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  1. added 2018-06-15
    The Principle of Indifference and Inductive Scepticism.Robert Smithson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):253-272.
    Many theorists have proposed that we can use the principle of indifference to defeat the inductive sceptic. But any such theorist must confront the objection that different ways of applying the principle of indifference lead to incompatible probability assignments. Huemer offers the explanatory priority proviso as a strategy for overcoming this objection. With this proposal, Huemer claims that we can defend induction in a way that is not question-begging against the sceptic. But in this article, I argue that the opposite (...)
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  2. added 2018-06-06
    Reasons for (Prior) Belief in Bayesian Epistemology.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2013 - Synthese 190 (5):781-786.
    Bayesian epistemology tells us with great precision how we should move from prior to posterior beliefs in light of new evidence or information, but says little about where our prior beliefs come from. It offers few resources to describe some prior beliefs as rational or well-justified, and others as irrational or unreasonable. A different strand of epistemology takes the central epistemological question to be not how to change one’s beliefs in light of new evidence, but what reasons justify a given (...)
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  3. 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. 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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  4. added 2016-08-15
    Another Argument Against Uniqueness.Thomas Raleigh - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):327-346.
    I present an argument against the thesis of Uniqueness and in favour of Permissivism. Counterexamples to Uniqueness are provided, based on ‘Safespot’ propositions – i.e. a proposition that is guaranteed to be true provided the subject adopts a certain attitude towards it. The argument relies on a plausible principle: (roughly stated) If S knows that her believing p would be a true belief, then it is rationally permitted for S to believe p. One motivation for denying this principle – viz. (...)
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  5. 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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  6. added 2016-01-15
    Self-Locating Priors and Cosmological Measures.Frank Arntzenius & Cian Dorr - 2017 - In Khalil Chamcham, John Barrow, Simon Saunders & Joe Silk (eds.), The Philosophy of Cosmology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 396-428.
    We develop a Bayesian framework for thinking about the way evidence about the here and now can bear on hypotheses about the qualitative character of the world as a whole, including hypotheses according to which the total population of the world is infinite. We show how this framework makes sense of the practice cosmologists have recently adopted in their reasoning about such hypotheses.
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  7. 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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  8. added 2014-08-18
    The Meta-Reversibility Objection.Christopher J. G. Meacham - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer, Brad Weslake & Eric Winsberg (eds.), Time's Arrow and the Probability Structure of the World.
    One popular approach to statistical mechanics understands statistical mechanical probabilities as measures of rational indifference. Naive formulations of this ``indifference approach'' face reversibility worries - while they yield the right prescriptions regarding future events, they yield the wrong prescriptions regarding past events. This paper begins by showing how the indifference approach can overcome the standard reversibility worries by appealing to the Past Hypothesis. But, the paper argues, positing a Past Hypothesis doesn't free the indifference approach from all reversibility worries. For (...)
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  9. 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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  10. added 2014-03-09
    Countable Additivity and the de Finetti Lottery.Paul Bartha - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):301-321.
    De Finetti would claim that we can make sense of a draw in which each positive integer has equal probability of winning. This requires a uniform probability distribution over the natural numbers, violating countable additivity. Countable additivity thus appears not to be a fundamental constraint on subjective probability. It does, however, seem mandated by Dutch Book arguments similar to those that support the other axioms of the probability calculus as compulsory for subjective interpretations. These two lines of reasoning can be (...)
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  11. added 2014-02-10
    Should We Respond to Evil with Indifference?Brian Weatherson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):613–635.
    In a recent article, Adam Elga outlines a strategy for “Defeating Dr Evil with Self-Locating Belief”. The strategy relies on an indifference principle that is not up to the task. In general, there are two things to dislike about indifference principles: adopting one normally means confusing risk for uncertainty, and they tend to lead to incoherent views in some ‘paradoxical’ situations. I argue that both kinds of objection can be levelled against Elga’s indifference principle. There are also some difficulties with (...)
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  12. added 2013-03-13
    More Trouble for Regular Probabilitites.Matthew W. Parker - manuscript
    In standard probability theory, probability zero is not the same as impossibility. But many have suggested that only impossible events should have probability zero. This can be arranged if we allow infinitesimal probabilities, but infinitesimals do not solve all of the problems. We will see that regular probabilities are not invariant over rigid transformations, even for simple, bounded, countable, constructive, and disjoint sets. Hence, regular chances cannot be determined by space-time invariant physical laws, and regular credences cannot satisfy seemingly reasonable (...)
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  13. added 2011-06-28
    Confirmation in a Branching World: The Everett Interpretation and Sleeping Beauty.Darren Bradley - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):323-342.
    Sometimes we learn what the world is like, and sometimes we learn where in the world we are. Are there any interesting differences between the two kinds of cases? The main aim of this article is to argue that learning where we are in the world brings into view the same kind of observation selection effects that operate when sampling from a population. I will first explain what observation selection effects are ( Section 1 ) and how they are relevant (...)
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  14. added 2011-06-28
    Are You a Sim?Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (212):425–431.
    Nick Bostrom argues that if we accept some plausible assumptions about how the future will unfold, we should believe we are probably not humans. The argument appeals crucially to an indifference principle whose precise content is a little unclear. I set out four possible interpretations of the principle, none of which can be used to support Bostrom’s argument. On the first two interpretations the principle is false, on the third it does not entail the conclusion, and on the fourth it (...)
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  15. added 2010-09-02
    Sleeping Beauty and the Dynamics of de Se Beliefs.Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):245-269.
    This paper examines three accounts of the sleeping beauty case: an account proposed by Adam Elga, an account proposed by David Lewis, and a third account defended in this paper. It provides two reasons for preferring the third account. First, this account does a good job of capturing the temporal continuity of our beliefs, while the accounts favored by Elga and Lewis do not. Second, Elga’s and Lewis’ treatments of the sleeping beauty case lead to highly counterintuitive consequences. The proposed (...)
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  16. added 2010-04-01
    Bertrand’s Paradox and the Principle of Indifference.Nicholas Shackel - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (2):150-175.
    The principle of indifference is supposed to suffice for the rational assignation of probabilities to possibilities. Bertrand advances a probability problem, now known as his paradox, to which the principle is supposed to apply; yet, just because the problem is ill‐posed in a technical sense, applying it leads to a contradiction. Examining an ambiguity in the notion of an ill‐posed problem shows that there are precisely two strategies for resolving the paradox: the distinction strategy and the well‐posing strategy. The main (...)
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