
How Not to Detect Design: Critical Notice of The Design Inference by William A. Dembski (review)Philosophy of Science 66 (3): 472488. 1999.

How Not to Detect DesignThe Design Inference. William A. DembskiPhilosophy of Science 66 (3): 472488. 1999.

Probability, confirmation, and the conjunction fallacyThinking and Reasoning 14 (2): 182199. 2008.The conjunction fallacy has been a key topic in debates on the rationality of human reasoning and its limitations. Despite extensive inquiry, however, the attempt of providing a satisfactory account of the phenomenon has proven challenging. Here, we elaborate the suggestion (first discussed by Sides et al., 2001) that in standard conjunction problems the fallacious probability judgments experimentally observed are typically guided by sound assessments of confirmation relations, meant in terms of…Read more

Logical Foundations of Evidential SupportPhilosophy of Science 73 (5): 500512. 2006.Carnap's inductive logic (or confirmation) project is revisited from an "increase in firmness" (or probabilistic relevance) point of view. It is argued that Carnap's main desiderata can be satisfied in this setting, without the need for a theory of "logical probability." The emphasis here will be on explaining how Carnap's epistemological desiderata for inductive logic will need to be modified in this new setting. The key move is to abandon Carnap's goal of bridging confirmation and credence, in…Read more

Wason Task(s) and the Paradox of ConfirmationPhilosophical Perspectives 24 (1): 207241. 2010.The (recent, Bayesian) cognitive science literature on The Wason Task (WT) has been modeled largely after the (notsorecent, Bayesian) philosophy of science literature on The Paradox of Confirmation (POC). In this paper, we apply some insights from more recent Bayesian approaches to the (POC) to analogous models of (WT). This involves, first, retracing the history of the (POC), and, then, reexamining the (WT) with these historicophilosophical insights in mind.

• What’s essential to Newcomb’s problem? 1. You must choose between two particular acts: A1 = you take just the opaque box; A2 = you take both boxes, where the two states of nature are: S 1 = there’s $1M in the opaque box, S2 = there’s $0 in the opaque box.

Pollock on probability in epistemology (review)Philosophical Studies 148 (3). 2010.In Thinking and Acting John Pollock offers some criticisms of Bayesian epistemology, and he defends an alternative understanding of the role of probability in epistemology. Here, I defend the Bayesian against some of Pollock's criticisms, and I discuss a potential problem for Pollock's alternative account

Probability, confirmation, and the conjunction fallacyThinking and Reasoning 14 (2). 2007.The conjunction fallacy has been a key topic in debates on the rationality of human reasoning and its limitations. Despite extensive inquiry, however, the attempt to provide a satisfactory account of the phenomenon has proved challenging. Here we elaborate the suggestion (first discussed by Sides, Osherson, Bonini, & Viale, 2002) that in standard conjunction problems the fallacious probability judgements observed experimentally are typically guided by sound assessments of _confirmation_ relation…Read more

The Strongest Possible Lewisian Triviality ResultThought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2): 6974. 2015.The strongest possible Lewisian triviality result for the indicative conditional is proven

This is a high quality, concise collection of articles on the foundations of probability and statistics. Its editor, Richard Swinburne, has collected five papers by contemporary leaders in the field, written a pretty thorough and evenhanded introductory essay, and placed a very clean and accessible version of Reverend Thomas Bayes’s famous essay (“An Essay Towards the Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances”) at the end, as an Appendix (with a brief historical introduction by the noted sta…Read more

Let L be a sentential (object) language containing atoms ‘A’, ‘B’, . . . , and two logical connectives ‘&’ and ‘→’. In addition to these two logical connectives, L will also contain another binary connective ‘ ’, which is intended to be interpreted as the English indicative. In the metalanguage for L , we will have two metalinguistic operations: ‘ ’ and ‘ ’. ‘ ’ is a binary relation between individual sentences in L . It will be interpreted as “single premise entailment” (or “single premise de…Read more

Review: Models and RealityA Review of Brian Skyrms's Evolution of the Social Contract (review)Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1). 1999.Human beings are peculiar. In laboratory experiments, they often cooperate in oneshot prisoners’ dilemmas, they frequently offer 1/2 and reject low offers in the ultimatum game, and they often bid 1/2 in the game of dividethecake All these behaviors are puzzling from the point of view of game theory. The first two are irrational, if utility is measured in a certain way.1 The last isn’t positively irrational, but it is no more rational than other possible actions, since there are infinitely ma…Read more

• Two competing explanations (independence of S i favors R over CB): (CB) there is a coherence bias in a’s S formation process.

Carnap [1] aims to provide a formal explication of an informal concept (relation) he calls “conﬁrmation”. He clariﬁes “E conﬁrms H” in various ways, including: (∗) E provides some positive evidential support for H. His formal explication of “E conﬁrms H” (in [1]) is: (1) E conﬁrms H iﬀ Pr(H  E) > r, where Pr is a suitable (“logical”) probability function, and r is a threshold value

In this talk, I will explain why only one of Miller’s two types of languagedependenceofverisimilitude problems is a (potential) threat to the sorts of accuracydominance approaches to coherence that I’ve been discussing

detail a question that, for a quarter of a century, remained open despite intense study by various researchers. Is the formula XC B = e(x e(e(e( ) e( )) z)) a single axiom for the classical equivalential calculus when the rules of inference consist..

• Several recent Bayesian discussions make use of “approximation” – Earman on the Quantitative Old Evidence Problem – Vranas on Quantitative Approaches to the Ravens Paradox – Dorling’s Quantitative Approach to Duhem–Quine – Strevens’s Quantitative Approach to Duhem–Quine – rThere are also examples not involving conﬁrmation: E.g.

Symmetries and asymmetries in evidential supportPhilosophical Studies 107 (2). 2002.Several forms of symmetry in degrees of evidential support areconsidered. Some of these symmetries are shown not to hold in general. This has implications for the adequacy of many measures of degree ofevidential support that have been proposed and defended in the philosophical literature.

Certain distributivity results for Lukasiewicz’s inﬁnitevalued logic Lℵ0 are proved axiomatically (for the ﬁrst time) with the help of the automated reasoning program Otter [16]. In addition, non distributivity results are established for a wide variety of positive substructural logics by the use of logical matrices discovered with the automated model ﬁndingprograms Mace [15] and MaGIC [25].

Certain distributivity results for Lukasiewicz’s infinitevalued logic Lℵ0..

Review of Richard Swinburne (ed.), Bayes's Theorem (review)Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (11). 2003.

With the inclusion of an e ective methodology, this article answers in detail a question that, for a quarter of a century, remained open despite intense study by various researchers. Is the formula XCB = e(x e(e(e(x y) e(z y)) z)) a single axiom for the classical equivalential calculus when the rules of inference consist of detachment (modus ponens) and substitution? Where the function e represents equivalence, this calculus can be axiomatized quite naturally with the formulas (x x), e(e(x y) e(…Read more

Comparative Bayesian Confirmation and the QuineDuhem Problem: A Rejoinder to StrevensBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2): 333338. 2007.By and large, we think is a useful reply to our original critique of his article on the Quine–Duhem problem. But, we remain unsatisfied with several aspects of his reply. Ultimately, we do not think he properly addresses our most important worries. In this brief rejoinder, we explain our remaining worries, and we issue a revised challenge for Strevens's approach to QD.

∗ C pp, qq as a “mutual confirmation” generalization of pp & qq Prpe hq won’t work Prpp & qq won’t work ∗ C pp, qq, so understood, is not Prpp & qq or Prpq  pq, etc.

Too Odd (Not) to Be True? A Reply to OlssonBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (4): 539563. 2002.Corroborating Testimony, Probability and Surprise’, Erik J. Olsson ascribes to L. Jonathan Cohen the claims that if two witnesses provide us with the same information, then the less probable the information is, the more confident we may be that the information is true (C), and the stronger the information is corroborated (C*). We question whether Cohen intends anything like claims (C) and (C*). Furthermore, he discusses the concurrence of witness reports within a context of independent witnesses…Read more

The plurality of bayesian measures of confirmation and the problem of measure sensitivityPhilosophy of Science 66 (3): 378. 1999.Contemporary Bayesian confirmation theorists measure degree of (incremental) confirmation using a variety of nonequivalent relevance measures. As a result, a great many of the arguments surrounding quantitative Bayesian confirmation theory are implicitly sensitive to choice of measure of confirmation. Such arguments are enthymematic, since they tacitly presuppose that certain relevance measures should be used (for various purposes) rather than other relevance measures that have been proposed an…Read more
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Areas of Specialization
Metaphysics and Epistemology 
Science, Logic, and Mathematics 
Formal Epistemology 
Areas of Interest
Philosophy of Probability 
Formal Epistemology 
Logic and Philosophy of Logic 
Truth 