•  122
    The primary purpose of this paper is to shed light on the structure of four varieties of normative theories of supposition by systematically explicating the relationships between canonical representatives of each. These include qualitative and quantitative theories of indicative and subjunctive supposition. We approach this project by treating supposition as a form of 'provisional belief revision' in which a person temporarily accepts the supposition as true and makes some appropriate changes to…Read more
  •  94
    Two Approaches to Belief Revision
    with Ted Shear
    Erkenntnis 84 (3): 487-518. 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
  • Introduction
    In Cherie Braden, Rodrigo Borges & Branden Fitelson (eds.), Themes From Klein, Springer Verlag. 2019.
  •  232
    How Not to Detect DesignThe Design Inference. William A. Dembski
    with Brandon Fitelson, Christopher Stephens, and Elliott Sober
    Philosophy of Science 66 (3): 472-488. 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
  •  122
    Measuring Confirmation and Evidence
    with Ellery Elles
    Journal of Philosophy 97 (12): 663-672. 2000.
  •  29
    Studia Logica 86 (3): 351-352. 2007.
  •  69
    Probability, confirmation, and the conjunction fallacy
    with Crupi Vincenzo and Tentori Katya
    Thinking and Reasoning 14 (2): 182-199. 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
  •  214
    Logical Foundations of Evidential Support
    Philosophy of Science 73 (5): 500-512. 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
  •  106
    Think 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 non-Black non-Raven, respectively, the following “full” likelihood ratios
  •  18
    Review of Richard Jeffrey, Subjective Probability: The Real Thing (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (10). 2005.
  •  147
    Measuring confirmation and evidence
    with Ellery Eells
    Journal of Philosophy 97 (12): 663-672. 2000.
  •  37
  •  39
    – 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..
  •  34
    Knowledge, Scepticism, and Defeat: Themes from Klein (edited book)
    with Rodrigo Borges and Cherie Braden
    Springer Verlag. 2019.
    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.
  •  78
    Wayne, Horwich, and evidential diversity
    Philosophy of Science 63 (4): 652-660. 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
  •  26
    A Rejoinder to Strevens
    with Andrew Waterman
    By 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.
  •  47
    Overview Setting the Stage Consistency Redundancy Goodbye ? Conclusion & References Overview Setting the Stage Consistency Redundancy Goodbye ? Conclusion & References..
  •  246
    The paradox of confirmation
    Philosophy 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
  •  16
    The 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
  •  2
    Solutions to Some Open Problems from Slaney
    Australasian 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.
  •  74
    A decision procedure for probability calculus with applications
    Review of Symbolic Logic 1 (1): 111-125. 2008.
    (new version: 10/30/07). Click here to download the companion Mathematica 6 notebook that goes along with this paper.
  •  31
    The philosophical significance of Stein’s paradox
    with Olav Vassend and Elliott Sober
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3): 411-433. 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
  •  597
    Evidence of evidence is not (necessarily) evidence
    Analysis 72 (1): 85-88. 2012.
    In this note, I consider various precisifications of the slogan ‘evidence of evidence is evidence’. I provide counter-examples to each of these precisifications (assuming an epistemic probabilistic relevance notion of ‘evidential support’)
  •  101
    Studies in Bayesian Confirmation Theory
    Dissertation, 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 non-equivalent quantitative measures of the degree to which E confirms H (under Pr). In fact, many non-equivalent Bayesian measures of the…Read more
  •  87
    A bayesian account of independent evidence with applications
    Proceedings 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-.
  •  49
    A New Garber-Style Solution to the Problem of Old Evidence
    Philosophy of Science 82 (4): 712-717. 2015.
    In this discussion note, we explain how to relax some of the standard assumptions made in Garber-style solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence. The result is a more general and explanatory Bayesian approach
  •  40
    • 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.
  •  95
    Putting the irrelevance back into the problem of irrelevant conjunction
    Philosophy of Science 69 (4): 611-622. 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