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Profile: Mariam Thalos (University of Utah)
Profile: Mariam Thalos (University of Utah)
  1. Mariam Thalos (forthcoming). The Grammar of Experience. Philosophy:1-28.
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  2. Mariam Thalos & Oliver Richardson (2014). Capitalization in the St. Petersburg Game Why Statistical Distributions Matter. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (3):292-313.
    In spite of its infinite expectation value, the St. Petersburg game is not only a gamble without supply in the real world, but also one without demand at apparently very reasonable asking prices. We offer a rationalizing explanation of why the St. Petersburg bargain is unattractive on both sides (to both house and player) in the mid-range of prices (finite but upwards of about $4). Our analysis – featuring (1) the already-established fact that the average of finite ensembles of the (...)
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  3. Mariam Thalos (2013). Towards a Theory of Freedom. Theoria 60 (134):1-25.
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  4. Mariam Thalos (2013). Truth Deserves to Be Believed. Philosophy 88 (2):179-196.
    Science seems generally to aim at truth. And governmental support of science is often premised on the instrumental value of truth in service of advancing our practical objectives, both as individuals and as communities, large and small. While there is some political expediency to this view, it is not correct. The value of truth is nowise that it helps us achieve our aims. In fact, just the contrary: truth deserves to be believed only on the condition that its claim upon (...)
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  5. Mariam Thalos (2013). Without Hierarchies: The Scale Freedom of the Universe. Oxford University Press.
    O (I) Figure 7.1 Bijective realization function f help make the philosophical point I have been hammering—the “no hierarchies” point—very simple to argue for. They also help to make clear how the vision of science I fervently hope will prevail ...
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  6. Mariam Thalos (2012). Precaution has its Reasons. In W. Kabasenche, M. O'Rourke & M. Slater (eds.), Topics in Contemporary Philosophy 9: The Environment. MIT.
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  7. Mariam Thalos (2012). Self-Constructions: An Existential Approach to Self and Social Identity. In S. Crasnow & A. Superson (eds.), Out of the Shadows. Oxford.
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  8. Mariam Thalos (2012). Solidarity: A Motivational Conception. Philosophical Papers 41 (1):57-95.
    Abstract This essay offers a motivational conception of solidarity that can be employed across the entire range of sciences and humanities, while also filling a gap in the motivational spectrum conceived by decision theorists and economists?and expanding the two-part division between altruistic and selfish motivations into a tripartite analysis that suggests a spectrum instead. According to the present proposal, solidarity is a condition of action-readiness on behalf of a group or its interests. The proposal will admit of measuring the extent (...)
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  9. Mariam Thalos (2011). Imitative Reasoning. Social Epistemology 23 (3):381-405.
    On the classical instrumental view, practical reason is an all-things-considered enterprise, concerned not merely with identifying and evaluating appropriate means to the realization of ends construed as uncriticizable, but also with coordinating achievement of their sum. The concept of a totality of ranked concerns is the cornerstone of the theory of utility. This paper discusses some of the ways that practical reasoning, on the ground, is not instrumental in this sense. The paper will demonstrate that some of what goes on (...)
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  10. Mariam Thalos (2010). Two Conceptions of Fundamentality. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (2):151-177.
    This article aims to show that fundamentality is construed differently in the two most prominent strategies of analysis we find in physical science and engineering today: (1) atomistic, reductive analysis and (2) Systems analysis. Correspondingly, atomism is the conception according to which the simplest (smallest) indivisible entity of a certain kind is most fundamental; while systemism , as will be articulated here, is the conception according to which the bonds that structure wholes are most fundamental, and scale and/or constituting entities (...)
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  11. Mariam Thalos (2009). Systems. The Monist 92 (3):452-478.
    Dynamical-systems analysis is nowadays ubiquitous. From engineering (its point of origin and natural home) to physiology, and from psychology to ecology, it enjoys surprisingly wide application. Sometimes the analysis rings decisively false—as, for example, when adopted in certain treatments of historical narrative;1 other times it is provocativeandcontroversial,aswhenappliedtothephenomenaofmind and cognition.2 Dynamical systems analysis (or “Systems” with a capital “S,” as I shall sometimes refer to it) is simply a tool of analysis. It mobilizes the language and mathematical technology of differential equations,andbringsintoplaythedistinctiveconceptsofequilibriumand (...)
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  12. Mariam Thalos & Chrisoula Andreou (2009). Of Human Bonding: An Essay on the Natural History of Agency. Public Reason 1 (2).
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  13. Mariam Thalos (2008). Molecule-for-Molecule Duplication. Teorema 27 (3):103-114.
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  14. Mariam Thalos (2008). On Planning: Toward a Natural History of Goal Attainment. Philosophical Papers 37 (2):289-317.
    The goal of the essay is to articulate some beginnings for an empirical approach to the study of agency, in the firm conviction that agency is subject to scientific scrutiny, and is not to be abandoned to high-brow aprioristic philosophy. Drawing on insights from decision analysis, game theory, general dynamics, physics and engineering, this essay will examine the diversity of planning phenomena, and in that way take some steps towards assembling rudiments for the budding science, in the process innovating (parts (...)
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  15. Mariam Thalos (2008). Two Conceptions of Collectivity. Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (1):83-104.
    This paper distinguishes two conceptions of collectivity, each of which tracks the targets of classification according to their aetiology. Collectivities falling under the first conception are founded on (more-or-less) explicit negotiations amongst the members who are known to one another personally. Collectivities falling under the second (philosophically neglected) conception are founded - at least initially - purely upon a shared conception of "we", very often in the absence of prior acquaintance and personal interaction. The paper argues that neglect of collectivities (...)
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  16. Chrisoula Andreou & Mariam Thalos (2007). Sense and Sensibility. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):71 - 80.
  17. Mariam Thalos (2007). Sources of Behavior. In D. Ross & D. Spurrett (eds.), Distributed Cognition and the Will. MIT.
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  18. Mariam Thalos (2007). 8 The Sources of Behavior: Toward a Naturalistic, Control Account of Agency. In Don Ross, David Spurrett, Harold Kincaid & G. Lynn Stephens (eds.), Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context. Mit Press. 123--67.
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  19. Mariam Thalos (2006). Nonreductive Physics. Synthese 149 (1):133 - 178.
    This paper documents a wide range of nonreductive scientific treatments of phenomena in the domain of physics. These treatments strongly resist characterization as explanations of macrobehavior exclusively in terms of behavior of microconstituents. For they are treatments in which macroquantities are cast in the role of genuine and irreducible degrees of freedom. One is driven into reductionism when one is not cultivated to possess an array of distinctions rich enough to let things be what they are. In contrast, making the (...)
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  20. Mariam Thalos (2005). From Paradox to Judgment: Towards a Metaphysics of Expression. Australasian Journal of Logic 3:76-107.
    The Liar sentence is a singularly important piece of philosophical evidence. It is an instrument for investigating the metaphysics of expressing truths and falsehoods. And an instrument too for investigating the varieties of conflict that can give rise to paradox. It shall serve as perhaps the most important clue to the shape of human judgment, as well as to the nature of the dependence of judgment upon language use.
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  21. Kyburg Jr, E. Henry & Mariam Thalos (eds.) (2003). Probability is the Very Guide of Life: The Philosophical Uses of Chance. Open Court.
    This collection represents the best recent work on the subject and includes essays by Clark Glymour, James H. Fetzer, and Wesley C. Salmon.
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  22. Mariam Thalos (2003). “Searle’s Foole: How a Constructionist Account of Society Cannot Substitute for a Causal One. American Journal of Economics and Sociology 62 (1):105-122.
    In The Construction of Social Reality, John Searle promises a causal account of how social facts are constructed by human acts of intention, but specifically disavows a special theoretical space in that account for human motivation. This paper argues that such a story as Searle tells cannot serve as a causal account of society. A causal account must illuminate motivations, because doing so illuminates the aims and interests lacking which we cannot explain why these social practices come to be and (...)
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  23. Mariam Thalos (2003). The Reduction of Causation. In Kyburg Jr, E. Henry & Mariam Thalos (eds.), Probability is the Very Guide of Life: The Philosophical Uses of Chance. Open Court. 295.
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  24. Mariam Thalos (2002). Explanation is a Genus: An Essay on the Varieties of Scientific Explanation. Synthese 130 (3):317 - 354.
    I shall endeavor to show that every physical theory since Newton explainswithout drawing attention to causes–that, in other words, physical theories as physical theories aspire to explain under an ideal quite distinctfrom that of causal explanation. If I am right, then even if sometimes theexplanations achieved by a physical theory are not in violation ofthe standard of causal explanation, this is purely an accident. For physicaltheories, as I will show, do not, as such, aim at accommodating the goals (...)
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  25. Mariam Thalos (2002). From Human Nature to Moral Philosophy. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (Supplement):85-127.
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  26. Mariam Thalos (2002). The Reduction of Causal Processes. Synthese 131 (1):99 - 128.
    The principle that causes always render their effects more likely is fundamental to the enterprise of reducing facts of causation to facts about (objective) chances. This reductionist enterprise faces famous difficulties in accommodating common-sense intuitions about causal processes, if it insists on cashing out causal processes in terms of streams of events in which every event that belongs to the stream is a cause of the adjoining event downstream of it. I shall propose modifications to this way of cashing out (...)
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  27. Mariam Thalos (1999). Degrees of Freedom in the Social World: Towards a Systems Analysis of Decision. Journal of Political Philosophy 7 (4):453–477.
    THOMAS SCHELLING taught us that in ordinary human affairs, con¯ict and common interest are ubiquitously intertwined.1 For when it comes to variety, the occasion of pure con¯ict (known to some of its friends as the zerosum game) is as under-represented in human affairs as the occasion of undiluted common interest (known as the pure coordination game). The undiluted extremes are the exceptions, when it comes to counting kinds, while the mixed-motive kind of occasion is the rule. Things look a bit (...)
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  28. Mariam Thalos (1999). Degrees of Freedom: An Essay on Competitions Between Micro and Macro in Mechanics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):1-39.
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  29. Mariam Thalos (1999). In Favor of Being Only Humean. Philosophical Studies 93 (3):265-298.
    The twin conceptions of (1) natural law as causal structure and (2) explanation as passage from phenomenon to cause, are two sides of a certain philosophical coin, to which I shall offer an alternative – Humean – currency. The Humean alternative yokes together a version of the regularity conception of law and a conception of explanation as passage from one regularity, to another which has it as an instance but of which it is not itself an instance. I will show (...)
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  30. Mariam Thalos (1999). Knowledge in an Age of Individual Economy. Journal of Philosophical Research 24:169-191.
    This essay identifies foundational questions, all metaphysical in character, which must be answered before the enterprise of epistemology proper can begin to prosper, and in the process draws attention to fundamental conflicts between the demands of epistemology and the demands of prudence. It concludes that knowledge is not, as such, a directive of prudence, and thus that the enterprise of knowledge does not fall under the category of what is practically required.
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  31. Mariam Thalos (1999). Two Dogmas of Naturalized Epistemology. Dialectica 53 (2):111–138.
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  32. Mariam Thalos (1999). Units of Decision. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):338.
    I shall introduce the units 0f decision problem in thc theory of decision, which as I shall explain is 21 sibling t0 thc units 0f selection problem in cvolutionary thcory. And I shall present an argument to thc cffcct that, contrary to Bayesian wisdom on the subject, undertaking decision in group settings (in multi-individual units) violates no precepts of rationality.
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  33. Mariam Thalos (1999). Why We Believe. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 30 (2):317-339.
    The radical probabilist counsels the prudent never to put away uncertainty, and hence always to balance judgment with probabilities of various sizes. Against this counsel I shall advise in favor of the practice of full belief — at least for some occasions. This advice rests on the fact that it is sometimes in a person's interests to accept certain propositions as a means of bringing it about that others recognize oneself as having accepted those propositions. With the pragmatists, therefore, I (...)
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  34. Mariam Thalos (1998). A Modest Proposal for Interpreting Structural Explanations. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):279-295.
    Social sciences face a well-known problem, which is an instance of a general problem faced as well by psychological and biological sciences: the problem of establishing their legitimate existence alongside physics. This, as will become clear, is a problem in metaphysics. I will show how a new account of structural explanations, put forward by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit, which is designed to solve this metaphysical problem with social sciences in mind, fails to treat the problem in any importantly new (...)
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  35. Mariam Thalos (1998). The Economy of Belief or, Explaining Cooperation Among the Prudent. American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (4):349 - 363.
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  36. Mariam Thalos (1998). The Trouble with Superselection Accounts of Measurement. Philosophy of Science 65 (3):518-544.
    A supcrsclcction rule advanced in thc course of a quantum-mechanical treatment of some phenomenon is an assertion tc thc effect that thc superposition principle of quam tum mechanics is to bc restricted in thc application at hand. Supcrsclcction accounts of measurement all have in common a decision to represent thc indicator states of detectors by eigcnspaccs of supcrsclcction operators named in a supcrsclcction rule, on the grounds that thc states in question arc states of a s0—calicd classical quantity and therefore (...)
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  37. Mariam Thalos (1997). Conflict and Co-Ordination in the Aftermath of Oracular Statements. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):212-226.
    Can victims of the oracle paradox, which is known primarily through its unexpected hanging and surprise examination versions, extricate themselves from their difficulties of reasoning? No. For they do not, contrary to recent opinion, commit errors of fallacious elimination. As I shall argue, the difficulties of reasoning faced by these victims do not originate in the domain of concepts, propositions and their entailment relations; nor do they result from misapprehensions about limitations on what can be known. The difficulties of reasoning (...)
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  38. Mariam Thalos (1997). Self-Interest, Autonomy, and the Presuppositions of Decision Theory. American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (2):287 - 297.
    the voluntary actions of such beings cannot be covered by causal laws. Decision theorists, accepting the premise of this argument, appeal instead to noncausal laws predicated on principles of success—oriented action, and use these laws to produce substantive and testable predictions about large—scale human behavior. The primary directive of success-oriented action is maximization of some valuable quantity. Many economists and social scientists use the principles of decision theory to explain social and economic phenomena, while many political philosophers use them to (...)
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  39. Mariam Thalos (1995). Book Review:The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science John Dupre. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 62 (2):351-.
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  40. Mariam Thalos (1994). The Common Need For Classical Epistemological Foundations. The Monist 77 (4):531-553.
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  41. F. Bacchus, Mariam Thalos & H. E. Kyburg (1990). Against Conditionalization. Synthese 85 (3):475 - 506.
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  42. Fahiem Bacchus, Henry E. Kyburg Jr & Mariam Thalos (1990). Against Conditionalization. Synthese 85 (3):475 - 506.
  43. Mariam Thalos, From Paradox to Judgment: Towards a Metaphysics of Expression.
    The Liar sentence is a singularly important piece of philosophical evidence. It is an instrument for investigating the metaphysics of expressing truths and falsehoods. And an instrument too for investigating the varieties of conflict that can give rise to paradox. It shall serve as perhaps the most important clue to the shape of human judgment, as well as to the nature of the dependence of judgment upon language use.
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