
410Deference Done BetterPhilosophical Perspectives 35 (1): 99150. 2021.There are many things—call them ‘experts’—that you should defer to in forming your opinions. The trouble is, many experts are modest: they’re less than certain that they are worthy of deference. When this happens, the standard theories of deference break down: the most popular (“Reflection”style) principles collapse to inconsistency, while their most popular (“NewReflection”style) variants allow you to defer to someone while regarding them as an antiexpert. We propose a middle way: deferring…Read more

44A Problem for Confirmation Measure ZPhilosophy of Science 88 (4): 726730. 2021.In this article, I present a serious problem for confirmation measure Z.

169Models and Reality—A Review of Brian Skyrms’s Evolution of the Social ContractPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (1): 237. 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

511Four Approaches to SuppositionErgo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.Suppositions can be introduced in either the indicative or subjunctive mood. The introduction of either type of supposition initiates judgments that may be either qualitative, binary judgments about whether a given proposition is acceptable or quantitative, numerical ones about how acceptable it is. As such, accounts of qualitative/quantitative judgment under indicative/subjunctive supposition have been developed in the literature. We explore these four different types of theories by systematica…Read more

140Two Approaches to Belief RevisionErkenntnis 84 (3): 487518. 2019.In this paper, we compare and contrast two methods for the revision of qualitative beliefs. The first method is generated by a simplistic diachronic Lockean thesis requiring coherence with the agent’s posterior credences after conditionalization. The second method is the orthodox AGM approach to belief revision. Our primary aim is to determine when the two methods may disagree in their recommendations and when they must agree. We establish a number of novel results about their relative behavior.…Read more

23Confirmation, causation, and Simpson's paradoxEpisteme 14 (3): 297309. 2017.ABSTRACTIn this paper, I review some recent treatments of Simpson's Paradox, and I propose a new rationalizing explanation of its paradoxicality.

IntroductionIn Cherie Braden, Rodrigo Borges & Branden Fitelson (eds.), Themes From Klein, Springer Verlag. 2019.

255How Not to Detect DesignThe Design Inference. William A. DembskiPhilosophy of Science 66 (3): 472488. 1999.As every philosopher knows, “the design argument” concludes that God exists from premisses that cite the adaptive complexity of organisms or the lawfulness and orderliness of the whole universe. Since 1859, it has formed the intellectual heart of creationist opposition to the Darwinian hypothesis that organisms evolved their adaptive features by the mindless process of natural selection. Although the design argument developed as a defense of theism, the logic of the argument in fact encompasses …Read more

75Probability, 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

231Logical 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

89The Naive View (TNV) of Inferential Knowledge (slogan): (TNV) Inferential knowledge requires known relevant premises. One key aspect of (TNV) is “counterclosure” [9, 10].

29Intuitively, it seems that S 1 is “more random” or “less regular” than S 2. In other words, it seems more plausible (in some sense) that S 1 (as opposed to S 2) was generated by a random process ( e.g. , by tossing a fair coin eight times, and recording an H for a heads outcome and a T for a tails outcome). We will use the notation x σ 1 ą σ 2y to express the claim that xstring σ 1 is more random than string σ 2y. And, we take it to be intuitively clear that — on any plausible definition of such…Read more

74The talk is mainly defensive. I won’t oﬀer positive accounts of the “paradoxical” cases I will discuss (but, see “Extras”). I’ll begin with Harman’s defense of classical deductive logic against certain (epistemological) “relevantist” arguments

153Steps Toward a Computational MetaphysicsJournal of Philosophical Logic 36 (2): 227247. 2007.In this paper, the authors describe their initial investigations in computational metaphysics. Our method is to implement axiomatic metaphysics in an automated reasoning system. In this paper, we describe what we have discovered when the theory of abstract objects is implemented in PROVER9 (a firstorder automated reasoning system which is the successor to OTTER). After reviewing the secondorder, axiomatic theory of abstract objects, we show (1) how to represent a fragment of that theory in PRO…Read more

119Popper [3] oﬀers a qualitative deﬁnition of the relation “p q” = “p is (strictly) closer to the truth than (i.e., strictly more verisimilar than) q”, using the notions of truth (in the actual world) and classical logical consequence ( ), as follows.

280How Bayesian Confirmation Theory Handles the Paradox of the RavensIn Ellery Eells & James Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science, Springer. pp. 247275. 2010.The Paradox of the Ravens (a.k.a,, The Paradox of Confirmation) is indeed an old chestnut. A great many things have been written and said about this paradox and its implications for the logic of evidential support. The first part of this paper will provide a brief survey of the early history of the paradox. This will include the original formulation of the paradox and the early responses of Hempel, Goodman, and Quine. The second part of the paper will describe attempts to resolve the paradox wit…Read more

251Declarations of independenceSynthese 194 (10): 39793995. 2017.According to orthodox (Kolmogorovian) probability theory, conditional probabilities are by definition certain ratios of unconditional probabilities. As a result, orthodox conditional probabilities are undefined whenever their antecedents have zero unconditional probability. This has important ramifications for the notion of probabilistic independence. Traditionally, independence is defined in terms of unconditional probabilities (the factorization of the relevant joint unconditional probabilitie…Read more

107Wason 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.

37Jill’s paper contains several distinct threads and arguments. I will focus only on what I see as the main theses of the paper, which involve the justification or grounding of the microcanonical probability distribution of classical statistical mechanics. I’ll begin by telling the “canonical” story of the MCD. Then I will discuss Jill’s proposal. I will describe one worry that I have regarding her proposal, and I will offer a friendly amendment which seems to allay my worry

165Pollock 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

1258Monty hall, doomsday and confirmationAnalysis 63 (1). 2003.We give an analysis of the Monty Hall problem purely in terms of confirmation, without making any lottery assumptions about priors. Along the way, we show the Monty Hall problem is structurally identical to the Doomsday Argument.

7Book ReviewDavid Howie, Interpreting Probability: Controversies and Developments in the Early Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , xi + 262 pp., $60.00 cloth (review)Philosophy of Science 70 (3): 643646. 2003.

42Let 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
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Areas of Specialization
Metaphysics and Epistemology 
Science, Logic, and Mathematics 
Formal Epistemology 