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  1. added 2018-11-14
    Evidence and Rationalization.Ian Wells - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Suppose that you have to take a test tomorrow but you do not want to study. Unfortunately you should study, since you care about passing and you expect to pass only if you study. Is there anything you can do to make it the case that you should not study? Is there any way for you to "rationalize" slacking off ? I suggest that such rationalization is impossible. Then I show that if evidential decision theory is true, rationalization is not (...)
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  2. added 2018-11-14
    Equal Opportunity and Newcomb’s Problem.Ian Wells - forthcoming - Mind:fzx018.
    The 'Why ain'cha rich?' argument for one-boxing in Newcomb's problem allegedly vindicates evidential decision theory and undermines causal decision theory. But there is a good response to the argument on behalf of causal decision theory. I develop this response. Then I pose a new problem and use it to give a new 'Why ain'cha rich?' argument. Unlike the old argument, the new argument targets evidential decision theory. And unlike the old argument, the new argument is sound.
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  3. added 2018-03-27
    Sequential Choice and the Agent's Perspective.Arif Ahmed - manuscript
    Causal Decision Theory reckons the choice-worthiness of an option to be completely independent of its evidential bearing on its non-effects. But after one has made a choice this bearing is relevant to future decisions. Therefore it is possible to construct problems of sequential choice in which Causal Decision Theory makes a guaranteed loss. So Causal Decision Theory is wrong. The source of the problem is the idea that agents have a special perspective on their own contemplated actions, from which evidential (...)
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  4. added 2018-03-06
    Newcomb's Problem.Arif Ahmed (ed.) - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    Newcomb's Problem is a controversial paradox of decision theory. It is easily explained and easily understood, and there is a strong chance that most of us have actually faced it in some form or other. And yet it has proven as thorny and intractable a puzzle as much older and better-known philosophical problems of consciousness, scepticism and fatalism. It brings into very sharp and focused disagreement several long-standing philosophical theories on practical rationality, on the nature of free will, and on (...)
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  5. added 2018-02-25
    "Click!" Bait for Causalists.Huw Price & Yang Liu - 2018 - In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Newcomb's Problem. Cambridge ; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. pp. 160-179.
    Causalists and Evidentialists can agree about the right course of action in an (apparent) Newcomb problem, if the causal facts are not as initially they seem. If declining $1,000 causes the Predictor to have placed $1m in the opaque box, CDT agrees with EDT that one-boxing is rational. This creates a difficulty for Causalists. We explain the problem with reference to Dummett's work on backward causation and Lewis's on chance and crystal balls. We show that the possibility that the causal (...)
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  6. added 2018-01-19
    Do the EPR Correlations Pose a Problem for Causal Decision Theory?Adam Koberinski, Lucas Dunlap & William L. Harper - 2017 - Synthese:1-12.
    We argue that causal decision theory is no worse off than evidential decision theory in handling entanglement, regardless of one’s preferred interpretation of quantum mechanics. In recent works, Ahmed and Ahmed and Caulton : 4315–4352, 2014) have claimed the opposite; we argue that they are mistaken. Bell-type experiments are not instances of Newcomb problems, so CDT and EDT do not diverge in their recommendations. We highlight the fact that a Causal Decision Theorist should take all lawlike correlations into account, including (...)
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  7. added 2016-12-12
    Probability and the Art of Judgment.Richard Jeffrey - 1992 - Cambridge University Press.
    Richard Jeffrey is beyond dispute one of the most distinguished and influential philosophers working in the field of decision theory and the theory of knowledge. His work is distinctive in showing the interplay of epistemological concerns with probability and utility theory. Not only has he made use of standard probabilistic and decision theoretic tools to clarify concepts of evidential support and informed choice, he has also proposed significant modifications of the standard Bayesian position in order that it provide a better (...)
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  8. added 2016-12-08
    The Oxford Handbook of Causation.Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Causation is a central topic in many areas of philosophy. In metaphysics, philosophers want to know what causation is, and how it is related to laws of nature, probability, action, and freedom of the will. In epistemology, philosophers investigate how causal claims can be inferred from statistical data, and how causation is related to perception, knowledge and explanation. In the philosophy of mind, philosophers want to know whether and how the mind can be said to have causal efficacy, and in (...)
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  9. added 2016-12-08
    Are Newcomb Problems Really Decisions?James M. Joyce - 2007 - Synthese 156 (3):537-562.
    Richard Jeffrey long held that decision theory should be formulated without recourse to explicitly causal notions. Newcomb problems stand out as putative counterexamples to this ‘evidential’ decision theory. Jeffrey initially sought to defuse Newcomb problems via recourse to the doctrine of ratificationism, but later came to see this as problematic. We will see that Jeffrey’s worries about ratificationism were not compelling, but that valid ratificationist arguments implicitly presuppose causal decision theory. In later work, Jeffrey argued that Newcomb problems are not (...)
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  10. added 2016-12-08
    Freedom, Fiction and Evidential Decision Theory.Phyllis Kirstin McKay - 2007 - Erkenntnis 66 (3):393-407.
    This paper argues against evidential decision-theory, by showing that the newest responses to its biggest current problem – the medical Newcomb problems – don’t work. The latest approach is described, and the arguments of two main proponents of it – Huw Price and CR Hitchcock – clearly distinguished and examined. It is argued that since neither new defence is successful, causation remains essential to understanding means-end agency.
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  11. added 2016-12-05
    Diagnostic Preliminaries to Applying a Theory of Decision.Mariam Thalos - 2014 - SATS 15 (2):168-196.
    Journal Name: SATS Issue: Ahead of print.
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  12. added 2016-07-31
    Newcomb Meets Gettier.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4799-4814.
    I show that accepting Moss’s claim that features of a rational agent’s credence function can constitute knowledge, together with the claim that a rational agent should only act on the basis of reasons that he knows, predicts and explains evidential decision theory’s failure to recommend the right choice for the Newcomb problem. The Newcomb problem can be seen, in light of Moss’s suggestion, as a manifestation of a Gettier case in the domain of choice. This serves as strong evidence for (...)
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  13. added 2016-01-26
    Conditional Preference and Causal Expected Utility.Brad Armendt - 1988 - In William Harper & Brian Skyrms (eds.), Causation in Decision, Belief Change, and Statistics. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 3-24.
    Sequel to Armendt 1986, ‘A Foundation for Causal Decision Theory.’ The representation theorem for causal decision theory is slightly revised, with the addition of a new restriction on lotteries and a new axiom (A7). The discussion gives some emphasis to the way in which appropriate K-partitions are characterized by relations found among the agent’s conditional preferences. The intended interpretation of conditional preference is one that embodies a sensitivity to the agent’s causal beliefs.
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  14. added 2015-11-06
    Review of A. Ahmed, Evidence, Decision and Causality. [REVIEW]H. Orri Stefánsson - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (1):159-169.
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  15. added 2015-09-13
    Impartiality and Causal Decision Theory.Brad Armendt - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:326 - 336.
    Defenders of sophisticated evidential decision theory (EDT) have argued (1) that its failure to provide correct recommendations in problems where the agent believes himself asymmetrically fallible in executing his choices is no flaw of the theory, and (2) that causal decision theory gives incorrect recommendations in certain examples unless it is supplemented with an additional metatickle or ratifiability deliberation mechanism. In the first part of this paper, I argue that both positions are incorrect. In the second part of the paper, (...)
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  16. added 2015-09-12
    A Foundation for Causal Decision Theory.Brad Armendt - 1986 - Topoi 5 (1):3-19.
    The primary aim of this paper is the presentation of a foundation for causal decision theory. This is worth doing because causal decision theory (CDT) is philosophically the most adequate rational decision theory now available. I will not defend that claim here by elaborate comparison of the theory with all its competitors, but by providing the foundation. This puts the theory on an equal footing with competitors for which foundations have already been given. It turns out that it will also (...)
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  17. added 2015-07-30
    Choice and Action: In Defense of Richard Jeffrey's "Logic of Decision".John Piers Rawling - 1989 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    Richard Jeffrey's Logic of Decision has come under fire on the grounds that it appears to prescribe irrational decisions under certain circumstances . A number of authors see the source of Jeffrey's difficulty as a lack of sensitivity to causal distinctions of a certain kind. They have proposed modifications of Jeffrey's theory to overcome this putative deficiency. David Lewis argues, convincingly, that these modified theories are all more or less the same. In essence, they all augment the Logic of Decision (...)
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  18. added 2015-07-08
    Why You Should One-Box in Newcomb's Problem.Howard J. Simmons - manuscript
    I consider a familiar argument for two-boxing in Newcomb's Problem and find it defective because it involves a type of divergence from standard Baysian reasoning, which, though sometimes justified, conflicts with the stipulations of the Newcomb scenario. In an appendix, I also find fault with a different argument for two-boxing that has been presented by Graham Priest.
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  19. added 2015-02-23
    Review of Rational Decision and Causality. [REVIEW]James Cargile - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):163-168.
  20. added 2014-09-22
    Causal Decision Theory and EPR Correlations.Arif Ahmed & Adam Caulton - 2014 - Synthese 191 (18):4315-4352.
    The paper argues that on three out of eight possible hypotheses about the EPR experiment we can construct novel and realistic decision problems on which (a) Causal Decision Theory and Evidential Decision Theory conflict (b) Causal Decision Theory and the EPR statistics conflict. We infer that anyone who fully accepts any of these three hypotheses has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. Finally, we extend the original construction to show that anyone who gives any of the three hypotheses any (...)
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  21. added 2014-09-18
    Infallibility in the Newcomb Problem.Arif Ahmed - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):261-273.
    It is intuitively attractive to think that it makes a difference in Newcomb’s problem whether or not the predictor is infallible, in the sense of being certainly actually correct. This paper argues that that view is irrational and manifests a well-documented cognitive illusion.
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  22. added 2014-03-31
    Agency and Probabilistic Causality.Huw Price - 1991 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (2):157-176.
    Probabilistic accounts of causality have long had trouble with ‘spurious’ evidential correlations. Such correlations are also central to the case for causal decision theory—the argument that evidential decision theory is inadequate to cope with certain sorts of decision problem. However, there are now several strong defences of the evidential theory. Here I present what I regard as the best defence, and apply it to the probabilistic approach to causality. I argue that provided a probabilistic theory appeals to the notions of (...)
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  23. added 2014-03-21
    An Existence Theorem for the Logic of Decision.Ethan D. Bolker - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):17.
    In this paper I discuss some of the mathematics behind an often quoted existence theorem from Richard Jeffrey's The Logic of Decision (Jeffrey 1990) in order to pose several new questions about the meaning and value of that mathematics for decision theory.
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  24. added 2014-03-21
    Why We Still Need the Logic of Decision.James M. Joyce - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):13.
    In The Logic of Decision Richard Jeffrey defends a version of expected utility theory that advises agents to choose acts with an eye to securing evidence for thinking that desirable results will ensue. Proponents of "causal" decision theory have argued that Jeffrey's account is inadequate because it fails to properly discriminate the causal features of acts from their merely evidential properties. Jeffrey's approach has also been criticized on the grounds that it makes it impossible to extract a unique probability/utility representation (...)
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  25. added 2014-03-19
    Demons, Deceivers And Liars: Newcomb’s Malin Génie. [REVIEW]Peter Slezak - 2006 - Theory and Decision 61 (3):277-303.
    A fully adequate solution to Newcomb’s Problem (Nozick 1969) should reveal the source of its extraordinary elusiveness and persistent intractability. Recently, a few accounts have independently sought to meet this criterion of adequacy by exposing the underlying source of the problem’s profound puzzlement. Thus, Sorensen (1987), Slezak (1998), Priest (2002) and Maitzen and Wilson (2003) share the ‘no box’ view according to which the very idea that there is a right choice is misconceived since the problem is ill-formed or incoherent (...)
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  26. added 2014-03-17
    The Logic of Decision.Richard Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.
    "[This book] proposes new foundations for the Bayesian principle of rational action, and goes on to develop a new logic of desirability and probabtility."—Frederic Schick, _Journal of Philosophy_.
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  27. added 2014-03-10
    Decision Theory, Intelligent Planning and Counterfactuals.Michael J. Shaffer - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (1):61-92.
    The ontology of decision theory has been subject to considerable debate in the past, and discussion of just how we ought to view decision problems has revealed more than one interesting problem, as well as suggested some novel modifications of classical decision theory. In this paper it will be argued that Bayesian, or evidential, decision-theoretic characterizations of decision situations fail to adequately account for knowledge concerning the causal connections between acts, states, and outcomes in decision situations, and so they are (...)
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  28. added 2014-03-07
    Causation and Decision.Arif Ahmed - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2):111-131.
    Sophisticated ‘tickle’-style defences of Evidential Decision Theory take your motivational state to screen off your act from any state that is causally independent of it, thus ensuring that EDT and CDT converge. That leads to unacceptable instability in cases in which the correct action is obvious. We need a more liberal conception of what the agent controls. It follows that an ordinary deliberator should sometimes consider the past and not only the future to be subject to her present choice.
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  29. added 2014-03-07
    Diachronic Rationality and Prediction-Based Games.David Wallace - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (3pt3):243-266.
    I explore the debate about causal versus evidential decision theory, and its recent developments in the work of Andy Egan, through the method of some simple games based on agents' predictions of each other's actions. My main focus is on the requirement for rational agents to act in a way which is consistent over time and its implications for such games and their more realistic cousins.
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  30. added 2014-03-06
    Evidential Decision Theory and Medical Newcomb Problems.Arif Ahmed - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):191-198.
    has offered evidential decision theorists a defence against the charge that they make unintuitive recommendations for cases like Newcomb's Problem. He says that when conditional probabilities are assessed from the agent's point of view, evidential decision theory makes the same recommendation as intuition. I argue that calculating the probabilities in Price's way leads to no recommendation. It condemns the agent to perpetual oscillation between different options. Price's Argument Instability Objections Conclusion.
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  31. added 2011-10-26
    Probability Kinematics and Causality.Richard Jeffrey - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:365 - 373.
    Making up your mind can include making up your mind about how to change your mind. Here a suggestion for coding imputations of influence into the kinematics of judgmental probabilities is applied to the treatment of Newcomb problems in The Logic of Decision framework. The suggestion is that what identifies you as treating judgmental probabilistic covariance of X and Y as measuring an influence of X on Y is constancy of your probabilities for values of Y conditionally on values of (...)
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  32. added 2011-10-26
    The Logic of Decision and Action.Nicholas Rescher & Alan Ross Anderson (eds.) - 1966 - Pittsburgh]University of Pittsburgh Press.
    The four main essays in this volume investigate new sectors of the theory of decision, preference, act-characteristics, and action analysis.
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  33. added 2011-10-17
    Conditionals, Causation, and Decision.Dorothy Edgington - 2011 - Analytic Philosophy 52 (2):75-87.
  34. added 2011-04-15
    Gandalf's Solution to the Newcomb Problem.Ralph Wedgwood - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2643–2675.
    This article proposes a new theory of rational decision, distinct from both causal decision theory (CDT) and evidential decision theory (EDT). First, some intuitive counterexamples to CDT and EDT are presented. Then the motivation for the new theory is given: the correct theory of rational decision will resemble CDT in that it will not be sensitive to any comparisons of absolute levels of value across different states of nature, but only to comparisons of the differences in value between the available (...)
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  35. added 2011-02-17
    The Logic of Decision Defended.Richard Jeffrey - 1981 - Synthese 48 (3):473 - 492.
    The approach to decision theory floated in my 1965 book is reviewed (I), challenged in various related ways (II–V) and defended, firstad hoc (II–IV) and then by a general argument of Ellery Ells's (VI). Finally, causal decision theory (in a version sketched in VII) is exhibited as a special case of my 1965 theory, according to the Eellsian argument.
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  36. added 2011-02-10
    Notes on Decision Theory: Old Wine in New Bottles.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1986 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (4):407 – 437.
  37. added 2011-02-08
    Defenses and Conservative Revisions of Evidential Decision Theories: Metatickles and Ratificationism.Jordan Howard Sobel - 1988 - Synthese 75 (1):107 - 131.
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  38. added 2011-02-08
    Common Causes and Decision Theory.Ellery Eells & Elliott Sober - 1986 - Philosophy of Science 53 (2):223-245.
    One of us (Eells 1982) has defended traditional evidential decision theory against prima facie Newcomb counterexamples by assuming that a common cause forms a conjunctive fork with its joint effects. In this paper, the evidential theory is defended without this assumption. The suggested rationale shows that the theory's assumptions are not about the nature of causality, but about the nature of rational deliberation. These presuppositions are weak enough for the argument to count as a strong justification of the evidential theory.
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  39. added 2011-02-05
    Rationality Revisited.Reed Richter - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.
    This paper looks at a dispute decision theory about how best to characterize expected utility maximization and express the logic of rational choice. Where A1, … , An are actions open to some particular agent, and S1, … , Sn are mutually exclusive states of the world such that the agent knows at least one of which obtains, does the logic of rational choice require an agent to consider the conditional probability of choice Ai given that some state Si obtains, (...)
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  40. added 2011-02-05
    Counterfactuals and Newcomb's Paradox.Daniel Hunter & Reed Richter - 1978 - Synthese 39 (2):249 - 261.
    In their development of causal decision theory, Allan Gibbard and William Harper advocate a particular method for calculating the expected utility of an action, a method based upon the probabilities of certain counterfactuals. Gibbard and Harper then employ their method to support a two-box solution to Newcomb’s paradox. This paper argues against some of Gibbard and Harper’s key claims concerning the truth-values and probabilities of counterfactuals involved in expected utility calculations, thereby disputing their analysis of Newcomb’s Paradox. If we are (...)
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  41. added 2010-11-25
    Evaluating Extreme Risks in Invasion Ecology: Learning From Banking Compliance.James Franklin, Mark Burgman, Scott Sisson & J. K. Martin - 2008 - Diversity and Distributions 14:581-591.
    methods that have shown promise for improving extreme risk analysis, particularly for assessing the risks of invasive pests and pathogens associated with international trade. We describe the legally inspired regulatory regime for banks, where these methods have been brought to bear on extreme ‘operational risks’. We argue that an ‘advocacy model’ similar to that used in the Basel II compliance regime for bank operational risks and to a lesser extent in biosecurity import risk analyses is ideal for permitting the diversity (...)
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  42. added 2010-10-26
    A Note in Defence of Ratificationism.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2011 - Erkenntnis 75 (1):147-150.
    Andy Egan argues that neither evidential nor causal decision theory gives the intuitively right recommendation in the cases The Smoking Lesion, The Psychopath Button, and The Three-Option Smoking Lesion. Furthermore, Egan argues that we cannot avoid these problems by any kind of ratificationism. This paper develops a new version of ratificationism that gives the right recommendations. Thus, the new proposal has an advantage over evidential and casual decision theory and standard ratificationist evidential decision theory.
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  43. added 2010-09-02
    Binding and its Consequences.Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (1):49-71.
    In “Bayesianism, Infinite Decisions, and Binding”, Arntzenius et al. (Mind 113:251–283, 2004 ) present cases in which agents who cannot bind themselves are driven by standard decision theory to choose sequences of actions with disastrous consequences. They defend standard decision theory by arguing that if a decision rule leads agents to disaster only when they cannot bind themselves, this should not be taken to be a mark against the decision rule. I show that this claim has surprising implications for a (...)
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  44. added 2009-12-22
    Against Causal Decision Theory.Huw Price - 1986 - Synthese 67 (2):195 - 212.
    Proponents of causal decision theories argue that classical Bayesian decision theory (BDT) gives the wrong advice in certain types of cases, of which the clearest and commonest are the medical Newcomb problems. I defend BDT, invoking a familiar principle of statistical inference to show that in such cases a free agent cannot take the contemplated action to be probabilistically relevant to its causes (so that BDT gives the right answer). I argue that my defence does better than those of Ellery (...)
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  45. added 2009-11-02
    Jeffrey Conditioning and External Bayesianity.Carl Wagner - 2010 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 18 (2):336-345.
    Suppose that several individuals who have separately assessed prior probability distributions over a set of possible states of the world wish to pool their individual distributions into a single group distribution, while taking into account jointly perceived new evidence. They have the option of first updating their individual priors and then pooling the resulting posteriors or first pooling their priors and then updating the resulting group prior. If the pooling method that they employ is such that they arrive at the (...)
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  46. added 2009-10-13
    Pascal’s Wager, Infective Endocarditis and the “No-Lose” Philosophy in Medicine.David Shaw & David Conway - 2010 - Heart 96 (1):15-18.
    Doctors and dentists have traditionally used antibiotic prophylaxis in certain patient groups in order to prevent infective endocarditis (IE). New guidelines, however, suggest that the risk to patients from using antibiotics is higher than the risk from IE. This paper analyses the relative risks of prescribing and not prescribing antibiotic prophylaxis against the background of Pascal’s Wager, the infamous assertion that it is better to believe in God regardless of evidence, because of the prospective benefits should He exist. Many doctors (...)
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  47. added 2009-06-20
    Where the Tickle Defence Goes Wrong.Frank Jackson & Robert Pargetter - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):295 – 299.
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  48. added 2009-04-10
    The Time-Asymmetry of Causation.Huw Price & Brad Weslake - 2008 - In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press.
    One of the most striking features of causation is that causes typically precede their effects – the causal arrow is strongly aligned with the temporal arrow. Why should this be so? We offer an opinionated guide to this problem, and to the solutions currently on offer. We conclude that the most promising strategy is to begin with the de facto asymmetry of human deliberation, characterised in epistemic terms, and to build out from there. More than any rival, this subjectivist approach (...)
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  49. added 2008-12-31
    The Popcorn Problem: Sobel on Evidential Decision Theory and Deliberation-Probability Dynamics.Ellery Eells - 1989 - Synthese 81 (1):9 - 20.
    I defend evidential decision theory and the theory of deliberation-probability dynamics from a recent criticism advanced by Jordan Howard Sobel. I argue that his alleged counterexample to the theories, called the Popcorn Problem is not a genuine counterexample.
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