•  26
    Philosophy and the Precautionary Principle. Science, Evidence, and Environmental Policy
    Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1): 103-105. 2019.
    Should we reduce cell phone emissions to prevent possible cancer, even though the causal link has not been demonstrated? Should an allegedly unsafe vaccine be removed from the market? Can a modest...
  •  35
    Scientific Expertise and Risk Aggregation
    Philosophy of Science 86 (1): 124-144. 2019.
    When scientists are asked to give expert advice on risk-related questions, such as the authorization of medical drugs, deliberation often does not eliminate all disagreements. I propose to model these remaining discrepancies as differences in risk assessments and/or in risk acceptability thresholds. The normative question I consider, then, is how the individual expert views should best be aggregated. I discuss what “best” could mean, with an eye to some robustness considerations. I argue that th…Read more
  •  21
    Improving deliberations by reducing misrepresentation effects
    with Cyrille Imbert, Vincent Chevrier, and Christine Bourjot
    Episteme 17 (4): 403-419. 2020.
    ABSTRACTDeliberative and decisional groups play crucial roles in most aspects of social life. But it is not obvious how to organize these groups and various socio-cognitive mechanisms can spoil debates and decisions. In this paper we focus on one such important mechanism: the misrepresentation of views, i.e. when agents express views that are aligned with those already expressed, and which differ from their private opinions. We introduce a model to analyze the extent to which this behavioral pat…Read more
  •  15
    For two centuries, collaborative research has become increasingly widespread. Various explanations of this trend have been proposed. Here, we offer a novel functional explanation of it. It differs from ac- counts like that of Wray by the precise socio-epistemic mech- anism that grounds the beneficialness of collaboration. Boyer-Kassem and Imbert show how minor differences in the step-efficiency of collaborative groups can make them much more successful in particular configurations. We investigat…Read more
  •  17
    Scientists are often asked to advise political institutions on pressing risk-related questions, like climate change or the authorization of medical drugs. Given that deliberation will often not eliminate all disagreements between scientists, how should their risk assessments be aggregated? I argue that this problem is distinct from two familiar and well-studied problems in the literature: judgment aggregation and probability aggregation. I introduce a novel decision-theoretic model where risk as…Read more
  •  511
    Quantum-like models cannot account for the conjunction fallacy
    with Sébastien Duchêne and Eric Guerci
    Theory and Decision 81 (4): 479-510. 2016.
    Human agents happen to judge that a conjunction of two terms is more probable than one of the terms, in contradiction with the rules of classical probabilities—this is the conjunction fallacy. One of the most discussed accounts of this fallacy is currently the quantum-like explanation, which relies on models exploiting the mathematics of quantum mechanics. The aim of this paper is to investigate the empirical adequacy of major quantum-like models which represent beliefs with quantum states. We f…Read more
  •  39
    Les théories physiques sont aujourd'hui très mathématisées, et ce que les scientifiques manipulent pour décrire, prédire et contrôler les phénomènes, ce sont (entre autres) des équations, comportant de nombreux symboles mathématiques. Ces objets mathématiques n'ont pas de signification physique en eux-mêmes : ils ne « parlent » pas d'eux-mêmes des phénomènes. Une interprétation est nécessaire. Ce qui nous intéresse dans cet article est ainsi l'interprétation dont une théorie physique doit faire …Read more
  •  69
    The coexistence of several interpretations of one theory is considered through the example of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. The problem considered is whether physicists manage to work properly in spite of the several interpretations. The criterion adopted is the possibility of re-using others' works for another research: this is called "fruitfulness of works". It is argued that such a fruitfulness is possible between works made in different quantum interpretations.
  •  408
    La mécanique quantique est une théorie physique contemporaine réputée pour ses défis au sens commun et ses paradoxes. Depuis bientôt un siècle, plusieurs interprétations de la théorie ont été proposées par les physiciens et les philosophes, offrant des images quantiques du monde, ou des métaphysiques, radicalement différentes. L'existence d'un hasard fondamental, ou d'une multitude de mondes en-dehors du nôtre, dépend ainsi de l'interprétation adoptée. Cet article, en s'appuyant sur le livre Boy…Read more
  •  395
    A part of the scientific literature consists of intermediate results within a longer project. Scientists often publish a first result in the course of their work, while aware that they should soon achieve a more advanced result from this preliminary result. Should they follow the proverb “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, and publish any intermediate result they get? This is the normative question addressed in this paper. My aim is to clarify, to refine, and to assess informal argume…Read more
  •  1073
    La mécanique quantique est une théorie physique contemporaine réputée pour ses défis au sens commun et ses paradoxes. Depuis bientôt un siècle, plusieurs interprétations de la théorie ont été proposées par les physiciens et les philosophes, offrant des images quantiques du monde, ou des ontologies, radicalement différentes. L'existence d'un hasard fondamental, ou d'une multitude de mondes en-dehors du nôtre, dépend ainsi de l'interprétation adoptée. Après avoir discuté de la définition de l'inte…Read more
  •  481
    Layers of Models in Computer Simulations
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (4): 417-436. 2014.
    I discuss here the definition of computer simulations, and more specifically the views of Humphreys, who considers that an object is simulated when a computer provides a solution to a computational model, which in turn represents the object of interest. I argue that Humphreys's concepts are not able to analyse fully successfully a case of contemporary simulation in physics, which is more complex than the examples considered so far in the philosophical literature. I therefore modify Humphreys's d…Read more
  •  11
    In this paper, I address a question in social epistemology about the unity of a scientic community to- wards its inner groups (teams, labs...). I investigate the reasons why these groups might want to \go it alone", working among themselves and hiding their discoveries from other groups. I concentrate on the intermediate results of a longer project, where the first steps can help to achieve a more advanced result. I study to what extent the isolation of research groups might be damaging to the e…Read more
  •  649
    Epistemic accounts of scientific collaboration usually assume that, one way or another, two heads really are more than twice better than one. We show that this hypothesis is unduly strong. We present a deliberately crude model with unfavorable hypotheses. We show that, even then, when the priority rule is applied, large differences in successfulness can emerge from small differences in efficiency, with sometimes increasing marginal returns. We emphasize that success is sensitive to the structure…Read more
  •  74
    Scientific Collaboration and Collective Knowledge (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2017.
    Current scientific research almost always requires collaboration among several (if not several hundred) specialized researchers. When scientists co-author a journal article, who deserves credit for discoveries or blame for errors? How should scientific institutions promote fruitful collaborations among scientists? In this book, leading philosophers of science address these critical questions.