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  1. Wolfgang Spohn (2014). Précis von The Laws of Belief. Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 68 (2):229-236.
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  2. Wolfgang Spohn (2014). Replik. Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 68 (2):247-250.
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  3. Wolfgang Spohn (2014). The Epistemic Account of Ceteris Paribus Conditions. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (3):385-408.
    The paper focuses on interpreting ceteris paribus conditions as normal conditions. After discussing six basic problems for the explication of normal conditions and seven interpretations that do not well solve those problems I turn to what I call the epistemic account. According to it the normal is, roughly, the not unexpected. This is developed into a rigorous constructive account of normal conditions, which makes essential use of ranking theory and in particular allows to explain the phenomenon of multiply exceptional conditions. (...)
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  4. Miguel Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.) (2013). Was Dürfen Wir Glauben? Was Sollen Wir Tun? Sektionsbeiträge des Achten Internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft Für Analytische Philosophie E.V. DuEPublico.
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  5. Miguel Holtje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.) (2013). GAP.8 Proceedings. GAP (2013). Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie.
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  6. Wolfgang Spohn (2013). A Ranking‐Theoretic Approach to Conditionals. Cognitive Science 37 (6):1074-1106.
    Conditionals somehow express conditional beliefs. However, conditional belief is a bi-propositional attitude that is generally not truth-evaluable, in contrast to unconditional belief. Therefore, this article opts for an expressivistic semantics for conditionals, grounds this semantics in the arguably most adequate account of conditional belief, that is, ranking theory, and dismisses probability theory for that purpose, because probabilities cannot represent belief. Various expressive options are then explained in terms of ranking theory, with the intention to set out a general interpretive scheme (...)
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  7. Wolfgang Spohn (2012). Reversing 30 Years of Discussion: Why Causal Decision Theorists Should One-Box. Synthese 187 (1):95-122.
    The paper will show how one may rationalize one-boxing in Newcomb's problem and drinking the toxin in the Toxin puzzle within the confines of causal decision theory by ascending to so-called reflexive decision models which reflect how actions are caused by decision situations (beliefs, desires, and intentions) represented by ordinary unreflexive decision models.
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  8. Wolfgang Spohn (2012). The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and its Philosophical Applications. Oxford University Press.
    Wolfgang Spohn presents the first full account of the dynamic laws of belief, by means of ranking theory. This book is his long-awaited presentation of ranking theory and its ramifications.
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  9. Wolfgang Spohn (2009). A Survey of Ranking Theory. In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Springer.
    "A Survey of Ranking Theory": The paper gives an up-to-date survey of ranking theory. It carefully explains the basics. It elaborates on the ranking theoretic explication of reasons and their balance. It explains the dynamics of belief statable in ranking terms and indicates how the ranks can thereby be measured. It suggests how the theory of Bayesian nets can be carried over to ranking theory. It indicates what it might mean to objectify ranks. It discusses the formal and the philosophical (...)
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  10. Wolfgang Spohn, Causation, Coherence and Concepts : A Collection of Essays.
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  11. Wolfgang Spohn, Five Questions : Wolfgang Spohn.
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  12. Wolfgang Spohn, The Intentional Versus the Propositional Structure of Contents.
    The paper argues that the objects of belief should not be conceived as sets of possible worlds or propositions of set of centered possible worlds or egocentric propositions (this is the propositional conception), but rather as sets of pairs consisting of a centered world and a sequence of objects (this is the intentional conception of the objects of belief). The paper explains the deep significance of this thesis for the framework of two-dimensional semantics, indeed for any framework trying to adequately (...)
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  13. Wolfgang Spohn (2008). Two-Dimensional Truth. Studia Philosophica Estonica 1 (2):194-207.
    The paper identifies two major strands of truth theories, ontological and epistemological ones, and argues that both are of equal primacy and find their home within two-dimensional semantics. Contrary to received views, it argues further that epistemological truth theories operate on Lewisian possible worlds and ontological truth theories on Wittgensteinian possible worlds and that both are mediated by the so-called epistemic-ontic map the further specification of which is of utmost philosophical importance.
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  14. Wolfgang Spohn & Matthias Hild (2008). The Measurement of Ranks and the Laws of Iterated Contraction. Artificial Intelligence 172:1195-1218.
    Ranking theory delivers an account of iterated contraction; each ranking function induces a specific iterated contraction behavior. The paper shows how to reconstruct a ranking function from its iterated contraction behavior uniquely up to multiplicative constant and thus how to measure ranks on a ratio scale. Thereby, it also shows how to completely axiomatize that behavior. The complete set of laws of iterated contraction it specifies amend the laws hitherto discussed in the literature.
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  15. Wolfgang Spohn (2007). Dependency Equilibria. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):775-789.
    This paper introduces a new equilibrium concept for normal form games called dependency equilibrium; it is defined, exemplified, and compared with Nash and correlated equilibria in Sections 2–4. Its philosophical motive is to rationalize cooperation in the one shot prisoners' dilemma. A brief discussion of its meaningfulness in Section 5 concludes the paper. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany; e-mail: Wolfgang.Spohn@uni-konstanz.de.
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  16. Wolfgang Spohn (2006). Causation: An Alternative. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):93-119.
    The paper builds on the basically Humean idea that A is a cause of B iff A and B both occur, A precedes B, and A raises the metaphysical or epistemic status of B given the obtaining circumstances. It argues that in pursuit of a theory of deterministic causation this ‘status raising’ is best explicated not in regularity or counterfactual terms, but in terms of ranking functions. On this basis, it constructs a rigorous theory of deterministic causation that successfully deals (...)
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  17. Wolfgang Spohn, How Are Mathematical Objects Constituted? A Structuralist Answer.
    The paper proposes to amend structuralism in mathematics by saying what places in a structure and thus mathematical objects are. They are the objects of the canonical system realizing a categorical structure, where that canonical system is a minimal system in a specific essentialistic sense. It would thus be a basic ontological axiom that such a canonical system always exists. This way of conceiving mathematical objects is underscored by a defense of an essentialistic version of Leibniz’ principle according to which (...)
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  18. Wolfgang Spohn (2006). Isaac Levi's Potentially Surprising Epistemological Picture. In Erik J. Olsson (ed.), Knowledge and Inquiry: Essays on the Pragmatism of Isaac Levi. Cambridge University Press.
    This paper compares the epistemological conception of Isaac Levi with mine. We are joined in both giving a constructive answer to the relation of belief and probability, without reducing one to the other. However, our constructions differ in at least nine more or less important ways, all discussed in the paper. In particular, the paper explains the similarities and differences of Shackle's functions of potential surprise, as used by Levi, and my ranking functions in formal as well as in philosophical (...)
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  19. Wolfgang Spohn (2005). Anmerkungen zum Begriff des Bewußtseins. In Gereon Wolters & Martin Carrier (eds.), Homo Sapiens Und Homo Faber. De Gruyter. 239--251.
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  20. Wolfgang Spohn (2005). Enumerative Induction and Lawlikeness. Philosophy of Science 72 (1):164-187.
    The paper is based on ranking theory, a theory of degrees of disbelief (and hence belief). On this basis, it explains enumerative induction, the confirmation of a law by its positive instances, which may indeed take various schemes. It gives a ranking theoretic explication of a possible law or a nomological hypothesis. It proves, then, that such schemes of enumerative induction uniquely correspond to mixtures of such nomological hypotheses. Thus, it shows that de Finetti's probabilistic representation theorems may be transformed (...)
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  21. Wolfgang Spohn, The Core of Free Will.
    The paper pleads for compatibilism by distinguishing the first-person’s normative and the observer’s empirical perspective. In the normative perspective one’s own actions are uncaused and free, in the empirical perspective they are caused and may be predetermined. Still, there is only one notion of causation that is able to account for the relation between the causal conceptions within the two perspectives. The other main idea for explicating free will by explaining free actions or intentions as appropriately caused in a specified (...)
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  22. Wolfgang Spohn, The 5 Questions.
    "Five Questions on Formal Philosophy": Like the other authors in the volume, I was asked for my reflections on the character of (formal) philosophy by answering the following five questions: 1. Why were you initially drawn to formal methods? 2. What example(s) from your work illustrates the role formal methods can play in philosophy? 3. What is the proper role of philosophy in relation to other disciplines? 4. What do you consider the most neglected topics and/or contributions in (...)
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  23. Wolfgang Spohn, Chance and Necessity : From Humean Supervenience to Humean Projection.
    From Humean Supervenience to Humean Projection": This paper attempts to develop a projectivistic understanding of chance or objective probability or partial determination. It does so by critically examining David Lewis’ philosophy of probability and his defense of Humean Supervenience, building thereupon the constructive projectivistic alternative, which will basically be a suitable reinterpretation of de Finetti’s position. Any treatment of the topic must show how it extends to natural necessity or deterministic laws or full determination in perfect parallel. The paper indicates (...)
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  24. Wolfgang Spohn (2004). Laws Are Persistent Inductives Schemes. In F. Stadler (ed.), Induction and Deduction in the Sciences. Kluwer. 11--135.
    The characteristic difference between laws and accidental generalizations lies in our epistemic or inductive attitude towards them. This idea has taken various forms and dominated the discussion about lawlikeness in the last decades. Hence, ranking theory with its resources of formalizing defeasible reasoning or inductive schemes seems ideally suited to explicate the idea in a formal way. This is what the paper attempts to do. Thus it will turn out that a law is simply the deterministic analogue of a sequence (...)
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  25. Wolfgang Spohn (2004). On the Objectivity of Facts, Beliefs, and Values. In Peter K. Machamer & Gereon Wolters (eds.), Science, Values, and Objectivity. University of Pittsburgh Press. 172.
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  26. Wolfgang Spohn, Carnap Versus Quine, or Aprioristic Versus Naturalized Epistemology, or a Lesson From Dispositions.
    In his influential paper "Epistemology Naturalized" Quine argues that Carnap's failure to define disposition predicates and his subsequent preference for reduction sentences naturally lead to an entirely naturalized epistemology. This conclusion is too hasty, I object. Applying the account of dispositional predicates developed in No. 26 I defend Carnap's aprioristic epistemology against Quine's attacks.
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  27. Wolfgang Spohn, Dependency Equilibria and the Causal Structure of Decision and Game Situation.
    The paper attempts to rationalize cooperation in the one-shot prisoners' dilemma (PD). It starts by introducing (and preliminarily investigating) a new kind of equilibrium (differing from Aumann's correlated equilibria) according to which the players' actions may be correlated (sect. 2). In PD the Pareto-optimal among these equilibria is joint cooperation. Since these equilibria seem to contradict causal preconceptions, the paper continues with a standard analysis of the causal structure of decision situations (sect. 3). The analysis then raises to a reflexive (...)
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  28. Wolfgang Spohn (2002). A Brief Comparison of Pollock's Defeasible Reasoning and Ranking Functions. Synthese 131 (1):39-56.
    In this paper two theories of defeasible reasoning, Pollock's account and my theory of ranking functions, are compared, on a strategic level, since a strictly formal comparison would have been unfeasible. A brief summary of the accounts shows their basic difference: Pollock's is a strictly computational one, whereas ranking functions provide a regulative theory. Consequently, I argue that Pollock's theory is normatively defective, unable to provide a theoretical justification for its basic inference rules and thus an independent notion of admissible (...)
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  29. Wolfgang Spohn (2002). Editorial. Erkenntnis 56 (1):1-3.
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  30. Wolfgang Spohn (2002). Laws, Ceteris Paribus Conditions, and the Dynamics of Belief. Erkenntnis 57 (3):373-394.
    The characteristic difference between laws and accidental generalizations lies in our epistemic or inductive attitude towards them. This idea has taken various forms and dominated the discussion about lawlikeness in the last decades. Likewise, the issue about ceteris paribus conditions is essentially about how we epistemically deal with exceptions. Hence, ranking theory with its resources of defeasible reasoning seems ideally suited to explicate these points in a formal way. This is what the paper attempts to do. Thus it will turn (...)
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  31. Wolfgang Spohn (2002). Lehrer Meets Ranking Theory. In Erik J. Olsson (ed.), The Epistemology of Keith Lehrer. Kluwer.
    Meets what? Ranking theory is, as far as I know, the only existing theory suited for underpinning Keith Lehrer’s account of knowledge and justification. If this is true, it’s high time to bring both together. This is what I shall do in this paper. However, the result of defining Lehrer’s primitive notions in terms of ranking theory will be disappointing: justified acceptance will, depending on the interpretation, either have an unintelligible structure or reduce to mere acceptance, and in the latter (...)
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  32. Wolfgang Spohn (2002). The Many Facets of the Theory of Rationality. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):249-264.
    Modern theory of rationality has truly grown into a science of its own. Still, the general topic remained a genuinely philosophical one. This essay is concerned with giving a brief overview. Section 2 explains the fundamental scheme of all rationality assessments. With its help, a schematic order of the main questions concerning the theory of rationality can be given; the questions turn out to be quite unevenly addressed in the literature. Section 3 discusses the fundamental issue that the theory of (...)
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  33. Ulrike Haas-Spohn & Wolfgang Spohn (2001). Concepts Are Beliefs About Essences. In R. Stuhlmann-Laeisz, Albert Newen & Ulrich Nortmann (eds.), Proceedings of an International Symposium. Stanford, CSLI Publications.
    Putnam (1975) and Burge (1979) have made a convincing case that neither mea- nings nor beliefs are in the head. Most philosophers, it seems, have accepted their argument. Putnam explained that a subject.
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  34. Wolfgang Spohn (2001). Deterministic Causation. In Wolfgang Spohn, Marion Ledwig & Michael Esfeld (eds.), Current Issues in Causation. Mentis. 21-46.
    This paper is the most complete presentation of my views on deterministic causation. It develops the deterministic theory in perfect parallel to my theory of probabilistic causation and thus unites the two aspects. It also argues that the theory presented is superior to all regularity and all counterfactual theories of causation.
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  35. Wolfgang Spohn, Marion Ledwig & Michael Esfeld (eds.) (2001). Current Issues in Causation. Mentis.
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  36. Wolfgang Spohn & Patrick Suppes (2001). Editors' Preface. Erkenntnis 54 (1):1-2.
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  37. Wolfgang Spohn, A Rationalization of Cooperation in the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma.
    The paper is essentially a short version Spohn "Strategic Rationality" which emphasizes in particular how the ideas developed there may be used to shed new light on the iterated prisoner's dilemma (and on iterated Newcomb's problem).
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  38. Wolfgang Spohn (1999). Editorial. Erkenntnis 50 (1):1-3.
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  39. Wolfgang Spohn, Ranking Functions, AGM Style. Internet Festschrift for Peter Gärdenfors.
    First, ranking functions are argued to be superior to AGM belief revision theory in two crucial respects. Second, it is shown how ranking functions are uniquely reflected in iterated belief change. More precisely, conditions on threefold contractions are specified which suffice for representing contractions by a ranking function uniquely up to multiplication by a positive integer. Thus, an important advantage AGM theory seemed to have over ranking functions proves to be spurious.
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  40. Wolfgang Spohn, Strategic Rationality.
    The paper argues that the standard decision theoretic account of strategies and their rationality or optimality is much too narrow, that strategies should rather condition future action to future decision situations (a point of view already developed in my Grundlagen der Entscheidungstheorie, sect. 4.4), that practical deliberation must therefore essentially rely on a relation of superiority and inferiority between possible future decision situations, that all this allows to substantially broaden the theory of practical rationality, that a long list of points (...)
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  41. Wolfgang Spohn (1999). Two Coherence Principles. Erkenntnis 50 (2/3):155-175.
    The paper proposes two principles of coherence (thus taking up work started in Spohn (1991) "A Reason for Explanation: Explanations Provide Stable Reasons"). The latter indeed serves as a weak, but precise explication of the notion of coherence as it is used in the current epistemological discussion. After discussing their epistemological setting, the paper considers four ways of establishing these principles. They may be inferred neither from enumerative induction, nor from the nature of propositions as objects of belief, nor in (...)
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  42. Wolfgang Spohn (1998). How to Understand the Foundations of Empirical Belief in a Coherentist Way. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (1):22–40.
    The central claim of the paper is, roughly, that the fact that it looks to somebody as if p is a defeasibly a priori reason for assuming that p (and vice versa), for any person, even for the perceiver himself. As a preparation, it outlines a doxastic conception suitable to explicate this claim and explains how to analyse dispositions within this conception. Since an observable p has the disposition to look as if p, this analysis generalizes to the central claim (...)
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  43. Wilhelm K. Essler & Wolfgang Spohn (1997). Editorial. Erkenntnis 47 (3):1-3.
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  44. Wolfgang Spohn (1997). The Character of Color Predicates: A Materialist View. In M. Anduschus, Albert Newen & Wolfgang Kunne (eds.), Direct Reference, Indexicality, and Propositional Attitudes. CSLI Press.
    where _x_ stands for a visible object and _y_ for a perceiving subject (the reference to a time may be neglected).1 I take here ”character” in the sense of Kaplan (1977) as substantiated by Haas-Spohn (1995 and Chapter 14 in this book)). The point of using Kaplan’s framework is simple, but of utmost importance: It provides a scheme for clearly separating epistemological and metaphysical issues, for specifying how the two domains are related, and for connecting them to questions concerning meaning (...)
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  45. Wolfgang Spohn, The Character of Color Terms : A Materialist View.
    The paper analyzes the meaning of color terms within the framework of Kaplan's character theory (which, when generalized to a treatment of hidden indexicality or dependence on the context world, can perfectly accommodate Kripke's notions of apriority and of (metaphysical) necessity). It explains this framework and why it might be fruitfully applied to color terms. Then it defends six theses: that (1) the predicate "is red" and (2) even the relation "appears red to" are hidden indexicals (i.e., have, as used (...)
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  46. Wolfgang Spohn (1996). On the Objects of Belief. In C. Stein & M. Textor (eds.), Intentional Phenomena in Context. Hamburg.
    When I talk about the objects of belief I do not mean, e.g., the sun to which my thought that the sun will rise tomorrow refers; I do not mean the objects we think about. I take objects rather in a general philosophical sense; they simply are the bearers of properties and the relata of relations. I am thus concerned with the objects that are related by the belief relation „_a_ believes that _p_“. In this scheme „ _a _“ represents (...)
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  47. Wolfgang Spohn (1995). Editorial Note. Erkenntnis 42 (1):3-4.
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  48. Wolfgang Spohn (1994). Editorial. Erkenntnis 40 (1):1-3.
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  49. Wolfgang Spohn, On Reichenbach's Principle of the Common Cause.
    This paper deals with Hans Reichenbach's common cause principle. It was propounded by him in (1956, ch. 19), and has been developed and widely applied by Wesley Salmon, e.g. in (1978) and (1984, ch. 8). Thus, it has become one of the focal points of the continuing discussion of causation. The paper addresses five questions. Section 1 asks: What does the principle say? And section 2 asks: What is its philosophical significance? The most important question, of course, is this: (...)
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  50. Wolfgang Spohn (1994). On the Properties of Conditional Independence. In Paul Humphreys (ed.), Patrick Suppes, Scientific Philosopher Vol. 1: Probability and Probabilistic Causality. Kluwer.
    As the paper explains, it is crucial to epistemology in general and to the theory of causation in particular to investigate the properties of conditional independence as completely as possible. The paper summarizes the most important results concerning conditional independence with respect to two important representations of epistemic states, namely (strictly positive) probability measures and natural conditional (or disbelief or ranking) functions. It finally adds some new observations.
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