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Michael Nielsen [23]Michael E. Nielsen [2]
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Michael Nielsen
University of Sydney
  1. Persistent Disagreement and Polarization in a Bayesian Setting.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (1):51-78.
    For two ideally rational agents, does learning a finite amount of shared evidence necessitate agreement? No. But does it at least guard against belief polarization, the case in which their opinions get further apart? No. OK, but are rational agents guaranteed to avoid polarization if they have access to an infinite, increasing stream of shared evidence? No.
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  2. Accuracy-dominance and conditionalization.Michael Nielsen - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3217-3236.
    Epistemic decision theory produces arguments with both normative and mathematical premises. I begin by arguing that philosophers should care about whether the mathematical premises (1) are true, (2) are strong, and (3) admit simple proofs. I then discuss a theorem that Briggs and Pettigrew (2020) use as a premise in a novel accuracy-dominance argument for conditionalization. I argue that the theorem and its proof can be improved in a number of ways. First, I present a counterexample that shows that one (...)
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  3. Obligation, Permission, and Bayesian Orgulity.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    This essay has two aims. The first is to correct an increasingly popular way of misunderstanding Belot's Orgulity Argument. The Orgulity Argument charges Bayesianism with defect as a normative epistemology. For concreteness, our argument focuses on Cisewski et al.'s recent rejoinder to Belot. The conditions that underwrite their version of the argument are too strong and Belot does not endorse them on our reading. A more compelling version of the Orgulity Argument than Cisewski et al. present is available, however---a point (...)
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  4.  76
    Voodoo Dolls and Angry Lions: How Emotions Explain Arational Actions.Andrea Scarantino & Michael Nielsen - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2975-2998.
    Hursthouse :57–68, 1991) argues that arational actions—e.g. kicking a door out of anger—cannot be explained by belief–desire pairs. The Humean Response to Hursthouse :25–38, 2000b) defends the Humean model from Hursthouse’s challenge. We argue that the Humean Response fails because belief–desire pairs are neither necessary nor sufficient for causing emotional actions. The Emotionist Response is to embrace Hursthouse’s conclusion that emotions provide an independent source of explanation for intentional actions. We consider Döring’s :214–230, 2003) feeling-based Emotionist account and argue that (...)
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  5. Another Approach to Consensus and Maximally Informed Opinions with Increasing Evidence.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (2):236-254.
    Merging of opinions results underwrite Bayesian rejoinders to complaints about the subjective nature of personal probability. Such results establish that sufficiently similar priors achieve consensus in the long run when fed the same increasing stream of evidence. Initial subjectivity, the line goes, is of mere transient significance, giving way to intersubjective agreement eventually. Here, we establish a merging result for sets of probability measures that are updated by Jeffrey conditioning. This generalizes a number of different merging results in the literature. (...)
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  6.  11
    Generalized Learning and Conditional Expectation.Simon M. Huttegger & Michael Nielsen - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):868-883.
    Reflection and martingale principles are central to models of rational learning. They can be justified in a variety of ways. In what follows we study martingale and reflection principles in the con...
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  7. Speed-Optimal Induction and Dynamic Coherence.Michael Nielsen & Eric Wofsey - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz030.
    A standard way to challenge convergence-based accounts of inductive success is to claim that they are too weak to constrain inductive inferences in the short run. We respond to such a challenge by answering some questions raised by Juhl (1994). When it comes to predicting limiting relative frequencies in the framework of Reichenbach, we show that speed-optimal convergence—a long-run success condition—induces dynamic coherence in the short run.
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  8. Counterexamples to Some Characterizations of Dilation.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1107-1118.
    Pedersen and Wheeler (2014) and Pedersen and Wheeler (2015) offer a wide-ranging and in-depth exploration of the phenomenon of dilation. We find that these studies raise many interesting and important points. However, purportedly general characterizations of dilation are reported in them that, unfortunately, admit counterexamples. The purpose of this note is to show in some detail that these characterization results are false.
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  9.  26
    Deterministic Convergence and Strong Regularity.Michael Nielsen - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1461-1491.
    Bayesians since Savage (1972) have appealed to asymptotic results to counter charges of excessive subjectivity. Their claim is that objectionable differences in prior probability judgments will vanish as agents learn from evidence, and individual agents will converge to the truth. Glymour (1980), Earman (1992) and others have voiced the complaint that the theorems used to support these claims tell us, not how probabilities updated on evidence will actually}behave in the limit, but merely how Bayesian agents believe they will behave, suggesting (...)
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  10.  61
    On the Best Accuracy Arguments for Probabilism.Michael Nielsen - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    In a recent paper, Pettigrew (2021) reports a generalization of the celebrated accuracy-dominance theorem due to Predd et al. (2009). But Pettigrew’s proof is incorrect. I will explain the mistakes and provide a correct proof.
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  11. Conglomerability, Disintegrability and the Comparative Principle.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):479-488.
    Our aim here is to present a result that connects some approaches to justifying countable additivity. This result allows us to better understand the force of a recent argument for countable additivity due to Easwaran. We have two main points. First, Easwaran’s argument in favour of countable additivity should have little persuasive force on those permissive probabilists who have already made their peace with violations of conglomerability. As our result shows, Easwaran’s main premiss – the comparative principle – is strictly (...)
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  12.  19
    On Linear Aggregation of Infinitely Many Finitely Additive Probability Measures.Michael Nielsen - 2019 - Theory and Decision 86 (3-4):421-436.
    We discuss Herzberg’s :319–337, 2015) treatment of linear aggregation for profiles of infinitely many finitely additive probabilities and suggest a natural alternative to his definition of linear continuous aggregation functions. We then prove generalizations of well-known characterization results due to :410–414, 1981). We also characterize linear aggregation of probabilities in terms of a Pareto condition, de Finetti’s notion of coherence, and convexity.
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  13. Distention for Sets of Probabilities.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    A prominent pillar of Bayesian philosophy is that, relative to just a few constraints, priors “wash out” in the limit. Bayesians often appeal to such asymptotic results as a defense against charges of excessive subjectivity. But, as Seidenfeld and coauthors observe, what happens in the short run is often of greater interest than what happens in the limit. They use this point as one motivation for investigating the counterintuitive short run phenomenon of dilation since, it is alleged, “dilation contrasts with (...)
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  14.  11
    Counterexamples to Some Characterizations of Dilation.Michael Nielsen & Rush T. Stewart - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1107-1118.
    We provide counterexamples to some purported characterizations of dilation due to Pedersen and Wheeler :1305–1342, 2014, ISIPTA ’15: Proceedings of the 9th international symposium on imprecise probability: theories and applications, 2015).
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  15.  9
    Correction to: Accuracy-dominance and conditionalization.Michael Nielsen - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3845-3845.
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  16.  23
    Convergence to the Truth Without Countable Additivity.Michael Nielsen - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (2):395-414.
    Must probabilities be countably additive? On the one hand, arguably, requiring countable additivity is too restrictive. As de Finetti pointed out, there are situations in which it is reasonable to use merely finitely additive probabilities. On the other hand, countable additivity is fruitful. It can be used to prove deep mathematical theorems that do not follow from finite additivity alone. One of the most philosophically important examples of such a result is the Bayesian convergence to the truth theorem, which says (...)
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  17.  29
    Kolmogorov Conditionalization, A New Argument For.Michael Nielsen - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-16.
    This paper contributes to a recent research program that extends arguments supporting elementary conditionalization to arguments supporting conditionalization with general, measure-theoretic conditional probabilities. I begin by suggesting an amendment to the framework that Rescorla (2018) has used to characterize regular conditional probabilities in terms of avoiding Dutch book. If we wish to model learning scenarios in which an agent gains complete membership knowledge about some subcollection of the events of interest to her, then we should focus on updating policies that (...)
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  18.  42
    On the Possibility of Testimonial Justice.Rush T. Stewart & Michael Nielsen - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):732-746.
    Recent impossibility theorems for fair risk assessment extend to the domain of epistemic justice. We translate the relevant model, demonstrating that the problems of fair risk assessment and just credibility assessment are structurally the same. We motivate the fairness criteria involved in the theorems as also being appropriate in the setting of testimonial justice. Any account of testimonial justice that implies the fairness/justice criteria must be abandoned, on pain of triviality.
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  19.  34
    A New Justification of Induction: Gerhard Schurz: Hume’s Problem Solved: The Optimality of Meta-Induction. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2019. X + 386 Pp, £50.00 HB. [REVIEW]Michael Nielsen - 2020 - Metascience 29 (2):209-210.
  20.  10
    The Strength of de Finetti’s Coherence Theorem.Michael Nielsen - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11713-11724.
    I show that de Finetti’s coherence theorem is equivalent to the Hahn-Banach theorem and discuss some consequences of this result. First, the result unites two aspects of de Finetti’s thought in a nice way: a corollary of the result is that the coherence theorem implies the existence of a fair countable lottery, which de Finetti appealed to in his arguments against countable additivity. Another corollary of the result is the existence of sets that are not Lebesgue measurable. I offer a (...)
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  21.  51
    Sleeping Beauty: A New Problem for Halfers.Michael Nielsen - manuscript
    I argue against the halfer response to the Sleeping Beauty case by presenting a new problem for halfers. When the original Sleeping Beauty case is generalized, it follows from the halfer’s key premise that Beauty must update her credence in a fair coin’s landing heads in such a way that it becomes arbitrarily close to certainty. This result is clearly absurd. I go on to argue that the halfer’s key premise must be rejected on pain of absurdity, leaving the halfer (...)
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  22.  47
    Opening the Doors of Perception: Priming Altered States of Consciousness Outside of Conscious Awareness.Brandon Randolph-Seng & Michael E. Nielsen - 2009 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion 31 (2):237-260.
    Two studies are reported in which participants’ reports of altered states of consciousness were manipulated using priming methods. Study 1 used both subtle and blunt supraliminal priming methods, while Study 2 used a subliminal priming method. Across the two studies, two different methods for inducing ASC were used. In both studies a direct and an indirect measure of ASC was employed in order to separate the more nonconscious and spontaneous from the more conscious and directive reports of ASC. As predicted, (...)
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  23.  21
    Opinions Regarding Polygamy Among LDS Church Members: Demographic Predictors.Michael Nielsen - 2009 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion 31 (2):261-270.
    People's opinions toward polygamy were examined in a study of 1369 adults who were current or former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Questions addressed several areas: polygamy and the law, respondents' perceptions of polygamous women, the potential link between legalizing gay marriage and legalizing polygamy, polygamists' reliance on social welfare programs, and the ability of teens raised in polygamy to leave that lifestyle. Consistent with the contact hypothesis, multiple regression analyses showed that people who knew (...)
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  24.  2
    Influences on the Early Training of Nurses in Denmark.Michael Nielsen - 2005 - Nursing Inquiry 12 (4):295-302.
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