24 found
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  1. A Model-Invariant Theory of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (1):45-96.
    I provide a theory of causation within the causal modeling framework. In contrast to most of its predecessors, this theory is model-invariant in the following sense: if the theory says that C caused (didn't cause) E in a causal model, M, then it will continue to say that C caused (didn't cause) E once we've removed an inessential variable from M. I suggest that, if this theory is true, then we should understand a cause as something which transmits deviant or (...)
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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Causal counterfactuals without miracles or backtracking.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (2):439-469.
    If the laws are deterministic, then standard theories of counterfactuals are forced to reject at least one of the following conditionals: 1) had you chosen differently, there would not have been a violation of the laws of nature; and 2) had you chosen differently, the initial conditions of the universe would not have been different. On the relevant readings—where we hold fixed factors causally independent of your choice—both of these conditionals appear true. And rejecting either one leads to trouble for (...)
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  5. Local and global deference.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2753-2770.
    A norm of local expert deference says that your credence in an arbitrary proposition A, given that the expert's probability for A is n, should be n. A norm of global expert deference says that your credence in A, given that the expert's entire probability function is E, should be E(A). Gaifman (1988) taught us that these two norms are not equivalent. Stalnaker (2019) conjectures that Gaifman's example is "a loophole". Here, I substantiate Stalnaker's suspicions by providing characterisation theorems which (...)
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  6. The Causal Decision Theorist's Guide to Managing the News.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (3):117-149.
    According to orthodox causal decision theory, performing an action can give you information about factors outside of your control, but you should not take this information into account when deciding what to do. Causal decision theorists caution against an irrational policy of 'managing the news'. But, by providing information about factors outside of your control, performing an act can give you two, importantly different, kinds of good news. It can tell you that the world in which you find yourself is (...)
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  7. A subjectivist’s guide to deterministic chance.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4339-4372.
    I present an account of deterministic chance which builds upon the physico-mathematical approach to theorizing about deterministic chance known as 'the method of arbitrary functions'. This approach promisingly yields deterministic probabilities which align with what we take the chances to be---it tells us that there is approximately a 1/2 probability of a spun roulette wheel stopping on black, and approximately a 1/2 probability of a flipped coin landing heads up---but it requires some probabilistic materials to work with. I contend that (...)
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  8. Riches and Rationality.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):114-129.
    A one-boxer, Erica, and a two-boxer, Chloe, engage in a familiar debate. The debate begins with Erica asking Chloe: ‘If you’re so smart, then why ain’cha rich?’. As the debate progresses, Chloe is led to endorse a novel causalist theory of rational choice. This new theory allows Chloe to forge a connection between rational choice and long-run riches. In brief: Chloe concludes that it is not long-run wealth but rather long-run wealth creation which is symptomatic of rationality.
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  9. A theory of structural determination.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):159-186.
    While structural equations modeling is increasingly used in philosophical theorizing about causation, it remains unclear what it takes for a particular structural equations model to be correct. To the extent that this issue has been addressed, the consensus appears to be that it takes a certain family of causal counterfactuals being true. I argue that this account faces difficulties in securing the independent manipulability of the structural determination relations represented in a correct structural equations model. I then offer an alternate (...)
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  10. Decision and foreknowledge.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2024 - Noûs 58 (1):77-105.
    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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  11. How to Learn from Theory-Dependent Evidence; or Commutativity and Holism: A Solution for Conditionalizers.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (3):493-519.
    Weisberg ([2009]) provides an argument that neither conditionalization nor Jeffrey conditionalization is capable of accommodating the holist’s claim that beliefs acquired directly from experience can suffer undercutting defeat. I diagnose this failure as stemming from the fact that neither conditionalization nor Jeffrey conditionalization give any advice about how to rationally respond to theory-dependent evidence, and I propose a novel updating procedure that does tell us how to respond to evidence like this. This holistic updating rule yields conditionalization as a special (...)
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  12. Learning and Value Change.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19:1--22.
    Accuracy-first accounts of rational learning attempt to vindicate the intuitive idea that, while rationally-formed belief need not be true, it is nevertheless likely to be true. To this end, they attempt to show that the Bayesian's rational learning norms are a consequence of the rational pursuit of accuracy. Existing accounts fall short of this goal, for they presuppose evidential norms which are not and cannot be vindicated in terms of the single-minded pursuit of accuracy. I propose an alternative account, according (...)
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  13. Counterfactual Decision Theory Is Causal Decision Theory.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2024 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 105 (1):115-156.
    The role of causation and counterfactuals in causal decision theory is vexed and disputed. Recently, Brian Hedden (2023) argues that we should abandon causal decision theory in favour of an alternative: counterfactual decision theory. I argue that, pace Hedden, counterfactual decision theory is not a competitor to, but rather a version of, causal decision theory – the most popular version by far. I provide textual evidence that the founding fathers of causal decision theory (Stalnaker, Gibbard, Harper, Lewis, Skyrms, Sobel, and (...)
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  14. Surreal Probabilities.J. Dmitri Gallow - manuscript
    We will flip a fair coin infinitely many times. Al calls the first flip, claiming it will land heads. Betty calls every odd numbered flip, claiming they will all land heads. Carl calls every flip bar none, claiming they will all land heads. Pre-theoretically, it seems that Al's claim is infinitely more likely than Betty's, and that Betty's claim is infinitely more likely than Carl's. But standard, real-valued probability theory says that, while Al's claim is infinitely more likely than Betty's, (...)
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  15. Instrumental Divergence.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    The thesis of instrumental convergence holds that a wide range of ends have common means: for instance, self preservation, desire preservation, self improvement, and resource acquisition. Bostrom contends that instrumental convergence gives us reason to think that "the default outcome of the creation of machine superintelligence is existential catastrophe". I use the tools of decision theory to investigate whether this thesis is true. I find that, even if intrinsic desires are randomly selected, instrumental rationality induces biases towards certain kinds of (...)
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  16. No one can serve two epistemic masters.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2389-2398.
    Consider two epistemic experts—for concreteness, let them be two weather forecasters. Suppose that you aren’t certain that they will issue identical forecasts, and you would like to proportion your degrees of belief to theirs in the following way: first, conditional on either’s forecast of rain being x, you’d like your own degree of belief in rain to be x. Secondly, conditional on them issuing different forecasts of rain, you’d like your own degree of belief in rain to be some weighted (...)
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  17. Two-Dimensional De Se Chance Deference.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Principles of chance deference face two kinds of problems. In the first place, they face difficulties with a priori knowable contingencies. In the second place, they face difficulties in cases where you've lost track of the time. I provide a principle of chance deference which handles these problem cases. This principle has a surprising consequence for Adam Elga's Sleeping Beauty Puzzle.
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  18. The Sure Thing Principle Leads to Instability.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Orthodox causal decision theory is unstable. Its advice changes as you make up your mind about what you will do. Several have objected to this kind of instability and explored stable alternatives. Here, I'll show that explorers in search of stability must part with a vestige of their homeland. There is no plausible stable decision theory which satisfies Savage's Sure Thing Principle. So those in search of stability must learn to live without it.
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  19. How to Trace a Causal Process.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Philosophical Perspectives 36 (1):95-117.
    According to the theory developed here, we may trace out the processes emanating from a cause in such a way that any consequence lying along one of these processes counts as an effect of the cause. This theory gives intuitive verdicts in a diverse range of problem cases from the literature. Its claims about causation will never be retracted when we include additional variables in our model. And it validates some plausible principles about causation, including Sartorio's ‘Causes as Difference Makers’ (...)
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  20. It Can Be Irrational to Knowingly Choose the Best.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Jack Spencer argues we should reject a decision rule called MaxRat because it's incompatible with this principle: If you know that you will choose an option, x, and you know that x is better than every other option available to you, then it is permissible for you to choose x. I agree with Spencer that defenders of MaxRat should reject this principle. However, I disagree insofar as he suggests that he and orthodox causalists are in a position to accept it. (...)
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  21. Escaping the Cycle.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):99-127.
    I present a decision problem in which causal decision theory appears to violate the independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) and normal-form extensive-form equivalence (NEE). I show that these violations lead to exploitable behavior and long-run poverty. These consequences appear damning, but I urge caution. This decision should lead causalists to a better understanding of what it takes for a decision between some collection of options to count as a subdecision of a decision between a larger collection of options. And with (...)
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  22. Indifference to Anti-Humean Chances.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (5):485-501.
    An indifference principle says that your credences should be distributed uniformly over each of the possibilities you recognise. A chance deference principle says that your credences should be aligned with the chances. My thesis is that, if we are anti-Humeans about chance, then these two principles are incompatible. Anti-Humeans think that it is possible for the actual frequencies to depart from the chances. So long as you recognise possibilities like this, you cannot both spread your credences evenly and defer to (...)
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  23. A Variety of Causes[REVIEW]J. Dmitri Gallow - 2022 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  24. Newcomb’s Problem, Arif Ahmed (editor). Cambridge University Press, 2018, 233 pages. [REVIEW]J. Dmitri Gallow - 2020 - Economics and Philosophy 36 (1):171-176.
    Newcomb’s Problem, Arif Ahmed (editor). Cambridge University Press, 2018, 233 pages.
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