Philosophy of Probability

Edited by Darrell P. Rowbottom (Lingnan University)
Assistant editor: Joshua Luczak (University of Western Ontario)
27 found
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  1. added 2019-09-16
    Noncognitivism and the Frege‐Geach Problem in Formal Epistemology.Benjamin Lennertz - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper makes explicit the way in which many theorists of the epistemology of uncertainty, or formal epistemologists, are committed to a version of noncognitivism—one about thoughts that something is likely. It does so by drawing an analogy with metaethical noncognitivism. I explore the degree to which the motivations for both views are similar and how both views have to grapple with the Frege‐Geach Problem about complex thoughts. The major upshot of recognizing this noncognitivism is that it presents challenges and (...)
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  2. added 2019-09-16
    Bayesianism for the Average Joe.Mattias Skipper & Jens Christian Bjerring - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
  3. added 2019-09-14
    Epistemic Diversity and Editor Decisions: A Statistical Matthew Effect.Remco Heesen & Jan-Willem Romeijn - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19 (39).
    This paper offers a new angle on the common idea that the process of science does not support epistemic diversity. Under minimal assumptions on the nature of journal editing, we prove that editorial procedures, even when impartial in themselves, disadvantage less prominent research programs. This purely statistical bias in article selection further skews existing differences in the success rate and hence attractiveness of research programs, and exacerbates the reputation difference between the programs. After a discussion of the modeling assumptions, the (...)
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  4. added 2019-09-14
    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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  5. added 2019-09-08
    Are Non-Accidental Regularities a Cosmic Coincidence? Revisiting a Central Threat to Humean Laws.Aldo Filomeno - forthcoming - Synthese.
    If the laws of nature are as the Humean believes, it is an unexplained cosmic coincidence that the actual Humean mosaic is as extremely regular as it is. This is a strong and well-known objection to the Humean account of laws. Yet, as reasonable as this objection may seem, it is nowadays sometimes dismissed. The reason: its unjustified implicit assignment of equiprobability to each possible Humean mosaic; that is, its assumption of the principle of indifference, which has been attacked on (...)
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  6. added 2019-09-02
    "The Bayesian Objection" - Ch 4 of Seemings and Justification (Forthcoming).Luca Moretti - manuscript
    In this chapter I analyse an objection to phenomenal conservatism to the effect that phenomenal conservatism is unacceptable because it is incompatible with Bayesianism. I consider a few responses to it and dismiss them as misled or problematic. Then, I argue that this objection doesn’t go through because it rests on an implausible formalization of the notion of seeming-based justification. In the final part of the chapter, I investigate how seeming-based justification and justification based on one’s reflective belief that one (...)
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  7. added 2019-08-28
    Epistemic Decision Theory's Reckoning.Conor Mayo-Wilson & Gregory Wheeler - manuscript
    Epistemic decision theory (EDT) employs the mathematical tools of rational choice theory to justify epistemic norms, including probabilism, conditionalization, and the Principal Principle, among others. Practitioners of EDT endorse two theses: (1) epistemic value is distinct from subjective preference, and (2) belief and epistemic value can be numerically quantified. We argue the first thesis, which we call epistemic puritanism, undermines the second.
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  8. added 2019-08-26
    Immoral Lies and Partial Beliefs.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In a recent article, Krauss (2017) raises some fundamental questions concerning (i) what the desiderata of a definition of lying are, and (ii) how definitions of lying can account for partial beliefs. This paper aims to provide an adequate answer to both questions. Regarding (i), it shows that there can be a tension between two desiderata for a definition of lying: 'descriptive accuracy' (meeting intuitions about our ordinary concept of lying), and 'moral import' (meeting intuitions about what is wrong with (...)
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  9. added 2019-08-22
    Probabilistic Arguments in the Epistemological Approach to Argumentation.Christoph Lumer - 2011 - In Frans H. Van Eemeren, Bart Garssen, David Godden & Gordon Mitchell (eds.), Proceedings of the 7th Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rozenberg; Sic Sat. pp. 1141-1154.
    The aim of the paper is to develop general criteria of argumentative validity and adequacy for probabilistic arguments on the basis of the epistemological approach to argumentation. In this approach, as in most other approaches to argumentation, proabilistic arguments have been neglected somewhat. Nonetheless, criteria for several special types of probabilistic arguments have been developed, in particular by Richard Feldman and Christoph Lumer. In the first part (sects. 2-5) the epistemological basis of probabilistic arguments is discussed. With regard to the (...)
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  10. added 2019-08-18
    Probability, Coherent Belief and Coherent Belief Changes.John Cantwell & Hans Rott - forthcoming - Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence.
    This paper is about the statics and dynamics of belief states that are represented by pairs consisting of an agent's credences (represented by a subjective probability measure) and her categorical beliefs (represented by a set of possible worlds). Regarding the static side, we argue that the latter proposition should be coherent with respect to the probability measure and that its probability should reach a certain threshold value. On the dynamic side, we advocate Jeffrey conditionalisation as the principal mode of changing (...)
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  11. added 2019-08-17
    Nonrational Belief Paradoxes as Byzantine Failures.Ryan Miller - manuscript
    David Christensen and others argue that Dutch Strategies are more like peer disagreements than Dutch Books, and should not count against agents’ conformity to ideal rationality. I review these arguments, then show that Dutch Books, Dutch Strategies, and peer disagreements are only possible in the case of what computer scientists call Byzantine Failures—uncorrected Byzantine Faults which update arbitrary values. Yet such Byzantine Failures make agents equally vulnerable to all three kinds of epistemic inconsistencies, so there is no principled basis for (...)
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  12. added 2019-08-11
    Misalignment Between Research Hypotheses and Statistical Hypotheses: A Threat to Evidence-Based Medicine?Insa Lawler & Georg Zimmermann - forthcoming - Topoi:1-12.
    Evidence-based medicine frequently uses statistical hypothesis testing. In this paradigm, data can only disconfirm a research hypothesis’ competitors: One tests the negation of a statistical hypothesis that is supposed to correspond to the research hypothesis. In practice, these hypotheses are often misaligned. For instance, directional research hypotheses are often paired with non-directional statistical hypotheses. Prima facie, one cannot gain proper evidence for one’s research hypothesis employing a misaligned statistical hypothesis. This paper sheds lights on the nature of and the reasons (...)
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  13. added 2019-08-09
    Evidential Probabilities and Credences.Anna-Maria A. Eder - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Enjoying great popularity in decision theory, epistemology, and philosophy of science, Bayesianism as understood here is fundamentally concerned with epistemically ideal rationality. It assumes a tight connection between evidential probability and ideally rational credence, and usually interprets evidential probability in terms of such credence. Timothy Williamson challenges Bayesianism by arguing that evidential probabilities cannot be adequately interpreted as the credences of an ideal agent. From this and his assumption that evidential probabilities cannot be interpreted as the actual credences of human (...)
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  14. added 2019-08-06
    Reasons Fundamentalism and Rational Uncertainty - Comments on Lord, The Importance of Being Rational.Julia Staffel - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In his new book "The Importance of Being Rational", Errol Lord aims to give a real definition of the property of rationality in terms of normative reasons. If he can do so, his work is an important step towards a defense of ‘reasons fundamentalism’ – the thesis that all complex normative properties can be analyzed in terms of normative reasons. I focus on his analysis of epistemic rationality, which says that your doxastic attitudes are rational just in case they are (...)
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  15. added 2019-08-06
    Credences and Suspended Judgments as Transitional Attitudes.Julia Staffel - forthcoming - Philosophical Issues 29.
    In this paper, I highlight an interesting difference between belief on the one hand, and suspended judgment and credence on the other hand. This difference is the following: credences and suspended judgments are suitable to serve as transitional as well as terminal attitudes in our reasoning, whereas beliefs are only appropriate as terminal attitudes. The notion of a transitional attitude is not an established one in the literature, but I argue that introducing it helps us better understand the different roles (...)
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  16. added 2019-07-23
    Mary and Fátima: A Modest C-Inductive Argument for Catholicism.Tyler Dalton McNabb & Joseph Blado - forthcoming - Perichoresis.
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  17. added 2019-07-22
    Measuring Belief and Risk Attitude.Sven Neth - 2019 - Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 297:252–272.
    Ramsey (1926) sketches a proposal for measuring the subjective probabilities of an agent by their observable preferences, assuming that the agent is an expected utility maximizer. I show how to extend the spirit of Ramsey's method to a strictly wider class of agents: risk-weighted expected utility maximizers (Buchak 2013). In particular, I show how we can measure the risk attitudes of an agent by their observable preferences, assuming that the agent is a risk-weighted expected utility maximizer. Further, we can leverage (...)
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  18. added 2019-07-18
    Kevin McCain and Ted Poston’s Best Explanations.Frank Cabrera - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-10.
    I give a critical overview of the volume, focusing my attention on the chapters that deal with the explanationist response to skepticism.
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  19. added 2019-07-15
    Why is Bayesian Confirmation Theory Rarely Practiced?Robert W. P. Luk - 2019 - Science and Philosophy 7 (1):3-20.
    Bayesian confirmation theory is a leading theory to decide the confirmation/refutation of a hypothesis based on probability calculus. While it may be much discussed in philosophy of science, is it actually practiced in terms of hypothesis testing by scientists? Since the assignment of some of the probabilities in the theory is open to debate and the risk of making the wrong decision is unknown, many scientists do not use the theory in hypothesis testing. Instead, they use alternative statistical tests that (...)
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  20. added 2019-07-14
    Less is More for Bayesians, Too.Gregory Wheeler - forthcoming - In Routledge Handbook on Bounded Rationality.
  21. added 2019-07-14
    Dilation and Asymmetric Relevance.Arthur Paul Pedersen & Gregory Wheeler - 2019 - Proceedings in Machine Learning Research, Vol. 103.
    A characterization result of dilation in terms of positive and negative association admits an extremal counterexample, which we present together with a minor repair of the result. Dilation may be asymmetric whereas covariation itself is symmetric. Dilation is still characterized in terms of positive and negative covariation, however, once the event to be dilated has been specified.
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  22. added 2019-07-13
    Observation Selection Effects and Discrimination-Conduciveness.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19:1-26.
    We conceptualize observation selection effects (OSEs) by considering how a shift from one process of observation to another affects discrimination-conduciveness, by which we mean the degree to which possible observations discriminate between hypotheses, given the observation process at work. OSEs in this sense come in degrees and are causal, where the cause is the shift in process, and the effect is a change in degree of discrimination-conduciveness. We contrast our understanding of OSEs with others that have appeared in the literature. (...)
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  23. added 2019-07-11
    Chancy Modus Ponens.Sven Neth - forthcoming - Analysis:anz022.
    Chancy modus ponens is the following inference scheme: ‘ probably φ ’, ‘if φ, then ψ’, therefore, ‘probably ψ ’. I argue that Chancy modus ponens is invalid in general. I further argue that the invalidity of Chancy modus ponens sheds new light on the alleged counterexample to modus ponens presented by McGee. I close by observing that, although Chancy modus ponens is invalid in general, we can recover a restricted sense in which this scheme of inference is valid.
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  24. added 2019-07-05
    Betting Against the Zen Monk: On Preferences and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    According to the preference-centric approach to understanding partial belief, the connection between partial beliefs and preferences is key to understanding what partial beliefs are and how they’re measured. As Ramsey put it, the ‘degree of a belief is a causal property of it, which we can express vaguely as the extent to which we are prepared to act on it’ The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays, Routledge, Oxon, pp 156–198, 1931). But this idea is not as popular as (...)
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  25. added 2019-06-28
    Speed-Optimal Induction and Dynamic Coherence.Michael Nielsen & Eric Wofsey - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz030.
    A standard way to challenge convergence-based accounts of inductive success is to claim that they are too weak to constrain inductive inferences in the short run. We respond to such a challenge by answering some questions raised by Juhl (1994). When it comes to predicting limiting relative frequencies in the framework of Reichenbach, we show that speed-optimal convergence—a long-run success condition—induces dynamic coherence in the short run.
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  26. added 2019-06-28
    Counterexamples to Some Characterizations of Dilation.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2019 - Erkenntnis:1-12.
    Pedersen and Wheeler (2014) and Pedersen and Wheeler (2015) offer a wide-ranging and in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of dilation. We find that these studies raise many interesting and important points. However, purportedly general characterizations of dilation are reported in them that, unfortunately, admit counterexamples. The purpose of this note is to show in some detail that these characterization results are false.
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  27. added 2019-06-20
    A Paradox of Evidential Equivalence.David Builes - forthcoming - Mind:fzz046.
    Our evidence can be about different subject matters. In fact, necessarily equivalent pieces of evidence can be about different subject matters. Does the hyperintensionality of ‘aboutness’ engender any hyperintensionality at the level of rational credence? In this paper, I present a case which seems to suggest that the answer is ‘yes’. In particular, I argue that our intuitive notions of 'independent' evidence and 'inadmissible' evidence are sensitive to aboutness in a hyperintensional way. We are thus left with a paradox. While (...)
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