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David Kinney [16]David B. Kinney [1]
  1. Risk aversion and elite‐group ignorance.David Kinney & Liam Kofi Bright - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (1):35-57.
    Critical race theorists and standpoint epistemologists argue that agents who are members of dominant social groups are often in a state of ignorance about the extent of their social dominance, where this ignorance is explained by these agents' membership in a socially dominant group (e.g., Mills 2007). To illustrate this claim bluntly, it is argued: 1) that many white men do not know the extent of their social dominance, 2) that they remain ignorant as to the extent of their dominant (...)
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  2. Tell me your (cognitive) budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.David Kinney & Tania Lombrozo - 2024 - Cognition 247 (C):105782.
    Consider the following two (hypothetical) generic causal claims: “Living in a neighborhood with many families with children increases purchases of bicycles” and “living in an affluent neighborhood with many families with children increases purchases of bicycles.” These claims not only differ in what they suggest about how bicycle ownership is distributed across different neighborhoods (i.e., “the data”), but also have the potential to communicate something about the speakers’ values: namely, the prominence they accord to affluence in representing and making decisions (...)
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  3. Causal feature learning for utility-maximizing agents.David Kinney & David Watson - 2020 - In David Kinney & David Watson (eds.), International Conference on Probabilistic Graphical Models. pp. 257–268.
    Discovering high-level causal relations from low-level data is an important and challenging problem that comes up frequently in the natural and social sciences. In a series of papers, Chalupka etal. (2015, 2016a, 2016b, 2017) develop a procedure forcausal feature learning (CFL) in an effortto automate this task. We argue that CFL does not recommend coarsening in cases where pragmatic considerations rule in favor of it, and recommends coarsening in cases where pragmatic considerations rule against it. We propose a new technique, (...)
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  4.  96
    On the Explanatory Depth and Pragmatic Value of Coarse-Grained, Probabilistic, Causal Explanations.David Kinney - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (1):145-167.
    This article considers the popular thesis that a more proportional relationship between a cause and its effect yields a more abstract causal explanation of that effect, which in turn produces a deeper explanation. This thesis is taken to have important implications for choosing the optimal granularity of explanation for a given explanandum. In this article, I argue that this thesis is not generally true of probabilistic causal relationships. In light of this finding, I propose a pragmatic, interest-relative measure of explanatory (...)
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  5.  37
    Why Average When You Can Stack? Better Methods for Generating Accurate Group Credences.David Kinney - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (4):845-863.
    Formal and social epistemologists have devoted significant attention to the question of how to aggregate the credences of a group of agents who disagree about the probabilities of events. Moss and Pettigrew argue that group credences can be a linear mean of the credences of each individual in the group. By contrast, I argue that if the epistemic value of a credence function is determined solely by its accuracy, then we should, where possible, aggregate the underlying statistical models that individuals (...)
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  6.  47
    A Stochastic Model of Mathematics and Science.David H. Wolpert & David B. Kinney - 2024 - Foundations of Physics 54 (2):1-67.
    We introduce a framework that can be used to model both mathematics and human reasoning about mathematics. This framework involves stochastic mathematical systems (SMSs), which are stochastic processes that generate pairs of questions and associated answers (with no explicit referents). We use the SMS framework to define normative conditions for mathematical reasoning, by defining a “calibration” relation between a pair of SMSs. The first SMS is the human reasoner, and the second is an “oracle” SMS that can be interpreted as (...)
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  7.  20
    Diachronic trends in the topic distributions of formal epistemology abstracts.David Kinney - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-34.
    Formal epistemology is a growing field of philosophical research. It is also evolving, with the subject matter of formal epistemology papers changing considerably over the past two decades. To quantify the ways in which formal epistemology is changing, I generate a stochastic block topic model of the abstracts of papers classified by PhilPapers.org as pertaining to formal epistemology. This model identifies fourteen salient topics of formal epistemology abstracts at a first level of abstraction, and four topics at a second level (...)
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  8.  80
    Inductive explanation and Garber–Style solutions to the problem of old evidence.David Kinney - 2017 - Synthese:1-15.
    The Problem of Old Evidence is a perennial issue for Bayesian confirmation theory. Garber famously argues that the problem can be solved by conditionalizing on the proposition that a hypothesis deductively implies the existence of the old evidence. In recent work, Hartmann and Fitelson :712–717, 2015) and Sprenger :383–401, 2015) aim for similar, but more general, solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence. These solutions are more general because they allow the explanatory relationship between a new hypothesis and old evidence (...)
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  9.  40
    Inductive explanation and Garber–Style solutions to the problem of old evidence.David Kinney - 2017 - Synthese 196 (10):3995-4009.
    The Problem of Old Evidence is a perennial issue for Bayesian confirmation theory. Garber (Test Sci Theor 10:99–131, 1983) famously argues that the problem can be solved by conditionalizing on the proposition that a hypothesis deductively implies the existence of the old evidence. In recent work, Hartmann and Fitelson (Philos Sci 82(4):712–717, 2015) and Sprenger (Philos Sci 82(3):383–401, 2015) aim for similar, but more general, solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence. These solutions are more general because they allow the (...)
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  10.  42
    Imprecise Bayesian Networks as Causal Models.David Kinney - 2018 - Information 9 (9):211.
    This article considers the extent to which Bayesian networks with imprecise probabilities, which are used in statistics and computer science for predictive purposes, can be used to represent causal structure. It is argued that the adequacy conditions for causal representation in the precise context—the Causal Markov Condition and Minimality—do not readily translate into the imprecise context. Crucial to this argument is the fact that the independence relation between random variables can be understood in several different ways when the joint probability (...)
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  11.  64
    Epistemology and anomaly detection in astrobiology.Christopher Kempes & David Kinney - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-25.
    We examine the epistemological foundations of a leading technique in the search for evidence of life on exosolar planets. Specifically, we consider the “transit method” for spectroscopic analysis of exoplanet atmospheres, and the practice of treating anomalous chemical compositions of the atmospheres of exosolar planets as indicators of the potential presence of life. We propose a methodology for ranking the anomalousness of atmospheres that uses the mathematical apparatus of support vector machines, and which aims to be agnostic with respect to (...)
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  12.  19
    Causal History, Statistical Relevance, and Explanatory Power.David Kinney - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-23.
    In discussions of the power of causal explanations, one often finds a commitment to two premises. The first is that, all else being equal, a causal explanation is powerful to the extent that it cites the full causal history of why the effect occurred. The second is that, all else being equal, causal explanations are powerful to the extent that the occurrence of a cause allows us to predict the occurrence of its effect. This article proves a representation theorem showing (...)
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  13.  66
    Bayesian Networks and Causal Ecumenism.David Kinney - 2020 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):147-172.
    Proponents of various causal exclusion arguments claim that for any given event, there is often a unique level of granularity at which that event is caused. Against these causal exclusion arguments, causal ecumenists argue that the same event or phenomenon can be caused at multiple levels of granularity. This paper argues that the Bayesian network approach to representing the causal structure of target systems is consistent with causal ecumenism. Given the ubiquity of Bayesian networks as a tool for representing causal (...)
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  14.  38
    Blocking an Argument for Emergent Chance.David Kinney - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (5):1057-1077.
    Several authors have argued that non-extreme probabilities used in special sciences such as chemistry and biology can be objective chances, even if the true microphysical description of the world is deterministic. This article examines an influential version of this argument and shows that it depends on a particular methodology for defining the relationship between coarse-grained and fine-grained events. An alternative methodology for coarse-graining is proposed. This alternative methodology blocks this argument for the existence of emergent chances, and makes better sense (...)
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  15.  21
    Curie’s principle and causal graphs.David Kinney - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 87 (C):22-27.
    Curie’s Principle says that any symmetry property of a cause must be found in its effect. In this article, I consider Curie’s Principle from the point of view of graphical causal models, and demonstrate that, under one definition of a symmetry transformation, the causal modeling framework does not require anything like Curie’s Principle to be true. On another definition of a symmetry transformation, the graphical causal modeling formalism does imply a version of Curie’s Principle. These results yield a better understanding (...)
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  16. International Conference on Probabilistic Graphical Models.David Kinney & David Watson (eds.) - 2020
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  17.  61
    The problem of granularity for scientific explanation.David Kinney - 2019 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science (Lse)
    This dissertation aims to determine the optimal level of granularity for the variables used in probabilistic causal models. These causal models are useful for generating explanations in a number of scientific contexts. In Chapter 1, I argue that there is rarely a unique level of granularity at which a given phenomenon can be causally explained, thereby rejecting various causal exclusion arguments. In Chapter 2, I consider several recent proposals for measuring the explanatory power of causal explanations, and show that these (...)
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