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New foundations for counterfactuals

Synthese 191 (10):2167-2193 (2014)

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  1. Epistemic Consequentialism: Philip Percival.P. R. Percival - 2002 - Supplement to the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 76 (1):121-151.
    I aim to illuminate foundational epistemological issues by reflecting on 'epistemic consequentialism'—the epistemic analogue of ethical consequentialism. Epistemic consequentialism employs a concept of cognitive value playing a role in epistemic norms governing belief-like states that is analogous to the role goodness plays in act-governing moral norms. A distinction between 'direct' and 'indirect' versions of epistemic consequentialism is held to be as important as the familiar ethical distinction on which it is based. These versions are illustrated, respectively, by cognitive decision-theory and (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):455-464.
    Timothy Williamson devotes significant effort in his "The Philosophy of Philosophy" to arguing against skepticism about judgment. One might think that the recent "experimental philosophy" challenge to the philosophical practice of appealing to intuitions as evidence is a possible target of those arguments. However, this is not so. The structure of that challenge is radically dissimilar from that of traditional skeptical arguments, and the aims of the challenge are entirely congruent with the spirit of methodological improvement that Williamson himself exemplifies (...)
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  • Outline of a New Semantics for Counterfactuals.Lars Bo Gundersen - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1):1–20.
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  • Evidential Support and Instrumental Rationality.Peter Broessel, Anna-Maria A. Eder & Franz Huber - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):279-300.
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  • Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
    Counterfactuals is David Lewis' forceful presentation of and sustained argument for a particular view about propositions which express contrary to fact conditionals, including his famous defense of realism about possible worlds and his theory of laws of nature.
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  • Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and its Limits presents a systematic new conception of knowledge as a kind of mental stage sensitive to the knower's environment. It makes a major contribution to the debate between externalist and internalist philosophies of mind, and breaks radically with the epistemological tradition of analyzing knowledge in terms of true belief. The theory casts new light on such philosophical problems as scepticism, evidence, probability and assertion, realism and anti-realism, and the limits of what can be known. The arguments are (...)
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  • Epistemic Consequentialism.Robert Stalnaker - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76 (1):153–168.
    [Philip Percival] I aim to illuminate foundational epistemological issues by reflecting on 'epistemic consequentialism'-the epistemic analogue of ethical consequentialism. Epistemic consequentialism employs a concept of cognitive value playing a role in epistemic norms governing belief-like states that is analogous to the role goodness plays in act-governing moral norms. A distinction between 'direct' and 'indirect' versions of epistemic consequentialism is held to be as important as the familiar ethical distinction on which it is based. These versions are illustrated, respectively, by cognitive (...)
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  • Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow.David K. Lewis - 1979 - Noûs 13 (4):455-476.
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  • Dispositions.Stephen Mumford - 1998 - Clarendon Press.
    Stephen Mumford puts forward a new theory of dispositions, showing how central their role is in metaphysics and philosophy of science. Much of our understanding of the physical and psychological world is expressed in terms of dispositional properties--from the solubility of sugar to the belief that zebras have stripes. Mumford discusses what it means to say that something has a property of this kind, and how dispositions can possibly be real things in the world. His clear, straightforward, realist account reveals (...)
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  • Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
    Nozick analyzes fundamental issues, such as the identity of the self, knowledge and skepticism, free will, the foundations of ethics, and the meaning of life.
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  • Ordering Semantics and Premise Semantics for Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1981 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 10 (2):217-234.
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  • Chance and Necessity : From Humean Supervenience to Humean Projection.Wolfgang Spohn - 2010 - In Ellery Eells & James H. Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science: In Honor of Ellery Eells. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 101-132.
    This paper attempts to develop a projectivistic understanding of chance or objective probability or partial determination. It does so by critically examining David Lewis’ philosophy of probability and his defense of Humean Supervenience, building thereupon the constructive projectivistic alternative, which will basically be a suitable reinterpretation of de Finetti’s position. Any treatment of the topic must show how it extends to natural necessity or deterministic laws or full determination in perfect parallel. The paper indicates at the end how this demand (...)
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  • A Subjectivist’s Guide to Objective Chance.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Richard C. Jeffrey (ed.), Studies in Inductive Logic and Probability, Volume II. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 263-293.
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  • Humean Supervenience Debugged.David K. Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
    Tn this paper I explore and to an extent defend HS. The main philosophical challenges to HS come from philosophical views that say that nomic concepts-laws, chance, and causation-denote features of the world that fail to supervene on non-nomic features. Lewis rejects these views and has labored mightily to construct HS accounts of nomic concepts. His account of laws is fundamental to his program, since his accounts of the other nomic notions rely on it. Recently, a number of philosophers have (...)
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  • On the Pragmatics of Counterfactuals.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Noûs 46 (3):561-586.
    Recently, von Fintel (2001) and Gillies (2007) have argued that certain sequences of counterfactuals, namely reverse Sobel sequences, should motivate us to abandon standard truth conditional theories of counterfactuals for dynamic semantic theories. I argue that we can give a pragmatic account of our judgments about counterfactuals without giving up the standard semantics. In particular, I introduce a pragmatic principle governing assertability, and I use this principle to explain a variety of subtle data concerning reverse Sobel sequences.
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  • A Defense of Conditional Excluded Middle.Robert C. Stalnaker - 1981 - In William Harper, Robert C. Stalnaker & Glenn Pearce (eds.), Ifs. Reidel. pp. 87-104.
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  • A Theory of Conditionals.Robert Stalnaker - 1968 - In Nicholas Rescher (ed.), Studies in Logical Theory (American Philosophical Quarterly Monographs 2). Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 98-112.
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  • Utilitarianisms: Simple and General.J. Howard Sobel - 1970 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 13 (1-4):394 – 449.
    If we overlook no consequences when we assess the act, and no relevant features when we generalize, can it matter whether we ask 'What would happen if everyone did the same?' instead of 'What would happen if this act were performed?'? David Lyons has argued that it cannot. Two examples are here articulated to show that it can. The first turns on the way consequences are identified and assessed and in particular on the treatment accorded 'threshold consequences'. The second example (...)
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  • Counterfactuals.D. Lewis - 1973 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):403-405.
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  • Structural Equations and Beyond.Franz Huber - 2013 - Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (4):709-732.
    Recent accounts of actual causation are stated in terms of extended causal models. These extended causal models contain two elements representing two seemingly distinct modalities. The first element are structural equations which represent the or mechanisms of the model, just as ordinary causal models do. The second element are ranking functions which represent normality or typicality. The aim of this paper is to show that these two modalities can be unified. I do so by formulating two constraints under which extended (...)
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  • Counterfactual Scorekeeping.Anthony S. Gillies - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (3):329 - 360.
    Counterfactuals are typically thought--given the force of Sobel sequences--to be variably strict conditionals. I go the other way. Sobel sequences and (what I call) Hegel sequences push us to a strict conditional analysis of counterfactuals: counterfactuals amount to some necessity modal scoped over a plain material conditional, just which modal being a function of context. To make this worth saying I need to say just how counterfactuals and context interact. No easy feat, but I have something to say on the (...)
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  • I-Counterfactuals.Dorothy Edgington - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt1):1-21.
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  • Two Recent Theories of Conditionals.Allan Gibbard - 1981 - In William Harper, Robert C. Stalnaker & Glenn Pearce (eds.), Ifs. Reidel. pp. 211-247.
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  • On Conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):235-329.
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  • A Philosophical Guide to Conditionals.Jonathan Bennett - 2003 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 10 (4):565-570.
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  • On the Logic of Theory Change: Partial Meet Contraction and Revision Functions.Carlos E. Alchourrón, Peter Gärdenfors & David Makinson - 1985 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 50 (2):510-530.
    This paper extends earlier work by its authors on formal aspects of the processes of contracting a theory to eliminate a proposition and revising a theory to introduce a proposition. In the course of the earlier work, Gardenfors developed general postulates of a more or less equational nature for such processes, whilst Alchourron and Makinson studied the particular case of contraction functions that are maximal, in the sense of yielding a maximal subset of the theory (or alternatively, of one of (...)
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  • The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and its Philosophical Applications.Wolfgang Spohn - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Wolfgang Spohn presents the first full account of the dynamic laws of belief, by means of ranking theory. This book is his long-awaited presentation of ranking theory and its ramifications.
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  • Ordinal Conditional Functions. A Dynamic Theory of Epistemic States.Wolfgang Spohn - 1988 - In W. L. Harper & B. Skyrms (eds.), Causation in Decision, Belief Change, and Statistics, vol. II. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    It is natural and important to have a formal representation of plain belief, according to which propositions are held true, or held false, or neither. (In the paper this is called a deterministic representation of epistemic states). And it is of great philosophical importance to have a dynamic account of plain belief. AGM belief revision theory seems to provide such an account, but it founders at the problem of iterated belief revision, since it can generally account only for one step (...)
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  • Two Autonomous Axiom Systems for the Calculus of Probabilities.Karl R. Popper - 1955 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 6 (21):51-57.
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  • A Nonpragmatic Vindication of Probabilism.James Joyce - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):575-603.
    The pragmatic character of the Dutch book argument makes it unsuitable as an "epistemic" justification for the fundamental probabilist dogma that rational partial beliefs must conform to the axioms of probability. To secure an appropriately epistemic justification for this conclusion, one must explain what it means for a system of partial beliefs to accurately represent the state of the world, and then show that partial beliefs that violate the laws of probability are invariably less accurate than they could be otherwise. (...)
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  • What Are Degrees of Belief.Lina Eriksson & Alan Hájek - 2007 - Studia Logica 86 (2):185-215.
    Probabilism is committed to two theses: 1) Opinion comes in degrees—call them degrees of belief, or credences. 2) The degrees of belief of a rational agent obey the probability calculus. Correspondingly, a natural way to argue for probabilism is: i) to give an account of what degrees of belief are, and then ii) to show that those things should be probabilities, on pain of irrationality. Most of the action in the literature concerns stage ii). Assuming that stage i) has been (...)
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  • Probability and Conditionals.Robert C. Stalnaker - 1970 - Philosophy of Science 37 (1):64-80.
    The aim of the paper is to draw a connection between a semantical theory of conditional statements and the theory of conditional probability. First, the probability calculus is interpreted as a semantics for truth functional logic. Absolute probabilities are treated as degrees of rational belief. Conditional probabilities are explicitly defined in terms of absolute probabilities in the familiar way. Second, the probability calculus is extended in order to provide an interpretation for counterfactual probabilities--conditional probabilities where the condition has zero probability. (...)
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  • The Representation of Popper Measures.Wolfgang Spohn - 1986 - Topoi 5 (1):69-74.
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  • On Spohn’s Rule for Revision of Beliefs.Prakash P. Shenoy - 1991 - International Journal of Approximate Reasoning 5 (2):149-181.
    The main ingredients of Spohn's theory of epistemic beliefs are (1) a functional representation of an epistemic state called a disbelief function and (2) a rule for revising this function in light of new information. The main contribution of this paper is as follows. First, we provide a new axiomatic definition of an epistemic state and study some of its properties. Second, we study some properties of an alternative functional representation of an epistemic state called a Spohnian belief function. Third, (...)
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  • Accuracy and Coherence: Prospects for an Alethic Epistemology of Partial Belief.James Joyce - 2009 - In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Synthese. pp. 263-297.
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  • Lewis Causation is a Special Case of Spohn Causation.Franz Huber - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):207-210.
    This paper shows that causation in the sense of Lewis is a special case of causation in the sense of Spohn.
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  • Ranking Functions and Rankings on Languages.Franz Huber - 2006 - Artificial Intelligence 170:462-471.
    The Spohnian paradigm of ranking functions is in many respects like an order-of-magnitude reverse of subjective probability theory. Unlike probabilities, however, ranking functions are only indirectly—via a pointwise ranking function on the underlying set of possibilities W —defined on a field of propositions A over W. This research note shows under which conditions ranking functions on a field of propositions A over W and rankings on a language L are induced by pointwise ranking functions on W and the set of (...)
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  • The Consistency Argument for Ranking Functions.Franz Huber - 2007 - Studia Logica 86 (2):299-329.
    The paper provides an argument for the thesis that an agent’s degrees of disbelief should obey the ranking calculus. This Consistency Argument is based on the Consistency Theorem. The latter says that an agent’s belief set is and will always be consistent and deductively closed iff her degrees of entrenchment satisfy the ranking axioms and are updated according to the ranktheoretic update rules.
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  • The Measurement of Ranks and the Laws of Iterated Contraction.Wolfgang Spohn & Matthias Hild - 2008 - Artificial Intelligence 172:1195-1218.
    Ranking theory delivers an account of iterated contraction; each ranking function induces a specific iterated contraction behavior. The paper shows how to reconstruct a ranking function from its iterated contraction behavior uniquely up to multiplicative constant and thus how to measure ranks on a ratio scale. Thereby, it also shows how to completely axiomatize that behavior. The complete set of laws of iterated contraction it specifies amend the laws hitherto discussed in the literature.
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  • Counterfactuals and Consistency.Hans G. Herzberger - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):83-88.
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  • A Note on Jeffrey Conditionalization.Hartry Field - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (3):361-367.
    Bayesian decision theory can be viewed as the core of psychological theory for idealized agents. To get a complete psychological theory for such agents, you have to supplement it with input and output laws. On a Bayesian theory that employs strict conditionalization, the input laws are easy to give. On a Bayesian theory that employs Jeffrey conditionalization, there appears to be a considerable problem with giving the input laws. However, Jeffrey conditionalization can be reformulated so that the problem disappears, and (...)
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  • Methods of Logic.W. V. O. Quine - 1950 - Harvard University Press.
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  • The Logic of Decision.Henry E. Kyberg & R. C. Jeffrey - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (2):250.
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  • Dispositions. [REVIEW]John W. Carroll - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (1):82-84.
    With the possible exception of causation, disposition concepts are as prevalent in ordinary thought as any of the nomic concepts. Progress on their nature has been hard to come by. No doubt the difficulty of saying anything illuminating and suitably general about their nature is a function of their pervasiveness.
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  • A Philosophical Guide to Conditionals.Jonathan Bennett - 2003 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 66 (2):379-380.
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  • A Philosophical Guide to Conditionals.Jonathan Bennett - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Conditional sentences are among the most intriguing and puzzling features of language, and analysis of their meaning and function has important implications for, and uses in, many areas of philosophy. Jonathan Bennett, one of the world's leading experts, distils many years' work and teaching into this Philosophical Guide to Conditionals, the fullest and most authoritative treatment of the subject. An ideal introduction for undergraduates with a philosophical grounding, it also offers a rich source of illumination and stimulation for graduate students (...)
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  • Knowledge and Belief: An Introduction to the Logic of the Two Notions.Alan R. White & Jaakko Hintikka - 1962 - Philosophical Quarterly 15 (60):268.
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  • The Logic of Decision.Richard Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.
    "[This book] proposes new foundations for the Bayesian principle of rational action, and goes on to develop a new logic of desirability and probabtility."—Frederic Schick, _Journal of Philosophy_.
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  • The Logic of Decision.Richard C. Jeffrey - 1965 - Journal of Philosophy 64 (12):396-400.
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  • The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    The second volume in the _Blackwell Brown Lectures in Philosophy_, this volume offers an original and provocative take on the nature and methodology of philosophy. Based on public lectures at Brown University, given by the pre-eminent philosopher, Timothy Williamson Rejects the ideology of the 'linguistic turn', the most distinctive trend of 20th century philosophy Explains the method of philosophy as a development from non-philosophical ways of thinking Suggests new ways of understanding what contemporary and past philosophers are doing.
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