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Wolfgang Spohn (2012). The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and its Philosophical Applications.

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  1.  32
    Why Follow the Royal Rule?Franz Huber - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    This note is a sequel to Huber. It is shown that obeying a normative principle relating counterfactual conditionals and conditional beliefs, viz. the royal rule, is a necessary and sufficient means to attaining a cognitive end that relates true beliefs in purely factual, non-modal propositions and true beliefs in purely modal propositions. Along the way I will sketch my idealism about alethic or metaphysical modality.
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  2.  36
    Decisions and Higher‐Order Knowledge.Moritz Schulz - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):463-483.
    A knowledge-based decision theory faces what has been called the prodigality problem : given that many propositions are assigned probability 1, agents will be inclined to risk everything when betting on propositions which are known. In order to undo probability 1 assignments in high risk situations, the paper develops a theory which systematically connects higher level goods with higher-order knowledge.
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  3. The Problem of Logical Omniscience, the Preface Paradox, and Doxastic Commitments.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    The main goal of this paper is to investigate what explanatory resources Robert Brandom’s distinction between acknowledged and consequential commitments affords in relation to the problem of logical omniscience. With this distinction the importance of the doxastic perspective under consideration for the relationship between logic and norms of reasoning is emphasized, and it becomes possible to handle a number of problematic cases discussed in the literature without thereby incurring a commitment to revisionism about logic. One such case in particular is (...)
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  4. Relevance Differently Affects the Truth, Acceptability, and Probability Evaluations of “and”, “but”, “Therefore”, and “If–Then”.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, David Kellen, Hannes Krahl & Karl Christoph Klauer - 2017 - Thinking and Reasoning (4).
    In this study we investigate the influence of reason-relation readings of indicative conditionals and ‘and’/‘but’/‘therefore’ sentences on various cognitive assessments. According to the Frege-Grice tradition, a dissociation is expected. Specifically, differences in the reason-relation reading of these sentences should affect participants’ evaluations of their acceptability but not of their truth value. In two experiments we tested this assumption by introducing a relevance manipulation into the truth-table task as well as in other tasks assessing the participants’ acceptability and probability evaluations. Across (...)
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  5.  25
    Epistemic Logic Meets Epistemic Game Theory: A Comparison Between Multi-Agent Kripke Models and Type Spaces.Paolo Galeazzi & Emiliano Lorini - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2097-2127.
    In the literature there are at least two main formal structures to deal with situations of interactive epistemology: Kripke models and type spaces. As shown in many papers :149–225, 1999; Battigalli and Siniscalchi in J Econ Theory 106:356–391, 2002; Klein and Pacuit in Stud Log 102:297–319, 2014; Lorini in J Philos Log 42:863–904, 2013), both these frameworks can be used to express epistemic conditions for solution concepts in game theory. The main result of this paper is a formal comparison between (...)
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  6.  38
    Dirk Koppelberg and Stefan Tolksdorf (Eds) : Erkenntnistheorie - Wie Und Wozu? [REVIEW]Insa Lawler - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (2):411-415.
    To what end should or do we pursue philosophy and how? Meta-philosophical questions along these lines have gained more and more interest recently. The collected volume "Erkenntnistheorie — Wie und wozu?" (Engl.: "Epistemology — How and to what end?") aspires to raise and tackle issues addressing the meta-epistemological questions "How is epistemology practiced and to what end?". Although this aim sounds like a descriptive meta-epistemological endeavor, it is not surprising that many authors rather argue for normative claims surrounding the questions (...)
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  7. Ranking Theory and Conditional Reasoning.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2016 - Cognitive Science 40 (4):848-880.
    Ranking theory is a formal epistemology that has been developed in over 600 pages in Spohn's recent book The Laws of Belief, which aims to provide a normative account of the dynamics of beliefs that presents an alternative to current probabilistic approaches. It has long been received in the AI community, but it has not yet found application in experimental psychology. The purpose of this paper is to derive clear, quantitative predictions by exploiting a parallel between ranking theory and a (...)
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  8.  34
    Three Kinds of Worlds and Two Kinds of Truth.Wolfgang Spohn - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1335-1359.
    This paper argues for three kinds of possible worlds: Wittgensteinian totalities of facts, Lewisian worlds or universes, concrete objects of maximal essence, and the world, a concrete object of minimal essence. It moreover explains that correspondence truth applies to Wittgensteinian totalities and pragmatic truth to Lewisian universes. And it finally argues that this conceptualization lays proper foundations to two-dimensional semantics.
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  9.  48
    Inductive Logic.Vincenzo Crupi - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):641-650.
    The current state of inductive logic is puzzling. Survey presentations are recurrently offered and a very rich and extensive handbook was entirely dedicated to the topic just a few years ago [23]. Among the contributions to this very volume, however, one finds forceful arguments to the effect that inductive logic is not needed and that the belief in its existence is itself a misguided illusion , while other distinguished observers have eventually come to see at least the label as “slightly (...)
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  10.  87
    No Match Point for the Permissibility Account.Anna-Maria A. Eder - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):657-673.
    In the literature, one finds two accounts of the normative status of rational belief: the ought account and the permissibility account. Both accounts have their advantages and shortcomings, making it difficult to favour one over the other. Imagine that there were two principles of rational belief or rational degrees of belief commonly considered plausible, but which, however, yielded a paradox together with one account, but not with the other. One of the accounts therefore requires us to give up one of (...)
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  11. What Should I Believe About What Would Have Been the Case?Franz Huber - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):81-110.
    The question I am addressing in this paper is the following: how is it possible to empirically test, or confirm, counterfactuals? After motivating this question in Section 1, I will look at two approaches to counterfactuals, and at how counterfactuals can be empirically tested, or confirmed, if at all, on these accounts in Section 2. I will then digress into the philosophy of probability in Section 3. The reason for this digression is that I want to use the way observable (...)
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  12.  38
    Peer Disagreement: A Call for the Revision of Prior Probabilities.Sven Rosenkranz & Moritz Schulz - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (4):551-586.
    The current debate about peer disagreement has so far mainly focused on the question of whether peer disagreements provide genuine counterevidence to which we should respond by revising our credences. By contrast, comparatively little attention has been devoted to the question by which process, if any, such revision should be brought about. The standard assumption is that we update our credences by conditionalizing on the evidence that peer disagreements provide. In this paper, we argue that non-dogmatist views have good reasons (...)
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  13.  72
    Infinitism and Probabilistic Justification.Benjamin Bewersdorf - 2014 - Synthese 191 (4):691-699.
    According to infinitism, beliefs can be justified by an infinite chain of reasons. So far, infinitism has rarely been taken seriously and often even dismissed as inconsistent. However, Peijnenburg and Atkinson have recently argued that beliefs can indeed be justified by an infinite chain of reasons, if justification is understood probabilistically. In the following, I will discuss the formal result that has led to this conclusion. I will then introduce three probabilistic explications of justification and examine to which extent they (...)
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  14.  78
    Knowability as Potential Knowledge.André Fuhrmann - 2014 - Synthese 191 (7):1627-1648.
    The thesis that every truth is knowable is usually glossed by decomposing knowability into possibility and knowledge. Under elementary assumptions about possibility and knowledge, considered as modal operators, the thesis collapses the distinction between truth and knowledge (as shown by the so-called Fitch-argument). We show that there is a more plausible interpretation of knowability—one that does not decompose the notion in the usual way—to which the Fitch-argument does not apply. We call this the potential knowledge-interpretation of knowability. We compare our (...)
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  15. New Foundations for Counterfactuals.Franz Huber - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2167-2193.
    Philosophers typically rely on intuitions when providing a semantics for counterfactual conditionals. However, intuitions regarding counterfactual conditionals are notoriously shaky. The aim of this paper is to provide a principled account of the semantics of counterfactual conditionals. This principled account is provided by what I dub the Royal Rule, a deterministic analogue of the Principal Principle relating chance and credence. The Royal Rule says that an ideal doxastic agent’s initial grade of disbelief in a proposition \(A\) , given that the (...)
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  16.  18
    Structural Inference From Conditional Knowledge Bases.Gabriele Kern-Isberner & Christian Eichhorn - 2014 - Studia Logica 102 (4):751-769.
    There are several approaches implementing reasoning based on conditional knowledge bases, one of the most popular being System Z (Pearl, Proceedings of the 3rd conference on theoretical aspects of reasoning about knowledge, TARK ’90, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA, pp. 121–135, 1990). We look at ranking functions (Spohn, The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and Its Philosophical Applications, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012) in general, conditional structures and c-representations (Kern-Isberner, Conditionals in Nonmonotonic Reasoning and Belief Revision: Considering (...)
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  17.  47
    The Role of Kinds in the Semantics of Ceteris Paribus Laws.Bernhard Nickel - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1729-1744.
    This paper investigates the interaction between semantic theories for cp-laws (roughly, laws that hold “all things equal”) and metaphysical theories of kinds in the special sciences. Its central conclusion is that cp-laws concerning kinds behave differently from cp-laws concerning non-kinds: “ravens are black” which concerns the kind corvus corax, behaves differently from from “albino ravens are white” which concerns the non-kind grouping of albino ravens. I argue that this difference is in the first instance logical: the two sorts of cp-laws (...)
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  18.  47
    Thinking About Non-Universal Laws.Alexander Reutlinger & Matthias Unterhuber - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1703-1713.
    What are ceteris paribus laws? Which disciplines appeal to cp laws and which semantics, metaphysical underpinning, and epistemological dimensions do cp law statements have? Firstly, we give a short overview of the recent discussion on cp laws, which addresses these questions. Secondly, we suggest that given the rich and diverse literature on cp laws a broad conception of cp laws should be endorsed which takes into account the different ways in which laws can be non-universal . Finally, we provide an (...)
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  19.  45
    The Epistemic Account of Ceteris Paribus Conditions.Wolfgang Spohn - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (3):385-408.
    The paper focuses on interpreting ceteris paribus conditions as normal conditions. After discussing six basic problems for the explication of normal conditions and seven interpretations that do not well solve those problems I turn to what I call the epistemic account. According to it the normal is, roughly, the not unexpected. This is developed into a rigorous constructive account of normal conditions, which makes essential use of ranking theory and in particular allows to explain the phenomenon of multiply exceptional conditions. (...)
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  20.  97
    A Utility Based Evaluation of Logico-Probabilistic Systems.Paul D. Thorn & Gerhard Schurz - 2014 - Studia Logica 102 (4):867-890.
    Systems of logico-probabilistic (LP) reasoning characterize inference from conditional assertions interpreted as expressing high conditional probabilities. In the present article, we investigate four prominent LP systems (namely, systems O, P, Z, and QC) by means of computer simulations. The results reported here extend our previous work in this area, and evaluate the four systems in terms of the expected utility of the dispositions to act that derive from the conclusions that the systems license. In addition to conforming to the dominant (...)
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  21.  66
    Do Ceteris Paribus Laws Exist? A Regularity-Based Best System Analysis.Matthias Unterhuber - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S10):1833-1847.
    This paper argues that ceteris paribus (cp) laws exist based on a Lewisian best system analysis of lawhood (BSA). Furthermore, it shows that a BSA faces a second trivialization problem besides the one identified by Lewis. The first point concerns an argument against cp laws by Earman and Roberts. The second point aims to help making some assumptions of the BSA explicit. To address the second trivialization problem, a restriction in terms of natural logical constants is proposed that allows one (...)
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  22.  81
    Interpreting Enthymematic Arguments Using Belief Revision.Georg Brun & Hans Rott - 2013 - Synthese 190 (18):4041-4063.
    This paper is about the situation in which an author (writer or speaker) presents a deductively invalid argument, but the addressee aims at a charitable interpretation and has reason to assume that the author intends to present a valid argument. How can he go about interpreting the author’s reasoning as enthymematically valid? We suggest replacing the usual find-the-missing-premise approaches by an approach based on systematic efforts to ascribe a belief state to the author against the background of which the argument (...)
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  23. Belief Revision II: Ranking Theory.Franz Huber - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (7):613-621.
    Belief revision theory studies how an ideal doxastic agent should revise her beliefs when she receives new information. In part I, I have first presented the AGM theory of belief revision. Then I have focused on the problem of iterated belief revisions. In part II, I will first present ranking theory (Spohn 1988). Then I will show how it solves the problem of iterated belief revisions. I will conclude by sketching two areas of future research.
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  24.  55
    A Ranking‐Theoretic Approach to Conditionals.Wolfgang Spohn - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):1074-1106.
    Conditionals somehow express conditional beliefs. However, conditional belief is a bi-propositional attitude that is generally not truth-evaluable, in contrast to unconditional belief. Therefore, this article opts for an expressivistic semantics for conditionals, grounds this semantics in the arguably most adequate account of conditional belief, that is, ranking theory, and dismisses probability theory for that purpose, because probabilities cannot represent belief. Various expressive options are then explained in terms of ranking theory, with the intention to set out a general interpretive scheme (...)
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