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Pragmatics and Empiricism

Philosophical Review 97 (1):118-121 (1988)

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  1. Levi on the Allais and Ellsberg Paradoxes.Patrick Maher - 1989 - Economics and Philosophy 5 (1):69.
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  • Sleeping Beauty, Countable Additivity, and Rational Dilemmas.J. Ross - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (4):411-447.
    Currently, the most popular views about how to update de se or self-locating beliefs entail the one-third solution to the Sleeping Beauty problem.2 Another widely held view is that an agent‘s credences should be countably additive.3 In what follows, I will argue that there is a deep tension between these two positions. For the assumptions that underlie the one-third solution to the Sleeping Beauty problem entail a more general principle, which I call the Generalized Thirder Principle, and there are situations (...)
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  • A Probabilistic Semantics for Counterfactuals. Part B.Hannes Leitgeb - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):85-121.
    This is part B of a paper in which we defend a semantics for counterfactuals which is probabilistic in the sense that the truth condition for counterfactuals refers to a probability measure. Because of its probabilistic nature, it allows a counterfactual to be true even in the presence of relevant -worlds, as long such exceptions are not too widely spread. The semantics is made precise and studied in different versions which are related to each other by representation theorems. Despite its (...)
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  • 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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  • Stakes and Beliefs.Brad Armendt - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (1):71 - 87.
    The idea that beliefs may be stake-sensitive is explored. This is the idea that the strength with which a single, persistent belief is held may vary and depend upon what the believer takes to be at stake. The stakes in question are tied to the truth of the belief—not, as in Pascal’s wager and other cases, to the belief’s presence. Categorical beliefs and degrees of belief are considered; both kinds of account typically exclude the idea and treat belief as stake-invariant (...)
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  • A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism.James M. Joycetl - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):575-603.
  • Reichenbach’s Cubical Universe and the Problem of the External World.Elliott Sober - 2011 - Synthese 181 (1):3-21.
    This paper is a sympathetic critique of the argument that Reichenbach develops in Chap. 2 of Experience and Prediction for the thesis that sense experience justifies belief in the existence of an external world. After discussing his attack on the positivist theory of meaning, I describe the probability ideas that Reichenbach presents. I argue that Reichenbach begins with an argument grounded in the Law of Likelihood but that he then endorses a different argument that involves prior probabilities. I try to (...)
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  • Plans And Decisions.John L. Pollock - 2004 - Theory and Decision 57 (2):79-107.
    Counterexamples are constructed for classical decision theory, turning on the fact that actions must often be chosen in groups rather than individually, i.e., the objects of rational choice are plans. It is argued that there is no way to define optimality for plans that makes the finding of optimal plans the desideratum of rational decision-making. An alternative called “locally global planning” is proposed as a replacement for classical decision theory. Decision-making becomes a non-terminating process without a precise target rather than (...)
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  • Conditional Predictions.Stefan Kaufmann - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (2):181 - 231.
    The connection between the probabilities of conditionals and the corresponding conditional probabilities has long been explored in the philosophical literature, but its implementation faces both technical obstacles and objections on empirical grounds. In this paper I ?rst outline the motivation for the probabilistic turn and Lewis’ triviality results, which stand in the way of what would seem to be its most straightforward implementation. I then focus on Richard Jeffrey’s ’random-variable’ approach, which circumvents these problems by giving up the notion that (...)
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  • Anti-Realism in the Philosophy of Probability: Bruno de Finetti's Subjectivism. [REVIEW]Maria Carla Galavotti - 1989 - Erkenntnis 31 (2-3):239--261.
    Known as an upholder of subjectivism, Bruno de finetti (1906-1985) put forward a totally original philosophy of probability. This can be qualified as a combination of empiricism and pragmatism within an entirely coherent antirealistic perspective. The paper aims at clarifying the central features of such a philosophical position, Which is not only incompatible with any perspective based on an objective notion, But cannot be assimilated to other subjective views of probability either.
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  • Accuracy, Risk, and the Principle of Indifference.Richard G. Pettigrew - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):35-59.
    In Bayesian epistemology, the problem of the priors is this: How should we set our credences (or degrees of belief) in the absence of evidence? That is, how should we set our prior or initial credences, the credences with which we begin our credal life? David Lewis liked to call an agent at the beginning of her credal journey a superbaby. The problem of the priors asks for the norms that govern these superbabies. -/- The Principle of Indifference gives a (...)
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  • Direct and Indirect Causes.Wolfgang Spohn - 1990 - Topoi 9 (2):125-145.
  • Lost Memories and Useless Coins: Revisiting the Absentminded Driver.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):3011-3036.
    The puzzle of the absentminded driver combines an unstable decision problem with a version of the Sleeping Beauty problem. Its analysis depends on the choice between “halfing” and “thirding” as well as that between “evidential” and “causal” decision theory. I show that all four combinations lead to interestingly different solutions, and draw some general lessons about the formulation of causal decision theory, the interpretation of mixed strategies and the connection between rational credence and objective chance.
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  • A Lottery Paradox for Counterfactuals Without Agglomeration.Hannes Leitgeb - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3):605-636.
    We will present a new lottery-style paradox on counterfactuals and chance. The upshot will be: combining natural assumptions on the truth values of ordinary counterfactuals, the conditional chances of possible but non-actual events, the manner in which and relate to each other, and a fragment of the logic of counterfactuals leads to disaster. In contrast with the usual lottery-style paradoxes, logical closure under conjunction—that is, in this case, the rule of Agglomeration of counterfactuals—will not play a role in the derivation (...)
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  • No Crystal Balls.Jack Spencer - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The world is said to contain crystal balls whenever the present carries news of the as-yet-undetermined parts of the future. Many philosophers believe that crystal balls are metaphysically possible. In this essay, I argue that they are not. Whether crystal balls are possible matters, for at least two reasons. The first is epistemological. According to a simple, user-friendly chance norm for credence, which I call the Present Principle, agents are rationally required to conform their credences to their expectations of the (...)
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  • Updating, Supposing, and Maxent.Brian Skyrms - 1987 - Theory and Decision 22 (3):225-246.
  • Ratifiability and the Logic of Decision1.Brian Skyrms - 1990 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 15 (1):44-56.
  • The Core Theory of Subjunctive Conditionals.Brian Skyrms - 2013 - Synthese 190 (5):923-928.
    Conditional probability and selection-function approaches to chancy subjunctive conditionals are compared in a simple and transparent setting. They are seen to be alternative ways of calculating the same quantity. This unification extends from core cases to more peripheral cases.
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  • A Resource-Bounded Agent Addresses the Newcomb Problem.John Pollock - 2010 - Synthese 176 (1):57-82.
    In the Newcomb problem, the standard arguments for taking either one box or both boxes adduce what seem to be relevant considerations, but they are not complete arguments, and attempts to complete the arguments rely upon incorrect principles of rational decision making. It is argued that by considering how the predictor is making his prediction, we can generate a more complete argument, and this in turn supports a form of causal decision theory.
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  • Partitions and Conditionals.Peter W. Woodruff - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (2):113-128.
    The literature on conditionals is rife with alternate formulations of the abstract semantics of conditional logic. Each formulation has its own advantages in terms of applications and generalizations; nevertheless, they are for the most part equivalent, in the sense that they underwrite the same range of logical systems. The purpose of the present note is to bring under this umbrella the partition semantics introduced by Brian Skyrms in (Skyrms, 1984).
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  • 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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  • Vagueness, Uncertainty and Degrees of Belief: Two Kinds of Indeterminacy—One Kind of Credence.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1027-44.
    If we think, as Ramsey did, that a degree of belief that P is a stronger or weaker tendency to act as if P, then it is clear that not only uncertainty, but also vagueness, gives rise to degrees of belief. If I like hot coffee and do not know whether the coffee is hot or cold, I will have some tendency to reach for a cup; if I like hot coffee and know that the coffee is borderline hot, I (...)
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  • Reversing 30 Years of Discussion: Why Causal Decision Theorists Should One-Box.Wolfgang Spohn - 2012 - Synthese 187 (1):95-122.
    The paper will show how one may rationalize one-boxing in Newcomb's problem and drinking the toxin in the Toxin puzzle within the confines of causal decision theory by ascending to so-called reflexive decision models which reflect how actions are caused by decision situations (beliefs, desires, and intentions) represented by ordinary unreflexive decision models.
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  • A Brief Remark on the Problem of Interpreting Probability Objectively.Wolfgang Spohn - 1987 - Erkenntnis 26 (3):329 - 334.
  • Newcomb's Problem, Prisoners' Dilemma, and Collective Action.S. L. Hurley - 1991 - Synthese 86 (2):173 - 196.
    Among various cases that equally admit of evidentialist reasoning, the supposedly evidentialist solution has varying degrees of intuitive attractiveness. I suggest that cooperative reasoning may account for the appeal of apparently evidentialist behavior in the cases in which it is intuitively attractive, while the inapplicability of cooperative reasoning may account for the unattractiveness of evidentialist behaviour in other cases. A collective causal power with respect to agreed outcomes, not evidentialist reasoning, makes cooperation attractive in the Prisoners' Dilemma. And a natural (...)
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  • It All Adds Up: The Dynamic Coherence of Radical Probabilism.S. L. Zabell - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S98-S103.
  • The No Probabilities For Acts-Principle.Marion Ledwig - 2005 - Synthese 144 (2):171-180.
    One can interpret the No Probabilities for Acts-Principle, namely that any adequate quantitative decision model must in no way contain subjective probabilities for actions in two ways: it can either refer to actions that are performable now and extend into the future or it can refer to actions that are not performable now, but will be in the future. In this paper, I will show that the former is the better interpretation of the principle.
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  • Deliberational Equilibria.Brian Skyrms - 1986 - Topoi 5 (1):59-67.
  • Epistemology for Empiricists.Elliott Sober - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):39-61.
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  • Reichenbach's Cubical Universe and the Problem of the External World.Elliott Sober - 2011 - Synthese 181 (1):3 - 21.
    This paper is a sympathetic critique of the argument that Reichenbach develops in Chap. 2 of Experience and Prediction for the thesis that sense experience justifies belief in the existence of an external world. After discussing his attack on the positivist theory of meaning, I describe the probability ideas that Reichenbach presents. I argue that Reichenbach begins with an argument grounded in the Law of Likelihood but that he then endorses a different argument that involves prior probabilities. I try to (...)
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  • Stake-Invariant Belief.Brad Armendt - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (1):29-43.
    What can rational deliberation indicate about belief? Belief clearly influences deliberation. The principle that rational belief is stake-invariant rules out at least one way that deliberation might influence belief. The principle is widely, if implicitly, held in work on the epistemology of categorical belief, and it is built into the model of choice-guiding degrees of belief that comes to us from Ramsey and de Finetti. Criticisms of subjective probabilism include challenges to the assumption of additive values (the package principle) employed (...)
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  • Ratifiability, Game Theory, and the Principle of Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives.Ellery Eells & William L. Harper - 1991 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (1):1 – 19.
  • Triviality Pursuit.Alan Hájek - 2011 - Topoi 30 (1):3-15.
    The thesis that probabilities of conditionals are conditional probabilities has putatively been refuted many times by so-called ‘triviality results’, although it has also enjoyed a number of resurrections. In this paper I assault it yet again with a new such result. I begin by motivating the thesis and discussing some of the philosophical ramifications of its fluctuating fortunes. I will canvas various reasons, old and new, why the thesis seems plausible, and why we should care about its fate. I will (...)
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  • What Are Degrees of Belief?Lina Eriksson & Alan Hájek - 2007 - Studia Logica 86 (2):185-215.
    Probabilism is committed to two theses: 1) Opinion comes in degrees—call them degrees of belief, or credences. 2) The degrees of belief of a rational agent obey the probability calculus. Correspondingly, a natural way to argue for probabilism is: i) to give an account of what degrees of belief are, and then ii) to show that those things should be probabilities, on pain of irrationality. Most of the action in the literature concerns stage ii). Assuming that stage i) has been (...)
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  • Scotching Dutch Books?Alan Hajek - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):139-151.
    The Dutch Book argument, like Route 66, is about to turn 80. It is arguably the most celebrated argument for subjective Bayesianism. Start by rejecting the Cartesian idea that doxastic attitudes are ‘all-or-nothing’; rather, they are far more nuanced degrees of belief, for short credences, susceptible to fine-grained numerical measurement. Add a coherentist assumption that the rationality of a doxastic state consists in its internal consistency. The remaining problem is to determine what consistency of credences amounts to. The Dutch Book (...)
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  • Philosophy as Conceptual Engineering: Inductive Logic in Rudolf Carnap's Scientific Philosophy.Christopher F. French - 2015 - Dissertation, University of British Columbia
  • Causal Reasoning and Backtracking.James M. Joyce - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (1):139 - 154.
    I argue that one central aspect of the epistemology of causation, the use of causes as evidence for their effects, is largely independent of the metaphysics of causation. In particular, I use the formalism of Bayesian causal graphs to factor the incremental evidential impact of a cause for its effect into a direct cause-to-effect component and a backtracking component. While the “backtracking” evidence that causes provide about earlier events often obscures things, once we our restrict attention to the cause-to-effect component (...)
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  • Review of TychomancyMichael Strevens, Tychomancy: Inferring Probability From Causal Structure. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press , 280 Pp., $39.95. [REVIEW]Wolfgang Schwarz - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):313-320.
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  • It All Adds Up: The Dynamic Coherence of Radical Probabilism.S. L. Zabell - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S98-S103.
  • Bayesian Chance.William Harper, Sheldon J. Chow & Gemma Murray - 2012 - Synthese 186 (2):447-474.
    This paper explores how the Bayesian program benefits from allowing for objective chance as well as subjective degree of belief. It applies David Lewis’s Principal Principle and David Christensen’s principle of informed preference to defend Howard Raiffa’s appeal to preferences between reference lotteries and scaling lotteries to represent degrees of belief. It goes on to outline the role of objective lotteries in an application of rationality axioms equivalent to the existence of a utility assignment to represent preferences in Savage’s famous (...)
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  • Correlated Equilibria and the Dynamics of Rational Deliberation.Brian Skyrms - 1989 - Erkenntnis 31 (2-3):347 - 364.
  • Causality in the Logic of Decision.Patrick Maher - 1987 - Theory and Decision 22 (2):155-172.
  • Reification as Dependence on Extrinsic Information.Julius Sensat - 1996 - Synthese 109 (3):361 - 399.
    Marx criticized political economy for propounding an inverted, mystical view of economic reality. But he went beyond asserting the falsity and apologetic character of the doctrine to characterize it as reflecting a social practice of inversion or mystification — an inverted social world — in which individuals incorporate their own actions into a process whose dynamic lies beyond their control. Caught up in this process, individuals confront aspects of their own agency in the alien or reified form of a given, (...)
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  • Coherence as an Ideal of Rationality.Lyle Zynda - 1996 - Synthese 109 (2):175 - 216.
    Probabilistic coherence is not an absolute requirement of rationality; nevertheless, it is an ideal of rationality with substantive normative import. An idealized rational agent who avoided making implicit logical errors in forming his preferences would be coherent. In response to the challenge, recently made by epistemologists such as Foley and Plantinga, that appeals to ideal rationality render probabilism either irrelevant or implausible, I argue that idealized requirements can be normatively relevant even when the ideals are unattainable, so long as they (...)
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  • Choice and Conditional Expected Utility.Piers Rawling - 1993 - Synthese 94 (2):303 - 328.
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  • Standard and Non-Standard Newcomb Problems.W. J. Talbott - 1987 - Synthese 70 (3):415 - 458.
    Examples involving common causes — most prominently, examples involving genetically influenced choices — are analytically equivalent not to standard Newcomb Problems — in which the Predictor genuinely predicts the agent's decision — but to non-standard Newcomb Problems — in which the Predictor guarantees the truth of her predictions by interfering with the agent's decision to make the agent choose as it was predicted she would. When properly qualified, causal and epistemic decision theories diverge only on standard — not on non-standard (...)
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