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Mariam Thalos [78]Mariam G. Thalos [1]
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Mariam Thalos
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Mariam Thalos
University of Utah
  1.  47
    Without Hierarchy: The Scale Freedom of the Universe.Mariam Thalos - 2013 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    A venerable tradition in the metaphysics of science commends ontological reduction: the practice of analysis of theoretical entities into further and further proper parts, with the understanding that the original entity is nothing but the sum of these. This tradition implicitly subscribes to the principle that all the real action of the universe (also referred to as its "causation") happens at the smallest scales-at the scale of microphysics. A vast majority of metaphysicians and philosophers of science, covering a wide swath (...)
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  2.  43
    Against Conditionalization.Fahiem Bacchus, Henry E. Kyburg & Mariam Thalos - 1990 - Synthese 85 (3):475-506.
  3. Two Conceptions of Fundamentality.Mariam Thalos - 2011 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (2):151-177.
    This article aims to show that fundamentality is construed differently in the two most prominent strategies of analysis we find in physical science and engineering today: (1) atomistic, reductive analysis and (2) Systems analysis. Correspondingly, atomism is the conception according to which the simplest (smallest) indivisible entity of a certain kind is most fundamental; while systemism, as will be articulated here, is the conception according to which the bonds that structure wholes are most fundamental, and scale and/or constituting entities are (...)
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  4.  81
    Explanation is a Genus: An Essay on the Varieties of Scientific Explanation.Mariam Thalos - 2002 - Synthese 130 (3):317-354.
    I shall endeavor to show that every physical theory since Newton explains without drawing attention to causes–that, in other words, physical theories as physical theories aspire to explain under an ideal quite distinct from that of causal explanation. If I am right, then even if sometimes the explanations achieved by a physical theory are not in violation of the standard of causal explanation, this is purely an accident. For physical theories, as I will show, do not, as such, aim at (...)
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  5.  28
    Review of Paul Hoyningen-Huene, Systematicity: The Nature of Science[REVIEW]Mariam Thalos - 2015 - Mind 124 (493):351–357.
  6.  28
    Dirty Hands: The Phenomenology of Acting As an Authorized Agent.Mariam Thalos - 2018 - The Monist 101 (2):170-186.
    Traditional articulations of the conception of dirty hands, as the doing of wrong in order to do right, invite construals of the issues raised thereby as mired in conceptual confusions and inconsistencies, and moreover as generating unproductive discussions of the scope of the proposed notion itself. The status of the concept of dirty hands is thus precarious, in spite of its provenance in the work of political thinkers such as Machiavelli. This essay articulates one nonparadoxical conception of dirty hands, as (...)
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  7. A Modest Proposal for Interpreting Structural Explanations.Mariam Thalos - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):279-295.
    Social sciences face a well-known problem, which is an instance of a general problem faced as well by psychological and biological sciences: the problem of establishing their legitimate existence alongside physics. This, as will become clear, is a problem in metaphysics. I will show how a new account of structural explanations, put forward by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit, which is designed to solve this metaphysical problem with social sciences in mind, fails to treat the problem in any importantly new (...)
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  8.  58
    Solidarity: A Motivational Conception.Mariam Thalos - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (1):57-95.
    This essay offers a motivational conception of solidarity that can be employed across the entire range of sciences and humanities, while also filling a gap in the motivational spectrum conceived by decision theorists and economists—and expanding the two-part division between altruistic and selfish motivations into a tripartite analysis that suggests a spectrum instead. According to the present proposal, solidarity is a condition of action-readiness on behalf of a group or its interests. The proposal will admit of measuring the extent to (...)
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  9.  81
    Nonreductive Physics.Mariam Thalos - 2006 - Synthese 149 (1):133-178.
    This paper documents a wide range of nonreductive scientific treatments of phenomena in the domain of physics. These treatments strongly resist characterization as explanations of macrobehavior exclusively in terms of behavior of microconstituents. For they are treatments in which macroquantities are cast in the role of genuine and irreducible degrees of freedom. One is driven into reductionism when one is not cultivated to possess an array of distinctions rich enough to let things be what they are. In contrast, making the (...)
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  10. Capitalization in the St. Petersburg Game: Why Statistical Distributions Matter.Mariam Thalos & Oliver Richardson - 2014 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (3):292-313.
    In spite of its infinite expectation value, the St. Petersburg game is not only a gamble without supply in the real world, but also one without demand at apparently very reasonable asking prices. We offer a rationalizing explanation of why the St. Petersburg bargain is unattractive on both sides (to both house and player) in the mid-range of prices (finite but upwards of about $4). Our analysis – featuring (1) the already-established fact that the average of finite ensembles of the (...)
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  11.  67
    Degrees of Freedom: An Essay on Competitions Between Micro and Macro in Mechanics.Mariam Thalos - 1999 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 59 (1):1-39.
    This paper argues that the doctrines of determinism and supervenience, while logically independent, are importantly linked in physical mechanics—and quite interestingly so. For it is possible to formulate classical mechanics in such a way as to take advantage of the existence of mathematical devices that represent the advance of time—and which are such as to inspire confidence in the truth of determinism—in order to prevent violation of supervenience. It is also possible to formulate classical mechanics-and to do so in an (...)
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  12.  19
    In Favor of Being Only Humean.Mariam Thalos - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 93 (3):265-298.
    The twin conceptions of (1) natural law as causal structure and (2) explanation as passage from phenomenon to cause, are two sides of a certain philosophical coin, to which I shall offer an alternative – Humean – currency. The Humean alternative yokes together a version of the regularity conception of law and a conception of explanation as passage from one regularity, to another which has it as an instance but of which it is not itself an instance. I will show (...)
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  13.  39
    Degrees of Freedom in the Social World: Towards a Systems Analysis of Decision.Mariam Thalos - 1999 - Journal of Political Philosophy 7 (4):453–477.
    THOMAS SCHELLING taught us that in ordinary human affairs, conflict and common interest are ubiquitously intertwined. For when it comes to variety, the occasion of pure conflict (known to some of its friends as the zerosum game) is as under-represented in human affairs as the occasion of undiluted common interest (known as the pure coordination game). The undiluted extremes are the exceptions, when it comes to counting kinds, while the mixed-motive kind of occasion is the rule. Things look a bit (...)
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  14.  34
    Probability is the Very Guide of Life: The Philosophical Uses of Chance. Kyburg Jr, E. Henry & Mariam Thalos (eds.) - 2003 - Open Court.
    This collection represents the best recent work on the subject and includes essays by Clark Glymour, James H. Fetzer, and Wesley C. Salmon.
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  15.  42
    Two Conceptions of Collectivity.Mariam Thalos - 2008 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (1):83-104.
    This paper distinguishes two conceptions of collectivity, each of which tracks the targets of classification according to their aetiology. Collectivities falling under the first conception are founded on (more-or-less) explicit negotiations amongst the members who are known to one another personally. Collectivities falling under the second (philosophically neglected) conception are founded – at least initially – purely upon a shared conception of “we”, very often in the absence of prior acquaintance and personal interaction. Th e paper argues that neglect of (...)
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  16.  21
    Truth Deserves to Be Believed.Mariam Thalos - 2013 - Philosophy 88 (2):179-196.
    Science seems generally to aim at truth. And governmental support of science is often premised on the instrumental value of truth in service of advancing our practical objectives, both as individuals and as communities, large and small. While there is some political expediency to this view, it is not correct. The value of truth is nowise that it helps us achieve our aims. In fact, just the contrary: truth deserves to be believed only on the condition that its claim upon (...)
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  17.  89
    Systems.Mariam Thalos - 2009 - The Monist 92 (3):452-478.
    Dynamical-systems analysis is nowadays ubiquitous. From engineering (its point of origin and natural home) to physiology, and from psychology to ecology, it enjoys surprisingly wide application. Sometimes the analysis rings decisively false—as, for example, when adopted in certain treatments of historical narrative; other times it is provocative and controversial, as when applied to the phenomena of mind and cognition. Dynamical systems analysis (or “Systems” with a capital “S,” as I shall sometimes refer to it) is simply a tool of analysis. (...)
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  18.  27
    On Planning: Toward a Natural History of Goal Attainment.Mariam Thalos - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (2):289-317.
    The goal of the essay is to articulate some beginnings for an empirical approach to the study of agency, in the firm conviction that agency is subject to scientific scrutiny, and is not to be abandoned to high-brow aprioristic philosophy. Drawing on insights from decision analysis, game theory, general dynamics, physics and engineering, this essay will examine the diversity of planning phenomena, and in that way take some steps towards assembling rudiments for the budding science, in the process innovating (parts (...)
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  19.  28
    The Trouble with Superselection Accounts of Measurement.Mariam Thalos - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (3):518-544.
    A superselection rule advanced in the course of a quantum-mechanical treatment of some phenomenon is an assertion to the effect that the superposition principle of quantum mechanics is to be restricted in the application at hand. Superselection accounts of measurement all have in common a decision to represent the indicator states of detectors by eigenspaces of superselection operators named in a superselection rule, on the grounds that the states in question are states of a so-called classical quantity and therefore not (...)
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  20.  12
    Precaution has its Reasons.Mariam Thalos - 2012 - In W. Kabasenche, M. O'Rourke & M. Slater (eds.), Topics in Contemporary Philosophy 9: The Environment, Philosophy, Science and Ethics. MIT Press. pp. 171–184.
    This chapter focuses on finding better ways to conceptualize precaution. Precaution has now become an established principle of environmental governance, although it has not been distinguished from conventional risk assessment. It has been considered by some as the antithesis of risk assessment in the sense that it is done to avoid serious potential harm, without scientific certainty as to the likelihood, magnitude, or causation of that harm. The first and foremost task of this chapter is to show that these concepts (...)
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  21.  6
    A Modest Proposal for Interpreting Structural Explanations.Mariam Thalos - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):279-295.
    Social sciences face a well-known problem, which is an instance of a general problem faced as well by psychological and biological sciences: the problem of establishing their legitimate existence alongside physics. This, as will become clear, is a problem in metaphysics. I will show how a new account of structural explanations, put forward by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit, which is designed to solve this metaphysical problem with social sciences in mind, fails to treat the problem in any importantly new (...)
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  22.  15
    The Sources of Behavior: Toward a Naturalistic, Control Account of Agency.Mariam Thalos - 2007 - In Don Ross, David Spurrett, Harold Kincaid & G. Lynn Stephens (eds.), Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context. MIT Press. pp. 123--67.
  23.  52
    Of Human Bonding: An Essay on the Natural History of Agency.Mariam Thalos & Chrisoula Andreou - 2009 - Public Reason 1 (2).
    We seek to illuminate the prevalence of cooperation among biologically unrelated individuals via an analysis of agency that recognizes the possibility of bonding and challenges the common view that agency is invariably an individual-level affair. Via bonding, a single individual’s behavior patterns or programs are altered so as to facilitate the formation, on at least some occasions, of a larger entity to whom is attributable the coordination of the component entities. Some of these larger entities will qualify as agents in (...)
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  24. The Reduction of Causal Processes.Mariam Thalos - 2002 - Synthese 131 (1):99-128.
    The principle that causes always render their effects more likely is fundamental to the enterprise of reducing facts of causation to facts about (objective) chances. This reductionist enterprise faces famous difficulties in accommodating common-sense intuitions about causal processes, if it insists on cashing out causal processes in terms of streams of events in which every event that belongs to the stream is a cause of the adjoining event downstream of it. I shall propose modifications to this way of cashing out (...)
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  25.  26
    Against Border Patrols.Mariam Thalos - 2017 - In Maarten Boudry and Massimo Pigliucci (ed.), Science Unlimited? Challenges of Scientism. Chicago: pp. 283–301.
  26.  26
    Conflict and Co-Ordination in the Aftermath of Oracular Statements.Mariam Thalos - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):212-226.
    Can victims of the oracle paradox, which is known primarily through its unexpected hanging and surprise examination versions, extricate themselves from their difficulties of reasoning? No. For they do not, contrary to recent opinion, commit errors of fallacious elimination. As I shall argue, the difficulties of reasoning faced by these victims do not originate in the domain of concepts, propositions and their entailment relations; nor do they result from misapprehensions about limitations on what can be known. The difficulties of reasoning (...)
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  27.  71
    The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science by John Dupre. [REVIEW]Mariam Thalos - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (2):351-353.
  28.  7
    The Lens of Chemistry.Mariam Thalos - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (7):1707-1721.
    Chemistry possesses a distinctive theoretical lens—a distinctive set of theoretical concerns regarding the dynamics and transformations of a perplexing variety of organic and nonorganic substances—to which it must be faithful. Even if it is true that chemical facts bear a special (reductive) relationship to physical facts, nonetheless it will always still be true that the theoretical lenses of the two disciplines are distinct. This has consequences for how chemists pursue their research, as well as how chemistry should be taught.
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  29.  92
    From Human Nature to Moral Philosophy.Mariam Thalos - 2002 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (Supplement):85-127.
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  30.  10
    A Philosopher Works From Home: Diaries of a Philosophical Romp Through Vast Territories, Sometimes Crossing Over Into Uncharted Regions Occupied by Other People.Mariam Thalos - 2021 - Think 20 (57):119-134.
    This is my impersonation of a philosopher working from home, which aims at making lively a few worthy philosophical questions. The old is new again, as each generation confronts its own challenges and demons, in its own context.
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  31.  63
    Diagnostic Preliminaries to Applying a Decision Theory.Mariam Thalos - 2014 - SATS 15 (2):168-196.
    Decision theory cannot be a purely formal theory, free of all metaphysical assumptions and ascertainments. It must instead rely upon the end user for the wisdom it takes to prime the decision formalism – with principles and assumptions about the metaphysics of the application context – so that the formalism in its turn can generate good advice. Appreciating this idea is fundamental to understanding the true rivalry between evidential decision theory (EDT) and causal decision theory (CDT) in specific cases. I (...)
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  32. There is No Core to Precaution.Mariam Thalos - 2009 - Review Journal of Political Philosophy 7:41-49.
    This paper challenges Gardiner’s (2006) contention that his Core Precautionary Principle (CPP) “tracks our [precautionary] intuitions about some core cases, including the paradigmatic environmental ones”. And instead sketches a handful of precautionary practices in navigational systems that (collectively) do better at tracking these “intuitions”. There is no way of measuring these diverse practices as to relative weakness or strength against each other. And ultimately it makes little sense to talk about precautionary principles on any strength scale—as Gardiner (2006) aspires to (...)
     
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  33.  44
    Knowledge in an Age of Individual Economy: A Prolegomenon to Epistemology.Mariam Thalos - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Research 24:169-191.
    This essay identifies foundational questions, all metaphysical in character, which must be answered before the enterprise of epistemology proper can begin to prosper, and in the process draws attention to fundamental conflicts between the demands of epistemology and the demands of prudence. It concludes that knowledge is not, as such, a directive of prudence, and thus that the enterprise of knowledge does not fall under the category of what is practically required.
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  34.  39
    Two Dogmas of Naturalized Epistemology.Mariam Thalos - 1999 - Dialectica 53 (2):111-138.
    This essay is not concerned exclusively with procedure. In addition to developing and promoting an alternative methodology, I will also be utilizing it to defend, systematically, an unfashionable proposition nowadays. This is the proposition that the question of how a particular judgment, on a particular occasion, is to be justified, is independent of the question of how that judgment comes to be formed by the individual who forms it. This thesis, which I shall call j-independence, is deplored in certain (self-styled (...)
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  35.  39
    The Common Need For Classical Epistemological Foundations: Against A Feminist Alternative.Mariam Thalos - 1994 - The Monist 77 (4):531-553.
    The difficulties of justifying a recipe for scientific inquiry that calls for sensory experience and logic as sole ingredients can hardly be overestimated. Resolving the riddles of induction, steadily mounting against empiricism since Hume, has come to seem like an exercise in making bricks without straw. To be forgiven the debt of solving these riddles, whether by feminists or others, would come as a great relief. But such relief, I shall argue, can come only at the very high price of (...)
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  36.  88
    Self-Interest, Autonomy, and the Presuppositions of Decision Theory.Mariam Thalos - 1997 - American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (2):287 - 297.
    the voluntary actions of such beings cannot be covered by causal laws. Decision theorists, accepting the premise of this argument, appeal instead to noncausal laws predicated on principles of success—oriented action, and use these laws to produce substantive and testable predictions about large—scale human behavior. The primary directive of success-oriented action is maximization of some valuable quantity. Many economists and social scientists use the principles of decision theory to explain social and economic phenomena, while many political philosophers use them to (...)
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  37.  69
    Molecule-for-Molecule Duplication.Mariam Thalos - 2008 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):103-114.
    Is a molecule-for-molecule duplicate D of some entity always a perfect duplicate of it? And in particular: is D a being with consciousness if its original is? These questions summarize a certain diagnostic tool used by metaphysicians, and prominently used in service of a form of dualism that is supposed to support an autonomous science of consciousness. This essay argues that this diagnostic tool is inapt when the exercise is performed as a pure thought experiment, for the sake of eliciting (...)
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  38.  29
    Expectational V. Instrumental Reasoning: What Statistics Contributes to Practical Reasoning.Mariam Thalos - 2017 - Diametros 53:125-149.
    Utility theories—both Expected Utility (EU) and non-Expected Utility (non-EU) theories—offer numericalized representations of classical principles meant for the regulation of choice under conditions of risk—a type of formal representation that reduces the representation of risk to a single number. I shall refer to these as risk-numericalizing theories of decision. I shall argue that risk-numericalizing theories (referring both to the representations and to the underlying axioms that render numericalization possible) are not satisfactory answers to the question: “How do I take the (...)
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  39.  45
    Towards a Theory of Freedom.Mariam Thalos - 2013 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 60 (134):1-25.
    Human freedom resides primarily in exercise of that capacity that humans employ more abundantly than any other species on earth: the capacity for judgement. And in particular: that special judgement in relation to Self that we call aspiration. Freedom is not the absence of a field of (other) powers; instead, freedom shows up only against the reticulations of power impinging from without. For freedom worthy of the name must be construed as an exercise of power within an already-present field of (...)
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  40.  5
    Philosophical Meditations on “Black Lives Matter".Mariam Thalos - 2016 - The Critique.
    What does “Black lives matter” say that “All lives matter” does not? In particular, why do we appreciate a kind of conflict between them? This essay is about the way that social identities work in human life. Appreciating the way that identity works will shed light on the way that “All lives matter” undermines the force of “Black lives matter.”.
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  41.  59
    Sense and Sensibility.Chrisoula Andreou & Mariam Thalos - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):71 - 80.
    We consider two versions of the view that the person of good sense has good sensibility and argue that at least one version of the view is correct. The version we defend is weaker than the version defended by contemporary Aristotelians; it can be consistently accepted even by those who find the contemporary Aristotelian version completely implausible. According to the version we defend, the person of good sense can be relied on to act soundly in part because, with the guidance (...)
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  42. Attitude: How We Learn to Inhabit the Future.Mariam Thalos - 2016 - In Leo Zaibert (ed.), The Theory and Practice of Ontology: Essays in Honor of Barry Smith. London, UK: pp. 203–221.
  43.  1
    A Social Theory of Freedom.Mariam Thalos - 2016 - Routledge.
    In A Social Theory of Freedom, Mariam Thalos argues that the philosophical theory of human freedom should be a broadly social and political theory that employs tools of phenomenology, rather than a theory that locates itself in relation to canonical positions regarding the issue of determinism. Thalos rejects the premise that a theory of freedom is fundamentally a theory of the metaphysics of constraint and, instead, lays out a political conception of freedom that is closely aligned with questions of social (...)
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  44. Distinction, Judgment and Discipline.Mariam Thalos - 2004 - In Michael Gorman and Jonathan Sanford (ed.), Categories. pp. 185–203.
  45. Existentialism.Mariam Thalos - 2019 - In Graham Oppy (ed.), A Companion to Atheism and Philosophy. pp. 123–137.
  46. Fault-Lines of Philosophy.Mariam Thalos - manuscript
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  47. Introduction.Mariam Thalos & Henry Kyburg Jr - 2003 - In M. Thalos & H. Kyburg Jr (ed.), Probability is the Very Guide of Life: The Philosophical Uses of Probability.
    In this introduction we shall array a family of fundamental questions pertaining to probability, especially as it has been judged to bear upon the guidance of life. Applications and uses of probability theory need either to address some or all of these questions, or to tell us why they don’t. The essays assembled in this volume bring integrative perspectives on this family of questions. We asked the authors to describe in their own voices the intellectual histories of their contributions, so (...)
     
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  48. Measurement and Macroscopic Quantities.Mariam G. Thalos - 1993 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
    The apparent ineffectuality of quantum physics to reconcile its evolution rule with measurement phenomena has polarized the community of scholars working on the subject into, roughly, two sorts of camps. On the one side there are those who perceive the problem to be that of finding an interpretation of the conceptual structures of quantum theory whereon the two elements can be reconciled without having to revise the canonical understanding of either. On the other side are those who see measurement phenomena (...)
     
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  49. Measurement and Macroscopic Quantities.Mariam Thalos - 1993 - Dissertation, University of Illinois, Chicago
    The apparent ineffectuality of quantum physics to reconcile its evolution rule with measurement phenomena has polarized the community of scholars working on the subject into, roughly, two sorts of camps. On the one side there are those who perceive the problem to be that of finding an interpretation of the conceptual structures of quantum theory whereon the two elements can be reconciled without having to revise the canonical understanding of either. On the other side are those who see measurement phenomena (...)
     
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  50. Navigation: An Engineer’s Perspective.Mariam Thalos - 2007 - In Gregory Wheeler and William Harper (ed.), Probability and inference: Essays in Honor of Henry E. Kyburg, Jr. London: pp. 211–233.
    There is a certain tangle of philosophical questions around which much philosophy, especially in our time, has circled, to the point where now there is something that deserves to be called a holding pattern around these issues: What are causes? How do they compare with reasons? What is Reason, with a capital R? How does it participate in the production of intentions that lead to action, particularly in arenas rife with uncertainty? Where do formal systems of symbols come into all (...)
     
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