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Alan Hájek (2007). The Reference Class Problem is Your Problem Too.

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  1.  59
    The Rational Impermissibility of Accepting Racial Generalizations.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    I argue that inferences from highly probabilifying racial generalizations are not solely objectionable because acting on such inferences would be problematic, or they violate a moral norm, but because they violate a distinctively epistemic norm. They involve accepting a proposition when, given the costs of a mistake, one is not adequately justified in doing so. First I sketch an account of the nature of adequate justification—practical adequacy with respect to eliminating the ~p possibilities from one’s epistemic statespace. Second, I argue (...)
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  2. Evidentialism and Moral Encroachment.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - In Kevin McCain (ed.), Believing in Accordance with the Evidence: New Essays on Evidentialism. Springer.
    Moral encroachment holds that the epistemic justification of a belief can be affected by moral factors. If the belief might wrong a person or group more evidence is required to justify the belief. Moral encroachment thereby opposes evidentialism, and kindred views, which holds that epistemic justification is determined solely by factors pertaining to evidence and truth. In this essay I explain how beliefs such as ‘that woman is probably an administrative assistant’—based on the evidence that most women employees at the (...)
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  3.  3
    Variation of Information as a Measure of One-to-One Causal Specificity.Pierrick Bourrat - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):11.
    The interventionist account provides us with several notions permitting the qualification of causal relationships. In recent years, there has been a push toward formalizing these notions using information theory. In this paper, I discuss one of them, namely causal specificity. The notion of causal specificity is ambiguous as it can refer to at least two different concepts. After having presented these, I show that current attempts to formalize causal specificity in information theoretic terms have mostly focused on one of these (...)
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  4.  13
    Selection in a Complex World: Deriving Causality From Stable Equilibrium.Hugh Desmond - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):265-286.
    It is an ongoing controversy whether natural selection is a cause of population change, or a mere statistical description of how individual births and deaths accumulate. In this paper I restate the problem in terms of the reference class problem, and propose how the structure of stable equilibrium can provide a solution in continuity with biological practice. Insofar natural selection can be understood as a tendency towards equilibrium, key statisticalist criticisms are avoided. Further, in a modification of the Newtonian-force analogy, (...)
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  5.  9
    The Domain Relativity of Evolutionary Contingency.Cory Travers Lewis - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):25.
    A key issue in the philosophy of biology is evolutionary contingency, the degree to which evolutionary outcomes could have been different. Contingency is typically contrasted with evolutionary convergence, where different evolutionary pathways result in the same or similar outcomes. Convergences are given as evidence against the hypothesis that evolutionary outcomes are highly contingent. But the best available treatments of contingency do not, when read closely, produce the desired contrast with convergence. Rather, they produce a picture in which any degree of (...)
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  6.  13
    Consequences of a Functional Account of Information.Stephen Francis Mann - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-19.
    This paper aims to establish several interconnected points. First, a particular interpretation of the mathematical definition of information, known as the causal interpretation, is supported largely by misunderstandings of the engineering context from which it was taken. A better interpretation, which makes the definition and quantification of information relative to the function of its user, is outlined. The first half of the paper is given over to introducing communication theory and its competing interpretations. The second half explores three consequences of (...)
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  7. What is (Dis)Agreement?Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):223-236.
    When do we agree? The answer might once have seemed simple and obvious; we agree that p when we each believe that p. But from a formal epistemological perspective, where degrees of belief are more fundamental than beliefs, this answer is unsatisfactory. On the one hand, there is reason to suppose that it is false; degrees of belief about p might differ when beliefs simpliciter on p do not. On the other hand, even if it is true, it is too (...)
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  8.  34
    A Non-Probabilist Principle of Higher-Order Reasoning.William J. Talbott - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    The author uses a series of examples to illustrate two versions of a new, nonprobabilist principle of epistemic rationality, the special and general versions of the metacognitive, expected relative frequency principle. These are used to explain the rationality of revisions to an agent’s degrees of confidence in propositions based on evidence of the reliability or unreliability of the cognitive processes responsible for them—especially reductions in confidence assignments to propositions antecedently regarded as certain—including certainty-reductions to instances of the law of excluded (...)
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  9.  72
    New Theory About Old Evidence.Sylvia Wenmackers & Jan-Willem Romeijn - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4).
    We present a conservative extension of a Bayesian account of confirmation that can deal with the problem of old evidence and new theories. So-called open-minded Bayesianism challenges the assumption—implicit in standard Bayesianism—that the correct empirical hypothesis is among the ones currently under consideration. It requires the inclusion of a catch-all hypothesis, which is characterized by means of sets of probability assignments. Upon the introduction of a new theory, the former catch-all is decomposed into a new empirical hypothesis and a new (...)
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  10. The Best Humean System for Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):551-574.
    Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.
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  11.  9
    Disease-Mongering Through Clinical Trials.María González-Moreno, Cristian Saborido & David Teira - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 51:11-18.
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  12.  27
    Natural Probabilistic Information.Daniel Kraemer - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2901-2919.
    Natural information refers to the information carried by natural signs such as that smoke is thought to carry natural information about fire. A number of influential philosophers have argued that natural information can also be utilized in a theory of mental content. The most widely discussed account of natural information holds that it results from an extremely strong relation between sign and signified. Critics have responded that it is doubtful that there are many strong relations of this sort in the (...)
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  13. Competence to Know.Lisa Miracchi - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):29-56.
    I argue against traditional virtue epistemology on which knowledge is a success due to a competence to believe truly, by revealing an in-principle problem with the traditional virtue epistemologist’s explanation of Gettier cases. The argument eliminates one of the last plausible explanation of Gettier cases, and so of knowledge, in terms of non-factive mental states and non-mental conditions. I then I develop and defend a different kind of virtue epistemology, on which knowledge is an exercise of a competence to know. (...)
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  14.  28
    Laying Futility to Rest.Michael Nair-Collins - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (5):554-583.
    In this essay I examine the formal structure of the concept of futility, enabling identification of the appropriate roles played by patient, professional, and society. I argue that the concept of futility does not justify unilateral decisions to forego life-sustaining medical treatment over patient or legitimate surrogate objection, even when futility is determined by a process or subject to ethics committee review. Furthermore, I argue for a limited positive ethical obligation on the part of health care professionals to assist patients (...)
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  15. No Luck With Knowledge? On a Dogma of Epistemology.Peter Baumann - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3):523-551.
    Current epistemological orthodoxy has it that knowledge is incompatible with luck. More precisely: Knowledge is incompatible with epistemic luck . This is often treated as a truism which is not even in need of argumentative support. In this paper, I argue that there is lucky knowledge. In the first part, I use an intuitive and not very developed notion of luck to show that there are cases of knowledge which are “lucky” in that sense. In the second part, I look (...)
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  16. Causal Foundationalism, Physical Causation, and Difference-Making.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1017-1037.
    An influential tradition in the philosophy of causation has it that all token causal facts are, or are reducible to, facts about difference-making. Challenges to this tradition have typically focused on pre-emption cases, in which a cause apparently fails to make a difference to its effect. However, a novel challenge to the difference-making approach has recently been issued by Alyssa Ney. Ney defends causal foundationalism, which she characterizes as the thesis that facts about difference-making depend upon facts about physical causation. (...)
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  17. Multiple Studies and Evidential Defeat.Matthew Kotzen - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):154-180.
  18. Ten Reasons to Care About the Sleeping Beauty Problem.Michael G. Titelbaum - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (11):1003-1017.
    The Sleeping Beauty Problem attracts so much attention because it connects to a wide variety of unresolved issues in formal epistemology, decision theory, and the philosophy of science. The problem raises unanswered questions concerning relative frequencies, objective chances, the relation between self-locating and non-self-locating information, the relation between self-location and updating, Dutch Books, accuracy arguments, memory loss, indifference principles, the existence of multiple universes, and many-worlds interpretations of quantum mechanics. After stating the problem, this article surveys its connections to all (...)
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  19. The Fall of “Adams' Thesis”?Alan Hájek - 2012 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 21 (2):145-161.
    The so-called ‘Adams’ Thesis’ is often understood as the claim that the assertibility of an indicative conditional equals the corresponding conditional probability—schematically: $${({\rm AT})}\qquad\qquad\quad As(A\rightarrow B)=P({B|A}),{\rm provided}\quad P(A)\neq 0.$$ The Thesis is taken by many to be a touchstone of any theorizing about indicative conditionals. Yet it is unclear exactly what the Thesis is . I suggest some precise statements of it. I then rebut a number of arguments that have been given in its favor. Finally, I offer a new (...)
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  20.  25
    Calibration: Being in Tune with Frequencies.Carl Hoefer - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (3):435-452.
    Our beliefs can have, or fail to have, a significant epistemic virtue: they can be true. What about our partial beliefs – that is, credences or subjective probabilities? Is there an epistemic virtue that credences can have or fail to have, whose nature or role with respect to credences is analogous to the role that truth has with respect to full beliefs? Van Fraassen argued in the 1980s that there is indeed such an analog virtue, and he claimed that it (...)
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  21.  10
    Internalism and the Generality Problem.Masashi Kasaki - 2012 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 45 (2):83-98.
    The generality problem is usually taken to arise only for externalist theories of knowledge or justification. In this paper, first, I argue that even internalist theories run afoul of a variant of the generality problem. This is because S may have multiple pieces of evidence concerning the reliability of the token process by which S forms the belief in question, and they determine the degree of Sʼs internalist justification differently. Second, I offer a solution to the generality problem for internalist (...)
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  22.  37
    Probabilities as Ratios of Ranges in Initial-State Spaces.Jacob Rosenthal - 2012 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 21 (2):217-236.
    A proposal for an objective interpretation of probability is introduced and discussed: probabilities as deriving from ranges in suitably structured initial-state spaces. Roughly, the probability of an event on a chance trial is the proportion of initial states that lead to the event in question within the space of all possible initial states associated with this type of experiment, provided that the proportion is approximately the same in any not too small subregion of the space. This I would like to (...)
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  23. 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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  24.  53
    A Puzzle About Responsibility.Peter Baumann - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (2):207-224.
    This paper presents a puzzle about moral responsibility. The problem is based upon the indeterminacy of relevant reference classes as applied to action. After discussing and rejecting a very tempting response I propose moral contextualism instead, that is, the idea that the truth value of judgments of the form S is morally responsible for x depends on and varies with the context of the attributor who makes that judgment. Even if this reply should not do all the expected work it (...)
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  25. Deterministic Chance.Antony Eagle - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):269 - 299.
    I sketch a new constraint on chance, which connects chance ascriptions closely with ascriptions of ability, and more specifically with 'CAN'-claims. This connection between chance and ability has some claim to be a platitude; moreover, it exposes the debate over deterministic chance to the extensive literature on (in)compatibilism about free will. The upshot is that a prima facie case for the tenability of deterministic chance can be made. But the main thrust of the paper is to draw attention to the (...)
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  26. A Probabilistic Analysis of Causation.Luke Glynn - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):343-392.
    The starting point in the development of probabilistic analyses of token causation has usually been the naïve intuition that, in some relevant sense, a cause raises the probability of its effect. But there are well-known examples both of non-probability-raising causation and of probability-raising non-causation. Sophisticated extant probabilistic analyses treat many such cases correctly, but only at the cost of excluding the possibilities of direct non-probability-raising causation, failures of causal transitivity, action-at-a-distance, prevention, and causation by absence and omission. I show that (...)
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  27. Conditionalization and Belief De Se.Darren Bradley - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):247-250.
    Colin Howson (1995 ) offers a counter-example to the rule of conditionalization. I will argue that the counter-example doesn't hit its target. The problem is that Howson mis-describes the total evidence the agent has. In particular, Howson overlooks how the restriction that the agent learn 'E and nothing else' interacts with the de se evidence 'I have learnt E'.
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  28. The Metaphysics of Chance.Rachael Briggs - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):938-952.
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  29. Deterministic Chance.Luke Glynn - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):51–80.
    I argue that there are non-trivial objective chances (that is, objective chances other than 0 and 1) even in deterministic worlds. The argument is straightforward. I observe that there are probabilistic special scientific laws even in deterministic worlds. These laws project non-trivial probabilities for the events that they concern. And these probabilities play the chance role and so should be regarded as chances as opposed, for example, to epistemic probabilities or credences. The supposition of non-trivial deterministic chances might seem to (...)
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  30.  55
    Predicting Weather and Climate: Uncertainty, Ensembles and Probability.Wendy S. Parker - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (3):263-272.
  31.  4
    Predicting Weather and Climate: Uncertainty, Ensembles and Probability.Wendy S. Parker - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (3):263-272.
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  32.  84
    What Lottery Problem for Reliabilism?Juan Comesaña - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (1):1-20.
    It can often be heard in the hallways, and occasionally read in print, that reliabilism runs into special trouble regarding lottery cases. My main aim in this paper is to argue that this is not so. Nevertheless, lottery cases do force us to pay close attention to the relation between justification and probability.
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