Philosophy of Probability

Edited by Darrell P. Rowbottom (Lingnan University)
Assistant editors: Joshua Luczak, Zili Dong
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  1. added 2022-08-10
    The Problem of the Single Case.Huw Price - 1981 - Dissertation, Cambridge University
    This is my Cambridge PhD thesis, written under the supervision of Hugh Mellor and Richard Healey, and examined by Mary Hesse and Simon Blackburn. It addresses what it takes to be the core of the problem of single case probability, namely, the interpretation of claims such as ‘It is probable that P’ (where the probabilistic component occurs as a sentential or propositional operator). I argue that claims of this form are not genuinely truth-apt, and that such operators modify the force, (...)
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  2. added 2022-08-09
    Accuracy and Probabilism in Infinite Domains.Michael Nielsen - forthcoming - Mind.
    The best accuracy arguments for probabilism apply only to credence functions with finite domains, that is, credence functions that assign credence to at most finitely many propositions. This is a significant limitation. It reveals that the support for the accuracy-first program in epistemology is a lot weaker than it seems at first glance, and it means that accuracy arguments cannot yet accomplish everything that their competitors, the pragmatic (Dutch book) arguments, can. In this paper, I investigate the extent to which (...)
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  3. added 2022-08-09
    Numerical Infinities and Infinitesimals in Optimization.Yaroslav Sergeyev & Renato De Leone - 2022 - 93413 Cham, Germania: Springer.
    From the Publisher: -/- This book presents a new powerful supercomputing paradigm introduced by Yaroslav D. Sergeyev -/- It gives a friendly introduction to the paradigm and proposes a broad panorama of a successful usage of numerical infinities -/- The volume covers software implementations of the Infinity Computer -/- Abstract -/- This book provides a friendly introduction to the paradigm and proposes a broad panorama of killing applications of the Infinity Computer in optimization: radically new numerical algorithms, great theoretical insights, (...)
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  4. added 2022-08-09
    Twardowski i przygodna przyszłość. Prawdopodobieństwo kontra Cienka Czerwona Linia.Jakub Węgrecki - 2021 - Filozofia Nauki 29 (4):83-101.
    One of the most widely discussed philosophical issues is the problem of future contingents. Basically, the challenge is to create an adequate semantic theory of future-tensed sentences. Twardowski (1900) suggests that future contingent statements should be analyzed using the concept of probability. The aim of this paper is to show that (1) such an analysis is not appropriate and (2) that Twardowski’s main theses imply the Thin Red Line Theory. I discuss three potential arguments against my proposal and sketch the (...)
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  5. added 2022-08-04
    Variantes du déterminisme.Joseph Agassi - 2022 - Mεtascience: Discours Général Scientifique 2:293-304.
    L’article de Karl Popper « Indeterminism in Quantum Physics and in Classical Physics » est tombé injustement dans l’oubli. Popper jugeait le déterminisme faux : l’avenir est ouvert. En principe, remplacer la variante de Laplace de la pré-détermination par une prédétermination prévisible permet de rendre scienti-fique, donc réfutable, le déterminisme « scientifique ». Popper a affirmé qu’il l’avait réfuté. Maintenant, un système métaphysique peut avoir une extension – au sens mathématique – qui le rend explicatif et testable. Si une extension (...)
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  6. added 2022-07-26
    Revisiting the Conditional Construal of Conditional Probability.Jakub Węgrecki & Leszek Wroński - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy.
    We show how to extend any finite probability space into another finite one which satisfies the conditional construal of conditional probability for the original propositions, given some maximal allowed degree of nesting of the conditional. This mitigates the force of the well-known triviality results.
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  7. added 2022-07-23
    Empirical Evidence for Moral Bayesianism.Haim Cohen, Ittay Nissan-Rozen & Anat Maril - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-30.
    Many philosophers in the field of meta-ethics believe that rational degrees of confidence in moral judgments should have a probabilistic structure, in the same way as do rational degrees of belief. The current paper examines this position, termed “moral Bayesianism,” from an empirical point of view. To this end, we assessed the extent to which degrees of moral judgments obey the third axiom of the probability calculus, ifP(A∩B)=0thenP(A∪B)=P(A)+P(B), known as finite additivity, as compared to degrees of beliefs on the one (...)
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  8. added 2022-07-23
    Diversity Effects in Subjective Probability Judgment.Constantinos Hadjichristidis, Janet Geipel & Kishore Gopalakrishna Pillai - 2022 - Thinking and Reasoning 28 (2):290-319.
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  9. added 2022-07-18
    A Normative Comparison of Threshold Views Through Computer Simulations.Alice C. W. Huang - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-23.
    The threshold view says that a person forms an outright belief P if and only if her credence for P reaches a certain threshold. Using computer simulations, I compare different versions of the threshold view to understand how they perform under time pressure in decision problems. The results illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of the various cognitive strategies in different decision contexts. A threshold view that performs well across diverse contexts is likely to be a cognitively flexible and context-dependent fusion (...)
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  10. added 2022-07-17
    The Comparison Problem for Approximating Epistemic Ideals.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Ratio.
    Some epistemologists think that the Bayesian ideals matter because we can approximate them. That is, our attitudes can be more or less close to the ones of our ideal Bayesian counterpart. In this paper, I raise a worry for this justification of epistemic ideals. The worry is this: In order to correctly compare agents to their ideal counterparts, we need to imagine idealized agents who have the same relevant information, knowledge, or evidence. However, there are cases in which one’s ideal (...)
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  11. added 2022-07-14
    Hypothetical Frequencies as Approximations.Jer Steeger - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-31.
    Hájek (Erkenntnis 70(2):211–235, 2009) argues that probabilities cannot be the limits of relative frequencies in counterfactual infinite sequences. I argue for a different understanding of these limits, drawing on Norton’s (Philos Sci 79(2):207–232, 2012) distinction between approximations (inexact descriptions of a target) and idealizations (separate models that bear analogies to the target). Then, I adapt Hájek’s arguments to this new context. These arguments provide excellent reasons not to use hypothetical frequencies as idealizations, but no reason not to use them as (...)
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  12. added 2022-07-11
    Inductive Risk: Does It Really Refute Value-Freedom?Markus Dressel - 2022 - Theoria 37 (2):181-207.
    The argument from inductive risk is considered to be one of the strongest challenges for value-free science. A great part of its appeal lies in the idea that even an ideal epistemic agent—the “perfect scientist” or “scientist qua scientist”—cannot escape inductive risk. In this paper, I scrutinize this ambition by stipulating an idealized Bayesian decision setting. I argue that inductive risk does not show that the “perfect scientist” must, descriptively speaking, make non-epistemic value-judgements, at least not in a way that (...)
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  13. added 2022-07-05
    Two Concepts of Belief Strength: Epistemic Confidence and Identity Centrality.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13:1-4.
    What does it mean to have “strong beliefs”? My thesis is that it can mean two very different things. That is, there are two distinct psychological features to which “strong belief” can refer, and these often come apart. I call the first feature epistemic confidence and the second identity centrality. They are conceptually distinct and, if we take ethnographies of religion seriously, distinct in fact as well. If that’s true, it’s methodologically important for the psychological sciences to have measures that (...)
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  14. added 2022-07-03
    Nonclassical Probability, Convex Hulls, and Dutch Books.Michał Gil Sanchez, Zalán Gyenis & Leszek Wroński - forthcoming - Episteme:1-21.
    We report a solution to an open problem regarding the axiomatization of the convex hull of a type of nonclassical evaluations. We then investigate the meaning of this result for the larger context of the relation between rational credence functions and nonclassical probability. We claim that the notions of bets and Dutch Books typically employed in formal epistemology are of doubtful use outside the realm of classical logic, eventually proposing two novel ways of understanding Dutch Books in nonclassical settings.
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  15. added 2022-07-03
    Proper Scoring Rules in Epistemic Decision Theory.Maomei Wang - 2020 - Dissertation, Lingnan University
    Epistemic decision theory aims to defend a variety of epistemic norms in terms of their facilitation of epistemic ends. One of the most important components of EpDT is known as a scoring rule. This thesis addresses some problems about scoring rules in EpDT. I consider scoring rules both for precise credences and for imprecise credences. For scoring rules in the context of precise credences, I examine the rationale for requiring a scoring rule to be strictly proper, and argue that no (...)
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  16. added 2022-06-30
    Calibrating Statistical Tools: Improving the Measure of Humanity's Influence on the Climate.Corey Dethier - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 94:158-166.
    Over the last twenty-five years, climate scientists working on the attribution of climate change to humans have developed increasingly sophisticated statistical models in a process that can be understood as a kind of calibration: the gradual changes to the statistical models employed in attribution studies served as iterative revisions to a measurement(-like) procedure motivated primarily by the aim of neutralizing particularly troublesome sources of error or uncertainty. This practice is in keeping with recent work on the evaluation of models more (...)
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  17. added 2022-06-23
    Rationalizing the Principal Principle for Non-Humean Chance.J. Khawaja - manuscript
    Abstract: Humean theories of chance hold that objective chances reduce to patterns in the history of occurrent events, such as frequencies. Non-Humean accounts of chance hold that objective chances are metaphysically fundamental, existing independently of the "Humean Mosaic" of perfectly natural properties and relations instantiated at spacetime points (or whatever underlies a potentially emergent spacetime in a fundamental physics inclusive of quantum gravity). It is therefore possible, by the lights of non-Humeanism, for the chances and the frequencies to diverge wildly. (...)
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  18. added 2022-06-20
    A Gentle Approach to Imprecise Probabilities.Gregory Wheeler - forthcoming - In Thomas Augustin, Fabio Cozman & Gregory Wheeler (eds.), Reflections on the Foundations of Probability and Statistics: Essays in Honor of Teddy Seidenfeld. Springer.
    The field of of imprecise probability has matured, in no small part because of Teddy Seidenfeld’s decades of original scholarship and essential contributions to building and sustaining the ISIPTA community. Although the basic idea behind imprecise probability is (at least) 150 years old, a mature mathematical theory has only taken full form in the last 30 years. Interest in imprecise probability during this period has also grown, but many of the ideas that the mature theory serves can be difficult to (...)
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  19. added 2022-06-20
    Discounting Desirable Gambles.Gregory Wheeler - 2021 - Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 147:331-341.
    The desirable gambles framework offers the most comprehensive foundations for the theory of lower pre- visions, which in turn affords the most general ac- count of imprecise probabilities. Nevertheless, for all its generality, the theory of lower previsions rests on the notion of linear utility. This commitment to linearity is clearest in the coherence axioms for sets of desirable gambles. This paper considers two routes to relaxing this commitment. The first preserves the additive structure of the desirable gambles framework and (...)
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  20. added 2022-06-18
    Reflection and Conditionalization: Comments on Michael Rescorla.Bas C. van Fraassen - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  21. added 2022-06-18
    Epistemology of Measurement in Non-Human Animal Consciousness.Pater Ciprian - 2022 - Dissertation, Univeristy of Agder
    As I assume to begin with, animals with a high level of consciousness, are those beings which are more dependent on their materialistic ecological circumstances than those with less cognition. The most obvious support for this factual claim is the yet still unofficial unit of geological time named the Anthropocene Epoch demarcating human devastation of earthly resources, whereby there is no doubt which species on earth is the most materially dependent. Notwithstanding, we need to keep things quantitively in perspective. Of (...)
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  22. added 2022-06-16
    Cosmic Skepticism and the Beginning of Physical Reality (Doctoral Dissertation).Linford Dan - 2022 - Dissertation, Purdue University
    This dissertation is concerned with two of the largest questions that we can ask about the nature of physical reality: first, whether physical reality begin to exist and, second, what criteria would physical reality have to fulfill in order to have had a beginning? Philosophers of religion and theologians have previously addressed whether physical reality began to exist in the context of defending the Kal{\'a}m Cosmological Argument (KCA) for theism, that is, (P1) everything that begins to exist has a cause (...)
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  23. added 2022-06-13
    A Dilemma for Solomonoff Prediction.Sven Neth - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    The framework of Solomonoff prediction assigns prior probability to hypotheses inversely proportional to their Kolmogorov complexity. There are two well-known problems. First, the Solomonoff prior is relative to a choice of Universal Turing machine. Second, the Solomonoff prior is not computable. However, there are responses to both problems. Different Solomonoff priors converge with more and more data. Further, there are computable approximations to the Solomonoff prior. I argue that there is a tension between these two responses. This is because computable (...)
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  24. added 2022-06-09
    ¿Fue Diego de Deza un premolinista?David Torrijos Castrillejo - 2022 - Isidorianum 31 (1):41-74.
    Diego de Deza has been designed by Christian Pesch as a premolinist while Friedrich Stegmüller has stressed the alleged disagreement between his version of Thomism and the one professed by later Spanish theologians. This paper aims to revisit this interpretation of Deza’s doctrine of divine foreknowledge by showing its fundamental agreement with Domingo Báñez, especially in placing the divine free will as an ingredient of divine knowledge of created things. Moreover, Deza’s teaching about divine grace brings him quite close to (...)
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  25. added 2022-06-05
    The Worst Case: Planetary Defense Against a Doomsday Impactor.Joel Marks - forthcoming - Space Policy.
    Current planetary defense policy prioritizes a probability assessment of risk of Earth impact by an asteroid or a comet in the planning of detection and mitigation strategies and in setting the levels of urgency and budgeting to operationalize them. The result has been a focus on asteroids of Tunguska size, which could destroy a city or a region, since this is the most likely sort of object we would need to defend against. However a complete risk assessment would consider not (...)
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  26. added 2022-06-03
    Probability Filters as a Model of Belief.Catrin Campbell-Moore - 2021 - Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 147:42-50.
    We propose a model of uncertain belief. This models coherent beliefs by a filter, ????, on the set of probabilities. That is, it is given by a collection of sets of probabilities which are closed under supersets and finite intersections. This can naturally capture your probabilistic judgements. When you think that it is more likely to be sunny than rainy, we have{????|????(????????????????????)>????(????????????????????)}∈????. When you think that a gamble ???? is desirable, we have {????|Exp????[????]>0}∈????. It naturally extends the model of credal (...)
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  27. added 2022-05-27
    How to Be an Imprecise Impermissivist.Seamus Bradley - manuscript
    Rational credence should be coherent in the sense that your attitudes should not leave you open to a sure loss. Rational credence should be such that you can learn when confronted with relevant evidence. Rational credence should not be sensitive to irrelevant differences in the presentation of the epistemic situation. We explore the extent to which orthodox probabilistic approaches to rational credence can satisfy these three desiderata and find them wanting. We demonstrate that an imprecise probability approach does better. Along (...)
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  28. added 2022-05-24
    A Generalized Characterization of Algorithmic Probability.Tom F. Sterkenburg - 2017 - Theory of Computing Systems 61 (4):1337-1352.
    An a priori semimeasure (also known as “algorithmic probability” or “the Solomonoff prior” in the context of inductive inference) is defined as the transformation, by a given universal monotone Turing machine, of the uniform measure on the infinite strings. It is shown in this paper that the class of a priori semimeasures can equivalently be defined as the class of transformations, by all compatible universal monotone Turing machines, of any continuous computable measure in place of the uniform measure. Some consideration (...)
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  29. added 2022-05-21
    Local and Global Deference.J. Dmitri Gallow - manuscript
    A norm of local expert deference says that your credence in an arbitrary proposition A, given that the expert's probability for A is n, should be n. A norm of global expert deference says that your credence in A, given that the expert's entire probability function is E, should be E(A). Gaifman (1988) taught us that these two norms are not equivalent. Here, I provide characterisation theorems which tell us precisely when the norms give different advice. They tell us that, (...)
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  30. added 2022-05-21
    Model Theory and Proof Theory of the Global Reflection Principle.Mateusz Zbigniew Łełyk - forthcoming - Journal of Symbolic Logic:1-42.
  31. added 2022-05-20
    Explanatory Reasoning in the Material Theory of Induction.William Peden - forthcoming - Metascience:1-7.
    In his recent book, John Norton has created a theory of inference to the best explanation, within the context of his "material theory of induction". I apply it to the problem of scientific explanations that are false: if we want the theories in our explanations to be true, then why do historians and scientists often say that false theories explained phenomena? I also defend Norton's theory against some possible objections.
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  32. added 2022-05-20
    Is Causal Reasoning Harder Than Probabilistic Reasoning?Milan Mossé, Duligur Ibeling & Thomas Icard - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-24.