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  1. Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2021 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...)
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  • Credal Dilemmas.Sarah Moss - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):665-683.
    Recently many have argued that agents must sometimes have credences that are imprecise, represented by a set of probability measures. But opponents claim that fans of imprecise credences cannot provide a decision theory that protects agents who follow it from foregoing sure money. In particular, agents with imprecise credences appear doomed to act irrationally in diachronic cases, where they are called to make decisions at earlier and later times. I respond to this claim on behalf of imprecise credence fans. Once (...)
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  • Global Constraints on Imprecise Credences: Solving Reflection Violations, Belief Inertia, and Other Puzzles.Sarah Moss - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    A lot of conventional work in formal epistemology presupposes that subjects have precise credences. The advent of imprecise credence models has left much of this work surprisingly intact, as traditional requirements of rationality are often simply reinterpreted as constraints on the individual functions in your representor. But when it comes to agents with imprecise credences, the requirements of rationality needn’t take this form. Whether you are rational might just as easily depend on global features of your representor. What it takes (...)
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  • Incommensurability as Vagueness: A Burden-Shifting Argument.Luke Elson - 2017 - Theoria 83 (4):341-363.
    Two options are ‘incommensurate’ when neither is better than the other, but they are not equally good. Typically, we will say that one option is better in some ways, and the other in others, but neither is better ‘all things considered’. It is tempting to think that incommensurability is vagueness—that it is indeterminate which is better—but this ‘vagueness view’ of incommensurability has not proven popular. I set out the vagueness view and its implications in more detail, and argue that it (...)
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  • Updating as Communication.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):225-248.
    Traditional procedures for rational updating fail when it comes to self-locating opinions, such as your credences about where you are and what time it is. This paper develops an updating procedure for rational agents with self-locating beliefs. In short, I argue that rational updating can be factored into two steps. The first step uses information you recall from your previous self to form a hypothetical credence distribution, and the second step changes this hypothetical distribution to reflect information you have genuinely (...)
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  • Tenenbaum and Raffman on Vague Projects, the Self-Torturer, and the Sorites.Luke Elson - 2016 - Ethics 126 (2):474-488.
    Sergio Tenenbaum and Diana Raffman contend that ‘vague projects’ motivate radical revisions to orthodox, utility-maximising rational choice theory. Their argument cannot succeed if such projects merely ground instances of the paradox of the sorites, or heap. Tenenbaum and Raffman are not blind to this, and argue that Warren Quinn’s Puzzle of the Self-Torturer does not rest on the sorites. I argue that their argument both fails to generalise to most vague projects, and is ineffective in the case of the Self-Torturer (...)
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  • Rational Illogicality.J. Robert G. Williams - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):127-141.
    Many accounts of structural rationality give a special role to logic. This paper reviews the problem case of clear-eyed logical uncertainty. An account of rational norms on belief that does not give a special role to logic is developed: doxastic probabilism.
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  • Nonclassical Minds and Indeterminate Survival.J. Robert G. Williams - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (4):379-428.
    Revisionary theories of logic or truth require revisionary theories of mind. This essay outlines nonclassically based theories of rational belief, desire, and decision making, singling out the supervaluational family for special attention. To see these nonclassical theories of mind in action, this essay examines a debate between David Lewis and Derek Parfit over what matters in survival. Lewis argued that indeterminacy in personal identity allows caring about psychological connectedness and caring about personal identity to amount to the same thing. The (...)
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  • Higher‐Order Evidence and Losing One's Conviction.Leah Henderson - forthcoming - Noûs.
    There has been considerable puzzlement over how to respond to higher-order evidence. The existing dilemmas can be defused by adopting a ‘two-dimensional’ representation of doxastic attitudes which incorporates not only substantive uncertainty about which first-order state of affairs obtains but also the degree of conviction with which we hold the attitude. This makes it possible that in cases of higher-order evidence the evidence sometimes impacts primarily on our conviction, rather than our substantive uncertainty. I argue that such a two-dimensional representation (...)
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  • Lopsided Lives.Theron Pummer - 2017 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 275-296.
    Intuitively there are many different things that non-derivatively contribute to well-being: pleasure, desire satisfaction, knowledge, friendship, love, rationality, freedom, moral virtue, and appreciation of true beauty. According to pluralism, at least two different types of things non-derivatively contribute to well-being. Lopsided lives score very low in terms of some types of things that putatively non-derivatively contribute to well-being, but very high in terms of other such types of things. I argue that pluralists essentially face a trilemma about lopsided lives: they (...)
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  • Subjunctive Credences and Semantic Humility.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):251-278.
    This paper argues that several leading theories of subjunctive conditionals are incompatible with ordinary intuitions about what credences we ought to have in subjunctive conditionals. In short, our theory of subjunctives should intuitively display semantic humility, i.e. our semantic theory should deliver the truth conditions of sentences without pronouncing on whether those conditions actually obtain. In addition to describing intuitions about subjunctive conditionals, I argue that we can derive these ordinary intuitions from justified premises, and I answer a possible worry (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Abortion Is Neither Right Nor Wrong.Martin Peterson - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-22.
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  • Imprecise Probabilities and Unstable Betting Behaviour.Anna Mahtani - 2016 - Noûs 52 (1):69-87.
    Many have argued that a rational agent's attitude towards a proposition may be better represented by a probability range than by a single number. I show that in such cases an agent will have unstable betting behaviour, and so will behave in an unpredictable way. I use this point to argue against a range of responses to the ‘two bets’ argument for sharp probabilities.
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  • Divided We Fall.Jacob Ross - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):222-262.
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  • The Dispositional Account of Credence.Anna Mahtani - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):727-745.
    In this paper I offer an alternative - the ‘dispositional account’ - to the standard account of imprecise probabilism. Whereas for the imprecise probabilist, an agent’s credal state is modelled by a set of credence functions, on the dispositional account an agent’s credal state is modelled by a set of sets of credence functions. On the face of it, the dispositional account looks less elegant than the standard account – so why should we be interested? I argue that the dispositional (...)
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  • An Absolutist Theory of Faultless Disagreement in Aesthetics.Carl Baker & Jon Robson - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (3):429-448.
    Some philosophers writing on the possibility of faultless disagreement have argued that the only way to account for the intuition that there could be disagreements which are faultless in every sense is to accept a relativistic semantics. In this article we demonstrate that this view is mistaken by constructing an absolutist semantics for a particular domain – aesthetic discourse – which allows for the possibility of genuinely faultless disagreements. We argue that this position is an improvement over previous absolutist responses (...)
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  • Topics in Population Ethics.Teruji Thomas - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    This thesis consists of several independent papers in population ethics. I begin in Chapter 1 by critiquing some well-known 'impossibility theorems', which purport to show there can be no intuitively satisfactory population axiology. I identify axiological vagueness as a promising way to escape or at least mitigate the effects of these theorems. In particular, in Chapter 2, I argue that certain of the impossibility theorems have little more dialectical force than sorites arguments do. From these negative arguments I move to (...)
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  • Fallibility Without Facts.Will Gamester - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    If, as expressivists maintain, the function of normative thought and talk is not to represent or describe the world, then how can normative judgements be correct or incorrect? In particular, how can I make sense of my own normative fallibility, the possibility that my own normative judgements might be mistaken? In this paper, I construct and defend a substantive but non-representational theory of normative (in)correctness for expressivists. Inspired by Blackburn’s (1998: 318) proposal that I make sense of my fallibility in (...)
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  • Indeterminate Oughts.J. Robert G. Williams - 2017 - Ethics 127 (3):645-673.
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  • The Worseness of Nonexistence.Theron Pummer - 2019 - In Espen Gamlund and Carl Tollef Solberg (ed.), Saving People from the Harm of Death. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 215-228.
    Most believe that it is worse for a person to die than to continue to exist with a good life. At the same time, many believe that it is not worse for a merely possible person never to exist than to exist with a good life. I argue that if the underlying properties that make us the sort of thing we essentially are can come in small degrees, then to maintain this commonly-held pair of beliefs we will have to embrace (...)
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  • The Cognitive Role of Fictionality.J. Robert G. Williams & Richard Woodward - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (2):423-438.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Normative Decision Theory.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):755-772.
    A review of some major topics of debate in normative decision theory from circa 2007 to 2019. Topics discussed include the ongoing debate between causal and evidential decision theory, decision instability, risk-weighted expected utility theory, decision-making with incomplete preferences, and decision-making with imprecise credences.
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  • Imprecise Probabilities.Anna Mahtani - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 107-130.
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  • The Cognitive Role of Fictionality.J. Robert G. Williams & Richard Woodward - forthcoming - Wiley: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Imprecise Evidence Without Imprecise Credences.Jennifer Rose Carr - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2735-2758.
    Does rationality require imprecise credences? Many hold that it does: imprecise evidence requires correspondingly imprecise credences. I argue that this is false. The imprecise view faces the same arbitrariness worries that were meant to motivate it in the first place. It faces these worries because it incorporates a certain idealization. But doing away with this idealization effectively collapses the imprecise view into a particular kind of precise view. On this alternative, our attitudes should reflect a kind of normative uncertainty: uncertainty (...)
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  • Superhard Choices.Miguel F. Dos Santos - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):248-265.
    Sometimes, when comparing a pair of items, it appears that neither is better than the other, nor that they are equally good, relative to a certain value that they bear. Cases of this kind have come to be referred to as superhard comparisons. What grounds superhard comparisons? On the dominant views, held by Joseph Raz and Ruth Chang, they are grounded, at least partially, in the failure of the three classic value relations—‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’. On an (...)
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  • Cluelessness.Hilary Greaves - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):311-339.
    Decisions, whether moral or prudential, should be guided at least in part by considerations of the consequences that would result from the various available actions. For any given action, however, the majority of its consequences are unpredictable at the time of decision. Many have worried that this leaves us, in some important sense, clueless. In this paper, I distinguish between ‘simple’ and ‘complex’ possible sources of cluelessness. In terms of this taxonomy, the majority of the existing literature on cluelessness focusses (...)
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  • Ethical Vagueness and Practical Reasoning.Billy Dunaway - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):38-60.
    This paper looks at the phenomenon of ethical vagueness by asking the question, how ought one to reason about what to do when confronted with a case of ethical vagueness? I begin by arguing that we must confront this question, since ethical vagueness is inescapable. I then outline one attractive answer to the question: we ought to maximize expected moral value when confronted with ethical vagueness. This idea yields determinate results for what one rationally ought to do in cases of (...)
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  • Vagueness as Indecision.J. Robert G. Williams - 2016 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):285-309.
    This essay explores the thesis that for vague predicates, uncertainty over whether a borderline instance x of red/large/tall/good is to be understood as practical uncertainty over whether to treat x as red/large/tall/good. Expressivist and quasi-realist treatments of vague predicates due to John MacFarlane and Daniel Elstein provide the stalking-horse. It examines the notion of treating/counting a thing as F , and links a central question about our attitudes to vague predications to normative evaluation of plans to treat a thing as (...)
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  • Imprecise Probabilities.Seamus Bradley - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Belief and Indeterminacy.Michael Caie - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (1):1-54.
    An attractive approach to the semantic paradoxes holds that cases of semantic pathology give rise to indeterminacy. What attitude should a rational agent have toward a proposition that it takes to be indeterminate in this sense? Orthodoxy holds that rationality requires that an agent disbelieve such a proposition. I argue that a rational agent should be such that it is indeterminate whether it believes the proposition in question. For rational agents, indeterminacy in the objects of their attitudes will filter up (...)
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  • Indeterminacy, Angst and Conflicting Values.Jrg Williams - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):412-433.
    How should we make choices where the values we subscribe to give conflicting recommendations? I will be defending a reduction of decision making under conflict to decision making under indeterminacy, in the spirit of Broome. To defend this, I set out and endorse the basic features of decision making under conflict that Ruth Chang identifies. I show that we find exactly those features in cases of decision making under indeterminacy not involving conflicting values. Further, my theory of decision making under (...)
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  • Decision-Theoretic Pluralism.Adam Bales - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (273):801-818.
    A prominent philosophical debate concerns whether we should accept causal decision theory or evidential decision theory as our best theory of rational choice. However, instead of accepting one of these theories at the expense of the other, an alternative would be to accept that both theories play a partial role in the true account of rational choice. In this paper, I defend a pluralist account of this sort. In particular, I argue that rational permissibility is an indeterminate notion, with EDT (...)
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  • Decision Theory.Johanna Thoma - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 57-106.
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  • Angst, Indeterminacy and Conflicting Values.Robert Williams - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):412-433.
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  • Logical Norms, Accuracy and Degree of Belief.Robert Williams - 2015 - In Colin R. Caret & Ole Thomassen Hjortland (eds.), Foundations of Logical Consequence. Oxford University Press.
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  • Indeterminate Permissibility and Choiceworthy Options.Adam Bales - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1693-1702.
    Various people have claimed that some cases involve indeterminate permissibility. However, it’s unclear what guidance one can take away from this fact: are indeterminately permissible options choiceworthy and if so when? In this paper, I present a counterexample that undermines two existing responses to this question and I then present two alternative solutions that avoid this counterexample.
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