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  1. added 2020-06-22
    Reliabilism and Imprecise Credences.Weng Hong Tang - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-18.
    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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  2. added 2020-06-02
    The Case for Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - manuscript
    We argue that all gradable expressions in natural language obey a principle that we call Comparability: if x and y are both F to some degree, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. This principle has been widely rejected among philosophers, especially by ethicists, and its falsity has been claimed to have important normative implications. We argue that Comparability is needed to explain the goodness of several patterns of (...)
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  3. added 2019-09-14
    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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  4. added 2019-07-14
    Less is More for Bayesians, Too.Gregory Wheeler - forthcoming - In Routledge Handbook on Bounded Rationality.
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  5. added 2019-07-14
    Dilation and Asymmetric Relevance.Arthur Paul Pedersen & Gregory Wheeler - 2019 - Proceedings in Machine Learning Research, Vol. 103.
    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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  6. added 2019-06-28
    Counterexamples to Some Characterizations of Dilation.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2019 - Erkenntnis:1-12.
    Pedersen and Wheeler (2014) and Pedersen and Wheeler (2015) offer a wide-ranging and in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of dilation. We find that these studies raise many interesting and important points. However, purportedly general characterizations of dilation are reported in them that, unfortunately, admit counterexamples. The purpose of this note is to show in some detail that these characterization results are false.
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  7. added 2019-02-15
    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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  8. added 2018-12-06
    Accuracy and Credal Imprecision.Dominik Berger & Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - Noûs.
    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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  9. added 2018-06-01
    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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  10. added 2017-05-30
    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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  11. added 2017-01-30
    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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  12. added 2016-09-28
    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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  13. added 2016-05-17
    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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  14. added 2016-02-26
    Ambiguity Attitudes, Framing and Consistency.Alex Voorhoeve, Ken G. 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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  15. added 2016-02-10
    On the Preference for More Specific Reference Classes.Paul Thorn - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2025-2051.
    In attempting to form rational personal probabilities by direct inference, it is usually assumed that one should prefer frequency information concerning more specific reference classes. While the preceding assumption is intuitively plausible, little energy has been expended in explaining why it should be accepted. In the present article, I address this omission by showing that, among the principled policies that may be used in setting one’s personal probabilities, the policy of making direct inferences with a preference for frequency information for (...)
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  16. added 2015-09-12
    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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  17. added 2015-04-16
    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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  18. added 2014-09-26
    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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  19. added 2014-05-23
    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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  20. added 2014-04-07
    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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  21. added 2014-04-07
    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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  22. added 2014-04-07
    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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  23. added 2014-03-16
    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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  24. added 2014-02-25
    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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  25. added 2013-11-05
    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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  26. added 2013-10-12
    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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  27. added 2013-04-03
    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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  28. added 2012-10-18
    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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  29. added 2012-08-10
    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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  30. added 2012-06-04
    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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  31. added 2009-06-09
    Iterated Random Selection as Intermediate Between Risk and Uncertainty.Horacio Arlo Costa & Jeffrey Helzner - 2009 - ISIPTA'09 ELECTRONIC PROCEEDINGS.
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