Representationtheorems are often taken to provide the foundations for decision theory. First, they are taken to characterize degrees of belief and utilities. Second, they are taken to justify two fundamental rules of rationality: that we should have probabilistic degrees of belief and that we should act as expected utility maximizers. We argue that representationtheorems cannot serve either of these foundational purposes, and that recent attempts to defend the foundational importance of representationtheorems (...) are unsuccessful. As a result, we should reject these claims, and lay the foundations of decision theory on firmer ground. (shrink)
The standard representation theorem for expected utility theory tells us that if a subject’s preferences conform to certain axioms, then she can be represented as maximising her expected utility given a particular set of credences and utilities—and, moreover, that having those credences and utilities is the only way that she could be maximising her expected utility. However, the kinds of agents these theorems seem apt to tell us anything about are highly idealised, being always probabilistically coherent with infinitely (...) precise degrees of belief and full knowledge of all a priori truths. Ordinary subjects do not look very rational when compared to the kinds of agents usually talked about in decision theory. In this paper, I will develop an expected utility representation theorem aimed at the representation of those who are neither probabilistically coherent, logically omniscient, nor expected utility maximisers across the board—that is, agents who are frequently irrational. The agents in question may be deductively fallible, have incoherent credences, limited representational capacities, and fail to maximise expected utility for all but a limited class of gambles. (shrink)
This paper begins with a puzzle regarding Lewis' theory of radical interpretation. On the one hand, Lewis convincingly argued that the facts about an agent's sensory evidence and choices will always underdetermine the facts about her beliefs and desires. On the other hand, we have several representationtheorems—such as those of (Ramsey 1931) and (Savage 1954)—that are widely taken to show that if an agent's choices satisfy certain constraints, then those choices can suffice to determine her beliefs and (...) desires. In this paper, I will argue that Lewis' conclusion is correct: choices radically underdetermine beliefs and desires, and representationtheorems provide us with no good reasons to think otherwise. Any tension with those theorems is merely apparent, and relates ultimately to the difference between how 'choices' are understood within Lewis' theory and the problematic way that they're represented in the context of the representationtheorems. For the purposes of radical interpretation, representationtheorems like Ramsey's and Savage's just aren't very relevant after all. (shrink)
In this work we consider the problem of the approximate hedging of a contingent claim in the minimum mean square deviation criterion. A theorem on martingale representation in case of discrete time and an application of the result for semi-continuous market model are also given.
Epistemic justifications for democracy have been offered in terms of two different aspects of decision-making: voting and deliberation, or ‘votes’ and ‘talk.’ The Condorcet Jury Theorem is appealed to as a justification in terms votes, and the Hong-Page “Diversity Trumps Ability” result is appealed to as a justification in terms of deliberation. Both of these, however, are most plausibly construed as models of direct democracy, with full and direct participation across the population. In this paper, we explore how these results (...) hold up if we vary the model so as to reflect the more familiar democratic structure of a representative hierarchy. We first recount extant analytic work that shows that representation inevitably weakens the voting results of the Condorcet Jury Theorem, but we question the ability of that result to shine light on real representative systems. We then show that, when we move from votes to talk, as modeled in Hong-Page, representation holds its own and even has a slight edge. (shrink)
The text is a continuation of the article of the same name published in the previous issue of Philosophical Alternatives. The philosophical interpretations of the Kochen- Specker theorem (1967) are considered. Einstein's principle regarding the,consubstantiality of inertia and gravity" (1918) allows of a parallel between descriptions of a physical micro-entity in relation to the macro-apparatus on the one hand, and of physical macro-entities in relation to the astronomical mega-entities on the other. The Bohmian interpretation ( 1952) of quantum mechanics proposes (...) that all quantum systems be interpreted as dissipative ones and that the theorem be thus derstood. The conclusion is that the continual representation, by force or (gravitational) field between parts interacting by means of it, of a system is equivalent to their mutual entanglement if representation is discrete. Gravity (force field) and entanglement are two different, correspondingly continual and discrete, images of a single common essence. General relativity can be interpreted as a superluminal generalization of special relativity. The postulate exists of an alleged obligatory difference between a model and reality in science and philosophy. It can also be deduced by interpreting a corollary of the heorem. On the other hand, quantum mechanics, on the basis of this theorem and of V on Neumann's (1932), introduces the option that a model be entirely identified as the modeled reality and, therefore, that absolutely reality be recognized: this is a non-standard hypothesis in the epistemology of science. Thus, the true reality begins to be understood mathematically, i.e. in a Pythagorean manner, for its identification with its mathematical model. A few linked problems are highlighted: the role of the axiom of choice forcorrectly interpreting the theorem; whether the theorem can be considered an axiom; whether the theorem can be considered equivalent to the negation of the axiom. (shrink)
In the context of EPR-Bohm type experiments and spin detections confined to spacelike hypersurfaces, a local, deterministic and realistic model within a Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetime with a constant spatial curvature (S^3 ) is presented that describes simultaneous measurements of the spins of two fermions emerging in a singlet state from the decay of a spinless boson. Exact agreement with the probabilistic predictions of quantum theory is achieved in the model without data rejection, remote contextuality, superdeterminism or backward causation. A singularity-free Clifford-algebraic (...)representation of S^3 with vanishing spatial curvature and non-vanishing torsion is then employed to transform the model in a more elegant form. Several event-by-event numerical simulations of the model are presented, which confirm our analytical results with the accuracy of 4 parts in 10^4 . Possible implications of our results for practical applications such as quantum security protocols and quantum computing are briefly discussed. (shrink)
We present a new “reason-based” approach to the formal representation of moral theories, drawing on recent decision-theoretic work. We show that any moral theory within a very large class can be represented in terms of two parameters: a specification of which properties of the objects of moral choice matter in any given context, and a specification of how these properties matter. Reason-based representations provide a very general taxonomy of moral theories, as differences among theories can be attributed to differences (...) in their two key parameters. We can thus formalize several distinctions, such as between consequentialist and non-consequentialist theories, between universalist and relativist theories, between agent-neutral and agent-relative theories, between monistic and pluralistic theories, between atomistic and holistic theories, and between theories with a teleological structure and those without. Reason-based representations also shed light on an important but under-appreciated phenomenon: the “underdetermination of moral theory by deontic content”. (shrink)
Assuming that votes are independent, the epistemically optimal procedure in a binary collective choice problem is known to be a weighted supermajority rule with weights given by personal log-likelihood-ratios. It is shown here that an analogous result holds in a much more general model. Firstly, the result follows from a more basic principle than expected-utility maximisation, namely from an axiom (Epistemic Monotonicity) which requires neither utilities nor prior probabilities of the ‘correctness’ of alternatives. Secondly, a person’s input need not be (...) a vote for an alternative, it may be any type of input, for instance a subjective degree of belief or probability of the correctness of one of the alternatives. The case of a proﬁle of subjective degrees of belief is particularly appealing, since here no parameters such as competence parameters need to be known. (shrink)
In this article, it is argued that the Gibbs-Liouville theorem is a mathematical representation of the statement that closed classical systems evolve deterministically. From the perspective of an observer of the system, whose knowledge about the degrees of freedom of the system is complete, the statement of deterministic evolution is equivalent to the notion that the physical distinctions between the possible states of the system, or, in other words, the information possessed by the observer about the system, is never (...) lost. Furthermore, it is shown that the Hamilton equations and the Hamilton principle on phase space follow directly from the differential representation of the Gibbs-Liouville theorem, i.e. that the divergence of the Hamiltonian phase flow velocity vanish. Finally, it is argued that the statements of invariance of the Poisson algebra and unitary evolution are equivalent representations of the Gibbs-Liouville theorem. (shrink)
The first aim of this paper is to elucidate Russell’s construction of spatial points, which is to be <br>considered as a paradigmatic case of the "logical constructions" that played a central role in his epistemology and theory of science. Comparing it with parallel endeavours carried out by Carnap and Stone it is argued that Russell’s construction is best understood as a structural representation. It is shown that Russell’s and Carnap’s representational constructions may be considered as incomplete and sketchy harbingers (...) of Stone’s representationtheorems. The representational program inaugurated by Stone’s theorems was one of the success stories of 20th century’s mathematics. This suggests that representational constructions à la Stone could also be important for epistemology and philosophy of science. More specifically it is argued that the issues proposed by Russellian definite descriptions, logical constructions, and structural representations still have a place on the agenda of contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. Finally, the representational interpretation of Russell’s logical constructivism is used to shed some new light on the recently vigorously discussed topic of his structural realism. (shrink)
Non-commuting quantities and hidden parameters – Wave-corpuscular dualism and hidden parameters – Local or nonlocal hidden parameters – Phase space in quantum mechanics – Weyl, Wigner, and Moyal – Von Neumann’s theorem about the absence of hidden parameters in quantum mechanics and Hermann – Bell’s objection – Quantum-mechanical and mathematical incommeasurability – Kochen – Specker’s idea about their equivalence – The notion of partial algebra – Embeddability of a qubit into a bit – Quantum computer is not Turing machine – (...) Is continuality universal? – Diffeomorphism and velocity – Einstein’s general principle of relativity – „Mach’s principle“ – The Skolemian relativity of the discrete and the continuous – The counterexample in § 6 of their paper – About the classical tautology which is untrue being replaced by the statements about commeasurable quantum-mechanical quantities – Logical hidden parameters – The undecidability of the hypothesis about hidden parameters – Wigner’s work and и Weyl’s previous one – Lie groups, representations, and psi-function – From a qualitative to a quantitative expression of relativity − psi-function, or the discrete by the random – Bartlett’s approach − psi-function as the characteristic function of random quantity – Discrete and/ or continual description – Quantity and its “digitalized projection“ – The idea of „velocity−probability“ – The notion of probability and the light speed postulate – Generalized probability and its physical interpretation – A quantum description of macro-world – The period of the as-sociated de Broglie wave and the length of now – Causality equivalently replaced by chance – The philosophy of quantum information and religion – Einstein’s thesis about “the consubstantiality of inertia ant weight“ – Again about the interpretation of complex velocity – The speed of time – Newton’s law of inertia and Lagrange’s formulation of mechanics – Force and effect – The theory of tachyons and general relativity – Riesz’s representation theorem – The notion of covariant world line – Encoding a world line by psi-function – Spacetime and qubit − psi-function by qubits – About the physical interpretation of both the complex axes of a qubit – The interpretation of the self-adjoint operators components – The world line of an arbitrary quantity – The invariance of the physical laws towards quantum object and apparatus – Hilbert space and that of Minkowski – The relationship between the coefficients of -function and the qubits – World line = psi-function + self-adjoint operator – Reality and description – Does a „curved“ Hilbert space exist? – The axiom of choice, or when is possible a flattening of Hilbert space? – But why not to flatten also pseudo-Riemannian space? – The commutator of conjugate quantities – Relative mass – The strokes of self-movement and its philosophical interpretation – The self-perfection of the universe – The generalization of quantity in quantum physics – An analogy of the Feynman formalism – Feynman and many-world interpretation – The psi-function of various objects – Countable and uncountable basis – Generalized continuum and arithmetization – Field and entanglement – Function as coding – The idea of „curved“ Descartes product – The environment of a function – Another view to the notion of velocity-probability – Reality and description – Hilbert space as a model both of object and description – The notion of holistic logic – Physical quantity as the information about it – Cross-temporal correlations – The forecasting of future – Description in separable and inseparable Hilbert space – „Forces“ or „miracles“ – Velocity or time – The notion of non-finite set – Dasein or Dazeit – The trajectory of the whole – Ontological and onto-theological difference – An analogy of the Feynman and many-world interpretation − psi-function as physical quantity – Things in the world and instances in time – The generation of the physi-cal by mathematical – The generalized notion of observer – Subjective or objective probability – Energy as the change of probability per the unite of time – The generalized principle of least action from a new view-point – The exception of two dimensions and Fermat’s last theorem. (shrink)
We generalize and extend the class of Sahlqvist formulae in arbitrary polyadic modal languages, to the class of so called inductive formulae. To introduce them we use a representation of modal polyadic languages in a combinatorial style and thus, in particular, develop what we believe to be a better syntactic approach to elementary canonical formulae altogether. By generalizing the method of minimal valuations à la Sahlqvist–van Benthem and the topological approach of Sambin and Vaccaro we prove that all inductive (...) formulae are elementary canonical and thus extend Sahlqvist’s theorem over them. In particular, we give a simple example of an inductive formula which is not frame-equivalent to any Sahlqvist formula. Then, after a deeper analysis of the inductive formulae as set-theoretic operators in descriptive and Kripke frames, we establish a somewhat stronger model-theoretic characterization of these formulae in terms of a suitable equivalence to syntactically simpler formulae in the extension of the language with reversive modalities. Lastly, we study and characterize the elementary canonical formulae in reversive languages with nominals, where the relevant notion of persistence is with respect to discrete frames. (shrink)
In this paper we motivate and develop the analytic theory of measurement, in which autonomously specified algebras of quantities (together with the resources of mathematical analysis) are used as a unified mathematical framework for modeling (a) the time-dependent behavior of natural systems, (b) interactions between natural systems and measuring instruments, (c) error and uncertainty in measurement, and (d) the formal propositional language for describing and reasoning about measurement results. We also discuss how a celebrated theorem in analysis, known as Gelfand (...)representation, guarantees that autonomously specified algebras of quantities can be interpreted as algebras of observables on a suitable state space. Such an interpretation is then used to support (i) a realist conception of quantities as objective characteristics of natural systems, and (ii) a realist conception of measurement results (evaluations of quantities) as determined by and descriptive of the states of a target natural system. As a way of motivating the analytic approach to measurement, we begin with a discussion of some serious philosophical and theoretical problems facing the well-known representational theory of measurement. We then explain why we consider the analytic approach, which avoids all these problems, to be far more attractive on both philosophical and theoretical grounds. (shrink)
The philosophy of science of Patrick Suppes is centered on two important notions that are part of the title of his recent book (Suppes 2002): Representation and Invariance. Representation is important because when we embrace a theory we implicitly choose a way to represent the phenomenon we are studying. Invariance is important because, since invariants are the only things that are constant in a theory, in a way they give the “objective” meaning of that theory. Every scientific theory (...) gives a representation of a class of structures and studies the invariant properties holding in that class of structures. In Suppes’ view, the best way to define this class of structures is via axiomatization. This is because a class of structures is given by a definition, and this same definition establishes which are the properties that a single structure must possess in order to belong to the class. These properties correspond to the axioms of a logical theory. In Suppes’ view, the best way to characterize a scientific structure is by giving a representation theorem for its models and singling out the invariants in the structure. Thus, we can say that the philosophy of science of Patrick Suppes consists in the application of the axiomatic method to scientific disciplines. What I want to argue in this paper is that this application of the axiomatic method is also at the basis of a new approach that is being increasingly applied to the study of computer science and information systems, namely the approach of formal ontologies. The main task of an ontology is that of making explicit the conceptual structure underlying a certain domain. By “making explicit the conceptual structure” we mean singling out the most basic entities populating the domain and writing axioms expressing the main properties of these primitives and the relations holding among them. So, in both cases, the axiomatization is the main tool used to characterize the object of inquiry, being this object scientific theories (in Suppes’ approach), or information systems (for formal ontologies). In the following section I will present the view of Patrick Suppes on the philosophy of science and the axiomatic method, in section 3 I will survey the theoretical issues underlying the work that is being done in formal ontologies and in section 4 I will draw a comparison of these two approaches and explore similarities and differences between them. (shrink)
Classical interpretations of Goedels formal reasoning, and of his conclusions, implicitly imply that mathematical languages are essentially incomplete, in the sense that the truth of some arithmetical propositions of any formal mathematical language, under any interpretation, is, both, non-algorithmic, and essentially unverifiable. However, a language of general, scientific, discourse, which intends to mathematically express, and unambiguously communicate, intuitive concepts that correspond to scientific investigations, cannot allow its mathematical propositions to be interpreted ambiguously. Such a language must, therefore, define mathematical truth (...) verifiably. We consider a constructive interpretation of classical, Tarskian, truth, and of Goedel's reasoning, under which any formal system of Peano Arithmetic---classically accepted as the foundation of all our mathematical Languages---is verifiably complete in the above sense. We show how some paradoxical concepts of Quantum mechanics can, then, be expressed, and interpreted, naturally under a constructive definition of mathematical truth. (shrink)
It is quite well-known from Kurt G¨odel’s (1931) ground-breaking Incompleteness Theorem that rudimentary relations (i.e., those definable by bounded formulae) are primitive recursive, and that primitive recursive functions are representable in sufficiently strong arithmetical theories. It is also known, though perhaps not as well-known as the former one, that some primitive recursive relations are not rudimentary. We present a simple and elementary proof of this fact in the first part of the paper. In the second part, we review some possible (...) notions of representability of functions studied in the literature, and give a new proof of the equivalence of the weak representability with the (strong) representability of functions in sufficiently strong arithmetical theories. (shrink)
Multialgebras have been much studied in mathematics and in computer science. In 2016 Carnielli and Coniglio introduced a class of multialgebras called swap structures, as a semantic framework for dealing with several Logics of Formal Inconsistency that cannot be semantically characterized by a single finite matrix. In particular, these LFIs are not algebraizable by the standard tools of abstract algebraic logic. In this paper, the first steps towards a theory of non-deterministic algebraization of logics by swap structures are given. Specifically, (...) a formal study of swap structures for LFIs is developed, by adapting concepts of universal algebra to multialgebras in a suitable way. A decomposition theorem similar to Birkhoff’s representation theorem is obtained for each class of swap structures. Moreover, when applied to the 3-valued algebraizable logics J3 and Ciore, their classes of algebraic models are retrieved, and the swap structures semantics become twist structures semantics. This fact, together with the existence of a functor from the category of Boolean algebras to the category of swap structures for each LFI, suggests that swap structures can be seen as non-deterministic twist structures. This opens new avenues for dealing with non-algebraizable logics by the more general methodology of multialgebraic semantics. (shrink)
Epistemic justifications for democracy have been offered in terms of two different aspects of decision-making: voting and deliberation, or 'votes' and 'talk.' The Condorcet Jury Theorem is appealed to as a justification in terms of votes, and the Hong-Page "Diversity Trumps Ability" result is appealed to as a justification in terms of deliberation. Both of these, however, are most plausibly construed as models of direct democracy, with full and direct participation across the population. In this paper, we explore how these (...) results hold up if we vary the model so as to reflect the more familiar democratic structure of a representative hierarchy. We first recount extant analytic work that shows that representation inevitably weakens the voting results of the Condorcet Jury Theorem, but we question the ability of the result to shine light on real representative systems. We then show that, when we move from votes to talk, as modeled in Hong-Page, representation holds its own and even has a slight edge. (shrink)
As stochastic independence is essential to the mathematical development of probability theory, it seems that any foundational work on probability should be able to account for this property. Bayesian decision theory appears to be wanting in this respect. Savage’s postulates on preferences under uncertainty entail a subjective expected utility representation, and this asserts only the existence and uniqueness of a subjective probability measure, regardless of its properties. What is missing is a preference condition corresponding to stochastic independence. To fill (...) this significant gap, the article axiomatizes Bayesian decision theory afresh and proves several representationtheorems in this novel framework. (shrink)
The orthodox theory of instrumental rationality, expected utility (EU) theory, severely restricts the way in which risk-considerations can figure into a rational individual's preferences. It is argued here that this is because EU theory neglects an important component of instrumental rationality. This paper presents a more general theory of decision-making, risk-weighted expected utility (REU) theory, of which expected utility maximization is a special case. According to REU theory, the weight that each outcome gets in decision-making is not the subjective probability (...) of that outcome; rather, the weight each outcome gets depends on both its subjective probability and its position in the gamble. Furthermore, the individual's utility function, her subjective probability function, and a function that measures her attitude towards risk can be separately derived from her preferences via a Representation Theorem. This theorem illuminates the role that each of these entities plays in preferences, and shows how REU theory explicates the components of instrumental rationality. (shrink)
We prove a representation theorem for preference relations over countably infinite lotteries that satisfy a generalized form of the Independence axiom, without assuming Continuity. The representing space consists of lexicographically ordered transfinite sequences of bounded real numbers. This result is generalized to preference orders on abstract superconvex spaces.
Both Representation Theorem Arguments and Dutch Book Arguments support taking probabilistic coherence as an epistemic norm. Both depend on connecting beliefs to preferences, which are not clearly within the epistemic domain. Moreover, these connections are standardly grounded in questionable definitional/metaphysical claims. The paper argues that these definitional/metaphysical claims are insupportable. It offers a way of reconceiving Representation Theorem arguments which avoids the untenable premises. It then develops a parallel approach to Dutch Book Arguments, and compares the results. In (...) each case preferencedefects serve as a diagnostic tool, indicating purely epistemic defects. (shrink)
Although expected utility theory has proven a fruitful and elegant theory in the finite realm, attempts to generalize it to infinite values have resulted in many paradoxes. In this paper, we argue that the use of John Conway's surreal numbers shall provide a firm mathematical foundation for transfinite decision theory. To that end, we prove a surreal representation theorem and show that our surreal decision theory respects dominance reasoning even in the case of infinite values. We then bring our (...) theory to bear on one of the more venerable decision problems in the literature: Pascal's Wager. Analyzing the wager showcases our theory's virtues and advantages. To that end, we analyze two objections against the wager: Mixed Strategies and Many Gods. After formulating the two objections in the framework of surreal utilities and probabilities, our theory correctly predicts that (1) the pure Pascalian strategy beats all mixed strategies, and (2) what one should do in a Pascalian decision problem depends on what one's credence function is like. Our analysis therefore suggests that although Pascal's Wager is mathematically coherent, it does not deliver what it purports to, a rationally compelling argument that people should lead a religious life regardless of how confident they are in theism and its alternatives. (shrink)
Decision theory has at its core a set of mathematical theorems that connect rational preferences to functions with certain structural properties. The components of these theorems, as well as their bearing on questions surrounding rationality, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Philosophy’s current interest in decision theory represents a convergence of two very different lines of thought, one concerned with the question of how one ought to act, and the other concerned with the question of what (...) action consists in and what it reveals about the actor’s mental states. As a result, the theory has come to have two different uses in philosophy, which we might call the normative use and the interpretive use. It also has a related use that is largely within the domain of psychology, the descriptive use. This essay examines the historical development of decision theory and its uses; the relationship between the norm of decision theory and the notion of rationality; and the interdependence of the uses of decision theory. (shrink)
This paper presents a uniform semantic treatment of nonmonotonic inference operations that allow for inferences from infinite sets of premises. The semantics is formulated in terms of selection functions and is a generalization of the preferential semantics of Shoham (1987), (1988), Kraus, Lehman, and Magidor (1990) and Makinson (1989), (1993). A selection function picks out from a given set of possible states (worlds, situations, models) a subset consisting of those states that are, in some sense, the most preferred ones. A (...) proposition α is a nonmonotonic consequence of a set of propositions Γ iff α holds in all the most preferred Γ-states. In the literature on revealed preference theory, there are a number of well-known theorems concerning the representability of selection functions, satisfying certain properties, in terms of underlying preference relations. Such theorems are utilized here to give corresponding representationtheorems for nonmonotonic inference operations. At the end of the paper, the connection between nonmonotonic inference and belief revision, in the sense of Alchourrón, Gärdenfors, and Makinson, is explored. In this connection, infinitary belief revision operations that allow for the revision of a theory with a possibly infinite set of propositions are introduced and characterized axiomatically. (shrink)
Jim Joyce argues for two amendments to probabilism. The first is the doctrine that credences are rational, or not, in virtue of their accuracy or “closeness to the truth” (1998). The second is a shift from a numerically precise model of belief to an imprecise model represented by a set of probability functions (2010). We argue that both amendments cannot be satisfied simultaneously. To do so, we employ a (slightly-generalized) impossibility theorem of Seidenfeld, Schervish, and Kadane (2012), who show that (...) there is no strictly proper scoring rule for imprecise probabilities. -/- The question then is what should give way. Joyce, who is well aware of this no-go result, thinks that a quantifiability constraint on epistemic accuracy should be relaxed to accommodate imprecision. We argue instead that another Joycean assumption — called strict immodesty— should be rejected, and we prove a representation theorem that characterizes all “mildly” immodest measures of inaccuracy. (shrink)
According to the preference-centric approach to understanding partial belief, the connection between partial beliefs and preferences is key to understanding what partial beliefs are and how they’re measured. As Ramsey put it, the ‘degree of a belief is a causal property of it, which we can express vaguely as the extent to which we are prepared to act on it’ The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays, Routledge, Oxon, pp 156–198, 1931). But this idea is not as popular as (...) it once was. Nowadays, the preference-centric approach is frequently dismissed out-of-hand as behaviouristic, unpalatably anti-realist, and/or prone to devastating counterexamples. Cases like Eriksson and Hájek’s :183–213, 2007) preferenceless Zen monk and Christensen’s :356–376, 2001) other roles argument have suggested to many that any account of partial belief that ties them too closely to preferences is irretrievably flawed. In this paper I provide a defence of preference-centric accounts of partial belief. (shrink)
People with the kind of preferences that give rise to the St. Petersburg paradox are problematic---but not because there is anything wrong with infinite utilities. Rather, such people cannot assign the St. Petersburg gamble any value that any kind of outcome could possibly have. Their preferences also violate an infinitary generalization of Savage's Sure Thing Principle, which we call the *Countable Sure Thing Principle*, as well as an infinitary generalization of von Neumann and Morgenstern's Independence axiom, which we call *Countable (...) Independence*. In violating these principles, they display foibles like those of people who deviate from standard expected utility theory in more mundane cases: they choose dominated strategies, pay to avoid information, and reject expert advice. We precisely characterize the preference relations that satisfy Countable Independence in several equivalent ways: a structural constraint on preferences, a representation theorem, and the principle we began with, that every prospect has a value that some outcome could have. (shrink)
Two systems of belief change based on paraconsistent logics are introduced in this article by means of AGM-like postulates. The first one, AGMp, is defined over any paraconsistent logic which extends classical logic such that the law of excluded middle holds w.r.t. the paraconsistent negation. The second one, AGMo , is specifically designed for paraconsistent logics known as Logics of Formal Inconsistency (LFIs), which have a formal consistency operator that allows to recover all the classical inferences. Besides the three usual (...) operations over belief sets, namely expansion, contraction and revision (which is obtained from contraction by the Levi identity), the underlying paraconsistent logic allows us to define additional operations involving (non-explosive) contradictions. Thus, it is defined external revision (which is obtained from contraction by the reverse Levi identity), consolidation and semi-revision, all of them over belief sets. It is worth noting that the latter operations, introduced by S. Hansson, involve the temporary acceptance of contradictory beliefs, and so they were originally defined only for belief bases. Unlike to previous proposals in the literature, only defined for specific paraconsistent logics, the present approach can be applied to a general class of paraconsistent logics which are supraclassical, thus preserving the spirit of AGM. Moreover, representationtheorems w.r.t. constructions based on selection functions are obtained for all the operations. (shrink)
According to the priority view, or prioritarianism, it matters more to beneﬁt people the worse oﬀ they are. But how exactly should the priority view be deﬁned? This article argues for a highly general characterization which essentially involves risk, but makes no use of evaluative measurements or the expected utility axioms. A representation theorem is provided, and when further assumptions are added, common accounts of the priority view are recovered. A defense of the key idea behind the priority view, (...) the priority principle, is provided. But it is argued that the priority view fails on both ethical and conceptual grounds. (shrink)
In his classic book “the Foundations of Statistics” Savage developed a formal system of rational decision making. The system is based on (i) a set of possible states of the world, (ii) a set of consequences, (iii) a set of acts, which are functions from states to consequences, and (iv) a preference relation over the acts, which represents the preferences of an idealized rational agent. The goal and the culmination of the enterprise is a representation theorem: Any preference relation (...) that satisfies certain arguably acceptable postulates determines a (finitely additive) probability distribution over the states and a utility assignment to the consequences, such that the preferences among acts are determined by their expected utilities. Additional problematic assumptions are however required in Savage's proofs. First, there is a Boolean algebra of events (sets of states) which determines the richness of the set of acts. The probabilities are assigned to members of this algebra. Savage's proof requires that this be a σ-algebra (i.e., closed under infinite countable unions and intersections), which makes for an extremely rich preference relation. On Savage's view we should not require subjective probabilities to be σ-additive. He therefore finds the insistence on a σ-algebra peculiar and is unhappy with it. But he sees no way of avoiding it. Second, the assignment of utilities requires the constant act assumption: for every consequence there is a constant act, which produces that consequence in every state. This assumption is known to be highly counterintuitive. The present work contains two mathematical results. The first, and the more difficult one, shows that the σ-algebra assumption can be dropped. The second states that, as long as utilities are assigned to finite gambles only, the constant act assumption can be replaced by the more plausible and much weaker assumption that there are at least two non-equivalent constant acts. The second result also employs a novel way of deriving utilities in Savage-style systems -- without appealing to von Neumann-Morgenstern lotteries. The paper discusses the notion of “idealized agent" that underlies Savage's approach, and argues that the simplified system, which is adequate for all the actual purposes for which the system is designed, involves a more realistic notion of an idealized agent. (shrink)
According to standard rational choice theory, as commonly used in political science and economics, an agent's fundamental preferences are exogenously fixed, and any preference change over decision options is due to Bayesian information learning. Although elegant and parsimonious, such a model fails to account for preference change driven by experiences or psychological changes distinct from information learning. We develop a model of non-informational preference change. Alternatives are modelled as points in some multidimensional space, only some of whose dimensions play a (...) role in shaping the agentís preferences. Any change in these "motivationally salient" dimensions can change the agent's preferences. How it does so is described by a new representation theorem. Our model not only captures a wide range of frequently observed phenomena, but also generalizes some standard representations of preferences in political science and economics. (shrink)
In this paper, I introduce an intrinsic account of the quantum state. This account contains three desirable features that the standard platonistic account lacks: (1) it does not refer to any abstract mathematical objects such as complex numbers, (2) it is independent of the usual arbitrary conventions in the wave function representation, and (3) it explains why the quantum state has its amplitude and phase degrees of freedom. -/- Consequently, this account extends Hartry Field’s program outlined in Science Without (...) Numbers (1980), responds to David Malament’s long-standing impossibility conjecture (1982), and establishes an important first step towards a genuinely intrinsic and nominalistic account of quantum mechanics. I will also compare the present account to Mark Balaguer’s (1996) nominalization of quantum mechanics and discuss how it might bear on the debate about “wave function realism.” In closing, I will suggest some possible ways to extend this account to accommodate spinorial degrees of freedom and a variable number of particles (e.g. for particle creation and annihilation). -/- Along the way, I axiomatize the quantum phase structure as what I shall call a “periodic difference structure” and prove a representation theorem as well as a uniqueness theorem. These formal results could prove fruitful for further investigation into the metaphysics of phase and theoretical structure. -/- (For a more recent version of this paper, please see "The Intrinsic Structure of Quantum Mechanics" available on PhilPapers.). (shrink)
According to the traditional Bayesian view of credence, its structure is that of precise probability, its objects are descriptive propositions about the empirical world, and its dynamics are given by conditionalization. Each of the three essays that make up this thesis deals with a different variation on this traditional picture. The first variation replaces precise probability with sets of probabilities. The resulting imprecise Bayesianism is sometimes motivated on the grounds that our beliefs should not be more precise than the evidence (...) calls for. One known problem for this evidentially motivated imprecise view is that in certain cases, our imprecise credence in a particular proposition will remain the same no matter how much evidence we receive. In the first essay I argue that the problem is much more general than has been appreciated so far, and that it’s difficult to avoid without compromising the initial evidentialist motivation. The second variation replaces descriptive claims with moral claims as the objects of credence. I consider three standard arguments for probabilism with respect to descriptive uncertainty—representation theorem arguments, Dutch book arguments, and accuracy arguments—in order to examine whether such arguments can also be used to establish probabilism with respect to moral uncertainty. In the second essay, I argue that by and large they can, with some caveats. First, I don’t examine whether these arguments can be given sound non-cognitivist readings, and any conclusions therefore only hold conditional on cognitivism. Second, decision-theoretic representationtheorems are found to be less convincing in the moral case, because there they implausibly commit us to thinking that intertheoretic comparisons of value are always possible. Third and finally, certain considerations may lead one to think that imprecise probabilism provides a more plausible model of moral epistemology. The third variation considers whether, in addition to conditionalization, agents may also change their minds by becoming aware of propositions they had not previously entertained, and therefore not previously assigned any probability. More specifically, I argue that if we wish to make room for reflective equilibrium in a probabilistic moral epistemology, we must allow for awareness growth. In the third essay, I sketch the outline of such a Bayesian account of reflective equilibrium. Given that this account gives a central place to awareness growth, and that the rationality constraints on belief change by awareness growth are much weaker than those on belief change by conditionalization, it follows that the rationality constraints on the credences of agents who are seeking reflective equilibrium are correspondingly weaker. (shrink)
Savage's framework of subjective preference among acts provides a paradigmatic derivation of rational subjective probabilities within a more general theory of rational decisions. The system is based on a set of possible states of the world, and on acts, which are functions that assign to each state a consequence. The representation theorem states that the given preference between acts is determined by their expected utilities, based on uniquely determined probabilities (assigned to sets of states), and numeric utilities assigned to (...) consequences. Savage's derivation, however, is based on a highly problematic well-known assumption not included among his postulates: for any consequence of an act in some state, there is a "constant act" which has that consequence in all states. This ability to transfer consequences from state to state is, in many cases, miraculous -- including simple scenarios suggested by Savage as natural cases for applying his theory. We propose a simplification of the system, which yields the representation theorem without the constant act assumption. We need only postulates P1-P6. This is done at the cost of reducing the set of acts included in the setup. The reduction excludes certain theoretical infinitary scenarios, but includes the scenarios that should be handled by a system that models human decisions. (shrink)
The arguments for Bayesianism in the literature fall into three broad categories. There are Dutch Book arguments, both of the traditional pragmatic variety and the modern ‘depragmatised’ form. And there are arguments from the so-called ‘representationtheorems’. The arguments have many similarities, for example they have a common conclusion, and they all derive epistemic constraints from considerations about coherent preferences, but they have enough differences to produce hostilities between their proponents. In a recent paper, Maher (1997) has argued (...) that the pragmatised Dutch Book arguments are unsound and the depragmatised Dutch Book arguments question begging. He urges we instead use the representation theorem argument as in his (1993). In this paper I argue that Maher’s own argument is question-begging, though in a more subtle and interesting way than his Dutch Book wielding opponents. (shrink)
We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and distinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions as (...) representing preference differences, while being non- etheless empirically related to choices. We highlight the originality, promises and limits of this choice-based cardinalism. (shrink)
One guide to an argument's significance is the number and variety of refutations it attracts. By this measure, the Dutch book argument has considerable importance.2 Of course this measure alone is not a sure guide to locating arguments deserving of our attention—if a decisive refutation has really been given, we are better off pursuing other topics. But the presence of many and varied counterarguments at least suggests that either the refutations are controversial, or that their target admits of more than (...) one interpretation, or both. The main point of this paper is to focus on a way of understanding the Dutch Book argument (DBA) that avoids many of the well-known criticisms, and to consider how it fares against an important criticism that still remains: the objection that the DBA presupposes value-independence of bets. (shrink)
The primary aim of this paper is the presentation of a foundation for causal decision theory. This is worth doing because causal decision theory (CDT) is philosophically the most adequate rational decision theory now available. I will not defend that claim here by elaborate comparison of the theory with all its competitors, but by providing the foundation. This puts the theory on an equal footing with competitors for which foundations have already been given. It turns out that it will also (...) produce a reply to the most serious objections made so far against CDT and against the particular version of CDT I will defend. (shrink)
The received view about emergence and reduction is that they are incompatible categories. I argue in this paper that, contrary to the received view, emergence and reduction can hold together. To support this thesis, I focus attention on dynamical systems and, on the basis of a general representation theorem, I argue that, as far as these systems are concerned, the emulation relationship is sufficient for reduction (intuitively, a dynamical system DS1 emulates a second dynamical system DS2 when DS1 exactly (...) reproduces the whole dynamics of DS2). This representational view of reduction, contrary to the standard deductivist one, is compatible with the existence of structural properties of the reduced system that are not also properties of the reducing one. Therefore, under this view, by no means are reduction and emergence incompatible categories but, rather, complementary ones. (shrink)
In this paper the class of Fidel-structures for the paraconsistent logic mbC is studied from the point of view of Model Theory and Category Theory. The basic point is that Fidel-structures for mbC (or mbC-structures) can be seen as first-order structures over the signature of Boolean algebras expanded by two binary predicate symbols N (for negation) and O (for the consistency connective) satisfying certain Horn sentences. This perspective allows us to consider notions and results from Model Theory in order to (...) analyze the class of mbC-structures. Thus, substructures, union of chains, direct products, direct limits, congruences and quotient structures can be analyzed under this perspective. In particular, a Birkhoff-like representation theorem for mbC-structures as subdirect poducts in terms of subdirectly irreducible mbC-structures is obtained by adapting a general result for first-order structures due to Caicedo. Moreover, a characterization of all the subdirectly irreducible mbC-structures is also given. An alternative decomposition theorem is obtained by using the notions of weak substructure and weak isomorphism considered by Fidel for Cn-structures. (shrink)
The new field of judgment aggregation aims to merge many individual sets of judgments on logically interconnected propositions into a single collective set of judgments on these propositions. Judgment aggregation has commonly been studied using classical propositional logic, with a limited expressive power and a problematic representation of conditional statements ("if P then Q") as material conditionals. In this methodological paper, I present a simple unified model of judgment aggregation in general logics. I show how many realistic decision problems (...) can be represented in it. This includes decision problems expressed in languages of classical propositional logic, predicate logic (e.g. preference aggregation problems), modal or conditional logics, and some multi-valued or fuzzy logics. I provide a list of simple tools for working with general logics, and I prove impossibility results that generalise earlier theorems. (shrink)
Expressivism in logic is the view that logical vocabulary plays a primarily expressive role: that is, that logical vocabulary makes perspicuous in the object language structural features of inference and incompatibility (Brandom, 1994, 2008). I present a precise, technical criterion of expressivity for a logic (§2). I next present a logic that meets that criterion (§3). I further explore some interesting features of that logic: first, a representation theorem for capturing other logics (§3.1), and next some novel logical vocabulary (...) for expressing structural features of inference (§4). (shrink)
This paper takes issue with an influential interpretationist argument for physicalism about intentionality based on the possibility of radical interpretation. The interpretationist defends the physicalist thesis that the intentional truths supervene on the physical truths by arguing that it is possible for a radical interpreter, who knows all of the physical truths, to work out the intentional truths about what an arbitrary agent believes, desires, and means without recourse to any further empirical information. One of the most compelling arguments for (...) the possibility of radical interpretation, associated most closely with David Lewis and Donald Davidson, gives a central role to decision theoretic representationtheorems, which demonstrate that if an agent’s preferences satisfy certain constraints, it is possible to deduce probability and utility functions that represent her beliefs and desires. We argue that an interpretationist who wants to rely on existing representationtheorems in defence of the possibility of radical interpretation faces a trilemma, each horn of which is incompatible with the possibility of radical interpretation. (shrink)
We present an elementary system of axioms for the geometry of Minkowski spacetime. It strikes a balance between a simple and streamlined set of axioms and the attempt to give a direct formalization in first-order logic of the standard account of Minkowski spacetime in [Maudlin 2012] and [Malament, unpublished]. It is intended for future use in the formalization of physical theories in Minkowski spacetime. The choice of primitives is in the spirit of [Tarski 1959]: a predicate of betwenness and a (...) four place predicate to compare the square of the relativistic intervals. Minkowski spacetime is described as a four dimensional ‘vector space’ that can be decomposed everywhere into a spacelike hyperplane - which obeys the Euclidean axioms in [Tarski and Givant, 1999] - and an orthogonal timelike line. The length of other ‘vectors’ are calculated according to Pythagora’s theorem. We conclude with a Representation Theorem relating models of our system that satisfy second order continuity to the mathematical structure called ‘Minkowski spacetime’ in physics textbooks. (shrink)
We extend the framework of Inductive Logic to Second Order languages and introduce Wilmers' Principle, a rational principle for probability functions on Second Order languages. We derive a representation theorem for functions satisfying this principle and investigate its relationship to the first order principles of Regularity and Super Regularity.
The distinguishability between pairs of quantum states, as measured by quantum fidelity, is formulated on phase space. The fidelity is physically interpreted as the probability that the pair are mistaken for each other upon an measurement. The mathematical representation is based on the concept of symplectic capacity in symplectic topology. The fidelity is the absolute square of the complex-valued overlap between the symplectic capacities of the pair of states. The symplectic capacity for a given state, onto any conjugate plane (...) of degrees of freedom, is postulated to be bounded from below by the Gromov width h/2. This generalize the Gibbs-Liouville theorem in classical mechanics, which state that the volume of a region of phase space is invariant under the Hamiltonian flow of the system, by constraining the shape of the flow. It is shown that for closed Hamiltonian systems, the Schroedinger equation is the mathematical representation for the conservation of fidelity. (shrink)
This paper explores the idea that it is instrumentally valuable to learn normative truths. We consider an argument for "normative hedging" based on this principle, and examine the structure of decision-making under moral uncertainty that arises from it. But it also turns out that the value of normative information is inconsistent with the principle that learning *empirical* truths is instrumentally valuable. We conclude with a brief comment on "metanormative regress.".
Because formal systems of symbolic logic inherently express and represent the deductive inference model formal proofs to theorem consequences can be understood to represent sound deductive inference to deductive conclusions without any need for other representations.
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