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Richard Bradley
London School of Economics
Darren Bradley
University of Leeds
Ben Bradley
Syracuse University
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  1. Are There Indefeasible Epistemic Rules?Darren Bradley - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    What if your peers tell you that you should disregard your perceptions? Worse, what if your peers tell you to disregard the testimony of your peers? How should we respond if we get evidence that seems to undermine our epistemic rules? Several philosophers have argued that some epistemic rules are indefeasible. I will argue that all epistemic rules are defeasible. The result is a kind of epistemic particularism, according to which there are no simple rules connecting descriptive and normative facts. (...)
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  2. Naturalness as a Constraint on Priors.Darren Bradley - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):179-203.
    Many epistemological problems can be solved by the objective Bayesian view that there are rationality constraints on priors, that is, inductive probabilities. But attempts to work out these constraints have run into such serious problems that many have rejected objective Bayesianism altogether. I argue that the epistemologist should borrow the metaphysician’s concept of naturalness and assign higher priors to more natural hypotheses.
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  3. Self-Location is No Problem for Conditionalization.Darren Bradley - 2011 - Synthese 182 (3):393-411.
    How do temporal and eternal beliefs interact? I argue that acquiring a temporal belief should have no effect on eternal beliefs for an important range of cases. Thus, I oppose the popular view that new norms of belief change must be introduced for cases where the only change is the passing of time. I defend this position from the purported counter-examples of the Prisoner and Sleeping Beauty. I distinguish two importantly different ways in which temporal beliefs can be acquired and (...)
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  4. When Betting Odds and Credences Come Apart: More Worries for Dutch Book Arguments.Darren Bradley & Hannes Leitgeb - 2006 - Analysis 66 (2):119-127.
    If an agent believes that the probability of E being true is 1/2, should she accept a bet on E at even odds or better? Yes, but only given certain conditions. This paper is about what those conditions are. In particular, we think that there is a condition that has been overlooked so far in the literature. We discovered it in response to a paper by Hitchcock (2004) in which he argues for the 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem. (...)
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  5. Counterfactual Desirability.Richard Bradley & H. Orii Stefansson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):485-533.
    The desirability of what actually occurs is often influenced by what could have been. Preferences based on such value dependencies between actual and counterfactual outcomes generate a class of problems for orthodox decision theory, the best-known perhaps being the so-called Allais Paradox. In this paper we solve these problems by extending Richard Jeffrey's decision theory to counterfactual prospects, using a multidimensional possible-world semantics for conditionals, and showing that preferences that are sensitive to counterfactual considerations can still be desirability maximising. We (...)
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  6. Is Death Bad for a Cow?Ben Bradley - 2015 - In The Ethics of Killing Animals. pp. 51-64.
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  7. Philosophers Should Prefer Simpler Theories.Darren Bradley - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3049-3067.
    Should philosophers prefer simpler theories? Huemer (Philos Q 59:216–236, 2009) argues that the reasons to prefer simpler theories in science do not apply in philosophy. I will argue that Huemer is mistaken—the arguments he marshals for preferring simpler theories in science can also be applied in philosophy. Like Huemer, I will focus on the philosophy of mind and the nominalism/Platonism debate. But I want to engage with the broader issue of whether simplicity is relevant to philosophy.
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  8. Belief Revision Generalized: A Joint Characterization of Bayes's and Jeffrey's Rules.Franz Dietrich, Christian List & Richard Bradley - 2016 - Journal of Economic Theory 162:352-371.
    We present a general framework for representing belief-revision rules and use it to characterize Bayes's rule as a classical example and Jeffrey's rule as a non-classical one. In Jeffrey's rule, the input to a belief revision is not simply the information that some event has occurred, as in Bayes's rule, but a new assignment of probabilities to some events. Despite their differences, Bayes's and Jeffrey's rules can be characterized in terms of the same axioms: "responsiveness", which requires that revised beliefs (...)
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  9. Self-Locating Belief and Updating on Learning.Darren Bradley - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):579-584.
    Self-locating beliefs cause a problem for conditionalization. Miriam Schoenfield offers a solution: that on learning E, agents should update on the fact that they learned E. However, Schoenfield is not explicit about whether the fact that they learned E is self-locating. I will argue that if the fact that they learned E is self-locating then the original problem has not been addressed, and if the fact that they learned E is not self-locating then the theory generates implausible verdicts which Schoenfield (...)
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  10. Confirmation in a Branching World: The Everett Interpretation and Sleeping Beauty.Darren Bradley - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):323-342.
    Sometimes we learn what the world is like, and sometimes we learn where in the world we are. Are there any interesting differences between the two kinds of cases? The main aim of this article is to argue that learning where we are in the world brings into view the same kind of observation selection effects that operate when sampling from a population. I will first explain what observation selection effects are ( Section 1 ) and how they are relevant (...)
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  11. Four Problems About Self-Locating Belief.D. Bradley - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (2):149-177.
    This article defends the Doomsday Argument, the Halfer Position in Sleeping Beauty, the Fine-Tuning Argument, and the applicability of Bayesian confirmation theory to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. It will argue that all four problems have the same structure, and it gives a unified treatment that uses simple models of the cases and no controversial assumptions about confirmation or self-locating evidence. The article will argue that the troublesome feature of all these cases is not self-location but selection effects.
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  12. Carnap’s Epistemological Critique of Metaphysics.Darren Bradley - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2247-2265.
    Many who take a dismissive attitude towards metaphysics trace their view back to Carnap’s ‘Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology’. But the reason Carnap takes a dismissive attitude to metaphysics is a matter of controversy. I will argue that no reason is given in ‘Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology’, and this is because his reason for rejecting metaphysical debates was given in ‘Pseudo-Problems in Philosophy’. The argument there assumes verificationism, but I will argue that his argument survives the rejection of verificationism. The root (...)
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  13. Multiple Universes and Observation Selection Effects.Darren Bradley - 2009 - American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (1):72.
    The fine-tuning argument can be used to support the Many Universe hypothesis. The Inverse Gambler’s Fallacy objection seeks to undercut the support for the Many Universe hypothesis. The objection is that although the evidence that there is life somewhere confirms Many Universes, the specific evidence that there is life in this universe does not. I will argue that the Inverse Gambler’s Fallacy is not committed by the fine-tuning argument. The key issue is the procedure by which the universe with life (...)
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  14.  43
    Following the Science: Pandemic Policy Making and Reasonable Worst-Case Scenarios.Richard Bradley & Joe Roussos - 2021 - LSE Public Policy Review 1 (4):6.
    The UK has been ‘following the science’ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in line with the national framework for the use of scientific advice in assessment of risk. We argue that the way in which it does so is unsatisfactory in two important respects. Firstly, pandemic policy making is not based on a comprehensive assessment of policy impacts. And secondly, the focus on reasonable worst-case scenarios as a way of managing uncertainty results in a loss of decision-relevant information and (...)
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  15. Desire-as-Belief Revisited.Richard Bradley & Christian List - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):31-37.
    On Hume’s account of motivation, beliefs and desires are very different kinds of propositional attitudes. Beliefs are cognitive attitudes, desires emotive ones. An agent’s belief in a proposition captures the weight he or she assigns to this proposition in his or her cognitive representation of the world. An agent’s desire for a proposition captures the degree to which he or she prefers its truth, motivating him or her to act accordingly. Although beliefs and desires are sometimes entangled, they play very (...)
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  16. Should Explanations Omit the Details?Darren Bradley - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):827-853.
    There is a widely shared belief that the higher-level sciences can provide better explanations than lower-level sciences. But there is little agreement about exactly why this is so. It is often suggested that higher-level explanations are better because they omit details. I will argue instead that the preference for higher-level explanations is just a special case of our general preference for informative, logically strong, beliefs. I argue that our preference for informative beliefs entirely accounts for why higher-level explanations are sometimes (...)
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  17. Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
    Decision-making typically requires judgments about causal relations: we need to know the causal effects of our actions and the causal relevance of various environmental factors. We investigate how several individuals' causal judgments can be aggregated into collective causal judgments. First, we consider the aggregation of causal judgments via the aggregation of probabilistic judgments, and identify the limitations of this approach. We then explore the possibility of aggregating causal judgments independently of probabilistic ones. Formally, we introduce the problem of causal-network aggregation. (...)
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  18. Sleeping Beauty: A Note on Dorr's Argument for 1/3.Darren Bradley - 2003 - Analysis 63 (3):266–268.
    Cian Dorr (2002) gives an argument for the 1/3 position in Sleeping Beauty. I argue this is based on a mistake about Sleeping Beauty's epistemic position.
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  19.  90
    Ought-Contextualism and Reasoning.Darren Bradley - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2977-2999.
    What does logic tells us how about we ought to reason? If P entails Q, and I believe P, should I believe Q? I will argue that we should embed the issue in an independently motivated contextualist semantics for ‘ought’, with parameters for a standard and set of propositions. With the contextualist machinery in hand, we can defend a strong principle expressing how agents ought to reason while accommodating conflicting intuitions. I then show how our judgments about blame and guidance (...)
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  20. Monty Hall, Doomsday and Confirmation.Darren Bradley & Branden Fitelson - 2003 - Analysis 63 (1):23–31.
    We give an analysis of the Monty Hall problem purely in terms of confirmation, without making any lottery assumptions about priors. Along the way, we show the Monty Hall problem is structurally identical to the Doomsday Argument.
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  21. Functionalism and The Independence Problems.Darren Bradley - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):545-557.
    The independence problems for functionalism stem from the worry that if functional properties are defined in terms of their causes and effects then such functional properties seem to be too intimately connected to these purported causes and effects. I distinguish three different ways the independence problems can be filled out – in terms of necessary connections, analytic connections and vacuous explanations. I argue that none of these present serious problems. Instead, they bring out some important and over-looked features of functionalism.
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  22. Climate Change Assessments: Confidence, Probability and Decision.Richard Bradley, Casey Helgeson & Brian Hill - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):500–522.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has developed a novel framework for assessing and communicating uncertainty in the findings published in their periodic assessment reports. But how should these uncertainty assessments inform decisions? We take a formal decision-making perspective to investigate how scientific input formulated in the IPCC’s novel framework might inform decisions in a principled way through a normative decision model.
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  23. Everettian Confirmation and Sleeping Beauty: Reply to Wilson: Figure 1.Darren Bradley - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):683-693.
    In Bradley, I offered an analysis of Sleeping Beauty and the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics. I argued that one can avoid a kind of easy confirmation of EQM by paying attention to observation selection effects, that halfers are right about Sleeping Beauty, and that thirders cannot avoid easy confirmation for the truth of EQM. Wilson agrees with my analysis of observation selection effects in EQM, but goes on to, first, defend Elga’s thirder argument on Sleeping Beauty and, second, argue (...)
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  24. Conditionalization and Belief De Se.Darren Bradley - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):247-250.
    Colin Howson (1995 ) offers a counter-example to the rule of conditionalization. I will argue that the counter-example doesn't hit its target. The problem is that Howson mis-describes the total evidence the agent has. In particular, Howson overlooks how the restriction that the agent learn 'E and nothing else' interacts with the de se evidence 'I have learnt E'.
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  25. A Relevant Alternatives Solution to the Bootstrapping and Self-Knowledge Problems.Darren Bradley - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (7):379-393.
    The main argument given for relevant alternatives theories of knowledge has been that they answer scepticism about the external world. I will argue that relevant alternatives also solve two other problems that have been much discussed in recent years, a) the bootstrapping problem and b) the apparent conflict between semantic externalism and armchair self-knowledge. Furthermore, I will argue that scepticism and Mooreanism can be embedded within the relevant alternatives framework.
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  26. Weisberg on Design: What Fine-Tuning’s Got to Do with It.Darren Bradley - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (3):435-438.
    Jonathan Weisberg (2010 ) argues that, given that life exists, the fact that the universe is fine-tuned for life does not confirm the design hypothesis. And if the fact that life exists confirms the design hypothesis, fine-tuning is irrelevant. So either way, fine-tuning has nothing to do with it. I will defend a design argument that survives Weisberg’s critique — the fact that life exists supports the design hypothesis, but it only does so given fine-tuning.
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  27. Justified Concepts and the Limits of the Conceptual Approach to the A Priori.Darren Bradley - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):267-274.
    Carrie Jenkins (2005, 2008) has developed a theory of the a priori that she claims solves the problem of how justification regarding our concepts can give us justification regarding the world. She claims that concepts themselves can be justified, and that beliefs formed by examining such concepts can be justified a priori. I object that we can have a priori justified beliefs with unjustified concepts if those beliefs have no existential import. I then argue that only beliefs without existential import (...)
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  28. Dynamic Beliefs and the Passage of Time.Darren Bradley - 2013 - In A. Capone & N. Feit (eds.), Attitudes De Se. University of Chicago.
    How should our beliefs change over time? Much has been written about how our beliefs should change in the light of new evidence. But that is not the question I’m asking. Sometimes our beliefs change without new evidence. I previously believed it was Sunday. I now believe it’s Monday. In this paper I discuss the implications of such beliefs for philosophy of language. I will argue that we need to allow for ‘dynamic’ beliefs, that we need new norms of belief (...)
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  29. Scientific Uncertainty: A User's Guide.Seamus Bradley - 2012 - Grantham Institute on Climate Change Discussion Paper.
    There are different kinds of uncertainty. I outline some of the various ways that uncertainty enters science, focusing on uncertainty in climate science and weather prediction. I then show how we cope with some of these sources of error through sophisticated modelling techniques. I show how we maintain confidence in the face of error.
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  30. Dutch Book Arguments and Imprecise Probabilities.Seamus Bradley - 2012 - In Dennis Dieks, Stephan Hartmann, Michael Stoeltzner & Marcel Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws and Structures. Springer.
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  31. Functionalist Response-Dependence Avoids Missing Explanations.D. J. Bradley - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):297-300.
    I argue that there is a flaw in the way that response-dependence has been formulated in the literature, and this flawed formulation has been correctly attacked by Mark Johnston’s Missing Explanation Argument (1993, 1998). Moving to a better formulation, which is analogous to the move from behaviourism to functionalism, avoids the Missing Explanation Argument.
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  32. Assessing the Wellbeing Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Three Policy Types: Suppression, Control, and Uncontrolled Spread.Matthew D. Adler, Richard Bradley, Maddalena Ferranna, Marc Fleurbaey, James Hammitt & Alex Voorhoeve - 2020 - Thinktank 20 Policy Briefs for the G20 Meeting in Saudi Arabia 2020.
    The COVID-19 crisis has forced a difficult trade-off between limiting the health impacts of the virus and maintaining economic activity. Welfare economics offers tools to conceptualize this trade-off so that policy-makers and the public can see clearly what is at stake. We review four such tools: the Value of Statistical Life (VSL); the Value of Statistical Life Years (VSLYs); Quality-Adjusted Life-Years (QALYs); and social welfare analysis, and argue that the latter are superior. We also discuss how to choose policies that (...)
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  33. A Defense of Temporal Well-Being.Ben Bradley - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (1):117-123.
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  34. A Literary Approach to Scientific Practice: R. I. G. Hughes: The Theoretical Practices of Physics: Philosophical Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 289pp, £35.00, $ 75.00 HB.Seamus Bradley - 2011 - Metascience 20 (2):363--367.
    A literary approach to scientific practice: Essay Review of R.I.G. Hughes' _The Theoretical Practices of Physics_.
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  35. A Priori Causal Laws.Darren Bradley - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):358-370.
    Sober and Elgin defend the claim that there are a priori causal laws in biology. Lange and Rosenberg take issue with this on Humean grounds, among others. I will argue that Sober and Elgin don’t go far enough – there are a priori causal laws in many sciences. Furthermore, I will argue that this thesis is compatible with a Humean metaphysics and an empiricist epistemology.
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  36. Bayesianism And Self-Locating Beliefs.Darren Bradley - 2007 - Dissertation, Stanford University
    How should we update our beliefs when we learn new evidence? Bayesian confirmation theory provides a widely accepted and well understood answer – we should conditionalize. But this theory has a problem with self-locating beliefs, beliefs that tell you where you are in the world, as opposed to what the world is like. To see the problem, consider your current belief that it is January. You might be absolutely, 100%, sure that it is January. But you will soon believe it (...)
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  37.  20
    Clashing Consciousness: A Cure for Modern Medicine's Epistemic Privilege.Holder Bradley - 2021 - Stance 14:78-90.
    In this paper, I consider practical strategies for resolving the epistemic injustice that ill persons face when seeking medical treatment. My arguments will expand upon those initially made by Havi Carel and Ian James Kidd in “Epistemic Injustice in Healthcare: A Philosophical Analysis.” My approach to this problem is twofold. First, I will demonstrate how the phenomenological toolkit, as it currently stands, emphasizes the patient’s experience and leaves the doctor’s experience unadjusted. After this, I will explain how the toolkit can (...)
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  38. Decision Theory, Philosophical Perspectives.Darren Bradley - 2013 - In Hal Pashler (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage Publications.
    Decision theory is concerned with how agents should act when the consequences of their actions are uncertain. The central principle of contemporary decision theory is that the rational choice is the choice that maximizes subjective expected utility. This entry explains what this means, and discusses the philosophical motivations and consequences of the theory. The entry will consider some of the main problems and paradoxes that decision theory faces, and some of responses that can be given. Finally the entry will briefly (...)
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  39. Review of 'Ontology After Carnap' Edited by Stephan Blatti and Sandra Lapointe. [REVIEW]Darren Bradley - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):858-861.
    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected]‘Carnap is not completely unknown to us’ comments Richard Creath in his contribution to this book. ‘We often know just enough to be baffled’. It will be no surprise to anyone when I say that this book will not unbaffle us. But it does give us a collection of rewarding papers that each wrestle with the legacy Carnap has (...)
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  40. Review of 'Theoretical Virtues in Science' by Samuel Schindler. [REVIEW]Darren Bradley - manuscript
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  41. Uniqueness and Modesty: How Permissivists Can Live on the Edge.Darren Bradley - forthcoming - Mind.
    There is a divide in epistemology between those who think that, for any hypothesis and set of total evidence, there is a unique rational credence in that hypothesis, and those who think that there can be many rational credences. Schultheis offers a novel and potentially devastating objection to Permissivism, on the grounds that Permissivism permits dominated credences. I will argue that Permissivists can plausibly block Schultheis' argument. The issue turns on getting clear about whether we should be certain whether our (...)
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  42.  39
    On the Appropriate and Inappropriate Uses of Probability Distributions in Climate Projections and Some Alternatives.Joel Katzav, Erica L. Thompson, James Risbey, David A. Stainforth, Seamus Bradley & Mathias Frisch - 2021 - Climatic Change 169 (15).
    When do probability distribution functions (PDFs) about future climate misrepresent uncertainty? How can we recognise when such misrepresentation occurs and thus avoid it in reasoning about or communicating our uncertainty? And when we should not use a PDF, what should we do instead? In this paper we address these three questions. We start by providing a classification of types of uncertainty and using this classification to illustrate when PDFs misrepresent our uncertainty in a way that may adversely affect decisions. We (...)
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  43. An Atheistic Defence of Christian Science.Monton Bradley - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (3):43--54.
    Should the Christian community engage in Christian science – doing science starting from the standpoint of the Christian evidence base? Plantinga asks this question, and I argue that the answer is ‘yes’. Moreover, this is an answer that both Christians and atheists can agree upon. Scientific progress should not be shackled by methodological naturalism; instead we need an ecumenical approach to science, which will allow for various high-level research programmes to count as science (including Christian science). If one does science (...)
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