
57Two 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

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

211How 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

67Probability, 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

203Logical 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

106Think of confirmation in the context of the Ravens Paradox this way. The likelihood ratio measure of incremental confirmation gives us, for an observed Black Raven and for an observed nonBlack nonRaven, respectively, the following “full” likelihood ratios

1David Howie: Interpreting Probability: Controversies and Developments in the Early Twentieth Century (review)Philosophy of Science 70 (3): 643646. 2003.

17Review of Richard Jeffrey, Subjective Probability: The Real Thing (review)Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (10). 2005.

67Wayne, Horwich, and evidential diversityPhilosophy of Science 63 (4): 652660. 1996.Wayne (1995) critiques the Bayesian explication of the conﬁrmational signiﬁcance of evidential diversity (CSED) oﬀered by Horwich (1982). Presently, I argue that Wayne’s reconstruction of Horwich’s account of CSED is uncharitable. As a result, Wayne’s criticisms ultimately present no real problem for Horwich. I try to provide a more faithful and charitable rendition of Horwich’s account of CSED. Unfortunately, even when Horwich’s approach is charitably reconstructed, it is still not completely s…Read more

283 Contrastive BayesiansimIn Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives, Routledge. pp. 3964. 2013.

34– Foundation: Probabilistic Conﬁrmation (c) from a Logical POV ∗ cph, eq as a “relevant” quantitative generalization of pe hq ∗ cph, eq, so understood, is not Prpe hq or Prph  eq, etc. ∗ cph, eq is something akin (ordinally) to the likelihood ratio..

Knowledge, Scepticism, and Defeat: Themes from Klein (edited book)Springer. forthcoming.This is a collection of new essays written in honor of the work of Peter D. Klein, who has had and continues to have a tremendous influence in the development of epistemology. The essays reflect the breadth and depth of Klein’s work by engaging directly with his views and with the views of his interlocutors.

25By and large, we think Strevens’s [6] is a useful reply to our original critique [2] of his paper on the Quine–Duhem (QD) problem [5]. But, we remain unsatisﬁed with several aspects of his reply (and his original paper). 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.

45Overview Setting the Stage Consistency Redundancy Goodbye ? Conclusion & References Overview Setting the Stage Consistency Redundancy Goodbye ? Conclusion & References..

229The paradox of confirmationPhilosophy Compass 1 (1). 2006.Hempel first introduced the paradox of confirmation in (Hempel 1937). Since then, a very extensive literature on the paradox has evolved (Vranas 2004). Much of this literature can be seen as responding to Hempel’s subsequent discussions and analyses of the paradox in (Hempel 1945). Recently, it was noted that Hempel’s intuitive (and plausible) resolution of the paradox was inconsistent with his official theory of confirmation (Fitelson & Hawthorne 2006). In this article, we will try to explain h…Read more

67A decision procedure for probability calculus with applicationsReview of Symbolic Logic 1 (1): 111125. 2008.(new version: 10/30/07). Click here to download the companion Mathematica 6 notebook that goes along with this paper.

16The consideration of careful reasoning can be traced to Aristotle and earlier authors. The possibility of rigorous rules for drawing conclusions can certainly be traced to the Middle Ages when types o f syllogism were studied. Shortly after the introduction of computers, the audacious scientist naturally envisioned the automation of sound reasoning—reasoning in which conclusions that are drawn follow l ogically and inevitably from the given hypotheses. Did the idea spring from the intent to emul…Read more

1Solutions to Some Open Problems from SlaneyAustralasian Journal of Logic 13 (4). 2016.In response to a paper by Harris & Fitelson, Slaney states several open questions concerning possible strategies for proving distributivity in a wide class of positive sentential logics. In this note, I provide answers to all of Slaney's open questions. The result is a better understanding of the class of positive logics in which distributivity holds.

19The philosophical significance of Stein’s paradoxEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3): 411433. 2017.Charles Stein discovered a paradox in 1955 that many statisticians think is of fundamental importance. Here we explore its philosophical implications. We outline the nature of Stein’s result and of subsequent work on shrinkage estimators; then we describe how these results are related to Bayesianism and to model selection criteria like AIC. We also discuss their bearing on scientific realism and instrumentalism. We argue that results concerning shrinkage estimators underwrite a surprising form o…Read more

482Evidence of evidence is not (necessarily) evidenceAnalysis 72 (1): 8588. 2012.In this note, I consider various precisifications of the slogan ‘evidence of evidence is evidence’. I provide counterexamples to each of these precisifications (assuming an epistemic probabilistic relevance notion of ‘evidential support’)

93Studies in Bayesian Confirmation TheoryDissertation, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 2001.According to Bayesian confirmation theory, evidence E (incrementally) confirms (or supports) a hypothesis H (roughly) just in case E and H are positively probabilistically correlated (under an appropriate probability function Pr). There are many logically equivalent ways of saying that E and H are correlated under Pr. Surprisingly, this leads to a plethora of nonequivalent quantitative measures of the degree to which E confirms H (under Pr). In fact, many nonequivalent Bayesian measures of the…Read more

81A bayesian account of independent evidence with applicationsProceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3). 2001.outlined. This account is partly inspired by the work of C.S. Peirce. When we want to consider how degree of confirmation varies with changing I show that a large class of quantitative Bayesian measures of con.

37A New GarberStyle Solution to the Problem of Old EvidencePhilosophy of Science 82 (4): 712717. 2015.In this discussion note, we explain how to relax some of the standard assumptions made in Garberstyle solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence. The result is a more general and explanatory Bayesian approach

35• 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.

84Putting the irrelevance back into the problem of irrelevant conjunctionPhilosophy of Science 69 (4): 611622. 2002.Naive deductive accounts of confirmation have the undesirable consequence that if E confirms H, then E also confirms the conjunction H & X, for any X—even if X is utterly irrelevant to H (and E). Bayesian accounts of confirmation also have this property (in the case of deductive evidence). Several Bayesians have attempted to soften the impact of this fact by arguing that—according to Bayesian accounts of confirmation— E will confirm the conjunction H & X less strongly than E confirms H (again, i…Read more
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Metaphysics and Epistemology 
Science, Logic, and Mathematics 
Formal Epistemology 
Areas of Interest
Philosophy of Probability 
Formal Epistemology 
Logic and Philosophy of Logic 
Truth 