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Michael Nielsen
University of Sydney
  1. Another Approach to Consensus and Maximally Informed Opinions with Increasing Evidence.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (2):236-254.
    Merging of opinions results underwrite Bayesian rejoinders to complaints about the subjective nature of personal probability. Such results establish that sufficiently similar priors achieve consensus in the long run when fed the same increasing stream of evidence. Initial subjectivity, the line goes, is of mere transient significance, giving way to intersubjective agreement eventually. Here, we establish a merging result for sets of probability measures that are updated by Jeffrey conditioning. This generalizes a number of different merging results in the literature. (...)
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  2. Persistent Disagreement and Polarization in a Bayesian Setting.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy056.
    For two ideally rational agents, does learning a finite amount of shared evidence necessitate agreement? No. But does it at least guard against belief polarization, the case in which their opinions get further apart? No. OK, but are rational agents guaranteed to avoid polarization if they have access to an infinite, increasing stream of shared evidence? No.
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  3.  53
    Accuracy-Dominance and Conditionalization.Michael Nielsen - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Epistemic decision theory produces arguments with both normative and mathematical premises. I begin by arguing that philosophers should care about whether the mathematical premises (1) are true, (2) are strong, and (3) admit simple proofs. I then discuss a theorem that Briggs and Pettigrew (2020) use as a premise in a novel accuracy-dominance argument for conditionalization. I argue that the theorem and its proof can be improved in a number of ways. First, I present a counterexample that shows that one (...)
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  4. Counterexamples to Some Characterizations of Dilation.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2019 - Erkenntnis:1-12.
    Pedersen and Wheeler (2014) and Pedersen and Wheeler (2015) offer a wide-ranging and in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of dilation. We find that these studies raise many interesting and important points. However, purportedly general characterizations of dilation are reported in them that, unfortunately, admit counterexamples. The purpose of this note is to show in some detail that these characterization results are false.
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  5. Obligation, Permission, and Bayesian Orgulity.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    This essay has two aims. The first is to correct an increasingly popular way of misunderstanding Belot's Orgulity Argument. The Orgulity Argument charges Bayesianism with defect as a normative epistemology. For concreteness, our argument focuses on Cisewski et al.'s recent rejoinder to Belot. The conditions that underwrite their version of the argument are too strong and Belot does not endorse them on our reading. A more compelling version of the Orgulity Argument than Cisewski et al. present is available, however---a point (...)
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  6. Speed-Optimal Induction and Dynamic Coherence.Michael Nielsen & Eric Wofsey - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz030.
    A standard way to challenge convergence-based accounts of inductive success is to claim that they are too weak to constrain inductive inferences in the short run. We respond to such a challenge by answering some questions raised by Juhl (1994). When it comes to predicting limiting relative frequencies in the framework of Reichenbach, we show that speed-optimal convergence—a long-run success condition—induces dynamic coherence in the short run.
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  7.  41
    Conglomerability, Disintegrability, and the Comparative Principle.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Our aim here is to present a result that connects some approaches to justifying countable additivity. This result allows us to better understand the force of a recent argument for countable additivity due to Easwaran (2013). We have two main points. First, Easwaran’s argument in favor of countable additivity should have little persuasive force on those permissive probabilists who have already made their peace with violations of conglomerability. As our result shows, Easwaran’s main premise—the comparative principle—is strictly stronger than conglomerability. (...)
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  8.  66
    Distention for Sets of Probabilities.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - manuscript
    A prominent pillar of Bayesian philosophy is that, relative to just a few constraints, priors “wash out” in the limit. Bayesians often appeal to such asymptotic results as a defense against charges of excessive subjectivity. But, as Seidenfeld and coauthors observe, what happens in the short run is often of greater interest than what happens in the limit. They use this point as one motivation for investigating the counterintuitive short run phenomenon of dilation since, it is alleged, “dilation contrasts with (...)
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