1. 30018.153405
    Superficially, dreidel appears to be a simple game of luck, and a badly designed game at that. It lacks balance, clarity, and (apparently) meaningful strategic choice. From this perspective, its prominence in the modern Hannukah tradition is puzzling. …
    Found 8 hours, 20 minutes ago on The Splintered Mind
  2. 71969.153456
    . In preparation for a new post that takes up some of the recent battles on reforming or replacing p-values, I reblog an older post on power, one of the most misunderstood and abused notions in statistics. …
    Found 19 hours, 59 minutes ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  3. 77413.153475
    How one builds, checks, validates and interprets a model depends on its ‘purpose’. This is true even if the same model is used for different purposes, which means that a model built for one purpose but now used for another may need to be re-checked, re-validated and maybe even rebuilt in a different way. Here we review some of the different purposes for building a simulation model of complex social phenomena, focussing on five in particular: theoretical exposition, prediction, explanation, description and illustration. The chapter looks at some of the implications in terms of the ways in which the intended purpose might fail. In particular, it looks at the ways that a confusion of modelling purposes can fatally weaken modelling projects, whilst giving a false sense of their quality. This analysis motivates some of the ways in which these ‘dangers’ might be avoided or mitigated.
    Found 21 hours, 30 minutes ago on Bruce Edmonds's site
  4. 315276.15349
    I offer some responses to Prosser’s ‘Experiencing Time’, one of whose goals is to debunk a view of temporal experience somewhat prevalent in the metaphysics literature, which I call ‘Perceptualism’. According to Perceptualism: (1) it is part of the content of perceptual experience that time passes in a metaphysically strong sense: the present has a metaphysically privileged status, and time passes in virtue of changes in which events this ‘objective present’ highlights, and moreover (2) this gives us evidence in favor of strong passage. Prosser argues that perception cannot be sensitive to whether the strong passage obtains, and therefore cannot represent strong passage in a way that gives us evidence of its truth. Although I accept this conclusion, I argue that Prosser’s argument for it is problematic. It threatens to over-generalize to rule out uncontroversial cases of perceptual knowledge, such as our knowledge that we live in a spatial world. Furthermore, a successful argument ruling out perceptual evidence for strong passage would have to give constraints on the theory/observation distinction of a kind not provided by Prosser’s discussion. I also comment on several other parts of the book.
    Found 3 days, 15 hours ago on PhilPapers
  5. 366214.153503
    I am a structured content guy. I became convinced of the superiority of the structured approach to content in the late 1980s and there is a sense in which I haven’t looked back much. Instead, I have devoted my time to trying to figure out exactly how to understand what structured content is. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, it was common for structured proposition theorists to represent structured propositions as n-tuples. For example, in Soames [1987] we find the following: The proposition expressed by an atomic formula éPt1 , . . . ,tnù relative to a context C and assignment f is <<o1 , . . . ,on >,P*>, where P* is the property expressed by P, and oi is the content of t i relative to C and f.
    Found 4 days, 5 hours ago on Jeffrey King's site
  6. 438941.153517
    In this paper, I show how one might resist two influential arguments for the Likelihood Principle by appealing to the ontological significance of creative intentions. The first argument for the Likelihood Principle that I consider is the argument from intentions. After clarifying the argument, I show how the key premiss in the argument may be resisted by maintaining that creative intentions sometimes independently matter to what experiments exist. The second argument that I consider is Gandenberger’s (2015) rehabilitation of Birnbaum’s (1962) proof of the Likelihood Principle from the (supposedly) more intuitively obvious principles of conditionality and sufficiency. As with the argument from intentions, I show how Gandenberger’s argument for his Experimental Conditionality Principle may be resisted by maintaining that creative intentions sometimes independently matter to what experiments exist.
    Found 5 days, 1 hour ago on PhilSci Archive
  7. 554892.153532
    This paper considers the temporal dimension of data processing and use, and the ways in which it affects the production and interpretation of knowledge claims. I start by distinguishing the time at which data collection, dissemination and analysis occur (Data time, or Dt) from the time in which the phenomena for which data serve as evidence operate (Phenomena time, or Pt). Building on the analysis of two examples of data re-use from modelling and experimental practices in biology, I then argue that Dt affects how researchers (1) select and interpret data as evidence and (2) identify and understand phenomena.
    Found 6 days, 10 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  8. 605321.153546
    The paper highlights how a popular version of epistemological disjunctivism (Pritchard 2012, 2016) labours under a kind of ‘internalist challenge’—a challenge that seems to have gone largely unacknowledged by disjunctivists. This is the challenge to vindicate the supposed ‘internalist insight’ that disjunctivists claim their view does well to protect (cf.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilPapers
  9. 670216.153559
    Kuhn argued that scientific theory choice is, in some sense, a rational matter, but one that is not fully determined by shared objective scientific virtues like accuracy, simplicity, and scope. Okasha imports Arrow’s impossibility theorem into the context of theory choice to show that rather than not fully determining theory choice, these virtues cannot determine it at all. If Okasha is right, then there is no function (satisfying certain desirable conditions) from ‘preference’ rankings supplied by scientific virtues over competing theories (or models, or hypotheses) to a single all-things-considered ranking. This threatens the rationality of science. In this paper we show that if Kuhn’s claims about the role that subjective elements play in theory choice are taken seriously, then the threat dissolves.
    Found 1 week ago on PhilSci Archive
  10. 722066.153573
    Comparativism is the view that comparative beliefs (e.g., believing p to be more likely than q) are more fundamental than partial beliefs (e.g., believing p to some degree x). In this paper, I first provide an account of how comparativism can make sense of quantitative comparisons (e.g., believing p twice as much as q), which generalises and improves upon the standard comparativist approach. This is achieved by means of a simple ‘Ramseyan’ representation theorem, with axioms demonstratively weaker than those to which comparativists usually appeal. I then provide a number of arguments against comparativism. Ultimately, there are too many things that we ought to be able to say about partial beliefs that we cannot say under any version of comparativism. Moreover, there are alternative ways to account for the measurement of belief that need not face the same limitations.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Edward Elliott's site
  11. 793510.153588
    Via Wikimedia Commons We’ve all heard the saying “Guns don’t kill people, people do”. It’s a classic statement of the value-neutrality thesis. This is the thesis that technology, by itself, is value-neutral. …
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on John Danaher's blog
  12. 894121.153603
    I present a new problem for those of us who wish to avoid the repugnant conclusion. The problem is an intrapersonal, risky analogue of the mere addition paradox. The problem is important for three reasons. First, it highlights new conditions at least one of which must be rejected in order to avoid the repugnant conclusion. Some solutions to Parfit’s original puzzle do not obviously generalize to our intrapersonal puzzle in a plausible way. Second, it raises new concerns about how to make decisions under uncertainty for the sake of people whose existence might depend on what we do. Different answers to these questions suggest different solutions to the extant puzzles in population ethics. And, third, the problem suggests new difficulties for leading views about the value of a person’s life compared to her nonexistence.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  13. 1240219.153616
    We often ask for the opinion of a group of individuals. How strongly does the scientific community believe that the rate at which sea levels are rising increased over the last 200 years? How likely does the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England think it is that there will be a recession if the country leaves the European Union? How confident is the scholarly community that William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet? Suppose you ask me one of these questions, and I respond by listing, for each member of the group in question, the opinion that they hold on that topic. I list each scientist in the scientific community, for instance, and I give their credence that sea level rise accelerated in the past two centuries. By doing this, I may well give you enough information so that you can calculate the answer to the question that you asked; but what I give you does not amount to that answer. What you were asking for was not a set of credences, one for each member of the group; you were asking for a single credence assigned collectively by the group as a whole. What is this group credence? And how does it relate to the individual credences assigned by the members of the group in question?
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  14. 1240288.153629
    Experience can change you in many different ways. To name just two: it can teach you new things, thereby changing your epistemic state; and it can lead you to change what you value and the extent to which you value it, thereby changing your conative state. If an experience changes you in the first way, L. A. Paul dubs it an epistemically transformative experience (henceforth, ETE). If it changes you in the second way, it is a personally transformative experience (Paul, 2014, 2015). Paul argues that the possibility of both sorts of experience poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory. In this paper, I will focus only on Paul’s argument that the possibility of ETEs raises a challenge for expected utility theory — I will call her objection the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew, 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty et al., 2015; Harman, 2015) — I will call the argument that we have each put forward the Fine-Graining Response.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  15. 1293207.153642
    . “The subjective Bayesian theory as developed, for example, by Savage … cannot solve the deceptively simple but actually intractable old evidence problem, whence as a foundation for a logic of confirmation at any rate, it must be accounted a failure.” (Howson, (2017), p. 674) What? …
    Found 2 weeks ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  16. 1351452.153657
    The ideal of public justification holds, at a minimum, that the most fundamental political and legal institutions of a society must be publicly justified to each of its members. This essay proposes and defends a new account of this ideal. The account defended construes public justification as an ideal of rational justification, one that is grounded in the moral requirement to respect the rational agency of persons. The essay distinguishes two kinds of justifying reasons that bear on politics and shows how they inform the ideal of public justification. It also decouples public justification from contractualist political morality. The result is a novel account of public justification that departs markedly from how the ideal is commonly characterized, but shows how it retains its distinctiveness as an ideal of politics.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Steven Wall's site
  17. 1362650.153672
    Our best science tells us wonderful things. The cold and dark skies of our universe were not so long ago in their entirety in a state of unimaginably high energy and temperature. The detritus that exploded from it congealed into stars, planets and galaxies. These systems of celestial masses are in turn held together by a curvature of the geometry of space and time itself. On a most minute scale, the matter of these systems and the light they radiate consist of neither waves nor particles but a curious amalgam that is, at once, both and neither. The organisms that walk on one of these planets, complete with their intricate eyes and thinking brains, emerged incrementally from crude matter, in tiny steps over eons of time. They were shaped only by the fact that a small, random change in one organism might give it a slight advantage over its rivals. The design specification of these accumulated advantages is recorded and transmitted through the generations of the organisms by its encoding in hundreds of millions of base pairs of a chemical found in every cell of each organism.
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on John Norton's site
  18. 1409465.153686
    Timothy Williamson (2000) argues that all evidence is propositional, and that all and only those propositions one knows to be true are part of one's evidence. Schematically, the argument has the following form: 1. All evidence is propositional 2. All propositional evidence is knowledge 3. All knowledge is evidence C. Therefore, all and only knowledge is evidence. (E=K) Each premise is defended with further arguments. Central to Williamson's case for E=K is the claim that one's evidence is that with which hypotheses are consistent or inconsistent. Williamson appeals to this idea in several places in the course of his argument. We first see it at work in defense of premise (1). Only propositions, it is argued, are consistent and inconsistent with hypotheses. It follows, if evidence is that with which hypotheses are consistent or inconsistent, that only propositions can be evidence. We also find Williamson appealing to the claim to argue that only true propositions are evidence. If one's evidence included falsehoods it would rule out some truths by being inconsistent with them. But, Williamson argues, our evidence should not outright exclude any truths, even if it may make some truths improbable. Thus, our evidence must consist of only true propositions.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  19. 1414423.153699
    Comparativism is the view that comparative beliefs (e.g., believing p to be more likely than q) are more fundamental than partial beliefs (e.g., believing p to some degree x). After providing an account of how comparativism can make sense of quantitative comparisons that improves upon the standard approach, I present a general case against the view. I argue that there are too many things that we ought to be able to say about partial beliefs that we cannot say under any version of comparativism, and, moreover, that there are alternative ways to construct appropriate scales for the measurement of belief that need not face the same limitations.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Edward Elliott's site
  20. 1671189.153714
    There have been several recent attempts to model ordinary intuitions about actual causation by combining a counterfactual definition of the causal relation with an abnormality-based account of causal judgments. In these models, the underlying psychological theory is that people automatically focus on abnormal events when judging the actual causes of an effect. This approach has enabled authors such as Halpern and Hitchcock (Br J Philos Sci axt050, 2014) to capture an impressive array of ordinary causal intuitions. However, in this paper I demonstrate how these abnormality-based accounts still systematically fail to predict ordinary causal judgments in specific types of scenarios: those in which the effect is normal. I will argue that the reason for this is that the underlying psychological theory is wrong: the idea that intuitive actual causes are abnormal events is only partially correct. To model ordinary judgments more realistically, researchers working in this area must adopt a more plausible underlying psychological theory: the correspondence hypothesis about judgments of actual causation. One of the consequences of this correspondence hypothesis is that normal effects are judged to have normal causes.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  21. 1734447.153727
    Though the duties of care owed toward innocents in war and in civil life are at the bottom univocally determined by the same ethical principles, Bazargan-Forward argues that those very principles will yield in these two contexts different “in-practice” duties. Furthermore, the duty of care we owe toward our own innocents is less stringent than the duty of care we owe toward foreign innocents in war. This is because risks associated with civil life but not war (a) often increase the expected welfare of the individuals upon whom the risk is imposed, (b) are often imposed with consent, and (c) are often imposed reciprocally. The conclusion—that we have a pro tanto reason for adopting a more stringent standard of risk imposition toward foreign innocents in war—has implications for not only what standards of risk we should adopt in war, but also how we should weigh domestic versus foreign civilian lives.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Saba Bazargan's site
  22. 1740706.153742
    Unpossessed evidence abounds. There is much to be seen and much to be had. much of it will never have an impact on our epistemic standings, but some of it does. Some evidence is such that we are blameworthy for not having it, and there is a tricky question about how to delineate this class of evidence. in this paper, i address and propose a solution to the dilemma posed by lazy agents on the one hand and agents facing exceptional evidence on the other. One familiar suggestion is that agents are blameworthy when their conduct results from their vices, and i will make a proposal that further analyses such vices in terms of exceptionality facts.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Ergo
  23. 1786645.153788
    The aim of the Consequence Argument is to show that, if determinism is true, no one has, or ever had, any choice about anything. In the stock version of the argument, its two premisses state that (i) no one is, or ever was, able to act so that the past would have been different and (ii) no one is, or ever was, able to act so that the laws of nature would have been different. This stock version fails, however, because it requires an invalid inference rule. The standard response is to strengthen both premisses by replacing ‘would’ with ‘might’. While this response ensures validity, it weakens the argument, since it strengthens the premisses. I show that we can do better: We can keep the weak reading of one premiss and just strengthen the other. This provides two versions of the Consequence Argument which are stronger than the standard revision.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on PhilPapers
  24. 1901977.153812
    The primary objective of this paper is to introduce a new epistemic paradox that puts pressure on the claim that justification is closed under multi premise deduction. The first part of the paper will consider two well-known paradoxes—the lottery and the preface paradox—and outline two popular strategies for solving the paradoxes without denying closure. The second part will introduce a new, structurally related, paradox that is immune to these closure-preserving solutions. I will call this paradox, The Paradox of the Pill. Seeing that the prominent closure-preserving solutions do not apply to the new paradox, I will argue that it presents a much stronger case against the claim that justification is closed under deduction than its two predecessors. Besides presenting a more robust counterexample to closure, the new paradox also reveals that the strategies that were previously thought to get closure out of trouble are not sufficiently general to achieve this task as they fail to apply to similar closure-threatening paradoxes in the same vicinity.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  25. 1902012.153826
    According to orthodox (Kolmogorovian) probability theory, conditional probabilities are by definition certain ratios of unconditional probabilities. As a result, orthodox conditional probabilities are regarded as undefined whenever their antecedents have zero unconditional probability. This has important ramifications for the notion of probabilistic independence.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  26. 1966761.153839
    The previous two chapters have sought to show that the probability calculus cannot serve as a universally applicable logic of inductive inference. We may well wonder whether there might be some other calculus of inductive inference that can be applied universally. It would, perhaps, arise through a weakening of the probability calculus. The principal source of difficulty addressed in those chapters was the additivity of the probability calculus. Such a weakening seems possible as far as additivity is concerned. Something like it is achieved with the Shafer- Dempster theory of belief functions. However there is a second, lingering problem. Bayesian analyses require prior probabilities. As we shall see below, these prior probabilities are never benign. They always make a difference to the final result.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on John Norton's site
  27. 1966773.153852
    The many chapters of this book all aim to sustain a single conclusion. Inductive inferences are not warranted by formal schemas or rules. They are warranted by background facts. Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity of presenting this thesis and arguments for it in various philosophical forums. The reactions to it have been varied. Some find the idea illuminating and even obvious, once it is made explicit. They are supportive and I am grateful for it. Others are more neutral, reacting with various forms of indifference or incomprehension. Some set aside the question of whether they are or are not convinced by the main claim; or whether there is some way that they could help the speaker advance the project. Rather they hold to the lamentable idea that, no matter what, the job of an audience in a philosophy talk is to try to trip up the speaker with some artful sophistry. Still others are, perhaps, not quite sure of precisely what I am proposing and arguing. But they are nonetheless sure that it is a Very Bad Thing that must be opposed and stopped.
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on John Norton's site
  28. 1974643.153865
    Erich Lehmann 20 November 1917 – 12 September 2009 Erich Lehmann was born 100 years ago today! (20 November 1917 – 12 September 2009). Lehmann was Neyman’s first student at Berkeley (Ph.D 1942), and his framing of Neyman-Pearson (NP) methods has had an enormous influence on the way we typically view them. …
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  29. 2044464.15388
    I argue that the function attributed to episodic memory by Mahr & Csibra (that is, grounding one’s claims to epistemic authority over past events) fails to support the essentially autonoetic character of such memories. I suggest, in contrast, that episodic event-memories are sometimes purely first-order, sometimes autonoetic, depending on relevance in the context.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Peter Carruthers's site
  30. 2074712.153894
    This article develops an account of local epistemic practices on the basis of case studies from ethnobiology. I argue that current debates about objectivity often stand in the way of a more adequate understanding of local knowledge and ethno-biological practices in general. While local knowledge about the biological world often meets criteria for objectivity in philosophy of science, general debates about the objectivity of local knowledge can also obscure their unique epistemic features. In modification of Ian Hacking’s suggestion to discuss “ground level questions” instead of objectivity, I propose an account that focuses on both epistemic virtues and vices of local epistemic practices.
    Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on PhilPapers