30 found
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  1. Principles of Indifference.Benjamin Eva - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (7):390-411.
    The principle of indifference states that in the absence of any relevant evidence, a rational agent will distribute their credence equally among all the possible outcomes under consideration. Despite its intuitive plausibility, PI famously falls prey to paradox, and so is widely rejected as a principle of ideal rationality. In this article, I present a novel rehabilitation of PI in terms of the epistemology of comparative confidence judgments. In particular, I consider two natural comparative reformulations of PI and argue that (...)
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  2.  90
    Bayesian argumentation and the value of logical validity.Benjamin Eva & Stephan Hartmann - 2018 - Psychological Review 125 (5):806-821.
    According to the Bayesian paradigm in the psychology of reasoning, the norms by which everyday human cognition is best evaluated are probabilistic rather than logical in character. Recently, the Bayesian paradigm has been applied to the domain of argumentation, where the fundamental norms are traditionally assumed to be logical. Here, we present a major generalisation of extant Bayesian approaches to argumentation that utilizes a new class of Bayesian learning methods that are better suited to modelling dynamic and conditional inferences than (...)
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  3. Anti-reductionist Interventionism.Reuben Stern & Benjamin Eva - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (1):241-267.
    Kim’s causal exclusion argument purports to demonstrate that the non-reductive physicalist must treat mental properties (and macro-level properties in general) as causally inert. A number of authors have attempted to resist Kim’s conclusion by utilizing the conceptual resources of Woodward’s interventionist conception of causation. The viability of these responses has been challenged by Gebharter, who argues that the causal exclusion argument is vindicated by the theory of causal Bayesian networks (CBNs). Since the interventionist conception of causation relies crucially on CBNs (...)
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  4. Learning from Conditionals.Benjamin Eva, Stephan Hartmann & Soroush Rafiee Rad - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):461-508.
    In this article, we address a major outstanding question of probabilistic Bayesian epistemology: how should a rational Bayesian agent update their beliefs upon learning an indicative conditional? A number of authors have recently contended that this question is fundamentally underdetermined by Bayesian norms, and hence that there is no single update procedure that rational agents are obliged to follow upon learning an indicative conditional. Here we resist this trend and argue that a core set of widely accepted Bayesian norms is (...)
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  5. Algorithmic Fairness and Base Rate Tracking.Benjamin Eva - 2022 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 50 (2):239-266.
    Philosophy & Public Affairs, Volume 50, Issue 2, Page 239-266, Spring 2022.
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  6. Four Approaches to Supposition.Benjamin Eva, Ted Shear & Branden Fitelson - 2022 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (26):58-98.
    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 systematically explicating the relationships canonical representatives of each. Our representative qualitative accounts of indicative (...)
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  7. On the Origins of Old Evidence.Benjamin Eva & Stephan Hartmann - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):481-494.
    The problem of old evidence, first described by Glymour [1980], is still widely regarded as one of the most pressing foundational challenges to the Bayesian account of scientific reasoning. Many solutions have been proposed, but all of them have drawbacks and none is considered to be definitive. Here, we introduce and defend a new kind of solution, according to which hypotheses are confirmed when we become more confident that they provide the only way of accounting for the known evidence.
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  8.  79
    When no Reason for is a Reason against.Benjamin Eva & Stephan Hartmann - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):426-431.
    We provide a Bayesian justification of the idea that, under certain conditions, the absence of an argument in favour of the truth of a hypothesis H constitutes a good argument against the truth of H.
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  9. Comparative Opinion Loss.Benjamin Eva & Reuben Stern - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (3):613-637.
    It is a consequence of the theory of imprecise credences that there exist situations in which rational agents inevitably become less opinionated toward some propositions as they gather more evidence. The fact that an agent's imprecise credal state can dilate in this way is often treated as a strike against the imprecise approach to inductive inference. Here, we show that dilation is not a mere artifact of this approach by demonstrating that opinion loss is countenanced as rational by a substantially (...)
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  10.  60
    The Logic of Partial Supposition.Benjamin Eva & Stephan Hartmann - 2021 - Analysis (2):215-224.
    According to orthodoxy, there are two basic moods of supposition: indicative and subjunctive. The most popular formalizations of the corresponding norms of suppositional judgement are given by Bayesian conditionalization and Lewisian imaging, respectively. It is well known that Bayesian conditionalization can be generalized (via Jeffrey conditionalization) to provide a model for the norms of partial indicative supposition. This raises the question of whether imaging can likewise be generalized to model the norms of ‘partial subjunctive supposition’. The present article casts doubt (...)
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  11. An Impossibility Theorem for Base Rate Tracking and Equalized Odds.Rush T. Stewart, Benjamin Eva, Shanna Slank & Reuben Stern - forthcoming - Analysis.
    There is a theorem that shows that it is impossible for an algorithm to jointly satisfy the statistical fairness criteria of Calibration and Equalised Odds non-trivially. But what about the recently advocated alternative to Calibration, Base Rate Tracking? Here, we show that Base Rate Tracking is strictly weaker than Calibration, and then take up the question of whether it is possible to jointly satisfy Base Rate Tracking and Equalised Odds in non-trivial scenarios. We show that it is not, thereby establishing (...)
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  12. Confirmation by Explanation: A Bayesian Justification of IBE.Marko Tesic, Benjamin Eva & Stephan Hartmann - manuscript
    We provide a novel Bayesian justification of inference to the best explanation. More specifically, we present conditions under which explanatory considerations can provide a significant confirmatory boost for hypotheses that provide the best explanation of the relevant evidence. Furthermore, we show that the proposed Bayesian model of IBE is able to deal naturally with the best known criticisms of IBE such as van Fraassen?s?bad lot? argument.
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  13.  53
    Causal Explanatory Power.Benjamin Eva & Reuben Stern - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1029-1050.
    Schupbach and Sprenger introduce a novel probabilistic approach to measuring the explanatory power that a given explanans exerts over a corresponding explanandum. Though we are sympathetic to their general approach, we argue that it does not adequately capture the way in which the causal explanatory power that c exerts on e varies with background knowledge. We then amend their approach so that it does capture this variance. Though our account of explanatory power is less ambitious than Schupbach and Sprenger’s in (...)
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  14. Topos Theoretic Quantum Realism.Benjamin Eva - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):1149-1181.
    ABSTRACT Topos quantum theory is standardly portrayed as a kind of ‘neo-realist’ reformulation of quantum mechanics.1 1 In this article, I study the extent to which TQT can really be characterized as a realist formulation of the theory, and examine the question of whether the kind of realism that is provided by TQT satisfies the philosophical motivations that are usually associated with the search for a realist reformulation of quantum theory. Specifically, I show that the notion of the quantum state (...)
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  15.  39
    Emerging (In)Determinacy.Benjamin Eva - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):31-39.
    In recent years, a number of authors have defended the coherence and philosophical utility of the notion of metaphysical indeterminacy. Concurrently, the idea that reality can be stratified into more or less fundamental ‘levels’ has gained significant traction in the literature. Here, I examine the relationship between these two notions. Specifically, I consider the question of what metaphysical determinacy at one level of reality tells us about the possibility of metaphysical determinacy at other more or less fundamental levels. Towards this (...)
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  16.  65
    The Similarity of Causal Structure.Benjamin Eva, Reuben Stern & Stephan Hartmann - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):821-835.
    Does y obtain under the counterfactual supposition that x? The answer to this question is famously thought to depend on whether y obtains in the most similar world in which x obtains. What this notion of ‘similarity’ consists in is controversial, but in recent years, graphical causal models have proved incredibly useful in getting a handle on considerations of similarity between worlds. One limitation of the resulting conception of similarity is that it says nothing about what would obtain were the (...)
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  17.  85
    Causal Explanatory Power.Benjamin Eva & Reuben Stern - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy012.
    Schupbach and Sprenger introduce a novel probabilistic approach to measuring the explanatory power that a given explanans exerts over a corresponding explanandum. Though we are sympathetic to their general approach, we argue that it does not adequately capture the way in which the causal explanatory power that c exerts on e varies with background knowledge. We then amend their approach so that it does capture this variance. Though our account of explanatory power is less ambitious than Schupbach and Sprenger’s in (...)
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  18.  26
    How a Minimal Learning Agent can Infer the Existence of Unobserved Variables in a Complex Environment.Benjamin Eva, Katja Ried, Thomas Müller & Hans J. Briegel - 2023 - Minds and Machines 33 (1):185-219.
    According to a mainstream position in contemporary cognitive science and philosophy, the use of abstract compositional concepts is amongst the most characteristic indicators of meaningful deliberative thought in an organism or agent. In this article, we show how the ability to develop and utilise abstract conceptual structures can be achieved by a particular kind of learning agent. More specifically, we provide and motivate a concrete operational definition of what it means for these agents to be in possession of abstract concepts, (...)
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  19. The Case for Incomparability.Benjamin Eva - manuscript
    According to influential arguments from several branches of philosophy, there exist some gradable natural language expressions that violate the following principle: if x and y are both F to some degree, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. Dorr, Nebel and Zuehl (2022) (DNZ), who refer to this principle as ‘Comparability’, respond to these arguments and offer a systematic case in support of Comparability. In this paper, I respond (...)
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  20. The Logic of Conditional Belief.Benjamin Eva - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):759-779.
    The logic of indicative conditionals remains the topic of deep and intractable philosophical disagreement. I show that two influential epistemic norms—the Lockean theory of belief and the Ramsey test for conditional belief—are jointly sufficient to ground a powerful new argument for a particular conception of the logic of indicative conditionals. Specifically, the argument demonstrates, contrary to the received historical narrative, that there is a real sense in which Stalnaker’s semantics for the indicative did succeed in capturing the logic of the (...)
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  21.  51
    Category theory and physical structuralism.Benjamin Eva - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (2):231-246.
    As a metaphysical theory, radical ontic structural realism is characterised mainly in terms of the ontological primacy it places on relations and structures, as opposed to the individual relata and objects that inhabit these relations/structures. The most popular criticism of ROSR is that its central thesis is incoherent. Bain attempts to address this criticism by arguing that the mathematical language of category theory allows for a coherent articulation of ROSR’s key thesis. Subsequently, Wüthrich and Lam and Lal and Teh have (...)
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  22.  22
    A bridge between q-worlds.Benjamin Eva, Masanao Ozawa & Andreas Doering - 2021 - Review of Symbolic Logic 14 (2):447-486.
    Quantum set theory and topos quantum theory are two long running projects in the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics that share a great deal of conceptual and technical affinity. Most pertinently, both approaches attempt to resolve some of the conceptual difficulties surrounding QM by reformulating parts of the theory inside of nonclassical mathematical universes, albeit with very different internal logics. We call such mathematical universes, together with those mathematical and logical structures within them that are pertinent to the physical interpretation, (...)
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  23.  44
    Reasoning in Physics (ed.).Benjamin Eva & Stephan Hartmann - 2020 - Synthese (Suppl 16):1-5.
    The way in which philosophers have thought about the scientific method and the nature of good scientific reasoning over the last few centuries has been consistently and heavily influenced by the examples set by physics. The astounding achievements of 19th and 20th century physics demonstrated that physicists had successfully identified methodologies and reasoning patterns that were uniquely well suited to discovering fundamental truths about the natural world. Inspired by this success, generations of philosophers set themselves the goal of taxonomising, codifying, (...)
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  24.  45
    Imaging Uncertainty.Benjamin Eva & Stephan Hartmann - unknown
    The technique of imaging was first introduced by Lewis, in order to provide a novel account of the probability of conditional propositions. In the intervening years, imaging has been the object of significant interest in both AI and philosophy, and has come to be seen as a philosophically important approach to probabilistic updating and belief revision. In this paper, we consider the possibility of generalising imaging to deal with uncertain evidence and partial belief revision. In particular, we introduce a new (...)
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  25. CogSci 2019 Proceedings.Stephan Hartmann, Benjamin Eva & Henrik Singmann (eds.) - 2019 - Montreal, Québec, Kanada:
     
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  26. A New Probabilistic Explanation of the Modus Ponens–Modus Tollens Asymmetry.Stephan Hartmann, Benjamin Eva & Henrik Singmann - 2019 - In Stephan Hartmann, Benjamin Eva & Henrik Singmann (eds.), CogSci 2019 Proceedings. Montreal, Québec, Kanada: pp. 289–294.
    A consistent finding in research on conditional reasoning is that individuals are more likely to endorse the valid modus ponens (MP) inference than the equally valid modus tollens (MT) inference. This pattern holds for both abstract task and probabilistic task. The existing explanation for this phenomenon within a Bayesian framework (e.g., Oaksford & Chater, 2008) accounts for this asymmetry by assuming separate probability distributions for both MP and MT. We propose a novel explanation within a computational-level Bayesian account of reasoning (...)
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  27.  41
    Modality and Contextuality in Topos Quantum Theory.Benjamin Eva - 2016 - Studia Logica 104 (6):1099-1118.
    Topos quantum theory represents a whole new approach to the formalization of non-relativistic quantum theory. It is well known that TQT replaces the orthomodular quantum logic of the traditional Hilbert space formalism with a new intuitionistic logic that arises naturally from the topos theoretic structure of the theory. However, it is less well known that TQT also has a dual logical structure that is paraconsistent. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between these two logical structures and study the implications (...)
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  28.  51
    Chancy Covariance and The Mind-Body Problem.Benjamin Eva - 2022 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 2:177-216.
    Most agree that mental properties depend in some way on physical properties. While phys- icalists describe this dependence in terms of deterministic synchronic relations like identity or supervenience, some dualists prefer to think of it in terms of indeterministic dynamic relations, like causation. I’m going to develop a third conception of the dependence of the mental on the physical that falls somewhere between the deterministic synchronic dependence relations of the physicalist and the indeterministic diachronic dependence relations advocated by some dualists. (...)
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  29.  37
    A-symmetric confirmation and anthropic skepticism.Benjamin Eva - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):399-412.
    In recent years, anthropic reasoning has been used to justify a number of controversial skeptical hypotheses. In this paper, we consider two prominent examples, viz. Bostrom’s ‘Simulation Argument’ and the problem of ‘Boltzmann Brains’ in big bang cosmology. We argue that these cases call into question the assumption, central to Bayesian confirmation theory, that the relation of evidential confirmation is universally symmetric. We go on to argue that the fact that these arguments appear to contradict this fundamental assumption should not (...)
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  30.  23
    A deliciously accessible introduction to quantum mechanics: Jeffrey Bub: Bananaworld: quantum mechanics for primates. Oxford University Press, 2016, 304 pp, $44.95HB. [REVIEW]Benjamin Eva - 2017 - Metascience 26 (2):251-255.
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