test results from a single instrument. We invoke Bayesian Networks to model confirmation on grounds of evidence that is obtained from less than fully reliable instruments and show that the variety of (...)
     
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  4. Luc Bovens (forthcoming). Concerns for the Poorly Off in Ordering Risky Prospects. Economics and Philosophy.
  5. Luc Bovens, The Tragedy of the Commons as a Voting Game.
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  6. Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz, The Meaning of "Darn It!".
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  7. 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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  8. Luc Bovens, A Response to Prelec.
    How can individuals best be encouraged to take more responsibility for their well-being and their environment or to behave more ethically in their business transactions? Across the world, governments are showing a growing interest in using behavioural economic research to inform the design of nudges which, some suggest, might encourage citizens to adopt beneficial patterns of behaviour. In this fascinating collection, leading academic economists, psychologists and philosophers reflect on how behavioural economic findings can be used to help inform the design (...)
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  9. Luc Bovens (2013). Why Couldn't I Be Nudged to Dislike a Big Mac? Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (8):495-496.
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  10. Luc Bovens & Günperi Sisman, Greece, Portugal, Spain and the East European States Take on Less Than Their Fair Share of Responsibility for EU Asylum Seekers.
    One of the stated aims of the “2008 Policy Plan on Asylum” by the European Commission is increased ‘responsibility sharing’ between Member States with respect to asylum seekers. Luc Bovens and Günperi Sisman assess the extent to which UNHCR outcome data reflect these aims between 2006 and 2011 – from the end of the first phase of the Common European Asylum System until the latest available data. They find that Greece, Portugal and Spain take on very low responsibility for asylum (...)
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  11. Luc Bovens & Marc Fleurbaey (2012). Evaluating Life or Death Prospects. Economics and Philosophy 28 (2):217-249.
    We consider a special set of risky prospects in which the outcomes are either life or death . There are various alternatives to the utilitarian objective of minimizing the expected loss of lives in such prospects. We start off with the two-person case with independent risks and construct taxonomies of ex ante and ex post evaluations for such prospects. We examine the relationship between the ex ante and the ex post in this restrictive framework: There are more possibilities to respect (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Wlodek Rabinowicz & Luc Bovens (2011). Bets on Hats: On Dutch Books Against Groups, Degrees of Belief as Betting Rates, and Group-Reflection. Episteme 8 (3):281-300.
    The Story of the Hats is a puzzle in social epistemology. It describes a situation in which a group of rational agents with common priors and common goals seems vulnerable to a Dutch book if they are exposed to different information and make decisions independently. Situations in which this happens involve violations of what might be called the Group-Reflection Principle. As it turns out, the Dutch book is flawed. It is based on the betting interpretation of the subjective probabilities, but (...)
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  14. Rabinowicz Wlodek & Luc Bovens (2011). Bets on Hats-On Dutch Books Against Groups, Degrees of Belief as Betting Rates, and Group-Reflection. Episteme 8 (3):281-300.
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  15. Luc Bovens (2010). Judy Benjamin is a Sleeping Beauty. Analysis 70 (1):23-26.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  16. Luc Bovens (2010). Nudges and Cultural Variance: A Note on Selinger and Whyte. [REVIEW] Knowledge, Technology and Policy 23 (3-4):483-486.
    Selinger and Whyte argue that Thaler and Sunstein are insufficiently sensitive to cultural variance in Nudge. I construct a taxonomy of the various roles that cultural variance may play in nudges. First, biases that are exploited in nudging may interact with features that are culturally specific. Second, cultures may be more or less susceptible to certain biases. Third, cultures may resolve conflicting biases in different ways. And finally, nudge may be enlisted for different aims in different cultures.
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  17. Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz (2010). The Puzzle of the Hats. Synthese 172 (1):57 - 78.
    The Puzzle of the Hats is a betting arrangement which seems to show that a Dutch book can be made against a group of rational players with common priors who act in the common interest and have full trust in the other players’ rationality. But we show that appearances are misleading—no such Dutch book can be made. There are four morals. First, what can be learned from the puzzle is that there is a class of situations in which credences and (...)
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  18. Luc Bovens (2009). Can the Catholic Church Agree to Condom Use by HIV-Discordant Couples? Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (12):743-746.
    Does the position of the Roman Catholic Church on contraception also imply that the usage of condoms by HIV-discordant couples is illicit? A standard argument is to appeal to the doctrine of double effect to condone such usage, but this meets with the objection that there exists an alternative action that brings about the good effect—namely, abstinence. I argue against this objection, because an HIV-discordant couple does not bring about any bad outcome through condom usage—there is no disrespect displayed for (...)
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  19. Luc Bovens (2009). Must I Be Forgiven? Analysis 69 (2):227-233.
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  20. Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz, A Dutch Book for Group Decision-Making?
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  21. Luc Bovens (2008). 1. Elsschots Lijmen en Het Been. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 100:1.
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  22. Luc Bovens (2008). Vergiffenis in Elsschots Het Been: Boorman vs. Laannans. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 100 (4).
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  23. Luc Bovens (2008). Apologies. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):219-239.
    There is a cognitive, an affective, a conative, and an attitudinal component to a genuine apology. In discussing these components, I address the following questions. Might apologies be due for non-culpable actions? Might apologies be due for choices in moral dilemmas? What is the link between sympathy, remorse and making amends? Is it meaningful for resilient akratics to apologize? How much moral renewal is required when one apologizes? Why should apologies be offered in a humble manner? And is there some (...)
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  24. Luc Bovens (2008). XII-Apologies. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3):219-239.
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  25. Nancy Cartwright, Stephan Hartmann, Carl Hoefer & Luc Bovens (eds.) (2008). Nancy Cartwright's Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
    Nancy Cartwright is one of the most distinguished and influential contemporary philosophers of science. Despite the profound impact of her work, until now there has not been a systematic exposition of Cartwright's philosophy of science nor a collection of articles that contains in-depth discussions of the major themes of her philosophy. This book is devoted to a critical assessment of Cartwright's philosophy of science and contains contributions from Cartwright's champions and critics. Broken into three parts, the book begins by addressing (...)
     
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  26. Stephan Hartmann, Luc Bovens & Carl Hoefer (eds.) (2008). Nancy Cartwright's Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
    Nancy Cartwright is one of the most distinguished and influential contemporary philosophers of science. Despite the profound impact of her work, until now there has not been a systematic exposition of Cartwright's philosophy of science nor a collection of articles that contains in-depth discussions of the major themes of her philosophy. This book is devoted to a critical assessment of Cartwright's philosophy of science and contains contributions from Cartwright's champions and critics. Broken into three parts, the book begins by addressing (...)
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  27. Stephan Hartmann, Carl Hoefer & Luc Bovens (eds.) (2008). Nancy Cartwright's Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
    Nancy Cartwright is one of the most distinguished and influential contemporary philosophers of science. Despite the profound impact of her work, until now there has not been a systematic exposition of Cartwright's philosophy of science nor a collection of articles that contains in-depth discussions of the major themes of her philosophy. This book is devoted to a critical assessment of Cartwright's philosophy of science and contains contributions from Cartwright's champions and critics. Broken into three parts, the book begins by addressing (...)
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  28. 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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  29. Luc Bovens & Claus Beisbart (2007). Factions in Rousseau's du Contrat Social and Federal Representation. Analysis 67 (293):12–20.
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  30. Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (2007). Special Issue of Synthese on Bayesian Epistemology. Synthese 156 (3):403-403.
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  31. Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (2007). Special Issue on Bayesian Epistemology Edited by L. Bovens and S. Hartmann. Synthese 156 (3).
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  32. Luc Bovens, Four Brides for Twelve Brothers - How to Dutch Book a Group of Fully Rational Players.
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  33. Luc Bovens (2006). The Doctrinal Paradox and the Mixed-Motivation Problem. Analysis 66 (289):35–39.
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  34. Luc Bovens (2006). The Rhythm Method and Embryonic Death. Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (6):355-356.
    Some proponents of the pro-life movement argue against morning after pills, IUDs, and contraceptive pills on grounds of a concern for causing embryonic death. What has gone unnoticed, however, is that the pro-life line of argumentation can be extended to the rhythm method of contraception as well. Given certain plausible empirical assumptions, the rhythm method may well be responsible for a much higher number of embryonic deaths than some other contraceptive techniques.
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  35. Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (2006). An Impossibility Result for Coherence Rankings. Philosophical Studies 128 (1):77-91.
    If we receive information from multiple independent and partially reliable information sources, then whether we are justified to believe these information items is affected by how reliable the sources are, by how well the information coheres with our background beliefs and by how internally coherent the information is. We consider the following question. Is coherence a separable determinant of our degree of belief, i.e. is it the case that the more coherent the new information is, the more justified we are (...)
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  36. Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz (2006). Democratic Answers to Complex Questions – an Epistemic Perspective. Synthese 150 (1):131-153.
    This paper addresses a problem for theories of epistemic democracy. In a decision on a complex issue which can be decomposed into several parts, a collective can use different voting procedures: Either its members vote on each sub-question and the answers that gain majority support are used as premises for the conclusion on the main issue (premise based-procedure, pbp), or the vote is conducted on the main issue itself (conclusion-based procedure, cbp). The two procedures can lead to different results. We (...)
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  37. Stephan Hartmann & Luc Bovens (2006). An Impossibility Result for Coherence Rankings. Philosophical Studies 128 (1):77-91.
    If we receive information from multiple independent and partially reliable information sources, then whether we are justified to believe these information items is affected by how reliable the sources are, by how well the information coheres with our background beliefs and by how internally coherent the information is. We consider the following question. Is coherence a separable determinant of our degree of belief, i.e. is it the case that the more coherent the new information is, the more justified we are (...)
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  38. 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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  39. Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (2005). Coherence and the Role of Specificity: A Response to Meijs and Douven. Mind 114 (454):365-369.
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  40. Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (2005). Why There Cannot Be a Single Probabilistic Measure of Coherence. Erkenntnis 63 (3):361-374.
    Bayesian Coherence Theory of Justification or, for short, Bayesian Coherentism, is characterized by two theses, viz. (i) that our degree of confidence in the content of a set of propositions is positively affected by the coherence of the set, and (ii) that coherence can be characterized in probabilistic terms. There has been a longstanding question of how to construct a measure of coherence. We will show that Bayesian Coherentism cannot rest on a single measure of coherence, but requires a vector (...)
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  41. Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz (2005). De doctrinale paradox. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 97 (1).
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  42. 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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  43. Stephan Hartmann & Luc Bovens (2005). Why There Cannot Be a Single Probabilistic Measure of Coherence. Erkenntnis 63 (3):361-374.
    Bayesian Coherence Theory of Justification or, for short, Bayesian Coherentism, is characterized by two theses, viz. (i) that our degree of confidence in the content of a set of propositions is positively affected by the coherence of the set, and (ii) that coherence can be characterized in probabilistic terms. There has been a longstanding question of how to construct a measure of coherence. We will show that Bayesian Coherentism cannot rest on a single measure of coherence, but requires a vector (...)
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  44. Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (eds.) (2004). Bayesian Epistemology. OUP Oxford.
    Probabilistic models have much to offer to philosophy. We continually receive information from a variety of sources: from our senses, from witnesses, from scientific instruments. When considering whether we should believe this information, we assess whether the sources are independent, how reliable they are, and how plausible and coherent the information is. Bovens and Hartmann provide a systematic Bayesian account of these features of reasoning. Simple Bayesian Networks allow us to model alternative assumptions about the nature of the information sources. (...)
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  45. Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz, Complex Collective Decisions: An Epistemic Perspective.
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  46. Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz, Democracy and Argument: Tracking Truth in Complex Social Decisions.
    Suppose a committee has to take a stand on a complex issue, where the decision presupposes answering a number of sub-questions. There is an agreement within the committee which sub-questions should be posed. All questions are of the ”yes or no?”-type and the main question is to be given the yes-answer if and only if each sub-question is answered with “yes”. Two different voting procedures can be used. On one procedure, the committee members vote on each sub-question and the voting (...)
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  47. Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz (2004). Voting Procedures for Complex Collective Decisions. An Epistemic Perspective. Ratio Juris 17 (2):241-258.
    Suppose a committee or a jury confronts a complex question, the answer to which requires attending to several sub-questions. Two different voting procedures can be used. On one, the committee members vote on each sub-question and the voting results are used as premises for the committee’s conclusion on the main issue. This premise-based procedure can be contrasted with the conclusion-based approach, which requires the members to directly vote on the conclusion, with the vote of each member being guided by her (...)
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  48. Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (2003). Bayesian Epistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Bovens and Hartmann provide a systematic guide to the use of probabilistic methods not just in epistemology, but also in philosophy of science, voting theory, ...
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