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William Roche [19]William A. Roche [2]
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Profile: William Roche (Texas Christian University)
  1.  23
    Dwindling Confirmation.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (1):114-137.
    We show that as a chain of confirmation becomes longer, confirmation dwindles under screening-off. For example, if E confirms H1, H1 confirms H2, and H1 screens off E from H2, then the degree to which E confirms H2 is less than the degree to which E confirms H1. Although there are many measures of confirmation, our result holds on any measure that satisfies the Weak Law of Likelihood. We apply our result to testimony cases, relate it to the Data-Processing Inequality (...)
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  2.  24
    A Condition for Transitivity in High Probability.William Roche - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-10.
    There are many scientific and everyday cases where each of Pr and Pr is high and it seems that Pr is high. But high probability is not transitive and so it might be in such cases that each of Pr and Pr is high and in fact Pr is not high. There is no issue in the special case where the following condition, which I call “C1”, holds: H1 entails H2. This condition is sufficient for transitivity in high probability. But (...)
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  3.  32
    A Weaker Condition for Transitivity in Probabilistic Support.William Roche - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):111-118.
    Probabilistic support is not transitive. There are cases in which x probabilistically supports y , i.e., Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y ), y , in turn, probabilistically supports z , and yet it is not the case that x probabilistically supports z . Tomoji Shogenji, though, establishes a condition for transitivity in probabilistic support, that is, a condition such that, for any x , y , and z , if Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y (...)
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  4.  68
    Evidence of Evidence is Evidence Under Screening-Off.William Roche - 2014 - Episteme 11 (1):119-124.
    An important question in the current debate on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement is whether evidence of evidence is evidence. Fitelson argues that, at least on some renderings of the thesis that evidence of evidence is evidence, there are cases where evidence of evidence is not evidence. I introduce a condition and show that under this condition evidence of evidence is evidence.
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  5.  63
    Confirmation, Transitivity, and Moore: The Screening-Off Approach.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-21.
    It is well known that the probabilistic relation of confirmation is not transitive in that even if E confirms H1 and H1 confirms H2, E may not confirm H2. In this paper we distinguish four senses of confirmation and examine additional conditions under which confirmation in different senses becomes transitive. We conduct this examination both in the general case where H1 confirms H2 and in the special case where H1 also logically entails H2. Based on these analyses, we argue that (...)
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  6.  44
    Transitivity and Intransitivity in Evidential Support: Some Further Results.William Roche - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (2):259-268.
    Igor Douven establishes several new intransitivity results concerning evidential support. I add to Douven’s very instructive discussion by establishing two further intransitivity results and a transitivity result.
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  7.  70
    Coherence, Probability and Explanation.William Roche & Michael Schippers - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):821-828.
    Recently there have been several attempts in formal epistemology to develop an adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. There is much to recommend probabilistic measures of coherence. They are quantitative and render formally precise a notion—coherence—notorious for its elusiveness. Further, some of them do very well, intuitively, on a variety of test cases. Siebel, however, argues that there can be no adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. Take some set of propositions A, some probabilistic measure of coherence, and a probability distribution such (...)
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  8.  65
    A Reply to Cling's “The Epistemic Regress Problem”.William Roche - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (2):263-276.
    Andrew Cling presents a new version of the epistemic regress problem, and argues that intuitionist foundationalism, social contextualism, holistic coherentism, and infinitism fail to solve it. Cling’s discussion is quite instructive, and deserving of careful consideration. But, I argue, Cling’s discussion is not in all respects decisive. I argue that Cling’s dilemma argument against holistic coherentism fails.
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  9.  40
    Witness Agreement and the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherentist Justification.William Roche - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):151-169.
    Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “witness agreement” by itself implies neither an increase in the probability of truth nor a high probability of truth—the witnesses need to have some “individual credibility.” It can seem that, from this formal epistemological result, it follows that coherentist justification (i.e., doxastic coherence) is not truth-conducive. I argue that this does not follow. Central to my argument is the thesis that, though coherentists deny that there can be noninferential justification, coherentists do not (...)
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  10.  98
    Review of Declan Smithies and Daniel Stoljar’s (Eds.) Introspection and Consciousness (2012, Oxford University Press). [REVIEW]Michael Roche & William Roche - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):203-208.
    This is an excellent collection of essays on introspection and consciousness. There are fifteen essays in total (all new except for Sydney Shoemaker’s essay). There is also an introduction where the editors explain the impetus for the collection and provide a helpful overview. The essays contain a wealth of new and challenging material sure to excite specialists and shape future research. Below we extract a skeptical argument from Fred Dretske’s essay and relate the remaining essays to that argument. Due to (...)
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  11.  15
    Is There a Place in Bayesian Confirmation Theory for the Reverse Matthew Effect?William Roche - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    Bayesian confirmation theory is rife with confirmation measures. Many of them differ from each other in important respects. It turns out, though, that all the standard confirmation measures in the literature run counter to the so-called “Reverse Matthew Effect” (“RME” for short). Suppose, to illustrate, that H1 and H2 are equally successful in predicting E in that p(E | H1)/p(E) = p(E | H2)/p(E) > 1. Suppose, further, that initially H1 is less probable than H2 in that p(H1) < p(H2). (...)
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  12. Coherentism, Truth, and Witness Agreement.William A. Roche - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):243-257.
    Coherentists on epistemic justification claim that all justification is inferential, and that beliefs, when justified, get their justification together (not in isolation) as members of a coherent belief system. Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “individual credibility” is needed for “witness agreement” to increase the probability of truth and generate a high probability of truth. It can seem that, from this result in formal epistemology, it follows that coherentist justification is not truth-conducive, that it is not the case (...)
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  13.  6
    Confirmation, Increase in Probability, and Partial Discrimination: A Reply to Zalabardo.William Roche - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):1-7.
    There is a plethora of confirmation measures in the literature. Zalabardo considers four such measures: PD, PR, LD, and LR. He argues for LR and against each of PD, PR, and LD. First, he argues that PR is the better of the two probability measures. Next, he argues that LR is the better of the two likelihood measures. Finally, he argues that LR is superior to PR. I set aside LD and focus on the trio of PD, PR, and LR. (...)
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  14.  14
    Information and Inaccuracy.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw025.
    This article proposes a new interpretation of mutual information. We examine three extant interpretations of MI by reduction in doubt, by reduction in uncertainty, and by divergence. We argue that the first two are inconsistent with the epistemic value of information assumed in many applications of MI: the greater is the amount of information we acquire, the better is our epistemic position, other things being equal. The third interpretation is consistent with EVI, but it is faced with the problem of (...)
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  15.  30
    On the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherence.William Roche - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79:647-665.
    I argue that coherence is truth-conducive in that coherence implies an increase in the probability of truth. Central to my argument is a certain principle for transitivity in probabilistic support. I then address a question concerning the truth-conduciveness of coherence as it relates to (something else I argue for) the truth-conduciveness of consistency, and consider how the truth-conduciveness of coherence bears on coherentist theories of justification.
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  16.  5
    Dretske on Self-Knowledge and Contrastive Focus: How to Understand Dretske's Theory, and Why It Matters.Michael Roche & William Roche - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Dretske’s theory of self-knowledge is interesting but peculiar and can seem implausible. He denies that we can know by introspection that we have thoughts, feelings, and experiences. But he allows that we can know by introspection what we think, feel, and experience. We consider two puzzles. The first puzzle, PUZZLE 1, is interpretive. Is there a way of understanding Dretske’s theory on which the (potential) knowledge affirmed by its positive side is different than the (potential) knowledge denied by its negative (...)
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  17.  6
    Foundationalism with Infinite Regresses of Probabilistic Support.William Roche - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    There is a long-standing debate in epistemology on the structure of justification. Some recent work in formal epistemology promises to shed some new light on that debate. I have in mind here some recent work by David Atkinson and Jeanne Peijnenburg, hereafter “A&P”, on infinite regresses of probabilistic support. A&P show that there are probability distributions defined over an infinite set of propositions {\ such that \ is probabilistically supported by \ for all i and \ has a high probability. (...)
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  18.  47
    Can A Coherentist Be An Externalist?William A. Roche - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):269-280.
    It is standard practice, when distinguishing between the foundationalist and the coherentist, to construe the coherentist as an internalist. The coherentist, the construal goes, says that justification is solely a matter of coherence, and that coherence, in turn, is solely a matter of internal relations between beliefs. The coherentist, so construed, is an internalist (in the sense I have in mind) in that the coherentist, so construed, says that whether a belief is justified hinges solely on what the subject is (...)
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  19.  51
    Explanatoriness and Evidence: A Reply to McCain and Poston.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):193-199.
    We argue elsewhere that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant . Let H be some hypothesis, O some observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then O screens-off E from H: Pr = Pr. This thesis, hereafter “SOT” , is defended by appeal to a representative case. The case concerns smoking and lung cancer. McCain and Poston grant that SOT holds in cases, like our case concerning smoking and lung cancer, that involve frequency (...)
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  20.  19
    Evidential Support, Transitivity, and Screening-Off.William Roche - 2015 - Review of Symbolic Logic 8 (4):785-806.
    Is evidential support transitive? The answer is negative when evidential support is understood as confirmation so that X evidentially supports Y if and only if p(Y | X) > p(Y). I call evidential support so understood “support” (for short) and set out three alternative ways of understanding evidential support: support-t (support plus a sufficiently high probability), support-t* (support plus a substantial degree of support), and support-tt* (support plus both a sufficiently high probability and a substantial degree of support). I also (...)
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  21.  21
    Coherentism and Inconsistency.William Roche - 2011 - Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (1):185-193.
    If a subject’s belief system is inconsistent, does it follow that the subject’s beliefs (all of them) are unjustified? It seems not. But, coherentist theories of justification (at least some of them) imply otherwise, and so, it seems, are open to counterexample. This is the “Problem of Justified Inconsistent Beliefs”. I examine two main versions of the Problem of Justified Inconsistent Beliefs, and argue that coherentists can give at least a promising line of response to each of them.
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