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  1. Does My Total Evidence Support That I’M a Boltzmann Brain?Sinan Dogramaci - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3717-3723.
    A Boltzmann Brain, haphazardly formed through the unlikely but still possible random assembly of physical particles, is a conscious brain having experiences just like an ordinary person. The skeptical possibility of being a Boltzmann Brain is an especially gripping one: scientific evidence suggests our actual universe’s full history may ultimately contain countless short-lived Boltzmann Brains with experiences just like yours or mine. I propose a solution to the skeptical challenge posed by these countless actual Boltzmann Brains. My key idea is (...)
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  2. Conditional Degree of Belief and Bayesian Inference.Jan Sprenger - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (2):319-335.
    Why are conditional degrees of belief in an observation E, given a statistical hypothesis H, aligned with the objective probabilities expressed by H? After showing that standard replies are not satisfactory, I develop a suppositional analysis of conditional degree of belief, transferring Ramsey’s classical proposal to statistical inference. The analysis saves the alignment, explains the role of chance-credence coordination, and rebuts the charge of arbitrary assessment of evidence in Bayesian inference. Finally, I explore the implications of this analysis for Bayesian (...)
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  3. Admissibility Troubles for Bayesian Direct Inference Principles.Christian Wallmann & James Hawthorne - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):957-993.
    Direct inferences identify certain probabilistic credences or confirmation-function-likelihoods with values of objective chances or relative frequencies. The best known version of a direct inference principle is David Lewis’s Principal Principle. Certain kinds of statements undermine direct inferences. Lewis calls such statements inadmissible. We show that on any Bayesian account of direct inference several kinds of intuitively innocent statements turn out to be inadmissible. This may pose a significant challenge to Bayesian accounts of direct inference. We suggest some ways in which (...)
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  4. Direct Inference in the Material Theory of Induction.William Peden - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (4):672-695.
    John D. Norton’s “Material Theory of Induction” has been one of the most intriguing recent additions to the philosophy of induction. Norton’s account appears to be a notably natural account of actual inductive practices, although his theory has attracted considerable criticism. I detail several novel issues for his theory but argue that supplementing the Material Theory with a theory of direct inference could address these problems. I argue that if this combination is possible, a stronger theory of inductive reasoning emerges, (...)
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  5. Induction by Direct Inference Meets the Goodman Problem.Paul D. Thorn - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):1-24.
    I here aim to show that a particular approach to the problem of induction, which I will call “induction by direct inference”, comfortably handles Goodman’s problem of induction. I begin the article by describing induction by direct inference. After introducing induction by direct inference, I briefly introduce the Goodman problem, and explain why it is, prima facie, an obstacle to the proposed approach. I then show how one may address the Goodman problem, assuming one adopts induction by direct inference as (...)
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  6. 'More Likely Than Not' - Knowledge First and the Role of Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2017 - In Adam Carter, Emma Gordon & Benjamin Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First - Approaches in Epistemology and Mind. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 278-292.
    The paper takes a closer look at the role of knowledge and evidence in legal theory. In particular, the paper examines a puzzle arising from the evidential standard Preponderance of the Evidence and its application in civil procedure. Legal scholars have argued since at least the 1940s that the rule of the Preponderance of the Evidence gives rise to a puzzle concerning the role of statistical evidence in judicial proceedings, sometimes referred to as the Problem of Bare Statistical Evidence. While (...)
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  7. The Principal Principle Implies the Principle of Indifference.James Hawthorne, Jürgen Landes, Christian Wallmann & Jon Williamson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):axv030.
    We argue that David Lewis’s principal principle implies a version of the principle of indifference. The same is true for similar principles that need to appeal to the concept of admissibility. Such principles are thus in accord with objective Bayesianism, but in tension with subjective Bayesianism. 1 The Argument2 Some Objections Met.
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  8. On the Preference for More Specific Reference Classes.Paul Thorn - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2025-2051.
    In attempting to form rational personal probabilities by direct inference, it is usually assumed that one should prefer frequency information concerning more specific reference classes. While the preceding assumption is intuitively plausible, little energy has been expended in explaining why it should be accepted. In the present article, I address this omission by showing that, among the principled policies that may be used in setting one’s personal probabilities, the policy of making direct inferences with a preference for frequency information for (...)
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  9. Direct Inference From Imprecise Frequencies.Paul D. Thorn - 2017 - In Michela Massimi, Jan-Willem Romeijn & Gerhard Schurz (eds.), EPSA15 Selected Papers: The 5th conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association in Düsseldorf. Springer. pp. 347-358.
    It is well known that there are, at least, two sorts of cases where one should not prefer a direct inference based on a narrower reference class, in particular: cases where the narrower reference class is gerrymandered, and cases where one lacks an evidential basis for forming a precise-valued frequency judgment for the narrower reference class. I here propose (1) that the preceding exceptions exhaust the circumstances where one should not prefer direct inference based on a narrower reference class, and (...)
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  10. Sensitivity, Causality, and Statistical Evidence in Courts of Law.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):102-112.
    Recent attempts to resolve the Paradox of the Gatecrasher rest on a now familiar distinction between individual and bare statistical evidence. This paper investigates two such approaches, the causal approach to individual evidence and a recently influential (and award-winning) modal account that explicates individual evidence in terms of Nozick's notion of sensitivity. This paper offers counterexamples to both approaches, explicates a problem concerning necessary truths for the sensitivity account, and argues that either view is implausibly committed to the impossibility of (...)
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  11. Is Probabilistic Evidence a Source of Knowledge?Ori Friedman & John Turri - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (5):1062-1080.
    We report a series of experiments examining whether people ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence. Participants were less likely to ascribe knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for beliefs based on perceptual evidence or testimony providing causal information. Denial of knowledge for beliefs based on probabilistic evidence did not arise because participants viewed such beliefs as unjustified, nor because such beliefs leave open the possibility of error. These findings rule out traditional philosophical accounts for why (...)
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  12. Risk.Duncan Pritchard - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (3):436-461.
    In this article it is argued that the standard theoretical account of risk in the contemporary literature, which is cast along probabilistic lines, is flawed, in that it is unable to account for a particular kind of risk. In its place a modal account of risk is offered. Two applications of the modal account of risk are then explored. First, to epistemology, via the defence of an anti-risk condition on knowledge in place of the normal anti-luck condition. Second, to legal (...)
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  13. The Inheritance of Defaults in the Case of Exceptional Subclasses.Paul D. Thorn - 2015 - The Reasoner 9 (11):93.
  14. Belief, Credence, and Norms.Lara Buchak - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):1-27.
    There are currently two robust traditions in philosophy dealing with doxastic attitudes: the tradition that is concerned primarily with all-or-nothing belief, and the tradition that is concerned primarily with degree of belief or credence. This paper concerns the relationship between belief and credence for a rational agent, and is directed at those who may have hoped that the notion of belief can either be reduced to credence or eliminated altogether when characterizing the norms governing ideally rational agents. It presents a (...)
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  15. Deference Done Right.Richard Pettigrew & Michael G. Titelbaum - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-19.
    There are many kinds of epistemic experts to which we might wish to defer in setting our credences. These include: highly rational agents, objective chances, our own future credences, our own current credences, and evidential probabilities. But exactly what constraint does a deference requirement place on an agent's credences? In this paper we consider three answers, inspired by three principles that have been proposed for deference to objective chances. We consider how these options fare when applied to the other kinds (...)
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  16. Defeasible Conditionalization.Paul D. Thorn - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):283-302.
    The applicability of Bayesian conditionalization in setting one’s posterior probability for a proposition, α, is limited to cases where the value of a corresponding prior probability, PPRI(α|∧E), is available, where ∧E represents one’s complete body of evidence. In order to extend probability updating to cases where the prior probabilities needed for Bayesian conditionalization are unavailable, I introduce an inference schema, defeasible conditionalization, which allows one to update one’s personal probability in a proposition by conditioning on a proposition that represents a (...)
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  17. ,,Shonubi" revisited: Begründet die Zugehörigkeit zu einer Referenzklasse einen Schadensersatzanspruch?Kyriakos N. Kotsoglou - 2013 - Archiv für Rechts- Und Sozialphilosophie 99 (2):241-251.
    Nearly 20 years after the Shonubi case and an extended discussion in the Anglophone world on the admissibility and probative force of statistical evidence, the labour courts of Germany seem not to have learned a simple lesson: aleatory probabilities are not informative for the individual in question. In this paper I argue that innumeracy (that is the lack of ability to understand and apply simple numerical concepts) is underestimated – if not ignored – both within the German jurisprudence and legal (...)
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  18. The Sequential Lottery Paradox.I. Douven - 2012 - Analysis 72 (1):55-57.
    The Lottery Paradox is generally thought to point at a conflict between two intuitive principles, to wit, that high probability is sufficient for rational acceptability, and that rational acceptability is closed under logical derivability. Gilbert Harman has offered a solution to the Lottery Paradox that allows one to stick to both of these principles. The solution requires the principle that acceptance licenses conditionalization. The present study shows that adopting this principle alongside the principle that high probability is sufficient for rational (...)
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  19. The Lottery Paradox and the Pragmatics of Belief.Igor Douven - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (3):351-373.
    The thesis that high probability suffices for rational belief, while initially plausible, is known to face the Lottery Paradox. The present paper proposes an amended version of that thesis which escapes the Lottery Paradox. The amendment is argued to be plausible on independent grounds.
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  20. Modelling Uncertain Inference.Colin Howson - 2012 - Synthese 186 (2):475-492.
    Kyburg’s opposition to the subjective Bayesian theory, and in particular to its advocates’ indiscriminate and often questionable use of Dutch Book arguments, is documented and much of it strongly endorsed. However, it is argued that an alternative version, proposed by both de Finetti at various times during his long career, and by Ramsey, is less vulnerable to Kyburg’s misgivings. This is a logical interpretation of the formalism, one which, it is argued, is both more natural and also avoids other, widely-made (...)
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  21. A Geo-Logical Solution to the Lottery Paradox, with Applications to Conditional Logic.Hanti Lin & Kevin Kelly - 2012 - Synthese 186 (2):531-575.
    We defend a set of acceptance rules that avoids the lottery paradox, that is closed under classical entailment, and that accepts uncertain propositions without ad hoc restrictions. We show that the rules we recommend provide a semantics that validates exactly Adams’ conditional logic and are exactly the rules that preserve a natural, logical structure over probabilistic credal states that we call probalogic. To motivate probalogic, we first expand classical logic to geo-logic, which fills the entire unit cube, and then we (...)
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  22. Two Problems of Direct Inference.Paul D. Thorn - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (3):299-318.
    The article begins by describing two longstanding problems associated with direct inference. One problem concerns the role of uninformative frequency statements in inferring probabilities by direct inference. A second problem concerns the role of frequency statements with gerrymandered reference classes. I show that past approaches to the problem associated with uninformative frequency statements yield the wrong conclusions in some cases. I propose a modification of Kyburg’s approach to the problem that yields the right conclusions. Past theories of direct inference have (...)
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  23. The Objective Bayesian Conceptualisation of Proof and Reference Class Problems.James Franklin - 2011 - Sydney Law Review 33 (3):545-561.
    The objective Bayesian view of proof (or logical probability, or evidential support) is explained and defended: that the relation of evidence to hypothesis (in legal trials, science etc) is a strictly logical one, comparable to deductive logic. This view is distinguished from the thesis, which had some popularity in law in the 1980s, that legal evidence ought to be evaluated using numerical probabilities and formulas. While numbers are not always useful, a central role is played in uncertain reasoning by the (...)
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  24. Reasoning Defeasibly About Probabilities.John L. Pollock - 2011 - Synthese 181 (2):317-352.
    In concrete applications of probability, statistical investigation gives us knowledge of some probabilities, but we generally want to know many others that are not directly revealed by our data. For instance, we may know prob(P/Q) (the probability of P given Q) and prob(P/R), but what we really want is prob(P/Q& R), and we may not have the data required to assess that directly. The probability calculus is of no help here. Given prob(P/Q) and prob(P/R), it is consistent with the probability (...)
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  25. Sleeping Beauty and Direct Inference.Joel Pust - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):290-293.
    One argument for the thirder position on the Sleeping Beauty problem rests on direct inference from objective probabilities. In this paper, I consider a particularly clear version of this argument by John Pollock and his colleagues (The Oscar Seminar 2008). I argue that such a direct inference is defeated by the fact that Beauty has an equally good reason to conclude on the basis of direct inference that the probability of heads is 1/2. Hence, neither thirders nor halfers can find (...)
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  26. Undercutting Defeat Via Reference Properties of Differing Arity: A Reply to Pust.Paul D. Thorn - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):662-667.
    In a recent article, Joel Pust argued that direct inference based on reference properties of differing arity are incommensurable, and so direct inference cannot be used to resolve the Sleeping Beauty problem. After discussing the defects of Pust's argument, I offer reasons for thinking that direct inferences based on reference properties of differing arity are commensurable, and that we should prefer direct inferences based on logically stronger reference properties, regardless of arity.
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  27. Feature Selection Methods for Solving the Reference Class Problem.James Franklin - 2010 - Columbia Law Review Sidebar 110:12-23.
    Probabilistic inference from frequencies, such as "Most Quakers are pacifists; Nixon is a Quaker, so probably Nixon is a pacifist" suffer from the problem that an individual is typically a member of many "reference classes" (such as Quakers, Republicans, Californians, etc) in which the frequency of the target attribute varies. How to choose the best class or combine the information? The article argues that the problem can be solved by the feature selection methods used in contemporary Big Data science: the (...)
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  28. A Practical Solution to the Reference Class Problem.Edward K. Cheng - 2009 - Columbia Law Review 109 (8).
    The “reference class problem” is a serious challenge to the use of statistical evidence that arises in a wide variety of cases, including toxic torts, property valuation, and even drug smuggling. At its core, it observes that statistical inferences depend critically on how people, events, or things are classified. As there is (purportedly) no principle for privileging certain categories over others, statistics become manipulable, undermining the very objectivity and certainty that make statistical evidence valuable and attractive to legal actors. In (...)
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  29. Law, Statistics, and the Reference Class Problem.Edward K. Cheng - 2009 - Columbia Law Review, Sidebar 109.
    Preview of: Edward K. Cheng, A Practical Solution to the Reference Class Problem, 109 Colum. L. Rev. (forthcoming Dec. 2009).
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  30. Evidential Symmetry and Mushy Credence.Roger White - 2009 - In T. Szabo Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 161-186.
    the symmetry of our evidential situation. If our confidence is best modeled by a standard probability function this means that we are to distribute our subjective probability or credence sharply and evenly over possibilities among which our evidence does not discriminate. Once thought to be the central principle of probabilistic reasoning by great..
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  31. An Objectivist Argument for Thirdism.Ian Evans, Don Fallis, Peter Gross, Terry Horgan, Jenann Ismael, John Pollock, Paul D. Thorn, Jacob N. Caton, Adam Arico, Daniel Sanderman, Orlin Vakerelov, Nathan Ballantyne, Matthew S. Bedke, Brian Fiala & Martin Fricke - 2008 - Analysis 68 (2):149-155.
    Bayesians take “definite” or “single-case” probabilities to be basic. Definite probabilities attach to closed formulas or propositions. We write them here using small caps: PROB(P) and PROB(P/Q). Most objective probability theories begin instead with “indefinite” or “general” probabilities (sometimes called “statistical probabilities”). Indefinite probabilities attach to open formulas or propositions. We write indefinite probabilities using lower case “prob” and free variables: prob(Bx/Ax). The indefinite probability of an A being a B is not about any particular A, but rather about the (...)
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  32. The Reference Class Problem is Your Problem Too.Alan Hájek - 2007 - Synthese 156 (3):563--585.
    The reference class problem arises when we want to assign a probability to a proposition (or sentence, or event) X, which may be classified in various ways, yet its probability can change depending on how it is classified. The problem is usually regarded as one specifically for the frequentist interpretation of probability and is often considered fatal to it. I argue that versions of the classical, logical, propensity and subjectivist interpretations also fall prey to their own variants of the reference (...)
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  33. The Trouble with Pollock’s Principle of Agreement.Paul D. Thorn - 2007 - The Reasoner 1 (8):9-10.
  34. Three Problems of Direct Inference.Paul D. Thorn - 2007 - Dissertation, University of Arizona
  35. Should Bayesians Bet Where Frequentists Fear to Tread?Max Albert - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (4):584-593.
  36. Three Doors, Two Players, and Single-Case Probabilities.Peter Baumann - 2005 - American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (1):71 - 79.
    The well known Monty Hall-problem has a clear solution if one deals with a long enough series of individual games. However, the situation is different if one switches to probabilities in a single case. This paper presents an argument for Monty Hall situations with two players (not just one, as is usual). It leads to a quite general conclusion: One cannot apply probabilistic considerations (for or against any of the strategies) to isolated single cases. If one does that, one cannot (...)
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  37. A Logic For Inductive Probabilistic Reasoning.Manfred Jaeger - 2005 - Synthese 144 (2):181-248.
    Inductive probabilistic reasoning is understood as the application of inference patterns that use statistical background information to assign (subjective) probabilities to single events. The simplest such inference pattern is direct inference: from “70% of As are Bs” and “a is an A” infer that a is a B with probability 0.7. Direct inference is generalized by Jeffrey’s rule and the principle of cross-entropy minimization. To adequately formalize inductive probabilistic reasoning is an interesting topic for artificial intelligence, as an autonomous system (...)
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  38. Statistical Thought: A Perspective and History.Shoutir Kishore Chatterjee - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    In this unique monograph, based on years of extensive work, Chatterjee presents the historical evolution of statistical thought from the perspective of various approaches to statistical induction. Developments in statistical concepts and theories are discussed alongside philosophical ideas on the ways we learn from experience.
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  39. Sleeping Beauty and the Forgetful Bayesian.Bradley Monton - 2002 - Analysis 62 (1):47–53.
    Adam Elga takes the Sleeping Beauty example to provide a counter-example to Reflection, since on Sunday Beauty assigns probability 1/2 to H, and she is certain that on Monday she will assign probability 1/3. I will show that there is a natural way for Bas van Fraassen to defend Reflection in the case of Sleeping Beauty, building on van Fraassen’s treatment of forgetting. This will allow me to identify a lacuna in Elga’s argument for 1/3. I will then argue, however, (...)
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  40. Is It a Crime to Belong to a Reference Class.Mark Colyvan, Helen M. Regan & Scott Ferson - 2001 - Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (2):168–181.
    ON DECEMBER 10, 1991 Charles Shonubi, a Nigerian citizen but a resident of the USA, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport for the importation of heroin into the United States.1 Shonubi's modus operandi was ``balloon swallowing.'' That is, heroin was mixed with another substance to form a paste and this paste was sealed in balloons which were then swallowed. The idea was that once the illegal substance was safely inside the USA, the smuggler would pass the balloons and (...)
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  41. Probability as a Guide in Life.Henry E. Kyburg Jr - 2001 - The Monist 84 (2):135-152.
    Bishop Butler, [Butler, 1736], said that probability was the very guide of life. But what interpretations of probability can serve this function? It isn’t hard to see that empirical views won’t do, and many recent writers-for example John Earman, who has said that Bayesianism is “the only game in town”-have been persuaded by various dutch book arguments that only subjective probability will perform the function required. We will defend the thesis that probability construed in this way offers very little guidance, (...)
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  42. Resurrecting Logical Probability.J. Franklin - 2001 - Erkenntnis 55 (2):277-305.
    The logical interpretation of probability, or ``objective Bayesianism''''– the theory that (some) probabilitiesare strictly logical degrees of partial implication – is defended.The main argument against it is that it requires the assignment ofprior probabilities, and that any attempt to determine them by symmetryvia a ``principle of insufficient reason'''' inevitably leads to paradox.Three replies are advanced: that priors are imprecise or of little weight, sothat disagreement about them does not matter, within limits; thatit is possible to distinguish reasonable from unreasonable priorson (...)
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  43. Objective Modality and Direct Inference.Isaac Levi - 2001 - The Monist 84 (2):179-207.
    In Chapter I of his celebrated Foundations of Probability, A. N. Kolmogorov proposed an axiomatic treatment of the mathematical theory of probability—the approach that assimilated probability theory into measure theory. Kolmogorov followed his statement of the axioms with an account of how “we apply the theory of probability to the actual world of experiments.”.
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  44. Direct Inference and the Problem of Induction.Timothy McGrew - 2001 - The Monist 84 (2):153-178.
    It would be difficult to overestimate the influence Hume’s problem of induction exercises on contemporary epistemology. At the same time, the problem of induction has not perceptibly slowed the progress of mathematics and science. This ironic state of affairs, immortalized by C. D. Broad’s description of induction as “the glory of science” and “the scandal of philosophy,” ought in all fairness to give both sides some pause. And on occasion, it does: the mathematicians stop to concede that Hume has not (...)
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  45. Objective Probability as a Guide to the World.Michael Strevens - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (3):243-275.
    According to principles of probability coordination, such as Miller's Principle or Lewis's Principal Principle, you ought to set your subjective probability for an event equal to what you take to be the objective probability of the event. For example, you should expect events with a very high probability to occur and those with a very low probability not to occur. This paper examines the grounds of such principles. It is argued that any attempt to justify a principle of probability coordination (...)
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  46. A Note on Pollock's System of Direct Inference.Stephen Leeds - 1994 - Theory and Decision 36 (3):247-256.
  47. Foundations for Direct Inference.John L. Pollock - 1994 - Theory and Decision 17 (3):221-255.
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  48. Probability and Direct Reference: Three Puzzles of Probability Theory: The Problem of the Two Boys, Freund's Problem and the Problem of the Three Prisoners.Martine Nida-Rümelin - 1993 - Erkenntnis 39 (1):51 - 78.
    I discuss three puzzles of probability theory which seem connected with problems of direct reference and rigid designation. The resolution of at least one of them requires referential use of definite descriptions in probability statements. I argue that contrary to common opinion all these puzzles are in a way still unsolved: They seem to exemplify cases in which a change of probabilities is rationally required, even though any specific change presupposes unjustified assumptions.
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  49. The Theory of Nomic Probability.John L. Pollock - 1992 - Synthese 90 (2):263 - 299.
    This article sketches a theory of objective probability focusing on nomic probability, which is supposed to be the kind of probability figuring in statistical laws of nature. The theory is based upon a strengthened probability calculus and some epistemological principles that formulate a precise version of the statistical syllogism. It is shown that from this rather minimal basis it is possible to derive theorems comprising (1) a theory of direct inference, and (2) a theory of induction. The theory of induction (...)
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  50. Double Standards, Racial Equality and the Right Reference Class.Jonathan E. Adler - 1991 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 8 (1):69-82.