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Rachael Briggs
Australian National University
  1. Distorted Reflection.Rachael Briggs - 2009 - Philosophical Review 118 (1):59-85.
    Diachronic Dutch book arguments seem to support both conditionalization and Bas van Fraassen's Reflection principle. But the Reflection principle is vulnerable to numerous counterexamples. This essay addresses two questions: first, under what circumstances should an agent obey Reflection, and second, should the counterexamples to Reflection make us doubt the Dutch book for conditionalization? In response to the first question, this essay formulates a new "Qualified Reflection" principle, which states that an agent should obey Reflection only if he or she is (...)
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  2. Interventionist Counterfactuals.Rachael Briggs - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):139-166.
    A number of recent authors (Galles and Pearl, Found Sci 3 (1):151–182, 1998; Hiddleston, Noûs 39 (4):232–257, 2005; Halpern, J Artif Intell Res 12:317–337, 2000) advocate a causal modeling semantics for counterfactuals. But the precise logical significance of the causal modeling semantics remains murky. Particularly important, yet particularly under-explored, is its relationship to the similarity-based semantics for counterfactuals developed by Lewis (Counterfactuals. Harvard University Press, 1973b). The causal modeling semantics is both an account of the truth conditions of counterfactuals, and (...)
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    Normative Theories of Rational Choice: Expected Utility.Rachael Briggs - 2017 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  4. Utility Monsters for the Fission Age.Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):392-407.
    One of the standard approaches to the metaphysics of personal identity has some counter-intuitive ethical consequences when combined with maximising consequentialism and a plausible doctrine about aggregation of consequences. This metaphysical doctrine is the so-called ‘multiple occupancy’ approach to puzzles about fission and fusion. It gives rise to a new version of the ‘utility monster’ problem, particularly difficult problems about infinite utility, and a new version of a Parfit-style ‘repugnant conclusion’. While the article focuses on maximising consequentialism for simplicity, the (...)
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  5. The Growing-Block: Just One Thing After Another?Rachael Briggs & Graeme A. Forbes - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (4):927-943.
    In this article, we consider two independently appealing theories—the Growing-Block view and Humean Supervenience—and argue that at least one is false. The Growing-Block view is a theory about the nature of time. It says that past and present things exist, while future things do not, and the passage of time consists in new things coming into existence. Humean Supervenience is a theory about the nature of entities like laws, nomological possibility, counterfactuals, dispositions, causation, and chance. It says that none of (...)
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    The Future, and What Might Have Been.Rachael Briggs & Graeme A. Forbes - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-28.
    We show that five important elements of the ‘nomological package’— laws, counterfactuals, chances, dispositions, and counterfactuals—needn’t be a problem for the Growing-Block view. We begin with the framework given in Briggs and Forbes (in The real truth about the unreal future. Oxford studies in metaphysics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012 ), and, taking laws as primitive, we show that the Growing-Block view has the resources to provide an account of possibility, and a natural semantics for non-backtracking causal counterfactuals. We show (...)
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  7. Decision-Theoretic Paradoxes as Voting Paradoxes.Rachael Briggs - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):1-30.
    It is a platitude among decision theorists that agents should choose their actions so as to maximize expected value. But exactly how to define expected value is contentious. Evidential decision theory (henceforth EDT), causal decision theory (henceforth CDT), and a theory proposed by Ralph Wedgwood that this essay will call benchmark theory (BT) all advise agents to maximize different types of expected value. Consequently, their verdicts sometimes conflict. In certain famous cases of conflict—medical Newcomb problems—CDT and BT seem to get (...)
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  8. The Real Truth About the Unreal Future.Rachael Briggs & Graeme A. Forbes - 2012 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 7.
    Growing-Block theorists hold that past and present things are real, while future things do not yet exist. This generates a puzzle: how can Growing-Block theorists explain the fact that some sentences about the future appear to be true? Briggs and Forbes develop a modal ersatzist framework, on which the concrete actual world is associated with a branching-time structure of ersatz possible worlds. They then show how this branching structure might be used to determine the truth values of future contingents. They (...)
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  9. Transformative Experience and Interpersonal Utility Comparisons.Rachael Briggs - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):189-216.
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  10. Truthmaking Without Necessitation.Rachael Briggs - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):11-28.
    I propose an account truthmaking that provides truthmakers for negative truths. The account replaces Truthmaker Necessitarianism with a "Duplication Principle", according to which a suitable entity T is a truthmaker for a proposition P just in case the existence of an appropriate counterpart of T entails the truth of P, where the counterpart relation is cashed out in terms of qualitative duplication. My account captures an intuitive notion of truthmakers as "things the way they are", validates two appealing principles about (...)
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  11. Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know.Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):314-316.
    Tracking accounts of knowledge formulated in terms of counterfactuals suffer from well known problems. Examples are provided, and it is shown that moving to a dispositional tracking theory of knowledge avoids three of these problems.
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  12. Propositions and Same-Saying: Introduction.Rachael Briggs & Mark Jago - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):1-10.
    Philosophers often talk about the things we say, or believe, or think, or mean. The things are often called ‘propositions’. A proposition is what one believes, or thinks, or means when one believes, thinks, or means something. Talk about propositions is ubiquitous when philosophers turn their gaze to language, meaning and thought. But what are propositions? Is there a single class of things that serve as the objects of belief, the bearers of truth, and the meanings of utterances? How do (...)
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  13. Putting a Value on Beauty.Rachael Briggs - 2010 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler and John Hawthorne (Eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Volume 3. Oxford University Press:3-34.
     
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  14.  85
    Costs of Abandoning the Sure-Thing Principle.Rachael Briggs - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):827-840.
    Risk-weighted expected utility theory permits preferences which violate the Sure-Thing Principle. But preferences that violate the STP can lead to bad decisions in sequential choice problems. In particular, they can lead decision-makers to adopt a strategy that is dominated – i.e. a strategy such that some available alternative leads to a better outcome in every possible state of the world.
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  15. The Anatomy of the Big Bad Bug.Rachael Briggs - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):428-449.
  16. The Big Bad Bug Bites Anti-Realists About Chance.Rachael Briggs - 2009 - Synthese 167 (1):81--92.
    David Lewis’s ‘Humean Supervenience’ (henceforth ‘HS’) combines realism about laws, chances, and dispositions with a sparse ontology according to which everything supervenes on the overall spatiotemporal distribution of non-dispositional properties (Lewis 1986a, Philosophical papers: Volume II, pp. ix–xvii, New York: Oxford Univesity Press, 1994, Mind 103:473–490). HS faces a serious problem—a “big bad bug” (Lewis 1986a, p. xiv): it contradicts the Principal Principle, a seemingly obvious norm of rational credence. Two authors have tried to rescue Lewis’s ontology from the ‘big (...)
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  17. The Metaphysics of Chance.Rachael Briggs - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):938-952.
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  18. Foundations of Probability.Rachael Briggs - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):625-640.
    The foundations of probability are viewed through the lens of the subjectivist interpretation. This article surveys conditional probability, arguments for probabilism, probability dynamics, and the evidential and subjective interpretations of probability.
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  19. The Normative Standing of Group Agents.Rachael Briggs - 2012 - Episteme 9 (3):283-291.
    Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that groups of people can be agents – beings that believe, desire and act. Their account combines a non-reductive realist view of group attitudes, on which groups literally have attitudes that cannot be analyzed in terms of the attitudes of their members, with methodological individualism, on which good explanations of group-level phenomena should not posit forces above individual attitudes and behaviors. I then discuss the main normative conclusion that LP draw from the claim that (...)
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  20. Being For: Evaluating the Semantic Program of Expressivism.Rachael Briggs - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):690-691.
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