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  1.  54
    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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  2. Wolfgang Spohn (1988). Causation, Decision, Belief Change and Statistics. Kluwer.
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  3.  19
    Wolfgang Spohn (2015). Conditionals: A Unifying Ranking-Theoretic Perspective. Philosophers' Imprint 15 (1).
    The paper takes an expressivistic perspective, i.e., it takes conditionals of all sorts to primarily express conditional beliefs. Therefore it is based on what it takes to be the best account of conditional belief, namely ranking theory. It proposes not to start looking at the bewildering linguistic phenomenology, but first to systematically study the various options of expressing features of conditional belief. Those options by far transcend the Ramsey test and include relevancies of various kinds and in particular the so-called (...)
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  4.  22
    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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  5.  40
    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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  6. 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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  7.  92
    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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  8. 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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  9. Wolfgang Spohn (1988). Ordinal Conditional Functions. A Dynamic Theory of Epistemic States. In W. L. Harper & B. Skyrms (eds.), Causation in Decision, Belief Change, and Statistics, vol. II. Kluwer
    It is natural and important to have a formal representation of plain belief, according to which propositions are held true, or held false, or neither. (In the paper this is called a deterministic representation of epistemic states). And it is of great philosophical importance to have a dynamic account of plain belief. AGM belief revision theory seems to provide such an account, but it founders at the problem of iterated belief revision, since it can generally account only for one step (...)
     
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  10.  20
    Wolfgang Spohn (2016). Three Kinds of Worlds and Two Kinds of Truth. Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1335-1359.
    This paper argues for three kinds of possible worlds: Wittgensteinian totalities of facts, Lewisian worlds or universes, concrete objects of maximal essence, and the world, a concrete object of minimal essence. It moreover explains that correspondence truth applies to Wittgensteinian totalities and pragmatic truth to Lewisian universes. And it finally argues that this conceptualization lays proper foundations to two-dimensional semantics.
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  11. 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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  12.  22
    Wolfgang Spohn, Bayesian Nets Are All There Is To Causal Dependence.
    The paper displays the similarity between the theory of probabilistic causation developed by Glymour et al. since 1983 and mine developed since 1976: the core of both is that causal graphs are Bayesian nets. The similarity extends to the treatment of actions or interventions in the two theories. But there is also a crucial difference. Glymour et al. take causal dependencies as primitive and argue them to behave like Bayesian nets under wide circumstances. By contrast, I argue the behavior of (...)
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  13.  15
    Wolfgang Spohn (1977). Where Luce and Krantz Do Really Generalize Savage's Decision Model. Erkenntnis 11 (1):113 - 134.
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  14.  44
    Wolfgang Spohn (1986). The Representation of Popper Measures. Topoi 5 (1):69-74.
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  15. 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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  16. Wolfgang Spohn (2004). Laws Are Persistent Inductives Schemes. In F. Stadler (ed.), Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook. 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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  17.  15
    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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  18.  32
    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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  19. Wolfgang Spohn (1990). A General Non-Probabilistic Theory of Inductive Reasoning. In R. D. Shachter, T. S. Levitt, J. Lemmer & L. N. Kanal (eds.), Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence 4. Elsevier
    Probability theory, epistemically interpreted, provides an excellent, if not the best available account of inductive reasoning. This is so because there are general and definite rules for the change of subjective probabilities through information or experience; induction and belief change are one and same topic, after all. The most basic of these rules is simply to conditionalize with respect to the information received; and there are similar and more general rules. 1 Hence, a fundamental reason for the epistemological success of (...)
     
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  20.  62
    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 (...)
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  21. Wolfgang Stegmüller, Wolfgang Balzer & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.) (1982). Philosophy of Economics: Proceedings, Munich, July 1981. Springer-Verlag.
  22.  37
    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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  23.  48
    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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  24.  12
    Wolfgang Spohn (1975). An Analysis of Hansson's Dyadic Deontic Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic 4 (2):237 - 252.
    Recently, Bengt Hansson presented a paper about dyadic deontic logic,2 criticizing some purely axiomatic systems of dyadic deontic logic and proposing three purely semantical systems of dyadic deontic logic which he confidently called dyadic standard systems of deontic logic (DSDL1–3). Here I shall discuss the third by far most interesting system DSDL3 which is operating with preference relations. First, I shall describe this semantical system (Sections 1.1–1.3). Then I shall give an axiomatic system (Section 1.4) which is proved to be (...)
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  25. Wolfgang Spohn, Marion Ledwig & Michael Esfeld (eds.) (2001). Current Issues in Causation. Mentis.
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  26. Wolfgang Spohn (1988). Ordinal Conditional Functions. In Causation, Decision, Belief Change and Statistics. Kluwer
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  27.  33
    Wolfgang Spohn (1981). Analogy and Inductive Logic: A Note on Niiniluoto. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 16 (1):35 - 52.
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  28.  31
    Wolfgang Spohn, Causation, Coherence and Concepts : A Collection of Essays.
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  29.  28
    Wolfgang Spohn (1980). Stochastic Independence, Causal Independence, and Shieldability. Journal of Philosophical Logic 9 (1):73 - 99.
    The aim of the paper is to explicate the concept of causal independence between sets of factors and Reichenbach's screening-off-relation in probabilistic terms along the lines of Suppes' probabilistic theory of causality (1970). The probabilistic concept central to this task is that of conditional stochastic independence. The adequacy of the explication is supported by proving some theorems about the explicata which correspond to our intuitions about the explicanda.
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  30.  37
    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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  31.  18
    Wolfgang Spohn (1983). Deterministic and Probabilistic Reasons and Causes. Erkenntnis 19 (1-3):371 - 396.
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  32.  21
    Wolfgang Spohn (1994). Editorial. Erkenntnis 40 (1):1-3.
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  33.  12
    Wolfgang Spohn (2015). Obituary for Patrick Suppes. Erkenntnis 80 (2):239-242.
    Patrick Colonel Suppes Published with the kind permission of the Patrick Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science at Stanford UniversityWe deeply mourn the death of our senior editor Patrick Suppes . After the death of Carl Gustav Hempel in 1997, who had been the senior editor since the reestablishment of ERKENNTNIS in 1975, Wilhelm Essler and I asked Pat to succeed Hempel as editor of ERKENNTNIS.Our journal was founded by Hans Reichenbach and Rudolf Carnap in 1931. It (...)
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  34.  13
    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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  35.  19
    Wolfgang Spohn (1999). Editorial. Erkenntnis 50 (1):1-3.
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  36.  13
    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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  37.  9
    Wolfgang Spohn (1992). Editorial Note. Erkenntnis 36 (1):3-4.
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  38.  39
    Anna Kusser & Wolfgang Spohn (1992). The Utility of Pleasure is a Pain for Decision Theory. Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):10-29.
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  39.  8
    Wolfgang Spohn (1990). Editorial Note. Erkenntnis 33 (1):3-4.
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  40.  15
    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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  41.  33
    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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  42.  34
    Wolfgang Spohn (1990). Direct and Indirect Causes. Topoi 9 (2):125-145.
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  43.  26
    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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  44.  21
    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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  45.  46
    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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  46.  36
    Wolfgang Spohn (1993). Causal Laws Are Objectifications of Inductive Schemes. In J. Dubucs (ed.), Philosophy of Probability. Kluwer, Dordrecht 223-252.
    And this paper is an attempt to say precisely how, thus addressing a philosophical problem which is commonly taken to be a serious one. It does so, however, in quite an idiosyncratic way. It is based on the account of inductive schemes I have given in (1988) and (1990a) and on the conception of causation I have presented in (1980), (1983), and (1990b), and it intends to fill one of many gaps which have been left by these papers. Still, I (...)
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  47. Wolfgang Spohn (1983). Probabilistic Causality: From Hume Via Suppes to Granger. In M. Galvotti & G. Gambetta (eds.), Causalitã¡ E Modelli Probabilistici. Clueb 69-87.
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  48. Wolfgang Spohn (1991). Hans Reichenbach, Rudolf Carnap: A Centenary. Erkenntnis 35.
     
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  49.  41
    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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  50.  11
    Wolfgang Spohn (2014). Précis von The Laws of Belief. Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 68 (2):229-236.
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