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William Roche
Texas Christian University
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University of Memphis
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Idaho State University
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  1. Explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant, or inference to the best explanation meets Bayesian confirmation theory.W. Roche & E. Sober - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):659-668.
    In the world of philosophy of science, the dominant theory of confirmation is Bayesian. In the wider philosophical world, the idea of inference to the best explanation exerts a considerable influence. Here we place the two worlds in collision, using Bayesian confirmation theory to argue that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant.
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  2. Confirmation, transitivity, and Moore: the Screening-Off Approach.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-21.
    It is well known that the probabilistic relation of confirmation is not transitive in that even if E confirms H1 and H1 confirms H2, E may not confirm H2. In this paper we distinguish four senses of confirmation and examine additional conditions under which confirmation in different senses becomes transitive. We conduct this examination both in the general case where H1 confirms H2 and in the special case where H1 also logically entails H2. Based on these analyses, we argue that (...)
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  3. Evidence of evidence is evidence under screening-off.William Roche - 2014 - Episteme 11 (1):119-124.
    An important question in the current debate on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement is whether evidence of evidence is evidence. Fitelson argues that, at least on some renderings of the thesis that evidence of evidence is evidence, there are cases where evidence of evidence is not evidence. I introduce a condition and show that under this condition evidence of evidence is evidence.
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  4. A weaker condition for transitivity in probabilistic support.William A. Roche - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):111-118.
    Probabilistic support is not transitive. There are cases in which x probabilistically supports y , i.e., Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y ), y , in turn, probabilistically supports z , and yet it is not the case that x probabilistically supports z . Tomoji Shogenji, though, establishes a condition for transitivity in probabilistic support, that is, a condition such that, for any x , y , and z , if Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y (...)
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  5. Dwindling Confirmation.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (1):114-137.
    We show that as a chain of confirmation becomes longer, confirmation dwindles under screening-off. For example, if E confirms H1, H1 confirms H2, and H1 screens off E from H2, then the degree to which E confirms H2 is less than the degree to which E confirms H1. Although there are many measures of confirmation, our result holds on any measure that satisfies the Weak Law of Likelihood. We apply our result to testimony cases, relate it to the Data-Processing Inequality (...)
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  6. Transitivity and Intransitivity in Evidential Support: Some Further Results.William Roche - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (2):259-268.
    Igor Douven establishes several new intransitivity results concerning evidential support. I add to Douven’s very instructive discussion by establishing two further intransitivity results and a transitivity result.
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  7. Information and Inaccuracy.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):577-604.
    This article proposes a new interpretation of mutual information. We examine three extant interpretations of MI by reduction in doubt, by reduction in uncertainty, and by divergence. We argue that the first two are inconsistent with the epistemic value of information assumed in many applications of MI: the greater is the amount of information we acquire, the better is our epistemic position, other things being equal. The third interpretation is consistent with EVI, but it is faced with the problem of (...)
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  8. Explanatoriness and Evidence: A Reply to McCain and Poston.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):193-199.
    We argue elsewhere that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant . Let H be some hypothesis, O some observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then O screens-off E from H: Pr = Pr. This thesis, hereafter “SOT” , is defended by appeal to a representative case. The case concerns smoking and lung cancer. McCain and Poston grant that SOT holds in cases, like our case concerning smoking and lung cancer, that involve frequency (...)
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  9. Hypotheses that attribute false beliefs: A two‐part epistemology.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (5):664-682.
    Is there some general reason to expect organisms that have beliefs to have false beliefs? And after you observe that an organism occasionally occupies a given neural state that you think encodes a perceptual belief, how do you evaluate hypotheses about the semantic content that that state has, where some of those hypotheses attribute beliefs that are sometimes false while others attribute beliefs that are always true? To address the first of these questions, we discuss evolution by natural selection and (...)
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  10.  30
    Confirmation, transitivity, and Moore: the Screening-Off Approach.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):797-817.
    It is well known that the probabilistic relation of confirmation is not transitive in that even if E confirms H1 and H1 confirms H2, E may not confirm H2. In this paper we distinguish four senses of confirmation and examine additional conditions under which confirmation in different senses becomes transitive. We conduct this examination both in the general case where H1 confirms H2 and in the special case where H1 also logically entails H2. Based on these analyses, we argue that (...)
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  11. Confirmation, increase in probability, and partial discrimination: A reply to Zalabardo.William Roche - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):1-7.
    There is a plethora of confirmation measures in the literature. Zalabardo considers four such measures: PD, PR, LD, and LR. He argues for LR and against each of PD, PR, and LD. First, he argues that PR is the better of the two probability measures. Next, he argues that LR is the better of the two likelihood measures. Finally, he argues that LR is superior to PR. I set aside LD and focus on the trio of PD, PR, and LR. (...)
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  12. Is Explanatoriness a Guide to Confirmation? A Reply to Climenhaga.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):581-590.
    We argued that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in the following sense: Let H be a hypothesis, O an observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then our claim is that Pr = Pr. We defended this screening-off thesis by discussing an example concerning smoking and cancer. Climenhaga argues that SOT is mistaken because it delivers the wrong verdict about a slightly different smoking-and-cancer case. He also considers a variant of SOT, called (...)
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  13. Evidential support, transitivity, and screening-off.William Roche - 2015 - Review of Symbolic Logic 8 (4):785-806.
    Is evidential support transitive? The answer is negative when evidential support is understood as confirmation so that X evidentially supports Y if and only if p(Y | X) > p(Y). I call evidential support so understood “support” (for short) and set out three alternative ways of understanding evidential support: support-t (support plus a sufficiently high probability), support-t* (support plus a substantial degree of support), and support-tt* (support plus both a sufficiently high probability and a substantial degree of support). I also (...)
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  14.  25
    Indigenous Insights into Ethical Leadership: A Study of Māori Leaders.Jarrod Haar, Maree Roche & David Brougham - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 160 (3):621-640.
    The need for ethical leadership in navigating today’s complex, global and competitive organisations has been established. While research has confirmed the importance of ethical leaders in promoting positive organisational and employee outcomes, scant research has examined the antecedents of ethical leadership. Furthermore, there has been a call for further examination of leadership models, particularly indigenous leadership models. Responding to these issues, this study suggests Māori leaders’ values add insights into enhancing ethical leadership. Three studies confirm the role of Māori values (...)
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  15.  19
    Questionable, Objectionable or Criminal? Public Opinion on Data Fraud and Selective Reporting in Science.Justin T. Pickett & Sean Patrick Roche - 2018 - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (1):151-171.
    Data fraud and selective reporting both present serious threats to the credibility of science. However, there remains considerable disagreement among scientists about how best to sanction data fraud, and about the ethicality of selective reporting. The public is arguably the largest stakeholder in the reproducibility of science; research is primarily paid for with public funds, and flawed science threatens the public’s welfare. Members of the public are able to make meaningful judgments about the morality of different behaviors using moral intuitions. (...)
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  16. The Perils of Parsimony.William Roche - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (9):485-505.
    It is widely thought in philosophy and elsewhere that parsimony is a theoretical virtue in that if T1 is more parsimonious than T2, then T1 is preferable to T2, other things being equal. This thesis admits of many distinct precisifications. I focus on a relatively weak precisification on which preferability is a matter of probability, and argue that it is false. This is problematic for various alternative precisifications, and even for Inference to the Best Explanation as standardly understood.
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  17. Causal Overdetermination and Kim’s Exclusion Argument.Michael Roche - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):809-826.
    Jaegwon Kim’s influential exclusion argument attempts to demonstrate the inconsistency of nonreductive materialism in the philosophy of mind. Kim’s argument begins by showing that the three main theses of nonreductive materialism, plus two additional considerations, lead to a specific and familiar picture of mental causation. The exclusion argument can succeed only if, as Kim claims, this picture is not one of genuine causal overdetermination. Accordingly, one can resist Kim’s conclusion by denying this claim, maintaining instead that the effects of the (...)
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  18. A reply to Cling’s “The epistemic regress problem”.William A. Roche - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (2):263-276.
    Andrew Cling presents a new version of the epistemic regress problem, and argues that intuitionist foundationalism, social contextualism, holistic coherentism, and infinitism fail to solve it. Cling’s discussion is quite instructive, and deserving of careful consideration. But, I argue, Cling’s discussion is not in all respects decisive. I argue that Cling’s dilemma argument against holistic coherentism fails.
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  19. Coherentism, truth, and witness agreement.William A. Roche - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):243-257.
    Coherentists on epistemic justification claim that all justification is inferential, and that beliefs, when justified, get their justification together (not in isolation) as members of a coherent belief system. Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “individual credibility” is needed for “witness agreement” to increase the probability of truth and generate a high probability of truth. It can seem that, from this result in formal epistemology, it follows that coherentist justification is not truth-conducive, that it is not the case (...)
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  20. Witness agreement and the truth-conduciveness of coherentist justification.William Roche - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):151-169.
    Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “witness agreement” by itself implies neither an increase in the probability of truth nor a high probability of truth—the witnesses need to have some “individual credibility.” It can seem that, from this formal epistemological result, it follows that coherentist justification (i.e., doxastic coherence) is not truth-conducive. I argue that this does not follow. Central to my argument is the thesis that, though coherentists deny that there can be noninferential justification, coherentists do not (...)
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  21.  23
    The sense of agency in human-human vs human-robot joint action.Ouriel Grynszpan, Aïsha Sahaï, Nasmeh Hamidi, Elisabeth Pacherie, Bruno Berberian, Lucas Roche & Ludovic Saint-Bauzel - 2019 - Consciousness and Cognition 75:102820.
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  22.  75
    Ergon and Eudaimonia in Nicomachean Ethics I: Reconsidering the Intellectualist Interpretation.Timothy Dean Roche - 1988 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 26 (2):175-194.
  23.  65
    Kant’s Transcendental Deduction and the Unity of Space and Time.Andrew F. Roche - 2018 - Kantian Review 23 (1):41-64.
    On one reading of Kant’s account of our original representations of space and time, they are, in part, products of the understanding or imagination. On another, they are brute, sensible givens, entirely independent of the understanding. In this article, while I agree with the latter interpretation, I argue for a version of it that does more justice to the insights of the former than others currently available. I claim that Kant’s Transcendental Deduction turns on the representations of space and time (...)
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  24.  12
    Information and Inaccuracy.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw025.
    This paper proposes a new interpretation of mutual information (MI). We examine three extant interpretations of MI by reduction in doubt, by reduction in uncertainty, and by divergence. We argue that the first two are inconsistent with the epistemic value of information (EVI) assumed in many applications of MI: the greater is the amount of information we acquire, the better is our epistemic position, other things being equal. The third interpretation is consistent with EVI, but it is faced with the (...)
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  25. On the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherence.William Roche - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):647-665.
    I argue that coherence is truth-conducive in that coherence implies an increase in the probability of truth. Central to my argument is a certain principle for transitivity in probabilistic support. I then address a question concerning the truth-conduciveness of coherence as it relates to (something else I argue for) the truth-conduciveness of consistency, and consider how the truth-conduciveness of coherence bears on coherentist theories of justification.
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  26. The Mathematics of Measurement: A Critical History.John J. Roche & P. M. Harman - 1999 - Annals of Science 56 (3):325-325.
  27. Happiness and the External Goods.Timothy Roche & T. D. Roche - 2014 - In Ronald Polansky (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. New York, USA: pp. 34-63.
    The paper explores the main competing interpretations of Aristotle's view of the relation between happiness and external goods in the Nicomachean Ethics. On the basis of a careful analysis of what Aristotle says in the Nicomachean Ethics (and other works such as the Eudemian Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric, etc.) it is argued that it is likely that Aristotle takes at least some external goods to be actual constituents of happiness provided that (1) they are accompanied by virtuous activity and (2) the (...)
     
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  28. Is there a place in Bayesian confirmation theory for the Reverse Matthew Effect?William Roche - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1631-1648.
    Bayesian confirmation theory is rife with confirmation measures. Many of them differ from each other in important respects. It turns out, though, that all the standard confirmation measures in the literature run counter to the so-called “Reverse Matthew Effect” (“RME” for short). Suppose, to illustrate, that H1 and H2 are equally successful in predicting E in that p(E | H1)/p(E) = p(E | H2)/p(E) > 1. Suppose, further, that initially H1 is less probable than H2 in that p(H1) < p(H2). (...)
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  29.  41
    Drafting the Genetic Privacy Act: Science, Policy, and Practical Considerations.George J. Annas, Leonard H. Glantz & Patricia A. Roche - 1995 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 23 (4):360-366.
    Only 27 percent of Americans in a 1995 Harris poll said they had read or heard “quite a lot” about genetic tests. Nonetheless, 68 percent said they would be either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to undergo genetic testing even for diseases “for which there is presently no cure or treatment.” Perhaps most astonishing, 56 percent found it either “very” or “somewhat acceptable” to develop a government computerized DNA bank with samples taken from all newborns, and their names attached to (...)
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  30.  33
    Drafting the Genetic Privacy Act: Science, Policy, and Practical Considerations.George J. Annas, Leonard H. Glantz & Patricia A. Roche - 1995 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 23 (4):360-366.
    Only 27 percent of Americans in a 1995 Harris poll said they had read or heard “quite a lot” about genetic tests. Nonetheless, 68 percent said they would be either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to undergo genetic testing even for diseases “for which there is presently no cure or treatment.” Perhaps most astonishing, 56 percent found it either “very” or “somewhat acceptable” to develop a government computerized DNA bank with samples taken from all newborns, and their names attached to (...)
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  31.  16
    Phenomenology, Language and the Social Sciences.Maurice Roche - 1973 - Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
    This book looks at two ‘revolutions’ in philosophy – phenomenology and conceptual analysis which have been influential in sociology and psychology. It discusses humanistic psychiatry and sociological approaches to the specific area of mental illness, which counter the ultimately reductionist implications of Freudian psycho-analytic theory. The book, originally published in 1973, concludes by stating the broad underlying themes of the two forms of humanistic philosophy and indicating how they relate to the problems of theory and method in sociology.
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  32.  33
    Disjunction and distality: the hard problem for purely probabilistic causal theories of mental content.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2019 - Synthese 198 (8):7197-7230.
    The disjunction problem and the distality problem each presents a challenge that any theory of mental content must address. Here we consider their bearing on purely probabilistic causal theories. In addition to considering these problems separately, we consider a third challenge—that a theory must solve both. We call this “the hard problem.” We consider 8 basic ppc theories along with 240 hybrids of them, and show that some can handle the disjunction problem and some can handle the distality problem, but (...)
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  33. Disjunction and distality: the hard problem for purely probabilistic causal theories of mental content.William Roche - 2019 - Synthese 198 (8):7197-7230.
    The disjunction problem and the distality problem each presents a challenge that any theory of mental content must address. Here we consider their bearing on purely probabilistic causal theories. In addition to considering these problems separately, we consider a third challenge—that a theory must solve both. We call this “the hard problem.” We consider 8 basic ppc theories along with 240 hybrids of them, and show that some can handle the disjunction problem and some can handle the distality problem, but (...)
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  34. Coherence, Probability and Explanation.William Roche & Michael Schippers - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):821-828.
    Recently there have been several attempts in formal epistemology to develop an adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. There is much to recommend probabilistic measures of coherence. They are quantitative and render formally precise a notion—coherence—notorious for its elusiveness. Further, some of them do very well, intuitively, on a variety of test cases. Siebel, however, argues that there can be no adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. Take some set of propositions A, some probabilistic measure of coherence, and a probability distribution such (...)
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  35.  52
    Allais on Transcendental Idealism.Andrew F. Roche - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (3):351-374.
    Lucy Allais argues that we can better understand Kant's transcendental idealism by taking seriously the analogy of appearances to secondary qualities that Kant offers in the Prolegomena. A proper appreciation of this analogy, Allais claims, yields a reading of transcendental idealism according to which all properties that can appear to us in experience are mind-dependent relational properties that inhere in mind-independent objects. In section 1 of my paper, I articulate Allais's position and its benefits, not least of which is its (...)
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  36. Transmissible cancers in mammals and bivalves: How many examples are there?Antoine M. Dujon, Georgina Bramwell, Benjamin Roche, Frédéric Thomas & Beata Ujvari - 2021 - Bioessays 43 (3):2000222.
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  37.  80
    Measure, Number, and Weight in St. Augustine.W. J. Roche - 1941 - New Scholasticism 15 (4):350-376.
  38.  63
    Kant's Principle of Sense.Andrew Roche - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (4):663-691.
  39. Review of Declan Smithies and Daniel Stoljar’s (Eds.) Introspection and consciousness (2012, Oxford University Press). [REVIEW]Michael Roche & William Roche - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):203-208.
    This is an excellent collection of essays on introspection and consciousness. There are fifteen essays in total (all new except for Sydney Shoemaker’s essay). There is also an introduction where the editors explain the impetus for the collection and provide a helpful overview. The essays contain a wealth of new and challenging material sure to excite specialists and shape future research. Below we extract a skeptical argument from Fred Dretske’s essay and relate the remaining essays to that argument. Due to (...)
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  40.  69
    Introduction to Hegel's Theory of Tragedy.Mark W. Roche - 2006 - PhaenEx 1 (2):11-20.
    This is an invited introductory discussion of tragedy in Hegel.
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  41.  12
    Generalisation of fear and avoidance along a semantic continuum.Sean Boyle, Bryan Roche, Simon Dymond & Dirk Hermans - 2016 - Cognition and Emotion 30 (2):340-352.
  42. The old, the new, or the old made new? Everyday counter-narratives of the so-called fourth agricultural revolution.David Christian Rose, Anna Barkemeyer, Auvikki de Boon, Catherine Price & Dannielle Roche - forthcoming - Agriculture and Human Values:1-17.
    Prevalent narratives of agricultural innovation predict that we are once again on the cusp of a global agricultural revolution. According to these narratives, this so-called fourth agricultural revolution, or agriculture 4.0, is set to transform current agricultural practices around the world at a quick pace, making use of new sophisticated precision technologies. Often used as a rhetorical device, this narrative has a material effect on the trajectories of an inherently political and normative agricultural transition; with funding, other policy instruments, and (...)
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  43.  54
    You can know your school and feed it too: Vermont farmers' motivations and distribution practices in direct sales to school food services.David Conner, Benjamin King, Jane Kolodinsky, Erin Roche, Christopher Koliba & Amy Trubek - 2012 - Agriculture and Human Values 29 (3):321-332.
    Farm to School (FTS) programs are increasingly popular as methods to teach students about food, nutrition, and agriculture by connecting students with the sources of the food that they eat. They may also provide opportunity for farmers seeking to diversify market channels. Food service buyers in FTS programs often choose to procure food for school meals directly from farmers. The distribution practices required for such direct procurement often bring significant transaction costs for both school food service professionals and farmers. Analysis (...)
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  44.  15
    The radius astronomicus in England.John J. Roche - 1981 - Annals of Science 38 (1):1-32.
    This survey traces the history of the astronomer's cross staff on the Continent from Levi ben Gerson to Gemma Frisius, in England from John Dee to John Greaves, and again on the Continent from Tycho Brahe to Adrian Metius. The emphasis throughout is on sources and influences, on distinguishing the various kinds of cross staff, and on clarifying terminology.
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  45.  30
    Rethinking Citizenship: Welfare, Ideology, and Change in Modern Society.Maurice Roche - 1992 - Marketing and Production, Blackwell.
    Citizenship rights have become vital to our sense of personal identity and social membership in modern society. Roche argues that today we have to shift from the conventional postwar politics of social rights to a new politics of social obligations and personal responsibility.
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  46. Dretske on Self-Knowledge and Contrastive Focus: How to Understand Dretske’s Theory, and Why It Matters.Michael Roche & William Roche - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):975-992.
    Dretske’s theory of self-knowledge is interesting but peculiar and can seem implausible. He denies that we can know by introspection that we have thoughts, feelings, and experiences. But he allows that we can know by introspection what we think, feel, and experience. We consider two puzzles. The first puzzle, PUZZLE 1, is interpretive. Is there a way of understanding Dretske’s theory on which the knowledge affirmed by its positive side is different than the knowledge denied by its negative side? The (...)
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  47. Purely Probabilistic Measures of Explanatory Power – A Critique.William Roche & Elliott Sober - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-53.
    All extant purely probabilistic measures of explanatory power satisfy the following technical condition: if Pr(E | H1) > Pr(E | H2) and Pr(E | ~H1) < Pr(E | ~H2), then H1’s explanatory power with respect to E is greater than H2’s explanatory power with respect to E. We argue that any measure satisfying this condition faces three serious problems – the Problem of Temporal Shallowness, the Problem of Negative Causal Interactions, and the Problem of Non-Explanations. We further argue that many (...)
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  48. A condition for transitivity in high probability.William Roche - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):435-444.
    There are many scientific and everyday cases where each of Pr and Pr is high and it seems that Pr is high. But high probability is not transitive and so it might be in such cases that each of Pr and Pr is high and in fact Pr is not high. There is no issue in the special case where the following condition, which I call “C1”, holds: H 1 entails H 2. This condition is sufficient for transitivity in high (...)
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  49.  26
    Payment of research participants: current practice and policies of Irish research ethics committees.Eric Roche, Romaine King, Helen M. Mohan, Blanaid Gavin & Fiona McNicholas - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (9):591-593.
    Background Payment of research participants helps to increase recruitment for research studies, but can pose ethical dilemmas. Research ethics committees (RECs) have a centrally important role in guiding this practice, but standardisation of the ethical approval process in Ireland is lacking. Aim Our aim was to examine REC policies, experiences and concerns with respect to the payment of participants in research projects in Ireland. Method Postal survey of all RECs in Ireland. Results Response rate was 62.5% (n=50). 80% of RECs (...)
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  50. Physicalism and Supervenience: A Case for a New Sense of Physical Duplication.Michael Roche - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):669-681.
    Physicalism is the view, roughly, that everything is physical. This thesis is often characterized in terms of a particular supervenience thesis. Central to this thesis is the idea of physical duplication. I argue that the standard way of understanding physical duplication leads—along with other claims—to a sub-optimal consequence for the physicalist. I block this consequence by shifting to an alternative sense of physical duplication. I then argue that physicalism is best characterized by a supervenience thesis that employs both the new (...)
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