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In The Role of Causal Factors in Rational Decision. Yale University Press (1980)

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  1. Quantum Bayesianism Assessed.John Earman - unknown - The Monist 102 (4):403-423.
    The idea that the quantum probabilities are best construed as the personal/subjective degrees of belief of Bayesian agents is an old one. In recent years the idea has been vigorously pursued by a group of physicists who fly the banner of quantum Bayesianism. The present paper aims to identify the prospects and problems of implementing QBism, and it critically assesses the claim that QBism provides a resolution of some of the long-standing foundations issues in quantum mechanics, including the measurement problem (...)
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  • Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
    How should you take into account the opinions of an advisor? When you completely defer to the advisor's judgment, then you should treat the advisor as a guru. Roughly, that means you should believe what you expect she would believe, if supplied with your extra evidence. When the advisor is your own future self, the resulting principle amounts to a version of the Reflection Principle---a version amended to handle cases of information loss. When you count an advisor as an epistemic (...)
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  • Logic and Reasoning: Do the Facts Matter?Johan van Benthem - 2008 - Studia Logica 88 (1):67-84.
    Modern logic is undergoing a cognitive turn, side-stepping Frege’s ‘antipsychologism’. Collaborations between logicians and colleagues in more empirical fields are growing, especially in research on reasoning and information update by intelligent agents. We place this border-crossing research in the context of long-standing contacts between logic and empirical facts, since pure normativity has never been a plausible stance. We also discuss what the fall of Frege’s Wall means for a new agenda of logic as a theory of rational agency, and what (...)
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  • Naturalising Representational Content.Nicholas Shea - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (5):496-509.
    This paper sets out a view about the explanatory role of representational content and advocates one approach to naturalising content – to giving a naturalistic account of what makes an entity a representation and in virtue of what it has the content it does. It argues for pluralism about the metaphysics of content and suggests that a good strategy is to ask the content question with respect to a variety of predictively successful information processing models in experimental psychology and cognitive (...)
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  • Disgusting Smells and Imperativism.Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (5-6):191-200.
    I sketch and defend an imperativist treatment of the phenomenology associated with disgusting smells. This treatment, I argue, allows us to make better sense than other intentionalist alter-natives both of the neuroanatomy of olfaction, and of a natural pre-theoretical stance regarding the sense of smell.
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  • The Theory of Games as a Tool for the Social Epistemologist.Kevin J. S. Zollman - unknown
    Traditionally, epistemologists have distinguished between epistemic and pragmatic goals. In so doing, they presume that much of game theory is irrelevant to epistemic enterprises. I will show that this is a mistake. Even if we restrict attention to purely epistemic motivations, members of epistemic groups will face a multitude of strategic choices. I illustrate several contexts where individuals who are concerned solely with the discovery of truth will nonetheless face difficult game theoretic problems. Examples of purely epistemic coordination problems and (...)
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  • An Objective Justification of Bayesianism II: The Consequences of Minimizing Inaccuracy.Hannes Leitgeb & Richard Pettigrew - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):236-272.
    One of the fundamental problems of epistemology is to say when the evidence in an agent’s possession justifies the beliefs she holds. In this paper and its prequel, we defend the Bayesian solution to this problem by appealing to the following fundamental norm: Accuracy An epistemic agent ought to minimize the inaccuracy of her partial beliefs. In the prequel, we made this norm mathematically precise; in this paper, we derive its consequences. We show that the two core tenets of Bayesianism (...)
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  • The Meaning of a Market and the Meaning of "Meaning".Julian D. Jonker - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2).
    Are there any viable semiotic objections to commodification? A semiotic objection holds that even if there is no independent consequentialist or deontic objection to the marketing of a good—such as that it is exploitative or causes third party harm—there remains a problem with what is said by participating in that market. Recent discussion of semiotic objections have suffered from a basic ambiguity in such talk. As Grice pointed out, there is a difference between saying that smoke on the horizon means (...)
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  • A New Resolution of the Judy Benjamin Problem.Igor Douven & Jan-Willem Romeijn - 2011 - Mind 120 (479):637 - 670.
    A paper on how to adapt your probabilisitc beliefs when learning a conditional.
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  • Supervaluationism and Paraconsistency.Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - In Diderik Batens, Chris Mortensen, Graham Priest & Jean Paul Van Bendegem (eds.), Frontiers in Paraconsistent Logic. Research Studies Press. pp. 279–297.
    Since its first appearance in 1966, the notion of a supervaluation has been regarded by many as a powerful tool for dealing with semantic gaps. Only recently, however, applications to semantic gluts have also been considered. In previous work I proposed a general framework exploiting the intrinsic gap/glut duality. Here I also examine an alternative account where gaps and gluts are treated on a par: although they reflect opposite situations, the semantic upshot is the same in both cases--the value of (...)
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  • Disagreement About Disagreement? What Disagreement About Disagreement?Alex Worsnip - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    Disagreement is a hot topic in epistemology. A fast-growing literature centers around a dispute between the ‘steadfast’ view, on which one may maintain one’s beliefs even in the light of disagreement with epistemic peers who have all the same evidence, and the ‘conciliationist’ view, on which such disagreement requires a revision of attitudes. In this paper, however, I argue that there is less separating the main rivals in the debate about peer disagreement than is commonly thought. The extreme versions of (...)
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  • Pain Signals Are Predominantly Imperative.Manolo Martínez & Colin Klein - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (2):283-298.
    Recent work on signaling has mostly focused on communication between organisms. The Lewis–Skyrms framework should be equally applicable to intra-organismic signaling. We present a Lewis–Skyrms signaling-game model of painful signaling, and use it to argue that the content of pain is predominantly imperative. We address several objections to the account, concluding that our model gives a productive framework within which to consider internal signaling.
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  • Probability in Ethics.David McCarthy - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Probability. Oxford University Press. pp. 705–737.
    The article is a plea for ethicists to regard probability as one of their most important concerns. It outlines a series of topics of central importance in ethical theory in which probability is implicated, often in a surprisingly deep way, and lists a number of open problems. Topics covered include: interpretations of probability in ethical contexts; the evaluative and normative significance of risk or uncertainty; uses and abuses of expected utility theory; veils of ignorance; Harsanyi’s aggregation theorem; population size problems; (...)
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  • Facing Facts?Graham Oppy - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (4):621 – 643.
    In his recent book, Stephen Neale provides an extended defence of the claim that Gödel's slingshot has dramatic consequences for fact theorists (and, in particular, for fact theorists who look with favour on referential treatments of definite descriptions). I argue that the book-length treatment provides no strengthening of the case that Neale has made elsewhere for this implausible claim. Moreover, I also argue that various criticisms of Neale's case that I made on a previous occasion have met with no successful (...)
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  • The Entropy Theory of Counterfactuals.Douglas N. Kutach - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):82-104.
    I assess the thesis that counterfactual asymmetries are explained by an asymmetry of the global entropy at the temporal boundaries of the universe, by developing a method of evaluating counterfactuals that includes, as a background assumption, the low entropy of the early universe. The resulting theory attempts to vindicate the common practice of holding the past mostly fixed under counterfactual supposition while at the same time allowing the counterfactual's antecedent to obtain by a natural physical development. Although the theory has (...)
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  • Self-Assembling Networks.Jeffrey A. Barrett, Brian Skyrms & Aydin Mohseni - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):1-25.
    We consider how an epistemic network might self-assemble from the ritualization of the individual decisions of simple heterogeneous agents. In such evolved social networks, inquirers may be significantly more successful than they could be investigating nature on their own. The evolved network may also dramatically lower the epistemic risk faced by even the most talented inquirers. We consider networks that self-assemble in the context of both perfect and imperfect communication and compare the behaviour of inquirers in each. This provides a (...)
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  • New Grounds for Naive Truth Theory.Stephen Yablo - 2004 - In J. C. Beall (ed.), Liars and Heaps: New Essays on Paradox. Clarendon Press. pp. 312-330.
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  • Social Preferences and Context Sensitivity.Jelle De Boer - 2017 - Games 8.
    This paper is a partial review of the literature on ‘social preferences'. There are empirical findings that convincingly demonstrate the existence of social preferences, but there are also studies that indicate their fragility. So how robust are social preferences, and how exactly are they context dependent? One of the most promising insights from the literature, in my view, is an equilibrium explanation of mutually referring conditional social preferences and expectations. I use this concept of equilibrium, summarized by means of a (...)
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  • Generalised Reichenbachian Common Cause Systems.Claudio Mazzola - forthcoming - Synthese.
    The principle of the common cause claims that if an improbable coincidence has occurred, there must exist a common cause. This is generally taken to mean that positive correlations between non-causally related events should disappear when conditioning on the action of some underlying common cause. The extended interpretation of the principle, by contrast, urges that common causes should be called for in order to explain positive deviations between the estimated correlation of two events and the expected value of their correlation. (...)
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  • Triviality Results and the Relationship Between Logical and Natural Languages.Justin Khoo & Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):485-526.
    Inquiry into the meaning of logical terms in natural language (‘and’, ‘or’, ‘not’, ‘if’) has generally proceeded along two dimensions. On the one hand, semantic theories aim to predict native speaker intuitions about the natural language sentences involving those logical terms. On the other hand, logical theories explore the formal properties of the translations of those terms into formal languages. Sometimes, these two lines of inquiry appear to be in tension: for instance, our best logical investigation into conditional connectives may (...)
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  • Environments of Intelligence. From Natural Information to Artficial Interaction.Hajo Greif - 2017 - London: Routledge.
    What is the role of the environment, and of the information it provides, in cognition? More specifically, may there be a role for certain artefacts to play in this context? These are questions that motivate "4E" theories of cognition (as being embodied, embedded, extended, enactive). In his take on that family of views, Hajo Greif first defends and refines a concept of information as primarily natural, environmentally embedded in character, which had been eclipsed by information-processing views of cognition. He continues (...)
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  • Deception in Sender–Receiver Games.Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):215-227.
    Godfrey-Smith advocates for linking deception in sender-receiver games to the existence of undermining signals. I present games in which deceptive signals can be arbitrarily frequent, without this undermining information transfer between sender and receiver.
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  • Grit.Sarah Paul & Jennifer Morton - 2018 - Ethics 129 (2):175-203.
    Many of our most important goals require months or even years of effort to achieve, and some never get achieved at all. As social psychologists have lately emphasized, success in pursuing such goals requires the capacity for perseverance, or "grit." Philosophers have had little to say about grit, however, insofar as it differs from more familiar notions of willpower or continence. This leaves us ill-equipped to assess the social and moral implications of promoting grit. We propose that grit has an (...)
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  • Heart of DARCness.Yang Liu & Huw Price - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):136-150.
    There is a long-standing disagreement in the philosophy of probability and Bayesian decision theory about whether an agent can hold a meaningful credence about an upcoming action, while she deliberates about what to do. Can she believe that it is, say, 70% probable that she will do A, while she chooses whether to do A? No, say some philosophers, for Deliberation Crowds Out Prediction (DCOP), but others disagree. In this paper, we propose a valid core for DCOP, and identify terminological (...)
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  • Teleosemantics, Infotel-Semantics and Circularity.Marc Artiga - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):583-603.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith and Nicholas Shea have argued that standard versions of teleosemantics render explanations of successful behavior by appealing to true beliefs circular and, consequently, non-explanatory. As an alternative, Shea has recently suggested an original teleosemantic account (that he calls ?Infotel-semantics?), which is supposed to be immune to the problem of circularity. The paper argues that the standard version of teleosemantics has a satisfactory reply to the circularity objection and that, in any case, Infotel-semantics is not better off than standard (...)
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  • Is There a Dutch Book Argument for Probability Kinematics?Brad Armendt - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (4):583-588.
    Dutch Book arguments have been presented for static belief systems and for belief change by conditionalization. An argument is given here that a rule for belief change which under certain conditions violates probability kinematics will leave the agent open to a Dutch Book.
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  • How Does Coherence Matter?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):229 - 263.
    Recently, much attention has been paid to ‘rational requirements’ and, especially, to what I call ‘rational requirements of formal coherence as such’. These requirements are satisfied just when our attitudes are formally coherent: for example, when our beliefs do not contradict each other. Nevertheless, these requirements are puzzling. In particular, it is unclear why we should satisfy them. In light of this, I explore the conjecture that there are no requirements of formal coherence. I do so by trying to construct (...)
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  • Bayesian Confirmation Theory and The Likelihood Principle.Daniel Steel - 2007 - Synthese 156 (1):53-77.
    The likelihood principle (LP) is a core issue in disagreements between Bayesian and frequentist statistical theories. Yet statements of the LP are often ambiguous, while arguments for why a Bayesian must accept it rely upon unexamined implicit premises. I distinguish two propositions associated with the LP, which I label LP1 and LP2. I maintain that there is a compelling Bayesian argument for LP1, based upon strict conditionalization, standard Bayesian decision theory, and a proposition I call the practical relevance principle. In (...)
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  • A Tale of Two Sets: Public Reason in Equilibrium.Gerald Gaus - 2011 - Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (4):305-25.
    Public reason liberalism is a family of theories according to which liberal political institutions, social structures, and/or basic social rules are politically or morally justified if and only if they can be endorsed from the perspective of each and every free and equal "reasonable and rational" person. Let us call these persons "the members of the justificatory public." Public reason liberalism idealizes the members of the justificatory public in three senses. First, the members of the justificatory public are assumed to (...)
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  • Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    How can we think about things in the outside world? There is still no widely accepted theory of how mental representations get their meaning. In light of pioneering research, Nicholas Shea develops a naturalistic account of the nature of mental representation with a firm focus on the subpersonal representations that pervade the cognitive sciences.
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  • Statistics as Inductive Inference.Jan-Willem Romeijn - unknown
    An inductive logic is a system of inference that describes the relation between propositions on data, and propositions that extend beyond the data, such as predictions over future data, and general conclusions on all possible data. Statistics, on the other hand, is a mathematical discipline that describes procedures for deriving results about a population from sample data. These results include predictions on future samples, decisions on rejecting or accepting a hypothesis about the population, the determination of probability assignments over such (...)
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  • On the Indispensability of (Im)Possibilia.Martin Vacek - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
    According to modal realism formulated by David Lewis, there exist concrete possible worlds. As he argues the hypothesis is serviceable and that is a sufficient reason to think it is true. On the other side, Lewis does not consider the pragmatic reasons to be conclusive. He admits that the theoretical benefits of modal realism can be illusory or that the acceptance of controversial ontology for the sake of theoretical benefits might be misguided in the first place. In the first part (...)
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  • Content in Simple Signalling Systems.Nicholas Shea, Peter Godfrey-Smith & Rosa Cao - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1009-1035.
    Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models involving interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that are needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts where false content (...)
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  • Change, Temporal Parts, and the Argument From Vagueness.Achille C. Varzi - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (4):485–498.
    The so-called "argument from vagueness", the clearest formulation of which is to be found in Ted Sider’s book Four-dimensionalism, is arguably the most powerful and innovative argument recently offered in support of the view that objects are four-dimensional perdurants. The argument is defective--I submit--and in a number of ways that is worth looking into. But each "defect" corresponds to a model of change that is independently problematic and that can hardly be built into the common-sense picture of the world. So (...)
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  • The Pragmatics of Slurs.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):439-462.
    I argue that the offense generation pattern of slurring terms parallels that of impoliteness behaviors, and is best explained by appeal to similar purely pragmatic mechanisms. In choosing to use a slurring term rather than its neutral counterpart, the speaker signals that she endorses the term. Such an endorsement warrants offense, and consequently slurs generate offense whenever a speaker's use demonstrates a contrastive preference for the slurring term. Since this explanation comes at low theoretical cost and imposes few constraints on (...)
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  • The Relation Between Credence and Chance: Lewis' "Principal Principle" Is a Theorem of Quantum Probability Theory.John Earman - unknown
    David Lewis' "Principal Principle" is a purported principle of rationality connecting credence and objective chance. Almost all of the discussion of the Principal Principle in the philosophical literature assumes classical probability theory, which is unfortunate since the theory of modern physics that, arguably, speaks most clearly of objective chance is the quantum theory, and quantum probabilities are not classical probabilities. Given the generally accepted updating rule for quantum probabilities, there is a straight forward sense in which the Principal Principle is (...)
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  • Recent Work on Assertion.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):365-380.
    This paper reviews recent philosophical work on assertion, with a special focus on work exploring the theme of assertion's norm. It concludes with a brief section characterizing several open questions that might profitably be explored from this perspective.
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  • Learning to Signal in a Dynamic World.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):797-820.
    Sender–receiver games, first introduced by David Lewis ([1969]), have received increased attention in recent years as a formal model for the emergence of communication. Skyrms ([2010]) showed that simple models of reinforcement learning often succeed in forming efficient, albeit not necessarily minimal, signalling systems for a large family of games. Later, Alexander et al. ([2012]) showed that reinforcement learning, combined with forgetting, frequently produced both efficient and minimal signalling systems. In this article, I define a ‘dynamic’ sender–receiver game in which (...)
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  • Deterministic Chance?J. Schaffer - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):113-140.
    Can there be deterministic chance? That is, can there be objective chance values other than 0 or 1, in a deterministic world? I will argue that the answer is no. In a deterministic world, the only function that can play the role of chance is one that outputs just Os and 1s. The role of chance involves connections from chance to credence, possibility, time, intrinsicness, lawhood, and causation. These connections do not allow for deterministic chance.
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  • Explanatory Inquiry and the Need for Explanation.Stephen R. Grimm - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):481-497.
    Explanatory inquiry characteristically begins with a certain puzzlement about the world. But why do certain situations elicit our puzzlement while others leave us, in some epistemically relevant sense, cold? Moreover, what exactly is involved in the move from a state of puzzlement to a state where one's puzzlement is satisfied? In this paper I try to answer both of these questions. I also suggest ways in which our account of scientific rationality might benefit from having a better sense of the (...)
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  • Demons, Deceivers And Liars: Newcomb’s Malin Génie. [REVIEW]Peter Slezak - 2006 - Theory and Decision 61 (3):277-303.
    A fully adequate solution to Newcomb’s Problem (Nozick 1969) should reveal the source of its extraordinary elusiveness and persistent intractability. Recently, a few accounts have independently sought to meet this criterion of adequacy by exposing the underlying source of the problem’s profound puzzlement. Thus, Sorensen (1987), Slezak (1998), Priest (2002) and Maitzen and Wilson (2003) share the ‘no box’ view according to which the very idea that there is a right choice is misconceived since the problem is ill-formed or incoherent (...)
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  • Do Chances Receive Equal Treatment Under the Laws? Or: Must Chances Be Probabilities?Marc Lange - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):383-403.
    I offer an argument regarding chances that appears to yield a dilemma: either the chances at time t must be determined by the natural laws and the history through t of instantiations of categorical properties, or the function ch(•) assigning chances need not satisfy the axioms of probability. The dilemma's first horn might seem like a remnant of determinism. On the other hand, this horn might be inspired by our best scientific theories. In addition, it is entailed by the familiar (...)
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  • Is Understanding a Species of Knowledge?Stephen R. Grimm - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):515-535.
    Among philosophers of science there seems to be a general consensus that understanding represents a species of knowledge, but virtually every major epistemologist who has thought seriously about understanding has come to deny this claim. Against this prevailing tide in epistemology, I argue that understanding is, in fact, a species of knowledge: just like knowledge, for example, understanding is not transparent and can be Gettiered. I then consider how the psychological act of "grasping" that seems to be characteristic of understanding (...)
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  • The Evolution of Vagueness.Cailin O'Connor - 2013 - Erkenntnis (S4):1-21.
    Vague predicates, those that exhibit borderline cases, pose a persistent problem for philosophers and logicians. Although they are ubiquitous in natural language, when used in a logical context, vague predicates lead to contradiction. This paper will address a question that is intimately related to this problem. Given their inherent imprecision, why do vague predicates arise in the first place? I discuss a variation of the signaling game where the state space is treated as contiguous, i.e., endowed with a metric that (...)
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  • Causal Decision Theory and the Fixity of the Past.Arif Ahmed - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):665-685.
    Causal decision theory (CDT) cares only about the effects of a contemplated act, not its causes. The article constructs a case in which CDT consequently recommends a bet that the agent is certain to lose, rather than a bet that she is certain to win. CDT is plainly giving wrong advice in this case. It therefore stands refuted. 1 The Argument2 The Argument in More Detail2.1 The betting mechanism2.2 Soft determinism2.3 The content of P 2.4 The argument again3 The Descriptive (...)
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  • Epistemic Logic and Epistemology: The State of Their Affairs.Johan van Benthem - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (1):49 - 76.
    Epistemology and epistemic logic At first sight, the modern agenda of epistemology has little to do with logic. Topics include different definitions of knowledge, its basic formal properties, debates between externalist and internalist positions, and above all: perennial encounters with sceptics lurking behind every street corner, especially in the US. The entry 'Epistemology' in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Klein 1993) and the anthology (Kim and Sosa 2000) give an up-to-date impression of the field. Now, epistemic logic started as a (...)
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  • Laws, Ceteris Paribus Conditions, and the Dynamics of Belief.Wolfgang Spohn - 2002 - Erkenntnis 57 (3):373-394.
    The characteristic difference between laws and accidental generalizations lies in our epistemic or inductive attitude towards them. This idea has taken various forms and dominated the discussion about lawlikeness in the last decades. Likewise, the issue about ceteris paribus conditions is essentially about how we epistemically deal with exceptions. Hence, ranking theory with its resources of defeasible reasoning seems ideally suited to explicate these points in a formal way. This is what the paper attempts to do. Thus it will turn (...)
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  • A Mark of the Mental, by Karen Neander.David Kalkman & Kim Sterelny - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):565-576.
    A Mark of the Mental, by NeanderKaren. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017. Pp. xv + 327.
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  • Ein modernes Konzept des interaktionistischen Dualismus.Jörg Neunhäuserer - manuscript
    We develop a modern interactive libertarian dualism of physical and mental events using the concept of probability.
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  • Agent‐Based Computational Models and Generative Social Science.Joshua M. Epstein - 1999 - Complexity 4 (5):41-60.
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