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Questions in Action

Journal of Philosophy 119 (3):113-143 (2022)

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  1. A Stochastic Model of Mathematics and Science.David H. Wolpert & David B. Kinney - 2024 - Foundations of Physics 54 (2):1-67.
    We introduce a framework that can be used to model both mathematics and human reasoning about mathematics. This framework involves stochastic mathematical systems (SMSs), which are stochastic processes that generate pairs of questions and associated answers (with no explicit referents). We use the SMS framework to define normative conditions for mathematical reasoning, by defining a “calibration” relation between a pair of SMSs. The first SMS is the human reasoner, and the second is an “oracle” SMS that can be interpreted as (...)
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  • Question-relative knowledge for minimally rational agents.Francisca Silva - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-31.
    Agents know some but not all logical consequences of what they know. Agents seem to be neither logically omniscient nor logically incompetent. Yet finding an intermediate standard of minimal rationality has proven difficult. In this paper, I take suggestions found in the literature (Lewis, 1988; Hawke, Özgün and Berto, 2020; Plebani and Spolaore, 2021) and join the forces of subject matter and impossible worlds approaches to devise a new solution to this quandary. I do so by combining a space of (...)
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  • Idle Questions.Jens Kipper, Alexander W. Kocurek & Zeynep Soysal - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    In light of the problem of logical omniscience, some scholars have argued that belief is question-sensitive: agents don't simply believe propositions but rather believe answers to questions. Hoek (2022) has recently developed a version of this approach on which a belief state is a "web" of questions and answers. Here, we present several challenges to Hoek's question-sensitive account of belief. First, Hoek's account is prone to very similar logical omniscience problems as those he claims to address. Second, the link between (...)
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  • Causal Decision Theory, Context, and Determinism.Calum McNamara - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    The classic formulation of causal decision theory (CDT) appeals to counterfactuals. It says that you should aim to choose an option that would have a good outcome, were you to choose it. However, this version of CDT faces trouble if the laws of nature are deterministic. After all, the standard theory of counterfactuals says that, if the laws are deterministic, then if anything—including the choice you make—were different in the present, either the laws would be violated or the distant past (...)
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  • Approaching Truth by Resolving Questions.Jakob Süskind - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  • What’s your Opinion? Negation and ‘Weak’ Attitude Verbs.Henry Ian Schiller - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):1141-1161.
    Attitude verbs like ‘believe’ and ‘want’ exhibit neg-raising: an ascription of the form a doesn’t believe that p tends to convey that a disbelieves—i.e., believes the negation of—p. In ‘Belief is Weak’, Hawthore et al. observe that neg-raising does not occur with verbs like ‘know’ or ‘need’. According to them, an ascription of the form a believes that p is true just in case a is in a belief state that makes p more likely than not, and so—excepting cases of (...)
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  • Knowledge and inquiry—the missing key for a knowledge-based decision theory.Moritz Schulz - 2023 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):1-13.
    Fassio and Gao (2021) object to a knowledge-based decision theory on the ground that it cannot deal with unsuccessful inquiry. One way for inquiry to fail is not to know what one should know. If one’s inquiry fails in this way, is a subsequent choice in any way wrong when based on one’s limited actual knowledge? This paper discusses two strategies for dealing with this problem. On a first strategy, there is nothing wrong with such a choice (but something went (...)
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  • The Logic of Hyperlogic. Part B: Extensions and Restrictions.Alexander W. Kocurek - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-28.
    This is the second part of a two-part series on the logic of hyperlogic, a formal system for regimenting metalogical claims in the object language (even within embedded environments). Part A provided a minimal logic for hyperlogic that is sound and complete over the class of all models. In this part, we extend these completeness results to stronger logics that are sound and complete over restricted classes of models. We also investigate the logic of hyperlogic when the language is enriched (...)
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  • Review of Reason and Inquiry: The Erotetic Theory, by Philipp Koralus. [REVIEW]Daniel Hoek - forthcoming - Mind:fzad062.
    Philipp Koralus' "Reason and Inquiry" presents a questioning or erotetic theory of reasoning. This review connects ideas from the book to the broader philosophical literature on inquiry and questions, as well as providing a simplified overview of the theory.
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  • Good Guesses.Kevin Dorst & Matthew Mandelkern - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (3):581-618.
    This paper is about guessing: how people respond to a question when they aren’t certain of the answer. Guesses show surprising and systematic patterns that the most obvious theories don’t explain. We argue that these patterns reveal that people aim to optimize a tradeoff between accuracy and informativity when forming their guess. After spelling out our theory, we use it to argue that guessing plays a central role in our cognitive lives. In particular, our account of guessing yields new theories (...)
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  • Truth, Topicality, and Transparency: One-Component Versus Two-Component Semantics.Peter Hawke, Levin Hornischer & Franz Berto - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    When do two sentences say the same thing, that is, express the same content? We defend two-component (2C) semantics: the view that propositional contents comprise (at least) two irreducibly distinct constituents, (1) truth-conditions, and (2) subject-matter. We contrast 2C with one-component (1C) semantics, focusing on the view that subject-matter is reducible to truth- conditions. We identify exponents of this view and argue in favor of 2C. An appendix proposes a general formal template for propositional 2C semantics.
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  • How to Arrive at Questions.Moritz Cordes - 2021 - In Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 165–175.
    The question of how to arrive at questions is ambiguous. I will concentrate on two readings: (i) How should one set up a formal syntax that accomodates questions? (ii) How does one, while working in a suitable formal language, arrive at a situation where one is allowed to or even must ask a certain question? In other words: How is the asking of questions regulated within a given formal language? I will propose an answer to question (i) and consider the (...)
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  • Why We Need a Question Semantics.Ivano Ciardelli - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 15–47.
    In this paper I discuss the role that question contents should play in an overall account of language, thought, and communication. Based on these considerations, I argue against the Fregean view that analyzes questions as distinguished only at the level of force. Questions, I argue, are associated with specific semantic objects, which play a distinctive role in thought and in compositional semantics, stand in logical relations to one another, and can act as contents of multiple speech acts. In the second (...)
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