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Jeffrey A. Barrett [64]Jeffrey Barrett [10]Jeffrey Alan Barrett [4]Jeffrey W. Barrett [1]
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Jeffrey Barrett
University of California, Irvine
  1.  56
    Dynamic Partitioning and the Conventionality of Kinds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):527-546.
    Lewis sender‐receiver games illustrate how a meaningful term language might evolve from initially meaningless random signals (Lewis 1969; Skyrms 2006). Here we consider how a meaningful language with a primitive grammar might evolve in a somewhat more subtle sort of game. The evolution of such a language involves the co‐evolution of partitions of the physical world into what may seem, at least from the perspective of someone using the language, to correspond to canonical natural kinds. While the evolved language may (...)
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  2.  35
    Self-Assembling Games.Jeffrey A. Barrett & Brian Skyrms - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):329-353.
    We consider how cue-reading, sensory-manipulation, and signaling games may initially evolve from ritualized decisions and how more complex games may evolve from simpler games by polymerization, template transfer, and modular composition. Modular composition is a process that combines simpler games into more complex games. Template transfer, a process by which a game is appropriated to a context other than the one in which it initially evolved, is one mechanism for modular composition. And polymerization is a particularly salient example of modular (...)
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  3.  27
    The Quantum Mechanics of Minds and Worlds.Jeffrey Alan Barrett - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
    Jeffrey Barrett presents the most comprehensive study yet of a problem that has puzzled physicists and philosophers since the 1930s.
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  4. Everett's Relative-State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey Barrett - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Everett's relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics is an attempt to solve the measurement problem by dropping the collapse dynamics from the standard von Neumann-Dirac theory of quantum mechanics. The main problem with Everett's theory is that it is not at all clear how it is supposed to work. In particular, while it is clear that he wanted to explain why we get determinate measurement results in the context of his theory, it is unclear how he intended to do this. There (...)
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  5.  46
    Self-Assembling Games.Jeffrey A. Barrett & Brian Skyrms - unknown
    We consider how cue-reading, sensory-manipulation, and signaling games may initially evolve from ritualized decisions and how more complex games may evolve from simpler games by polymerization, template transfer, and modular composition. Modular composition is a process that combines simpler games into more complex games. Template transfer, a process by which a game is appropriated to a context other than the one in which it initially evolved, is one mechanism for modular composition. And polymerization is a particularly salient example of modular (...)
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  6. The Role of Forgetting in the Evolution and Learning of Language.Jeffrey Barrett & Kevin J. S. Zollman - unknown
    Lewis signaling games illustrate how language might evolve from random behavior. The probability of evolving an optimal signaling language is, in part, a function of what learning strategy the agents use. Here we investigate three learning strategies, each of which allows agents to forget old experience. In each case, we find that forgetting increases the probability of evolving an optimal language. It does this by making it less likely that past partial success will continue to reinforce suboptimal practice. The learning (...)
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  7.  93
    The Evolution of Coding in Signaling Games.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2009 - Theory and Decision 67 (2):223-237.
    Signaling games with reinforcement learning have been used to model the evolution of term languages (Lewis 1969, Convention. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; Skyrms 2006, “Signals” Presidential Address. Philosophy of Science Association for PSA). In this article, syntactic games, extensions of David Lewis’s original sender–receiver game, are used to illustrate how a language that exploits available syntactic structure might evolve to code for states of the world. The evolution of a language occurs in the context of available vocabulary and syntax—the (...)
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  8.  18
    Entanglement and Disentanglement in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48 (2):168-174.
  9.  12
    Typical Worlds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 58:31-40.
  10. Numerical Simulations of the Lewis Signaling Game: Learning Strategies, Pooling Equilibria, and the Evolution of Grammar.Jeffrey A. Barrett - unknown
    David Lewis (1969) introduced sender-receiver games as a way of investigating how meaningful language might evolve from initially random signals. In this report I investigate the conditions under which Lewis signaling games evolve to perfect signaling systems under various learning dynamics. While the 2-state/2- term Lewis signaling game with basic urn learning always approaches a signaling system, I will show that with more than two states suboptimal pooling equilibria can evolve. Inhomogeneous state distributions increase the likelihood of pooling equilibria, but (...)
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  11. Everett’s Pure Wave Mechanics and the Notion of Worlds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):277-302.
    Everett (1957a, b, 1973) relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics has often been taken to involve a metaphysical commitment to the existence of many splitting worlds each containing physical copies of observers and the objects they observe. While there was earlier talk of splitting worlds in connection with Everett, this is largely due to DeWitt’s (Phys Today 23:30–35, 1970) popular presentation of the theory. While the thought of splitting worlds or parallel universes has captured the popular imagination, Everett himself favored the (...)
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  12. On the Faithful Interpretation of Pure Wave Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):693-709.
    Given Hugh Everett III's understanding of the proper cognitive status of physical theories, his relative-state formulation of pure wave mechanics arguably qualifies as an empirically acceptable physical theory. The argument turns on the precise nature of the relationship that Everett requires between the empirical substructure of an empirically faithful physical theory and experience. On this view, Everett provides a weak resolution to both the determinate record and the probability problems encountered by pure wave mechanics, and does so in a way (...)
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  13.  62
    Approximate Truth and Descriptive Nesting.Jeffrey Alan Barrett - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):213-224.
    There is good reason to suppose that our best physical theories, quantum mechanics and special relativity, are false if taken together and literally. If they are in fact false, then how should they count as providing knowledge of the physical world? One might imagine that, while strictly false, our best physical theories are nevertheless in some sense probably approximately true. This paper presents a notion of local probable approximate truth in terms of descriptive nesting relations between current and subsequent theories. (...)
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  14. Self-Assembling Networks.Jeffrey A. Barrett, Brian Skyrms & Aydin Mohseni - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):1-25.
    We consider how an epistemic network might self-assemble from the ritualization of the individual decisions of simple heterogeneous agents. In such evolved social networks, inquirers may be significantly more successful than they could be investigating nature on their own. The evolved network may also dramatically lower the epistemic risk faced by even the most talented inquirers. We consider networks that self-assemble in the context of both perfect and imperfect communication and compare the behaviour of inquirers in each. This provides a (...)
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  15.  33
    On the Coevolution of Theory and Language and the Nature of Successful Inquiry.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S4):1-14.
    Insofar as empirical inquiry involves the coevolution of descriptive language and theoretical commitments, a satisfactory model of empirical knowledge should describe the coordinated evolution of both language and theory. But since we do not know what conceptual resources we might need to express our future theories or to provide our best future faithful descriptions of the world, we do not now know even what the space of future descriptive options might be. One strategy for addressing this shifting-resource problem is to (...)
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  16. A Quantum-Mechanical Argument for Mind–Body Dualism.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2006 - Erkenntnis 65 (1):97-115.
    I argue that a strong mind–body dualism is required of any formulation of quantum mechanics that satisfies a relatively weak set of explanatory constraints. Dropping one or more of these constraints may allow one to avoid the commitment to a mind–body dualism but may also require a commitment to a physical–physical dualism that is at least as objectionable. Ultimately, it is the preferred basis problem that pushes both collapse and no-collapse theories in the direction of a strong dualism in resolving (...)
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  17.  24
    Rule-Following and the Evolution of Basic Concepts.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):829-839.
    This article concerns how rule-following behavior might evolve, how an old evolved rule might come to be appropriated to a new context, and how simple concepts might coevolve with rule-following behavior. In particular, we consider how the transitive inferential rule-following behavior exhibited by pinyon and scrub jays might evolve in the context of a variety of the Skyrms-Lewis signaling game, then how such a rule might come to be appropriated to carry out inferences regarding stimuli different from those involved in (...)
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  18.  61
    Faithful Description and the Incommensurability of Evolved Languages.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (1):123 - 137.
    Skyrms-Lewis signaling games illustrate how meaningful language may evolve from initially meaningless random signals (Lewis, Convention 1969; Skyrms 2008). Here we will consider how incommensurable languages might evolve in the context of signaling games. We will also consider the types of incommensurability exhibited between evolved languages in such games. We will find that sequentially evolved languages may be strongly incommensurable while still allowing for increasingly faithful descriptions of the world.
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  19.  4
    A Structural Interpretation Of Pure Wave Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2010 - Humana Mente 4 (13).
  20.  31
    Propositional Content in Signals.Brian Skyrms & Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74:34-39.
    Propositional content arises from the practice of signaling with information transfer when a signaling process settles into some sort of a pattern, and eventually what we call meaning or propositional content crystallizes out. We give an evolutionary account of this process.
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  21. Are Our Best Physical Theories (Probably and/or Approximately) True?Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1206-1218.
    There is good reason to suppose that our best physical theories are false: In addition to its own internal problems, the standard formulation of quantum mechanics is logically incompatible with special relativity. I will also argue that we have no concrete idea what it means to claim that these theories are approximately true.
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  22.  30
    The Evolution of Simple Rule-Following.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (2):142-150.
    We are concerned here with explaining how successful rule-following behavior might evolve and how an old evolved rule might come to be successfully used in a new context. Such rule-following behavior is illustrated in the transitive judgments of pinyon and scrub-jays (Bond et al., Anim Behav 65:479–487, 2003). We begin by considering how successful transitive rule-following behavior might evolve in the context of Skyrms–Lewis sender–receiver games (Lewis, Convention. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1969; Skyrms, Philos Sci 75:489–500, 2006). We then consider (...)
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  23.  60
    Empirical Adequacy and the Availability of Reliable Records in Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (1):49-64.
    In order to judge whether a theory is empirically adequate one must have epistemic access to reliable records of past measurement results that can be compared against the predictions of the theory. Some formulations of quantum mechanics fail to satisfy this condition. The standard theory without the collapse postulate is an example. Bell's reading of Everett's relative-state formulation is another. Furthermore, there are formulations of quantum mechanics that only satisfy this condition for a special class of observers, formulations whose empirical (...)
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  24. The Single-Mind and Many-Minds Versions of Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 1995 - Erkenntnis 42 (1):89-105.
    There is a long tradition of trying to find a satisfactory interpretation of Everett's relative-state formulation of quantum mechanics. Albert and Loewer recently described two new ways of reading Everett: one we will call the single-mind theory and the other the many-minds theory. I will briefly describe these theories and present some of their merits and problems. Since both are no-collapse theories, a significant merit is that they can take advantage of certain properties of the linear dynamics, which Everett apparently (...)
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  25.  76
    On the Evolution of Truth.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1323-1332.
    This paper is concerned with how a simple metalanguage might coevolve with a simple descriptive base language in the context of interacting Skyrms–Lewis signaling games Lewis. We will first consider a metagame that evolves to track the successful and unsuccessful use of a coevolving base language, then we will consider a metagame that evolves a truth predicate for expressions in a coevolving base language. We will see how a metagame that tracks truth provides an endogenous way to break the symmetry (...)
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  26. The Preferred-Basis Problem and the Quantum Mechanics of Everything.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):199-220.
    argued that there are two options for what he called a realistic solution to the quantum measurement problem: (1) select a preferred set of observables for which definite values are assumed to exist, or (2) attempt to assign definite values to all observables simultaneously (1810–1). While conventional wisdom has it that the second option is ruled out by the Kochen-Specker theorem, Vink nevertheless advocated it. Making every physical quantity determinate in quantum mechanics carries with it significant conceptual costs, but it (...)
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  27. Relativistic Quantum Mechanics Through Frame‐Dependent Constructions.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):802-813.
    This paper is concerned with the possibility and nature of relativistic hidden-variable formulations of quantum mechanics. Both ad hoc teleological constructions of spacetime maps and frame-dependent constructions of spacetime maps are considered. While frame-dependent constructions are clearly preferable, they provide neither mechanical nor causal explanations for local quantum events. Rather, the hiddenvariable dynamics used in such constructions is just a rule that helps to characterize the set of all possible spacetime maps. But while having neither mechanical nor causal explanations of (...)
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  28.  41
    On the Coevolution of Basic Arithmetic Language and Knowledge.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (5):1025-1036.
    Skyrms-Lewis sender-receiver games with invention allow one to model how a simple mathematical language might be invented and become meaningful as its use coevolves with the basic arithmetic competence of primitive mathematical inquirers. Such models provide sufficient conditions for the invention and evolution of a very basic sort of arithmetic language and practice, and, in doing so, provide insight into the nature of a correspondingly basic sort of mathematical knowledge in an evolutionary context. Given traditional philosophical reflections concerning the nature (...)
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  29.  61
    The Persistence of Memory: Surreal Trajectories in Bohm's Theory.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):680-703.
    In this paper I describe the history of the surreal trajectories problem and argue that in fact it is not a problem for Bohm's theory. More specifically, I argue that one can take the particle trajectories predicted by Bohm's theory to be the actual trajectories that particles follow and that there is no reason to suppose that good particle detectors are somehow fooled in the context of the surreal trajectories experiments. Rather than showing that Bohm's theory predicts the wrong particle (...)
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  30.  31
    Quantum Worlds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2016 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 20 (1):45-60.
    Because of the conceptual difficulties it faces, quantum mechanics provides a salient example of how alternative metaphysical commitments may clarify our understanding of a physical theory and the explanations it provides. Here we will consider how postulating alternative quantum worlds in the context of Hugh Everett III’s pure wave mechanics may serve to explain determinate measurement records and the standard quantum statistics. We will focus on the properties of such worlds, then briefly consider other metaphysical options available for interpreting pure (...)
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  31. An Infinite Decision Puzzle.Jeffrey Barrett & Frank Arntzenius - 1999 - Theory and Decision 46 (1):101-103.
    We tell a story where an agent who chooses in such a way as to make the greatest possible profit on each of an infinite series of transactions ends up worse off than an agent who chooses in such a way as to make the least possible profit on each transaction. That is, contrary to what one might suppose, it is not necessarily rational always to choose the option that yields the greatest possible profit on each transaction.
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  32.  5
    On the Coevolution of Theory and Language and the Nature of Successful Inquiry.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (Suppl 4):821-834.
    Insofar as empirical inquiry involves the coevolution of descriptive language and theoretical commitments, a satisfactory model of empirical knowledge should describe the coordinated evolution of both language and theory. But since we do not know what conceptual resources we might need to express our future theories or to provide our best future faithful descriptions of the world, we do not now know even what the space of future descriptive options might be. One strategy for addressing this shifting-resource problem is to (...)
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  33.  54
    Pure Wave Mechanics and the Very Idea of Empirical Adequacy.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3071-3104.
    Hugh Everett III proposed his relative-state formulation of pure wave mechanics as a solution to the quantum measurement problem. He sought to address the theory’s determinate record and probability problems by showing that, while counterintuitive, pure wave mechanics was nevertheless empirically faithful and hence empirical acceptable. We will consider what Everett meant by empirical faithfulness. The suggestion will be that empirical faithfulness is well understood as a weak variety of empirical adequacy. The thought is that the very idea of empirical (...)
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  34. On What It Takes to Be a World.David Z. Albert & Jeffrey A. Barrett - 1995 - Topoi 14 (1):35-37.
    A many-worlds interpretation is of quantum mechanics tells us that the linear equations of motion are the true and complete laws for the time-evolution of every physical system and that the usual quantum-mechanical states provide complete descriptions of all possible physical situations. Such an interpretation, however, denies the standard way of understanding quantum-mechanical states. When the pointer on a measuring device is in a superposition of pointing many different directions, for example, we are to understand this as many pointers, each (...)
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  35.  88
    Stability and Paradox in Algorithmic Logic.Wayne Aitken & Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 36 (1):61-95.
    There is significant interest in type-free systems that allow flexible self-application. Such systems are of interest in property theory, natural language semantics, the theory of truth, theoretical computer science, the theory of classes, and category theory. While there are a variety of proposed type-free systems, there is a particularly natural type-free system that we believe is prototypical: the logic of recursive algorithms. Algorithmic logic is the study of basic statements concerning algorithms and the algorithmic rules of inference between such statements. (...)
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  36.  66
    Computer Implication and the Curry Paradox.Wayne Aitken & Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2004 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (6):631-637.
    There are theoretical limitations to what can be implemented by a computer program. In this paper we are concerned with a limitation on the strength of computer implemented deduction. We use a version of the Curry paradox to arrive at this limitation.
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  37.  64
    Truth and Probability in Evolutionary Games.Jeffrey A. Barrett - unknown
    This paper concerns two composite Lewis-Skyrms signaling games. Each consists in a base game that evolves a language descriptive of nature and a metagame that coevolves a language descriptive of the base game and its evolving language. The first composite game shows how a pragmatic notion of truth might coevolve with a simple descriptive language. The second shows how a pragmatic notion of probability might similarly coevolve. Each of these pragmatic notions is characterized by the particular game and role that (...)
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  38.  35
    Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective. [REVIEW]Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):634-639.
  39.  3
    Epistemology and the Structure of Language.Jeffrey A. Barrett & Travis LaCroix - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-15.
    We are concerned here with how structural properties of language may come to reflect features of the world in which it evolves. As a concrete example, we will consider how a simple term language might evolve to support the principle of indifference over state descriptions in that language. The point is not that one is justified in applying the principle of indifference to state descriptions in natural language. Instead, it is that one should expect a language that has evolved in (...)
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  40.  21
    Adam Becker. What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics. 357 Pp., Notes, Bibl., Index. New York: Basic Books, 2018. $25.91 . ISBN 9780465096053. [REVIEW]Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2019 - Isis 110 (1):213-214.
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  41.  46
    On the Nature of Measurement Records in Relativistic Quantum Field Theory.Jeffrey A. Barrett - unknown
    A resolution of the quantum measurement problem would require one to explain how it is that we end up with determinate records at the end of our measurements. Metaphysical commitments typically do real work in such an explanation. Indeed, one should not be satisfied with one's metaphysical commitments unless one can provide some account of determinate measurement records. I will explain some of the problems in getting determinate records in relativistic quantum field theory and pay particular attention to the relationship (...)
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  42. Review of Bas C. Van Fraassen: Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective[REVIEW]Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):634-639.
  43. Why the Infinite Decision Puzzle is Puzzling.Jeffrey A. Barrett & Frank Arntzenius - 2002 - Theory and Decision 52 (2):139-147.
    Pulier (2000, Theory and Decision 49: 291) and Machina (2000, Theory and Decision 49: 293) seek to dissolve the Barrett–Arntzenius infinite decision puzzle (1999, Theory and Decision 46: 101). The proposed dissolutions, however, are based on misunderstandings concerning how the puzzle works and the nature of supertasks more generally. We will describe the puzzle in a simplified form, address the recent misunderstandings, and describe possible morals for decision theory.
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  44.  25
    Daniel J. Velleman. How to Prove It. A Structured Approach. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, and Oakleigh, Victoria, 1994, X + 309 Pp. [REVIEW]Jeffrey A. Barrett - 1995 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 60 (4):1329-1330.
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  45.  89
    The Suggestive Properties of Quantum Mechanics Without the Collapse Postulate.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 1994 - Erkenntnis 41 (2):233 - 252.
    Everett proposed resolving the quantum measurement problem by dropping the nonlinear collapse dynamics from quantum mechanics and taking what is left as a complete physical theory. If one takes such a proposal seriously, then the question becomes how much of the predictive and explanatory power of the standard theory can one recover without the collapse postulate and without adding anything else. Quantum mechanics without the collapse postulate has several suggestive properties, which we will consider in some detail. While these properties (...)
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  46.  53
    Abstraction in Algorithmic Logic.Wayne Aitken & Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2008 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (1):23-43.
    We develop a functional abstraction principle for the type-free algorithmic logic introduced in our earlier work. Our approach is based on the standard combinators but is supplemented by the novel use of evaluation trees. Then we show that the abstraction principle leads to a Curry fixed point, a statement C that asserts C ⇒ A where A is any given statement. When A is false, such a C yields a paradoxical situation. As discussed in our earlier work, this situation leaves (...)
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  47.  61
    Description and the Problem of Priors.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1343-1353.
    Belief-revision models of knowledge describe how to update one’s degrees of belief associated with hypotheses as one considers new evidence, but they typically do not say how probabilities become associated with meaningful hypotheses in the first place. Here we consider a variety of Skyrms–Lewis signaling game (Lewis in Convention. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1969; Skyrms in Signals evolution, learning, & information. Oxford University Press, New York, 2010) where simple descriptive language and predictive practice and associated basic expectations coevolve. Rather than (...)
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  48.  81
    On Everett’s Formulation of Quantum Mechanics.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 1997 - The Monist 80 (1):70-96.
    Everett wanted a formulation of quantum mechanics that took the linear dynamics to be a complete and accurate description of the time-evolution of all physical systems and logically entailed the same subjective appearances predicted by the standard formulation of quantum mechanics. While most everyone would agree with this description of Everett’s project, there is little agreement on exactly how his relative-state formulation was supposed to work. In this paper, I consider two very different readings of Everett: the bare reading and (...)
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  49. The Bare Theory and How to Fix It.Jeffrey Barrett - unknown
    The bare theory is the standard von Neumann·Dirac formulation of quantum mechanics without the collapse postulate but with the eigenvalueeigenstate link. Albert (1992, 1i6-125) presented the bare theory as one way of understanding EverettRi7;s relative-state interpretation. At first glance, it looks as if the bare theory cannot possibly account for our experience. After all, at the end of a measurement an observer will typically be in a superposition of having recorded mutually incompatible results, which on the standard interpretation of states (...)
     
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  50.  53
    The Evolution, Appropriation, and Composition of Rules.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):623-636.
    This paper concerns how rule-following behavior might evolve in the context of a variety of Skyrms–Lewis signaling game, how such rules might subsequently evolve to be used in new contexts, and how such appropriation allows for the composition of evolved rules. We will also consider how the composition of simpler rules to form more complex rules may be significantly more efficient than evolving the complex rules directly. And we will review an example of rule following by pinyon and scrub jays (...)
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