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  1. Externalism and Exploitability.Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    According to Bayesian orthodoxy, an agent should update---or at least should plan to update---her credences by conditionalization. Some have defended this claim by means of a diachronic Dutch book argument. They say: an agent who does not plan to update her credences by conditionalization is vulnerable (by her own lights) to a diachronic Dutch book, i.e., a sequence of bets which, when accepted, guarantee loss of utility. Here, I show that this argument is in tension with evidence externalism, i.e., the (...)
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  • Higher-Order Evidence and the Dynamics of Self-Location: An Accuracy-Based Argument for Calibrationism.Brett Topey - manuscript
    The thesis that agents should calibrate their beliefs in the face of higher-order evidence—i.e., should adjust their first-order beliefs in response to evidence suggesting that the reasoning underlying those beliefs is faulty—is sometimes thought to be in tension with Bayesian approaches to belief update: in order to obey Bayesian norms, it's claimed, agents must remain steadfast in the face of higher-order evidence. But I argue that this claim is incorrect. In particular, I motivate a minimal constraint on a reasonable treatment (...)
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  • Updating Incoherent Credences - Extending the Dutch Strategy Argument for Conditionalization.Glauber De Bona & Julia Staffel - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    In this paper, we ask: how should an agent who has incoherent credences update when they learn new evidence? The standard Bayesian answer for coherent agents is that they should conditionalize; however, this updating rule is not defined for incoherent starting credences. We show how one of the main arguments for conditionalization, the Dutch strategy argument, can be extended to devise a target property for updating plans that can apply to them regardless of whether the agent starts out with coherent (...)
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  • Accuracy-dominance and conditionalization.Michael Nielsen - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3217-3236.
    Epistemic decision theory produces arguments with both normative and mathematical premises. I begin by arguing that philosophers should care about whether the mathematical premises (1) are true, (2) are strong, and (3) admit simple proofs. I then discuss a theorem that Briggs and Pettigrew (2020) use as a premise in a novel accuracy-dominance argument for conditionalization. I argue that the theorem and its proof can be improved in a number of ways. First, I present a counterexample that shows that one (...)
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  • On the Proper Formulation of Conditionalization.Michael Rescorla - 2021 - Synthese 198 (3):1935-1965.
    Conditionalization is a norm that governs the rational reallocation of credence. I distinguish between factive and non-factive formulations of Conditionalization. Factive formulations assume that the conditioning proposition is true. Non-factive formulations allow that the conditioning proposition may be false. I argue that non-factive formulations provide a better foundation for philosophical and scientific applications of Bayesian decision theory. I furthermore argue that previous formulations of Conditionalization, factive and non-factive alike, have almost universally ignored, downplayed, or mishandled a crucial causal aspect of (...)
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  • Epistemology.Matthias Steup - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Defined narrowly, epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. As the study of knowledge, epistemology is concerned with the following questions: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge? What are its sources? What is its structure, and what are its limits? As the study of justified belief, epistemology aims to answer questions such as: How we are to understand the concept of justification? What makes justified beliefs justified? Is justification internal or external to one's own mind? (...)
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  • The Value of Biased Information.Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axaa003.
    In this essay, I cast doubt on an apparent truism: namely, that if evidence is available for gathering and use at a negligible cost, then it's always instrumentally rational for us to gather that evidence and use it for making decisions. Call this thesis Value of Information. I show that Value of Information conflicts with two other plausible theses. The first is the view that an agent's evidence can entail non-trivial propositions about the external world. The second is the view (...)
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  • Updating for Externalists.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2021 - Noûs 55 (3):487-516.
    The externalist says that your evidence could fail to tell you what evidence you do or not do have. In that case, it could be rational for you to be uncertain about what your evidence is. This is a kind of uncertainty which orthodox Bayesian epistemology has difficulty modeling. For, if externalism is correct, then the orthodox Bayesian learning norms of conditionalization and reflection are inconsistent with each other. I recommend that an externalist Bayesian reject conditionalization. In its stead, I (...)
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  • An Improved Dutch Book Theorem for Conditionalization.Michael Rescorla - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-29.
    Lewis proved a Dutch book theorem for Conditionalization. The theorem shows that an agent who follows any credal update rule other than Conditionalization is vulnerable to bets that inflict a sure loss. Lewis’s theorem is tailored to factive formulations of Conditionalization, i.e. formulations on which the conditioning proposition is true. Yet many scientific and philosophical applications of Bayesian decision theory require a non-factive formulation, i.e. a formulation on which the conditioning proposition may be false. I prove a Dutch book theorem (...)
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  • Even If It Might Not Be True, Evidence Cannot Be False.Clayton Littlejohn & Julien Dutant - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    Internalists about evidence (‘internalists’ hereafter) believe that internal duplicates necessarily have the same evidence. While many internalists have held that our evidence is constituted by the states of mind we share in common with our internal duplicates (e.g., our experiences, apparent memories, intuitions, etc.), worldly internalists claim that our evidence includes (non-trivial) propositions about our environment. They think that when we have the experience as of, say, a red, bulgy tomato, our evidence might include propositions that will be true iff (...)
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  • Decision and Foreknowledge.J. Dmitri Gallow - manuscript
    My topic is how to make decisions when you possess foreknowledge of the consequences of your choice. Many have thought that these kinds of decisions pose a distinctive and novel problem for causal decision theory (CDT). My thesis is that foreknowledge poses no new problems for CDT. Some of the purported problems are not problems. Others are problems, but they are not problems for CDT. Rather, they are problems for our theories of subjunctive supposition. Others are problems, but they are (...)
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  • Ur-Priors, Conditionalization, and Ur-Prior Conditionalization.Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    Conditionalization is a widely endorsed rule for updating one’s beliefs. But a sea of complaints have been raised about it, including worries regarding how the rule handles error correction, changing desiderata of theory choice, evidence loss, self-locating beliefs, learning about new theories, and confirmation. In light of such worries, a number of authors have suggested replacing Conditionalization with a different rule — one that appeals to what I’ll call “ur-priors”. But different authors have understood the rule in different ways, and (...)
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  • Can All-Accuracy Accounts Justify Evidential Norms?Christopher J. G. Meacham - forthcoming - In Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij & Jeff Dunn (eds.), Epistemic Consequentialism. Oxford University Press.
    Some of the most interesting recent work in formal epistemology has focused on developing accuracy-based approaches to justifying Bayesian norms. These approaches are interesting not only because they offer new ways to justify these norms, but because they potentially offer a way to justify all of these norms by appeal to a single, attractive epistemic goal: having accurate beliefs. Recently, Easwaran & Fitelson (2012) have raised worries regarding whether such “all-accuracy” or “purely alethic” approaches can accommodate and justify evidential Bayesian (...)
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  • Higher-Order Evidence.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
    On at least one of its uses, ‘higher-order evidence’ refers to evidence about what opinions are rationalized by your evidence. This chapter surveys the foundational epistemological questions raised by such evidence, the methods that have proven useful for answering them, and the potential consequences and applications of such answers.
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  • A Modesty Proposal.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3581-3601.
    Accuracy-first epistemology aims to show that the norms of epistemic rationality can be derived from the effective pursuit of accuracy. This paper explores the prospects within accuracy-first epistemology for vindicating “modesty”: the thesis that ideal rationality permits uncertainty about one’s own rationality. I argue that accuracy-first epistemology faces serious challenges in accommodating three forms of modesty: uncertainty about what priors are rational, uncertainty about whether one’s update policy is rational, and uncertainty about what one’s evidence is. I argue that the (...)
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  • Diachronic Dutch Books and Evidential Import.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):49-80.
    A handful of well-known arguments (the 'diachronic Dutch book arguments') rely upon theorems establishing that, in certain circumstances, you are immune from sure monetary loss (you are not 'diachronically Dutch bookable') if and only if you adopt the strategy of conditionalizing (or Jeffrey conditionalizing) on whatever evidence you happen to receive. These theorems require non-trivial assumptions about which evidence you might acquire---in the case of conditionalization, the assumption is that, if you might learn that e, then it is not the (...)
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  • Don’T Look Now.Bernhard Salow & Arif Ahmed - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):327-350.
    Good’s theorem is the apparent platitude that it is always rational to ‘look before you leap’: to gather information before making a decision when doing so is free. We argue that Good’s theorem is not platitudinous and may be false. And we argue that the correct advice is rather to ‘make your act depend on the answer to a question’. Looking before you leap is rational when, but only when, it is a way to do this.
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  • Lockeans Maximize Expected Accuracy.Kevin Dorst - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):175-211.
    The Lockean Thesis says that you must believe p iff you’re sufficiently confident of it. On some versions, the 'must' asserts a metaphysical connection; on others, it asserts a normative one. On some versions, 'sufficiently confident' refers to a fixed threshold of credence; on others, it varies with proposition and context. Claim: the Lockean Thesis follows from epistemic utility theory—the view that rational requirements are constrained by the norm to promote accuracy. Different versions of this theory generate different versions of (...)
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  • What is conditionalization, and why should we do it?Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3427-3463.
    Conditionalization is one of the central norms of Bayesian epistemology. But there are a number of competing formulations, and a number of arguments that purport to establish it. In this paper, I explore which formulations of the norm are supported by which arguments. In their standard formulations, each of the arguments I consider here depends on the same assumption, which I call Deterministic Updating. I will investigate whether it is possible to amend these arguments so that they no longer depend (...)
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  • Interpretations of Probability.Alan Hájek - 2007 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Elusive Externalism.Bernhard Salow - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):397-427.
    Epistemologists have recently noted a tension between (i) denying access internalism, and (ii) maintaining that rational agents cannot be epistemically akratic, believing claims akin to ‘p, but I shouldn’t believe p’. I bring out the tension, and develop a new way to resolve it. The basic strategy is to say that access internalism is false, but that counterexamples to it are ‘elusive’ in a way that prevents rational agents from suspecting that they themselves are counterexamples to the internalist principles. I (...)
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  • 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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  • Self-Locating Belief and Updating on Learning.Darren Bradley - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):579-584.
    Self-locating beliefs cause a problem for conditionalization. Miriam Schoenfield offers a solution: that on learning E, agents should update on the fact that they learned E. However, Schoenfield is not explicit about whether the fact that they learned E is self-locating. I will argue that if the fact that they learned E is self-locating then the original problem has not been addressed, and if the fact that they learned E is not self-locating then the theory generates implausible verdicts which Schoenfield (...)
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  • The Externalist’s Guide to Fishing for Compliments.Bernhard Salow - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):691-728.
    Suppose you’d like to believe that p, whether or not it’s true. What can you do to help? A natural initial thought is that you could engage in Intentionally Biased Inquiry : you could look into whether p, but do so in a way that you expect to predominantly yield evidence in favour of p. This paper hopes to do two things. The first is to argue that this initial thought is mistaken: intentionally biased inquiry is impossible. The second is (...)
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  • The Tripartite Role of Belief: Evidence, Truth, and Action.Kenny Easwaran - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (2):189-206.
    Belief and credence are often characterized in three different ways—they ought to govern our actions, they ought to be governed by our evidence, and they ought to aim at the truth. If one of these roles is to be central, we need to explain why the others should be features of the same mental state rather than separate ones. If multiple roles are equally central, then this may cause problems for some traditional arguments about what belief and credence must be (...)
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  • Accuracy and Ur-Prior Conditionalization.Nilanjan Das - 2019 - Review of Symbolic Logic 12 (1):62-96.
    Recently, several epistemologists have defended an attractive principle of epistemic rationality, which we shall call Ur-Prior Conditionalization. In this essay, I ask whether we can justify this principle by appealing to the epistemic goal of accuracy. I argue that any such accuracy-based argument will be in tension with Evidence Externalism, i.e., the view that agent's evidence may entail non-trivial propositions about the external world. This is because any such argument will crucially require the assumption that, independently of all empirical evidence, (...)
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  • Subjective Probability and its Dynamics.Alan Hajek & Julia Staffel - forthcoming - In Markus Knauff & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), MIT Handbook of Rationality. MIT Press.
    This chapter is a philosophical survey of some leading approaches in formal epistemology in the so-called ‘Bayesian’ tradition. According to them, a rational agent’s degrees of belief—credences—at a time are representable with probability functions. We also canvas various further putative ‘synchronic’ rationality norms on credences. We then consider ‘diachronic’ norms that are thought to constrain how credences should respond to evidence. We discuss some of the main lines of recent debate, and conclude with some prospects for future research.
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  • Conditional Probabilities.Kenny Easwaran - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 131-198.
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  • An Accuracy Based Approach to Higher Order Evidence.Miriam Schoenfield - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (3):690-715.
    The aim of this paper is to apply the accuracy based approach to epistemology to the case of higher order evidence: evidence that bears on the rationality of one's beliefs. I proceed in two stages. First, I show that the accuracy based framework that is standardly used to motivate rational requirements supports steadfastness—a position according to which higher order evidence should have no impact on one's doxastic attitudes towards first order propositions. The argument for this will require a generalization of (...)
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