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  1. If We Can’T Tell What Theism Predicts, We Can’T Tell Whether God Exists: Skeptical Theism and Bayesian Arguments From Evil.Nevin Climenhaga - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    According to a simple Bayesian argument from evil, the evil we observe is less likely given theism than given atheism, and therefore lowers the probability of theism. I consider the most common skeptical theist response to this argument, according to which our cognitive limitations make the probability of evil given theism inscrutable. I argue that if skeptical theists are right about this, then the probability of theism given evil is itself largely inscrutable, and that if this is so, we ought (...)
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  2. Evidentialism, Inertia, and Imprecise Probability.William Peden - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:1-23.
    Evidentialists say that a necessary condition of sound epistemic reasoning is that our beliefs reflect only our evidence. This thesis arguably conflicts with standard Bayesianism, due to the importance of prior probabilities in the latter. Some evidentialists have responded by modelling belief-states using imprecise probabilities (Joyce 2005). However, Roger White (2010) and Aron Vallinder (2018) argue that this Imprecise Bayesianism is incompatible with evidentialism due to “inertia”, where Imprecise Bayesian agents become stuck in a state of ambivalence towards hypotheses. Additionally, (...)
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  3. Distention for Sets of Probabilities.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-16.
    A prominent pillar of Bayesian philosophy is that, relative to just a few constraints, priors “wash out” in the limit. Bayesians often appeal to such asymptotic results as a defense against charges of excessive subjectivity. But, as Seidenfeld and coauthors observe, what happens in the short run is often of greater interest than what happens in the limit. They use this point as one motivation for investigating the counterintuitive short run phenomenon of dilation since, it is alleged, “dilation contrasts with (...)
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  4. Policy Evaluation Under Severe Uncertainty: A Cautious, Egalitarian Approach.Alex Voorhoeve - forthcoming - In Conrad Heilmann & Julian Reiss (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Economics.
    In some severely uncertain situations, exemplified by climate change and novel pandemics, policymakers lack a reasoned basis for assigning probabilities to the possible outcomes of the policies they must choose between. I outline and defend an uncertainty averse, egalitarian approach to policy evaluation in these contexts. The upshot is a theory of distributive justice which offers especially strong reasons to guard against individual and collective misfortune.
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  5. Consequences of Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):70-98.
    We defend three controversial claims about preference, credence, and choice. First, all agents (not just rational ones) have complete preferences. Second, all agents (again, not just rational ones) have real-valued credences in every proposition in which they are confident to any degree. Third, there is almost always some unique thing we ought to do, want, or believe.
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  6. Counterexamples to Some Characterizations of Dilation.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1107-1118.
    We provide counterexamples to some purported characterizations of dilation due to Pedersen and Wheeler :1305–1342, 2014, ISIPTA ’15: Proceedings of the 9th international symposium on imprecise probability: theories and applications, 2015).
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  7. Why Should We Try to Be Sustainable? Expected Consequences and the Ethics of Making an Indeterminate Difference.Howard Nye - 2021 - In Chelsea Miya, Oliver Rossier & Geoffrey Rockwell (eds.), Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene. Open Book Publishers. pp. 3-35.
    Why should we refrain from doing things that, taken collectively, are environmentally destructive, if our individual acts seem almost certain to make no difference? According to the expected consequences approach, we should refrain from doing these things because our individual acts have small risks of causing great harm, which outweigh the expected benefits of performing them. Several authors have argued convincingly that this provides a plausible account of our moral reasons to do things like vote for policies that will reduce (...)
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  8. Reliabilism and Imprecise Credences.Weng Hong Tang - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1463-1480.
    What is it for an imprecise credence to be justified? It might be thought that this is not a particularly urgent question for friends of imprecise credences to answer. For one might think that its answer just depends on how a well-trodden issue in epistemology plays out—namely, that of which theory of doxastic justification, be it reliabilism, evidentialism, or some other theory, is correct. I’ll argue, however, that it’s difficult for reliabilists to accommodate imprecise credences, at least if we understand (...)
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  9. Moving Beyond Sets of Probabilities.Gregory Wheeler - 2021 - Statistical Science 36 (2):201--204.
    The theory of lower previsions is designed around the principles of coherence and sure-loss avoidance, thus steers clear of all the updating anomalies highlighted in Gong and Meng's "Judicious Judgment Meets Unsettling Updating: Dilation, Sure Loss, and Simpson's Paradox" except dilation. In fact, the traditional problem with the theory of imprecise probability is that coherent inference is too complicated rather than unsettling. Progress has been made simplifying coherent inference by demoting sets of probabilities from fundamental building blocks to secondary representations (...)
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  10. Discounting Desirable Gambles.Gregory Wheeler - 2021 - Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 147:331-341.
    The desirable gambles framework offers the most comprehensive foundations for the theory of lower pre- visions, which in turn affords the most general ac- count of imprecise probabilities. Nevertheless, for all its generality, the theory of lower previsions rests on the notion of linear utility. This commitment to linearity is clearest in the coherence axioms for sets of desirable gambles. This paper considers two routes to relaxing this commitment. The first preserves the additive structure of the desirable gambles framework and (...)
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  11. Accuracy and Credal Imprecision.Dominik Berger & Nilanjan Das - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):666-703.
    Many have claimed that epistemic rationality sometimes requires us to have imprecise credal states (i.e. credal states representable only by sets of credence functions) rather than precise ones (i.e. credal states representable by single credence functions). Some writers have recently argued that this claim conflicts with accuracy-centered epistemology, i.e., the project of justifying epistemic norms by appealing solely to the overall accuracy of the doxastic states they recommend. But these arguments are far from decisive. In this essay, we prove some (...)
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  12. The Dispositional Account of Credence.Anna Mahtani - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):727-745.
    In this paper I offer an alternative - the ‘dispositional account’ - to the standard account of imprecise probabilism. Whereas for the imprecise probabilist, an agent’s credal state is modelled by a set of credence functions, on the dispositional account an agent’s credal state is modelled by a set of sets of credence functions. On the face of it, the dispositional account looks less elegant than the standard account – so why should we be interested? I argue that the dispositional (...)
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  13. Less is More for Bayesians, Too.Gregory Wheeler - 2020 - In Riccardo Viale (ed.), Routledge Handbook on Bounded Rationality. Routledge. pp. 471-483.
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  14. Imprecise Probabilities.Anna Mahtani - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 107-130.
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  15. Dilation and Asymmetric Relevance.Arthur Paul Pedersen & Gregory Wheeler - 2019 - Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 103:324-26.
    A characterization result of dilation in terms of positive and negative association admits an extremal counterexample, which we present together with a minor repair of the result. Dilation may be asymmetric whereas covariation itself is symmetric. Dilation is still characterized in terms of positive and negative covariation, however, once the event to be dilated has been specified.
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  16. Imprecise Probabilities and Unstable Betting Behaviour.Anna Mahtani - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):69-87.
    Many have argued that a rational agent's attitude towards a proposition may be better represented by a probability range than by a single number. I show that in such cases an agent will have unstable betting behaviour, and so will behave in an unpredictable way. I use this point to argue against a range of responses to the ‘two bets’ argument for sharp probabilities.
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  17. Another Approach to Consensus and Maximally Informed Opinions with Increasing Evidence.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (2):236-254.
    Merging of opinions results underwrite Bayesian rejoinders to complaints about the subjective nature of personal probability. Such results establish that sufficiently similar priors achieve consensus in the long run when fed the same increasing stream of evidence. Initial subjectivity, the line goes, is of mere transient significance, giving way to intersubjective agreement eventually. Here, we establish a merging result for sets of probability measures that are updated by Jeffrey conditioning. This generalizes a number of different merging results in the literature. (...)
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  18. Bayesian Variations: Essays on the Structure, Object, and Dynamics of Credence.Aron Vallinder - 2018 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    According to the traditional Bayesian view of credence, its structure is that of precise probability, its objects are descriptive propositions about the empirical world, and its dynamics are given by conditionalization. Each of the three essays that make up this thesis deals with a different variation on this traditional picture. The first variation replaces precise probability with sets of probabilities. The resulting imprecise Bayesianism is sometimes motivated on the grounds that our beliefs should not be more precise than the evidence (...)
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  19. Imprecise Bayesianism and Global Belief Inertia.Aron Vallinder - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1205-1230.
    Traditional Bayesianism requires that an agent’s degrees of belief be represented by a real-valued, probabilistic credence function. However, in many cases it seems that our evidence is not rich enough to warrant such precision. In light of this, some have proposed that we instead represent an agent’s degrees of belief as a set of credence functions. This way, we can respect the evidence by requiring that the set, often called the agent’s credal state, includes all credence functions that are in (...)
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  20. Imprecise Probability and Higher Order Vagueness.Susanna Rinard - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (2):257-273.
    There is a trade-off between specificity and accuracy in existing models of belief. Descriptions of agents in the tripartite model, which recognizes only three doxastic attitudes—belief, disbelief, and suspension of judgment—are typically accurate, but not sufficiently specific. The orthodox Bayesian model, which requires real-valued credences, is perfectly specific, but often inaccurate: we often lack precise credences. I argue, first, that a popular attempt to fix the Bayesian model by using sets of functions is also inaccurate, since it requires us to (...)
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  21. Direct Inference From Imprecise Frequencies.Paul D. Thorn - 2017 - In Michela Massimi, Jan-Willem Romeijn & Gerhard Schurz (eds.), EPSA15 Selected Papers: The 5th conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association in Düsseldorf. Springer. pp. 347-358.
    It is well known that there are, at least, two sorts of cases where one should not prefer a direct inference based on a narrower reference class, in particular: cases where the narrower reference class is gerrymandered, and cases where one lacks an evidential basis for forming a precise-valued frequency judgment for the narrower reference class. I here propose (1) that the preceding exceptions exhaust the circumstances where one should not prefer direct inference based on a narrower reference class, and (...)
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  22. Scoring Imprecise Credences: A Mildly Immodest Proposal.Conor Mayo-Wilson & Gregory Wheeler - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):55-78.
    Jim Joyce argues for two amendments to probabilism. The first is the doctrine that credences are rational, or not, in virtue of their accuracy or “closeness to the truth” (1998). The second is a shift from a numerically precise model of belief to an imprecise model represented by a set of probability functions (2010). We argue that both amendments cannot be satisfied simultaneously. To do so, we employ a (slightly-generalized) impossibility theorem of Seidenfeld, Schervish, and Kadane (2012), who show that (...)
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  23. Qualitative Probabilistic Inference Under Varied Entropy Levels.Paul D. Thorn & Gerhard Schurz - 2016 - Journal of Applied Logic 19 (2):87-101.
    In previous work, we studied four well known systems of qualitative probabilistic inference, and presented data from computer simulations in an attempt to illustrate the performance of the systems. These simulations evaluated the four systems in terms of their tendency to license inference to accurate and informative conclusions, given incomplete information about a randomly selected probability distribution. In our earlier work, the procedure used in generating the unknown probability distribution (representing the true stochastic state of the world) tended to yield (...)
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  24. Ambiguity Attitudes, Framing and Consistency.Alex Voorhoeve, Ken Binmore, Arnaldur Stefansson & Lisa Stewart - 2016 - Theory and Decision 81 (3):313-337.
    We use probability-matching variations on Ellsberg’s single-urn experiment to assess three questions: (1) How sensitive are ambiguity attitudes to changes from a gain to a loss frame? (2) How sensitive are ambiguity attitudes to making ambiguity easier to recognize? (3) What is the relation between subjects’ consistency of choice and the ambiguity attitudes their choices display? Contrary to most other studies, we find that a switch from a gain to a loss frame does not lead to a switch from ambiguity (...)
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  25. Evidential Incomparability and the Principle of Indifference.Martin Smith - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):605-616.
    The _Principle of Indifference_ was once regarded as a linchpin of probabilistic reasoning, but has now fallen into disrepute as a result of the so-called _problem of multiple of partitions_. In ‘Evidential symmetry and mushy credence’ Roger White suggests that we have been too quick to jettison this principle and argues that the problem of multiple partitions rests on a mistake. In this paper I will criticise White’s attempt to revive POI. In so doing, I will argue that what underlies (...)
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  26. Subjective Probabilities Need Not Be Sharp.Jake Chandler - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1273-1286.
    It is well known that classical, aka ‘sharp’, Bayesian decision theory, which models belief states as single probability functions, faces a number of serious difficulties with respect to its handling of agnosticism. These difficulties have led to the increasing popularity of so-called ‘imprecise’ models of decision-making, which represent belief states as sets of probability functions. In a recent paper, however, Adam Elga has argued in favour of a putative normative principle of sequential choice that he claims to be borne out (...)
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  27. Demystifying Dilation.Arthur Paul Pedersen & Gregory Wheeler - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1305-1342.
    Dilation occurs when an interval probability estimate of some event E is properly included in the interval probability estimate of E conditional on every event F of some partition, which means that one’s initial estimate of E becomes less precise no matter how an experiment turns out. Critics maintain that dilation is a pathological feature of imprecise probability models, while others have thought the problem is with Bayesian updating. However, two points are often overlooked: (1) knowing that E is stochastically (...)
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  28. The Principle of Indifference and Imprecise Probability.Susanna Rinard - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):110-114.
    Sometimes different partitions of the same space each seem to divide that space into propositions that call for equal epistemic treatment. Famously, equal treatment in the form of equal point-valued credence leads to incoherence. Some have argued that equal treatment in the form of equal interval-valued credence solves the puzzle. This paper shows that, once we rule out intervals with extreme endpoints, this proposal also leads to incoherence.
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  29. Defeasible Conditionalization.Paul D. Thorn - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):283-302.
    The applicability of Bayesian conditionalization in setting one’s posterior probability for a proposition, α, is limited to cases where the value of a corresponding prior probability, PPRI(α|∧E), is available, where ∧E represents one’s complete body of evidence. In order to extend probability updating to cases where the prior probabilities needed for Bayesian conditionalization are unavailable, I introduce an inference schema, defeasible conditionalization, which allows one to update one’s personal probability in a proposition by conditioning on a proposition that represents a (...)
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  30. A Utility Based Evaluation of Logico-Probabilistic Systems.Paul D. Thorn & Gerhard Schurz - 2014 - Studia Logica 102 (4):867-890.
    Systems of logico-probabilistic (LP) reasoning characterize inference from conditional assertions interpreted as expressing high conditional probabilities. In the present article, we investigate four prominent LP systems (namely, systems O, P, Z, and QC) by means of computer simulations. The results reported here extend our previous work in this area, and evaluate the four systems in terms of the expected utility of the dispositions to act that derive from the conclusions that the systems license. In addition to conforming to the dominant (...)
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  31. Pragmatic Interests and Imprecise Belief.Brad Armendt - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):758-768.
    Does the strength of a particular belief depend upon the significance we attach to it? Do we move from one context to another, remaining in the same doxastic state concerning p yet holding a stronger belief that p in one context than in the other? For that to be so, a doxastic state must have a certain sort of context-sensitive complexity. So the question is about the nature of belief states, as we understand them, or as we think a theory (...)
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  32. Against Radical Credal Imprecision.Susanna Rinard - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):157-165.
    A number of Bayesians claim that, if one has no evidence relevant to a proposition P, then one's credence in P should be spread over the interval [0, 1]. Against this, I argue: first, that it is inconsistent with plausible claims about comparative levels of confidence; second, that it precludes inductive learning in certain cases. Two motivations for the view are considered and rejected. A discussion of alternatives leads to the conjecture that there is an in-principle limitation on formal representations (...)
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  33. Cognitivist Probabilism.Paul D. Thorn - 2013 - In Vit Punochar & Petr Svarny (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2012. College Publications. pp. 201-213.
    In this article, I introduce the term “cognitivism” as a name for the thesis that degrees of belief are equivalent to full beliefs about truth-valued propositions. The thesis (of cognitivism) that degrees of belief are equivalent to full beliefs is equivocal, inasmuch as different sorts of equivalence may be postulated between degrees of belief and full beliefs. The simplest sort of equivalence (and the sort of equivalence that I discuss here) identifies having a given degree of belief with having a (...)
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  34. How Much Ambiguity Aversion? Finding Indifferences Between Ellsberg's Risky and Ambiguous Bets.Ken Binmore, Lisa Stewart & Alex Voorhoeve - 2012 - Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 45 (3):215-38.
    Experimental results on the Ellsberg paradox typically reveal behavior that is commonly interpreted as ambiguity aversion. The experiments reported in the current paper find the objective probabilities for drawing a red ball that make subjects indifferent between various risky and uncertain Ellsberg bets. They allow us to examine the predictive power of alternative principles of choice under uncertainty, including the objective maximin and Hurwicz criteria, the sure-thing principle, and the principle of insufficient reason. Contrary to our expectations, the principle of (...)
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  35. Dutch Book Arguments and Imprecise Probabilities.Seamus Bradley - 2012 - In Dennis Dieks, Stephan Hartmann, Michael Stoeltzner & Marcel Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws and Structures. Springer.
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  36. Two Problems of Direct Inference.Paul D. Thorn - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (3):299-318.
    The article begins by describing two longstanding problems associated with direct inference. One problem concerns the role of uninformative frequency statements in inferring probabilities by direct inference. A second problem concerns the role of frequency statements with gerrymandered reference classes. I show that past approaches to the problem associated with uninformative frequency statements yield the wrong conclusions in some cases. I propose a modification of Kyburg’s approach to the problem that yields the right conclusions. Past theories of direct inference have (...)
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  37. Coin Flips, Credences and the Reflection Principle.Brett Topey - 2012 - Analysis 72 (3):478-488.
    One recent topic of debate in Bayesian epistemology has been the question of whether imprecise credences can be rational. I argue that one account of imprecise credences, the orthodox treatment as defended by James M. Joyce, is untenable. Despite Joyce’s claims to the contrary, a puzzle introduced by Roger White shows that the orthodox account, when paired with Bas C. van Fraassen’s Reflection Principle, can lead to inconsistent beliefs. Proponents of imprecise credences, then, must either provide a compelling reason to (...)
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  38. The Objective Bayesian Conceptualisation of Proof and Reference Class Problems.James Franklin - 2011 - Sydney Law Review 33 (3):545-561.
    The objective Bayesian view of proof (or logical probability, or evidential support) is explained and defended: that the relation of evidence to hypothesis (in legal trials, science etc) is a strictly logical one, comparable to deductive logic. This view is distinguished from the thesis, which had some popularity in law in the 1980s, that legal evidence ought to be evaluated using numerical probabilities and formulas. While numbers are not always useful, a central role is played in uncertain reasoning by the (...)
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  39. Iterated Random Selection as Intermediate Between Risk and Uncertainty.Horacio Arlo Costa & Jeffrey Helzner - 2009 - ISIPTA'09 ELECTRONIC PROCEEDINGS.
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  40. How to Be an Imprecise Impermissivist.Seamus Bradley - manuscript
    Rational credence should be coherent in the sense that your attitudes should not leave you open to a sure loss. Rational credence should be such that you can learn when confronted with relevant evidence. Rational credence should not be sensitive to irrelevant differences in the presentation of the epistemic situation. We explore the extent to which orthodox probabilistic approaches to rational credence can satisfy these three desiderata and find them wanting. We demonstrate that an imprecise probability approach does better. Along (...)
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  41. Against the Possibility of a Formal Account of Rationality.Shivaram Lingamneni - manuscript
    I analyze a recent exchange between Adam Elga and Julian Jonker concerning unsharp (or imprecise) credences and decision-making over them. Elga holds that unsharp credences are necessarily irrational; I agree with Jonker's reply that they can be rational as long as the agent switches to a nonlinear valuation. Through the lens of computational complexity theory, I then argue that even though nonlinear valuations can be rational, they come in general at the price of computational intractability, and that this problematizes their (...)
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