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  1. The Limitations of the Arrovian Consistency of Domains with a Fixed Preference.James Nguyen - 2019 - Theory and Decision 87 (2):183-199.
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  • Confirmational Holism and Theory Choice: Arrow Meets Duhem.Eleonora Cresto & Diego Tajer - forthcoming - Mind:fzy062.
    In a recent paper Samir Okasha has suggested an application of Arrow’s impossibility theorem to theory choice. When epistemic virtues are interpreted as ‘voters’ in charge of ranking competing theories, and there are more than two theories at stake, the final ordering is bound to coincide with the one proposed by one of the voters, provided a number of seemingly reasonable conditions are in place. In a similar spirit, Jacob Stegenga has shown that Arrow’s theorem applies to the amalgamation of (...)
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  • Specialisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Incommensurability.Vincenzo Politi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):301-317.
    Incommensurability may be regarded as driving specialisation, on the one hand, and as posing some problems to interdisciplinarity, on the other hand. It may be argued, however, that incommensurability plays no role in either specialisation or interdisciplinarity. Scientific specialties could be defined as simply 'different' (that is, about different things), rather than 'incommensurable' (that is, competing for the explanation of the same phenomena). Interdisciplinarity could be viewed as the co- ordinated effort of scientists possessing complemetary and interlocking skills, and not (...)
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  • Constraints on Rational Theory Choice.Seamus Bradley - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3):639-661.
    ABSTRACT In a recent article, Samir Okasha presented an argument that suggests that there is no rational way to choose among scientific theories. This would seriously undermine the view that science is a rational enterprise. In this article, I show how a suitably nuanced view of what scientific rationality requires allows us to sidestep this argument. In doing so, I present a new argument in favour of voluntarism of the type favoured by van Fraassen. I then show how such a (...)
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  • Evaluating Competing Theories Via a Common Language of Qualitative Verdicts.Wulf Gaertner & Nicolas Wüthrich - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    Kuhn claimed that several algorithms can be defended to select the best theory based on epistemic values such as simplicity, accuracy, and fruitfulness. In a recent paper, Okasha :83–115, 2011) argued that no theory choice algorithm exists which satisfies a set of intuitively compelling conditions that Arrow had proposed for a consistent aggregation of individual preference orderings. In this paper, we put forward a solution to avoid this impossibility result. Based on previous work by Gaertner and Xu, we suggest to (...)
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  • On Arrow’s Theorem and Scientific Rationality: Reply to Morreau and Stegenga.Samir Okasha - 2015 - Mind 124 (493):279-294.
    In a recent article I compared the problem of theory choice, in which scientists must choose between competing theories, with the problem of social choice, in which society must choose between competing social alternatives. I argued that the formal machinery of social choice theory can be used to shed light on the problem of theory choice in science, an argument that has been criticized by Michael Morreau and Jacob Stegenga. This article replies to Morreau’s and Stegenga’s criticisms.
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  • Kenneth Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem Stretching to Other Fields.Wulf Gaertner - forthcoming - Public Choice.
    Arrow’s impossibility result not only had a profound influence on welfare economics, but was, as this paper shows, also widely discussed in philosophy of science and in the engineering design literature.
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  • Structural Indeterminacy.Alessandro Torza - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    The threat of ontological deflationism (the view that disagreement about what there is can be non‐substantive) is averted by appealing to realism about fundamental structure—or so tells us Ted Sider. In this paper, the notion of structural indeterminacy is introduced as a particular case of metaphysical indeterminacy; then it is argued that structural indeterminacy is not only compatible with a metaphysics of fundamental structure, but it can even safeguard it from a crucial objection; finally, it is shown that, if there (...)
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  • Robustness, Evidence, and Uncertainty: An Exploration of Policy Applications of Robustness Analysis.Nicolas Wüthrich - unknown
    Policy-makers face an uncertain world. One way of getting a handle on decision-making in such an environment is to rely on evidence. Despite the recent increase in post-fact figures in politics, evidence-based policymaking takes centre stage in policy-setting institutions. Often, however, policy-makers face large volumes of evidence from different sources. Robustness analysis can, prima facie, handle this evidential diversity. Roughly, a hypothesis is supported by robust evidence if the different evidential sources are in agreement. In this thesis, I strengthen the (...)
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  • Normative Uncertainty as a Voting Problem.William MacAskill - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):967-1004.
    Some philosophers have recently argued that decision-makers ought to take normative uncertainty into account in their decisionmaking. These philosophers argue that, just as it is plausible that we should maximize expected value under empirical uncertainty, it is plausible that we should maximize expected choice-worthiness under normative uncertainty. However, such an approach faces two serious problems: how to deal with merely ordinal theories, which do not give sense to the idea of magnitudes of choice-worthiness; and how, even when theories do give (...)
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  • Public Reason's Chaos Theorem.Brian Kogelmann - 2019 - Episteme 16 (2):200-219.
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  • Objectivity, Ambiguity, and Theory Choice.Alexandru Marcoci & James Nguyen - 2017 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):1-15.
    Kuhn argued that scientific theory choice is, in some sense, a rational matter, but one that is not fully determined by shared objective scientific virtues like accuracy, simplicity, and scope. Okasha imports Arrow’s impossibility theorem into the context of theory choice to show that rather than not fully determining theory choice, these virtues cannot determine it at all. If Okasha is right, then there is no function from ‘preference’ rankings supplied by scientific virtues over competing theories to a single all-things-considered (...)
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