• Logical ignorance and logical learning
    Richard G. Pettigrew
    Synthese 1-30. forthcoming.
    According to certain normative theories in epistemology, rationality requires us to be logically omniscient. Yet this prescription clashes with our ordinary judgments of rationality. How should we resolve this tension? In this paper, I focus particularly on the logical omniscience requirement in Bayesian epistemology. Building on a key insight by Ian Hacking (1967), I develop a version of Bayesianism that permits logical ignorance. This includes an account of the synchronic norms that govern a l…Read more
  • Decision-theoretic paradoxes as voting paradoxes
    Philosophical Review 119 (1): 1-30. 2010.
    It is a platitude among decision theorists that agents should choose their actions so as to maximize expected value. But exactly how to define expected value is contentious. Evidential decision theory (henceforth EDT), causal decision theory (henceforth CDT), and a theory proposed by Ralph Wedgwood that this essay will call benchmark theory (BT) all advise agents to maximize different types of expected value. Consequently, their verdicts sometimes conflict. In certain famous cases of conflict—me…Read more
  • Decision theory without finite standard expected value
    Luc Lauwers and Peter Vallentyne
    Economics and Philosophy 1-25. forthcoming.
  • Three measurement problems
    Topoi 14 (1): 7-15. 1995.
    The aim of this essay is to distinguish and analyze several difficulties confronting attempts to reconcile the fundamental quantum mechanical dynamics with Born''s rule. It is shown that many of the proposed accounts of measurement fail at least one of the problems. In particular, only collapse theories and hidden variables theories have a chance of succeeding, and, of the latter, the modal interpretations fail. Any real solution demands new physics.
  • Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time
    Princeton University Press. 2012.
    This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory. Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's conceptions of relativity and space-time led to Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Maudlin explains special rel…Read more
  • The Metaphysics Within Physics
    Oxford University Press. 2007.
    A modest proposal concerning laws, counterfactuals, and explanations - - Why be Humean? -- Suggestions from physics for deep metaphysics -- On the passing of time -- Causation, counterfactuals, and the third factor -- The whole ball of wax -- Epilogue : a remark on the method of metaphysics.
  • In this paper I present a new way of understanding Dutch Book Arguments: the idea is that an agent is shown to be incoherent iff he would accept as fair a set of bets that would result in a loss under any interpretation of the claims involved. This draws on a standard definition of logical inconsistency. On this new understanding, the Dutch Book Arguments for the probability axioms go through, but the Dutch Book Argument for Reflection fails. The question of whether we have a Dutch Book Argument…Read more
  • Quantum Entanglement, Bohmian Mechanics, and Humean Supervenience
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3): 567-583. 2014.
    David Lewis is a natural target for those who believe that findings in quantum physics threaten the tenability of traditional metaphysical reductionism. Such philosophers point to allegedly holistic entities they take both to be the subjects of some claims of quantum mechanics and to be incompatible with Lewisian metaphysics. According to one popular argument, the non-separability argument from quantum entanglement, any realist interpretation of quantum theory is straightforwardly inconsistent w…Read more
  • Clever bookies and coherent beliefs
    Philosophical Review 100 (2): 229-247. 1991.
  • Distorted reflection
    Philosophical Review 118 (1): 59-85. 2009.
    Diachronic Dutch book arguments seem to support both conditionalization and Bas van Fraassen's Reflection principle. But the Reflection principle is vulnerable to numerous counterexamples. This essay addresses two questions: first, under what circumstances should an agent obey Reflection, and second, should the counterexamples to Reflection make us doubt the Dutch book for conditionalization? In response to the first question, this essay formulates a new "Qualified Reflection" principle, which s…Read more
  • Imaginary Foundations
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5. 2018.
    Our senses provide us with information about the world, but what exactly do they tell us? I argue that in order to optimally respond to sensory stimulations, an agent’s doxastic space may have an extra, “imaginary” dimension of possibility; perceptual experiences confer certainty on propositions in this dimension. To some extent, the resulting picture vindicates the old-fashioned empiricist idea that all empirical knowledge is based on a solid foundation of sense-datum propositions, but it avoid…Read more
  • Principal Values and Weak Expectations
    Mind 123 (490): 517-531. 2014.
    This paper evaluates a recent method proposed by Jeremy Gwiazda for calculating the value of gambles that fail to have expected values in the standard sense. I show that Gwiazda’s method fails to give answers for many gambles that do have standardly defined expected values. However, a slight modification of his method (based on the mathematical notion of the ‘Cauchy principal value’ of an integral), is in fact a proper extension of both his method and the method of ‘weak expectations’. I show th…Read more
  • Starting from the premise that akrasia is irrational, I argue that it is always a rational mistake to have false beliefs about the requirements of rationality. Using that conclusion, I defend logical omniscience requirements, the claim that one can never have all-things-considered misleading evidence about what's rational, and the Right Reasons position concerning peer disagreement.
  • Infinite utilitarianism: More is always better
    Luc Lauwers and Peter Vallentyne
    Economics and Philosophy 20 (2): 307-330. 2004.
    We address the question of how finitely additive moral value theories (such as utilitarianism) should rank worlds when there are an infinite number of locations of value (people, times, etc.). In the finite case, finitely additive theories satisfy both Weak Pareto and a strong anonymity condition. In the infinite case, however, these two conditions are incompatible, and thus a question arises as to which of these two conditions should be rejected. In a recent contribution, Hamkins and Montero (2…Read more
  • Greaves and Wallace argue that conditionalization maximizes expected accuracy. In this paper I show that their result only applies to a restricted range of cases. I then show that the update procedure that maximizes expected accuracy in general is one in which, upon learning P, we conditionalize, not on P, but on the proposition that we learned P. After proving this result, I provide further generalizations and show that much of the accuracy-first epistemology program is committed to KK-like ite…Read more
  • Bridging Rationality and Accuracy
    Journal of Philosophy 112 (12): 633-657. 2015.
    This paper is about the connection between rationality and accuracy. I show that one natural picture about how rationality and accuracy are connected emerges if we assume that rational agents are rationally omniscient. I then develop an alternative picture that allows us to relax this assumption, in order to accommodate certain views about higher order evidence
  • Options and the subjective ought
    Philosophical Studies 158 (2): 343-360. 2012.
    Options and the subjective ought Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-18 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9880-0 Authors Brian Hedden, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116
  • Intrinsicality and Hyperintensionality
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2): 314-336. 2011.
    The standard counterexamples to David Lewis’s account of intrinsicality involve two sorts of properties: identity properties and necessary properties. Proponents of the account have attempted to deflect these counterexamples in a number of ways. This paper argues that none of these moves are legitimate. Furthermore, this paper argues that no account along the lines of Lewis’s can succeed, for an adequate account of intrinsicality must be sensitive to hyperintensional distinctions among propertie…Read more
  • Since the publication of David Lewis's ''New Work for a Theory of Universals,'' the distinction between properties that are fundamental – or perfectly natural – and those that are not has become a staple of mainstream metaphysics. Plausible candidates for perfect naturalness include the quantitative properties posited by fundamental physics. This paper argues for two claims: (1) the most satisfying account of quantitative properties employs higher-order relations, and (2) these relations must …Read more
  • Bootstrapping in General
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3): 525-548. 2010.
    The bootstrapping problem poses a general challenge, afflicting even strongly internalist theories. Even if one must always know that one’s source is reliable to gain knowledge from it, bootstrapping is still possible. I survey some solutions internalists might offer and defend the one I find most plausible: that bootstrapping involves an abuse of inductive reasoning akin to generalizing from a small or biased sample. I also argue that this solution is equally available to the reliabilist. The m…Read more
  • Scientific Reasoning: The Bayesian Approach
    Peter Urbach and Colin Howson
    Open Court. 1993.
    Scientific reasoning is—and ought to be—conducted in accordance with the axioms of probability. This Bayesian view—so called because of the central role it accords to a theorem first proved by Thomas Bayes in the late eighteenth ...
  • What Chance‐Credence Norms Should Not Be
    Richard G. Pettigrew
    Noûs 47 (3): 177-196. 2013.
    A chance-credence norm states how an agent's credences in propositions concerning objective chances ought to relate to her credences in other propositions. The most famous such norm is the Principal Principle (PP), due to David Lewis. However, Lewis noticed that PP is too strong when combined with many accounts of chance that attempt to reduce chance facts to non-modal facts. Those who defend such accounts of chance have offered two alternative chance-credence norms: the first is Hall's and Thau…Read more