76 found
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  1. Fading Foundations: Probability and the Regress Problem.Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2017 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Edited by Jeanne Peijnenburg.
    This Open Access book addresses the age-old problem of infinite regresses in epistemology. How can we ever come to know something if knowing requires having good reasons, and reasons can only be good if they are backed by good reasons in turn? The problem has puzzled philosophers ever since antiquity, giving rise to what is often called Agrippa's Trilemma. The current volume approaches the old problem in a provocative and thoroughly contemporary way. Taking seriously the idea that good reasons are (...)
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  2. The Emergence of Justification.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252):546-564.
    A major objection to epistemic infinitism is that it seems to make justification impossible. For if there is an infinite chain of reasons, each receiving its justification from its neighbour, then there is no justification to inherit in the first place. Some have argued that the objection arises from misunderstanding the character of justification. Justification is not something that one reason inherits from another; rather it gradually emerges from the chain as a whole. Nowhere however is it made clear what (...)
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  3. When are thought experiments poor ones?Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2003 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 34 (2):305-322.
    A characteristic of contemporary analytic philosophy is its ample use of thought experiments. We formulate two features that can lead one to suspect that a given thought experiment is a poor one. Although these features are especially in evidence within the philosophy of mind, they can, surprisingly enough, also be discerned in some celebrated scientific thought experiments. Yet in the latter case the consequences appear to be less disastrous. We conclude that the use of thought experiments is more successful in (...)
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  4. Justification by an Infinity of Conditional Probabilities.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2009 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 50 (2):183-193.
    Today it is generally assumed that epistemic justification comes in degrees. The consequences, however, have not been adequately appreciated. In this paper we show that the assumption invalidates some venerable attacks on infinitism: once we accept that epistemic justification is gradual, an infinitist stance makes perfect sense. It is only without the assumption that infinitism runs into difficulties.
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  5.  21
    Screening off generalized: Reichenbach’s legacy.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8335-8354.
    Eells and Sober proved in 1983 that screening off is a sufficient condition for the transitivity of probabilistic causality, and in 2003 Shogenji noted that the same goes for probabilistic support. We start this paper by conjecturing that Hans Reichenbach may have been aware of this fact. Then we consider the work of Suppes and Roche, who demonstrated in 1986 and 2012 respectively that screening off can be generalized, while still being sufficient for transitivity. We point out an interesting difference (...)
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  6.  36
    Galileo and prior philosophy.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (1):115-136.
    Galileo claimed inconsistency in the Aristotelian dogma concerning falling bodies and stated that all bodies must fall at the same rate. However, there is an empirical situation where the speeds of falling bodies are proportional to their weights; and even in vacuo all bodies do not fall at the same rate under terrestrial conditions. The reason for the deficiency of Galileo’s reasoning is analyzed, and various physical scenarios are described in which Aristotle’s claim is closer to the truth than is (...)
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  7.  23
    A New Condition for Transitivity of Probabilistic Support.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):253-265.
    As is well known, implication is transitive but probabilistic support is not. Eells and Sober, followed by Shogenji, showed that screening off is a sufficient constraint for the transitivity of probabilistic support. Moreover, this screening off condition can be weakened without sacrificing transitivity, as was demonstrated by Suppes and later by Roche. In this paper we introduce an even weaker sufficient condition for the transitivity of probabilistic support, in fact one that can be made as weak as one wishes. We (...)
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  8.  87
    Lamps, cubes, balls and walls: Zeno problems and solutions.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):49 - 59.
    Various arguments have been put forward to show that Zeno-like paradoxes are still with us. A particularly interesting one involves a cube composed of colored slabs that geometrically decrease in thickness. We first point out that this argument has already been nullified by Paul Benacerraf. Then we show that nevertheless a further problem remains, one that withstands Benacerraf s critique. We explain that the new problem is isomorphic to two other Zeno-like predicaments: a problem described by Alper and Bridger in (...)
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  9. Grounds and limits: Reichenbach and foundationalist epistemology.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2011 - Synthese 181 (1):113 - 124.
    From 1929 onwards, C. I. Lewis defended the foundationalist claim that judgements of the form 'x is probable' only make sense if one assumes there to be a ground y that is certain (where x and y may be beliefs, propositions, or events). Without this assumption, Lewis argues, the probability of x could not be anything other than zero. Hans Reichenbach repeatedly contested Lewis's idea, calling it "a remnant of rationalism". The last move in this debate was a challenge by (...)
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  10.  41
    Lamps, cubes, balls and walls: Zeno problems and solutions.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):49-59.
    Various arguments have been put forward to show that Zeno-like paradoxes are still with us. A particularly interesting one involves a cube composed of colored slabs that geometrically decrease in thickness. We first point out that this argument has already been nullified by Paul Benacerraf. Then we show that nevertheless a further problem remains, one that withstands Benacerraf’s critique. We explain that the new problem is isomorphic to two other Zeno-like predicaments: a problem described by Alper and Bridger in 1998 (...)
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  11.  60
    Probabilistic Justification and the Regress Problem.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2008 - Studia Logica 89 (3):333-341.
    We discuss two objections that foundationalists have raised against infinite chains of probabilistic justification. We demonstrate that neither of the objections can be maintained.
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  12. The Need for Justification.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (2):201-210.
    Some series can go on indefinitely, others cannot, and epistemologists want to know in which class to place epistemic chains. Is it sensible or nonsensical to speak of a proposition or belief that is justified by another proposition or belief, ad infinitum? In large part the answer depends on what we mean by “justification.” Epistemologists have failed to find a definition on which everybody agrees, and some have even advised us to stop looking altogether. In spite of this, the present (...)
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  13.  98
    How to Confirm the Conjunction of Disconfirmed Hypotheses.David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg & Theo Kuipers - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (1):1-21.
    Can some evidence confirm a conjunction of two hypotheses more than it confirms either of the hypotheses separately? We show that it can, moreover under conditions that are the same for ten different measures of confirmation. Further we demonstrate that it is even possible for the conjunction of two disconfirmed hypotheses to be confirmed by the same evidence.
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  14. Transitivity and Partial Screening Off.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2012 - Theoria 79 (4):294-308.
    The notion of probabilistic support is beset by well-known problems. In this paper we add a new one to the list: the problem of transitivity. Tomoji Shogenji has shown that positive probabilistic support, or confirmation, is transitive under the condition of screening off. However, under that same condition negative probabilistic support, or disconfirmation, is intransitive. Since there are many situations in which disconfirmation is transitive, this illustrates, but now in a different way, that the screening-off condition is too restrictive. We (...)
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  15.  42
    The Solvability of Probabilistic Regresses. A Reply to Frederik Herzberg.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2010 - Studia Logica 94 (3):347-353.
    We have earlier shown by construction that a proposition can have a welldefined nonzero probability, even if it is justified by an infinite probabilistic regress. We thought this to be an adequate rebuttal of foundationalist claims that probabilistic regresses must lead either to an indeterminate, or to a determinate but zero probability. In a comment, Frederik Herzberg has argued that our counterexamples are of a special kind, being what he calls ‘solvable’. In the present reaction we investigate what Herzberg means (...)
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  16.  28
    Ineffectual Foundations: Reply to Gwiazda: Discussions.Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2010 - Mind 119 (476):1125-1133.
    In an earlier paper I argued that there are cases in which an infinite probabilistic chain can be completed. According to Jeremy Gwiazda, however, I have merely shown that the chain in question can be computed, not that it can be completed. Gwiazda thereby discriminates between two terms that I used as synonyms. In the present paper I discuss to what extent computability and completability can be meaningfully distinguished.
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  17.  42
    Probability without certainty: foundationalism and the Lewis–Reichenbach debate.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (3):442-453.
    Like many discussions on the pros and cons of epistemic foundationalism, the debate between C. I. Lewis and H. Reichenbach dealt with three concerns: the existence of basic beliefs, their nature, and the way in which beliefs are related. In this paper we concentrate on the third matter, especially on Lewis’s assertion that a probability relation must depend on something that is certain, and Reichenbach’s claim that certainty is never needed. We note that Lewis’s assertion is prima facie ambiguous, but (...)
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  18.  10
    1. How to Confirm the Conjunction of Disconfirmed Hypotheses.David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg & Theo Kuipers - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (1):1-21.
    Could some evidence confirm a conjunction of two hypotheses more than it confirms either of the hypotheses separately? We show that it might, moreover under conditions that are the same for ten different measures of confirmation. Further, we demonstrate that it is even possible for the conjunction of two disconfirmed hypotheses to be confirmed by the same evidence.
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  19. Justification by Infinite Loops.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2010 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 51 (4):407-416.
    In an earlier paper we have shown that a proposition can have a well-defined probability value, even if its justification consists of an infinite linear chain. In the present paper we demonstrate that the same holds if the justification takes the form of a closed loop. Moreover, in the limit that the size of the loop tends to infinity, the probability value of the justified proposition is always well-defined, whereas this is not always so for the infinite linear chain. This (...)
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  20.  27
    Probabilistic Justification and the Regress Problem.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2008 - Studia Logica 83 (3):333-341.
    We discuss two objections that foundationalists have raised against infinite chains of probabilistic justification. We demonstrate that neither of the objections can be maintained.
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  21. Achilles, the Tortoise, and Colliding Balls.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2008 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 25 (3):187 - 201.
    It is widely held that the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise, introduced by Zeno of Elea around 460 B.C., was solved by mathematical advances in the nineteenth century. The techniques of Weierstrass, Dedekind and Cantor made it clear, according to this view, that Achilles’ difficulty in traversing an infinite number of intervals while trying to catch up with the tortoise does not involve a contradiction, let alone a logical absurdity. Yet ever since the nineteenth century there have been dissidents (...)
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  22.  21
    A New Condition for Transitivity of Probabilistic Support.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2021 - Erkenntnis (1):1-13.
    As is well known, implication is transitive but probabilistic support is not. Eells and Sober, followed by Shogenji, showed that screening off is a sufficient constraint for the transitivity of probabilistic support. Moreover, this screening off condition can be weakened without sacrificing transitivity, as was demonstrated by Suppes and later by Roche. In this paper we introduce an even weaker sufficient condition for the transitivity of probabilistic support, in fact one that can be made as weak as one wishes. We (...)
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  23.  49
    A Consistent Set of Infinite-Order Probabilities.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2013 - International Journal of Approximate Reasoning 54:1351-1360.
    Some philosophers have claimed that it is meaningless or paradoxical to consider the probability of a probability. Others have however argued that second-order probabilities do not pose any particular problem. We side with the latter group. On condition that the relevant distinctions are taken into account, second-order probabilities can be shown to be perfectly consistent. May the same be said of an infinite hierarchy of higher-order probabilities? Is it consistent to speak of a probability of a probability, and of a (...)
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  24.  17
    Confirmation, Empirical Progress and Truth Approximation: Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers.Roberto Festa, Atocha Aliseda & Jeanne Peijnenburg (eds.) - 2005 - Rodopi.
    Theo AF Kuipers THE THREEFOLD EVALUATION OF THEORIES A SYNOPSIS OF FROM INSTRUMENTALISM TO CONSTRUCTIVE REALISM. ON SOME RELATIONS BETWEEN CONFIRMATION, EMPIRICAL PROGRESS, AND TRUTH APPROXIMATION (2000) ABSTRACT.
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  25. Introduction: Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy.Sander Verhaegh & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2022 - In Jeanne Peijnenburg & Sander Verhaegh (eds.), Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy. Cham: Springer. pp. 1-21.
  26.  66
    Fractal Patterns in Reasoning.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2012 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 53 (1):15-26.
    This paper is the third and final one in a sequence of three. All three papers emphasize that a proposition can be justified by an infinite regress, on condition that epistemic justification is interpreted probabilistically. The first two papers showed this for one-dimensional chains and for one-dimensional loops of propositions, each proposition being justified probabilistically by its precursor. In the present paper we consider the more complicated case of two-dimensional nets, where each "child" proposition is probabilistically justified by two "parent" (...)
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  27. Probability as a theory dependent concept.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 1999 - Synthese 118 (3):307-328.
    It is argued that probability should be defined implicitly by the distributions of possible measurement values characteristic of a theory. These distributions are tested by, but not defined in terms of, relative frequencies of occurrences of events of a specified kind. The adoption of an a priori probability in an empirical investigation constitutes part of the formulation of a theory. In particular, an assumption of equiprobability in a given situation is merely one hypothesis inter alia, which can be tested, like (...)
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  28.  94
    How to confirm the disconfirmed. On conjunction fallacies and robust confirmation.David Atkinson, Jeanne Peijnenburg & Theo Kuipers - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (1):1-21.
    Can some evidence confirm a conjunction of two hypotheses more than it confirms either of the hypotheses separately? We show that it can, moreover under conditions that are the same for nine different measures of confirmation. Further we demonstrate that it is even possible for the conjunction of two disconfirmed hypotheses to be confirmed by the same evidence.
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  29.  64
    Akrasia, dispositions and degrees.Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2000 - Erkenntnis 53 (3):285-308.
    It is argued that the recent revival of theakrasia problem in the philosophy of mind is adirect, albeit unforeseen result of the debate onaction explanation in the philosophy of science. Asolution of the problem is put forward that takesaccount of the intimate links between the problem ofakrasia and this debate. This solution is basedon the idea that beliefs and desires have degrees ofstrength, and it suggests a way of giving a precisemeaning to that idea. Finally, it is pointed out thatthe (...)
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  30.  45
    Translations and theories: On the difference between indeterminacy and underdetermination.Jeanne Peijnenburg & Ronald Hunneman - 2001 - Ratio 14 (1):18–32.
    Despite Quine's recurrent claims to the contrary, the idea is still widespread that indeterminacy of translation is a special case of underdetermination of theories. In this paper we explain how indeterminacy differs from underdetermination, and in what ways such gifted Quine scholars as Gemes and Bergström went astray.
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  31.  86
    On poor and not so poor thought experiments. A reply to Daniel Cohnitz.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2007 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (1):159 - 161.
    We have never entirely agreed with Daniel Cohnitz on the status and rôle of thought experiments. Several years ago, enjoying a splendid lunch together in the city of Ghent, we cheerfully agreed to disagree on the matter; and now that Cohnitz has published his considered opinion of our views, we are glad that we have the opportunity to write a rejoinder and to explicate some of our disagreements. We choose not to deal here with all the issues that Cohnitz raises, (...)
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  32. A case of confusing probability and confirmation.Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2012 - Synthese 184 (1):101-107.
    Tom Stoneham put forward an argument purporting to show that coherentists are, under certain conditions, committed to the conjunction fallacy. Stoneham considers this argument a reductio ad absurdum of any coherence theory of justification. I argue that Stoneham neglects the distinction between degrees of confirmation and degrees of probability. Once the distinction is in place, it becomes clear that no conjunction fallacy has been committed.
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  33.  88
    Shaping your own life.Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2006 - Metaphilosophy 37 (2):240–253.
    A distinction is made between imagination in the narrow sense and in the broad sense. Narrow imagination is characterised as the ability to "see" pictures in the mind's eye or to "hear" melodies in the head. Broad imagination is taken to be the faculty of creating, either in the strict sense of making something ex nihilo or in the looser sense of seeing patterns in some data. The article focuses on a particular sort of broad imagination, the kind that has (...)
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  34.  30
    Crosswords and Coherence.Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2010 - Review of Metaphysics 63 (4):807-820.
    A common objection to coherentism is that it cannot account for truth: it gives us no reason to prefer a true theory over a false one, if both theories are equally coherent. By extending Susan Haack's crossword metaphor, the authors argue that there could be circumstances under which this objection is untenable. Although these circumstances are remote, they are in full accordance with the most ambitious modern theories in physics. Coherence may perhaps be truth conducive.
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  35. The Probabilistic Regress.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2017 - In Fading Foundations: Probability and the Regress Problem. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
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  36.  67
    How Certain is Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle?David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-21.
    Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is a milestone of twentieth-century physics. We sketch the history that led to the formulation of the principle, and we recall the objections of Grete Hermann and Niels Bohr. Then we explain that there are in fact two uncertainty principles. One was published by Heisenberg in the Zeitschrift für Physik of March 1927 and subsequently targeted by Bohr and Hermann. The other one was introduced by Earle Kennard in the same journal a couple of months later. While (...)
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  37. Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy.Jeanne Peijnenburg & Sander Verhaegh (eds.) - 2022 - Cham: Springer.
    This book contains a selection of papers from the workshop *Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy* held in October 2019 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. It is the first volume devoted to the role of women in early analytic philosophy. It discusses the ideas of ten female philosophers and covers a period of over a hundred years, beginning with the contribution to the Significs Movement by Victoria, Lady Welby in the second half of the nineteenth century, and ending with Ruth (...)
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  38.  12
    Identity and Difference: A Hundred Years of Analytic Philosophy.Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2000 - Metaphilosophy 31 (4):365-381.
    At its origins, analytic philosophy is an interest in language, science, logic, analysis, and a systematic rather than a historical approach to philosophical problems. Early analytic philosophers were famous for making clear conceptual distinctions and for couching them in comprehensible and lucid sentences. It is argued that this situation is changing, that analytic philosophy is turning into its mirror image and is thereby becoming more like the kind of philosophy that it used to oppose.
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  39.  86
    Infinite regress in decision theory, philosophy of science, and formal epistemology.Jeanne Peijnenburg & Sylvia Wenmackers - 2014 - Synthese 191 (4):627-628.
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  40.  33
    Introduction.Jeanne Peijnenburg & Scott F. Aikin - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (2):139-145.
    This introduction presents selected proceedings of a two-day meeting on the regress problem, sponsored by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and hosted by Vanderbilt University in October 2013, along with other submitted essays. Three forms of research on the regress problem are distinguished: metatheoretical, developmental, and critical work.
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  41. Introduction to the Special Issue: Probability, Confirmation and Fallacies.Jeanne Peijnenburg, Branden Fitelson & Igor Douven - 2012 - Synthese 184 (1):1-1.
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  42.  83
    An Endless Hierarchy of Probabilities.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (3):267-276.
    Suppose q is some proposition, and let P(q) = v0 (1) be the proposition that the probability of q is v0.1 How can one know that (1) is true? One cannot know it for sure, for all that may be asserted is a further probabilistic statement like P(P(q) = v0) = v1, (2) which states that the probability that (1) is true is v1. But the claim (2) is also subject to some further statement of an even higher probability: P(P(P(q) (...)
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  43.  37
    Correction to: “Till at last there remain nothing”: Hume’s Treatise 1.4.1 in contemporary perspective.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4637-4637.
    The original article has been corrected. Erroneously, a comma and a space were added in line 164 to 500, 500, and the authors would like readers to know that this should instead read 500,500.
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  44. Finite Minds and Open Minds.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2019 - In Rodrigo Borges, Branden Fitelson & Cherie Braden (eds.), Knowledge, Scepticism, and Defeat: Themes from Klein. Springer Verlag.
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  45.  63
    Probability all the Way Up.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2006 - Synthese 153 (2):187-197.
    Richard Jeffrey’s radical probabilism (‘probability all the way down’) is augmented by the claim that probability cannot be turned into certainty, except by data that logically exclude all alternatives. Once we start being uncertain, no amount of updating will free us from the treadmill of uncertainty. This claim is cast first in objectivist and then in subjectivist terms.
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  46.  16
    Probability functions, belief functions and infinite regresses.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3045-3059.
    In a recent paper Ronald Meester and Timber Kerkvliet argue by example that infinite epistemic regresses have different solutions depending on whether they are analyzed with probability functions or with belief functions. Meester and Kerkvliet give two examples, each of which aims to show that an analysis based on belief functions yields a different numerical outcome for the agent’s degree of rational belief than one based on probability functions. In the present paper we however show that the outcomes are the (...)
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  47.  46
    Pluralism in Probabilistic Justification.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2012 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao J. Gonzalez, Stephan Hartmann, Michael Stöltzner & Marcel Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws, and Structures. Springer. pp. 75-86.
  48.  15
    Probabilistic truth approximation and fixed points.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4195-4216.
    We use the method of fixed points to describe a form of probabilistic truth approximation which we illustrate by means of three examples. We then contrast this form of probabilistic truth approximation with another, more familiar kind, where no fixed points are used. In probabilistic truth approximation with fixed points the events are dependent on one another, but in the second kind they are independent. The first form exhibits a phenomenon that we call ‘fading origins’, the second one is subject (...)
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  49.  9
    Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Ernest Nagel and the Uncertainty Principle.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2021 - In Matthias Neuber & Adam Tamas Tuboly (eds.), Ernest Nagel: Philosophy of Science and the Fight for Clarity. Springer. pp. 131-148.
    In The Structure of Science, Ernest Nagel finds fault with Werner Heisenberg’s explication of the uncertainty principle. Nagel’s complaint is that this principle does not follow from the impossibility of measuring with precision both the position and the momentum of a particle, as Heisenberg intimates, rather it is the other way around. Recent developments in theoretical physics have shown that Nagel’s argument is more substantial than he could have envisaged. In particular it has become clear that there are in fact (...)
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  50.  81
    Reichenbach’s Posits Reposited.David Atkinson & Jeanne Peijnenburg - 2008 - Erkenntnis 69 (1):93-108.
    Reichenbach’s use of ‘posits’ to defend his frequentistic theory of probability has been criticized on the grounds that it makes unfalsifiable predictions. The justice of this criticism has blinded many to Reichenbach’s second use of a posit, one that can fruitfully be applied to current debates within epistemology. We show first that Reichenbach’s alternative type of posit creates a difficulty for epistemic foundationalists, and then that its use is equivalent to a particular kind of Jeffrey conditionalization. We conclude that, under (...)
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