An Introduction to Likelihoodist, Bayesian, and Frequentist Methods (1/2)

July 21, 2014

(Cross-posted from


I have been recommending the first chapter of Elliott Sober’s Evidence and Evolution to those who ask for a good introduction to debates about statistical inference. That chapter is excellent, but it would nice to be able to recommend something shorter that is readily available online. Here is my attempt to provide a suitable source. Read the rest of this entry »

CfP: PROGIC 2015

July 21, 2014

Progic 2015: Probability and Logic will take place in Canterbury, England, 22-24 April, 2015.

Submission is cordially invited, and the deadline is 1st November, 2014.

We are calling for contributions to the seventh in the PROGIC series of conferences, which seeks to address the questions of whether, and if so, how, probability and logic should be combined. The 2015 conference will also be interested in connections between formal epistemology and inductive logic. Can inductive logic shed light on epistemological questions to do with belief, judgement etc.? Can epistemological considerations lead to a viable notion of inductive logic?

Invited speakers include:

  • Richard Bradley
  • Dorothy Edgington
  • John Norton
  • Jeanne Peijnenburg

The conference will be preceded by a two-day Spring School, where introductory lectures on the themes of the conference will be given by Juergen Landes, Jeff Paris, Niki Pfeifer, Gregory Wheeler, Jon Williamson.

We invite submissions of two-page extended abstracts of talks for presentation at the workshop. These should be sent by email to by 1st November 2014.

There will also be a special issue of the Journal of Applied Logic devoted to the themes of this workshop. We invite submissions of papers to this volume.

A limited number of bursaries are available to postgraduate students attending the Spring School and the conference: these will cover 50% of accommodation and registration costs.

For further details please see the conference website

PhD Positions in Data Semantics

July 2, 2014

Funded PhD Student Openings at DaSe Lab:
Data Semantics, Semantic Web, Ontologies, Geo- and Earth Science applications

Data Semantics Laboratory, directed by Pascal Hitzler
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Wright State University
Dayton, Ohio, USA

The Data Semantics (DaSe) Lab at the Department of Computer Science at Wright State University seeks two or more PhD students to pursue research in applied or foundational aspects of Data Semantics, Semantic Web, Ontologies, Geo- or Earth Sciences. Funding includes a monthly stipend plus tuition costs.

The DaSe Lab (directed by Pascal Hitzler, see for more information) is an internationally prominent research group with focus on foundations and applications of Semantic Web technologies. Lab members primarily contribute to ongoing research projects, but occasionally also get involved in teaching and administrative tasks. The new students will likely focus on research topics related to Data Science applications in the Earth Sciences.

Applicants should have excellent communication skills and excel in team work. Intellectual curiosity, a wide range of interests, and the ability and stamina to pursue challenging long-term goals is required. It is preferable, but not required, that applicants had previous exposure to lab research topics.

Applicants should send their application to It shall consist of a single pdf file containing a detailed curriculum vitae including grades, plus a cover letter in the email body which includes

* GPA of all degrees completed or under progress, with explanations how to convert the grading system, if degree is from outside the U.S.

* GRE score (both verbal and quantitative) or date when GRE score will be available

* Scores of most recent English language tests if non-native English speaker.

Applications which do not comply with these requirements may be ignored. Successful applicants must satisfy the formal requirements for pursuing a PhD degree in Computer Science at Wright State University, see

Processing of applications will begin immediately and commence until positions are filled. We expect to make first decisions in July 2014.

Please send applications and inquiries to

It will be posted at when positions are filled.

Why I Don’t Find Titelbaum’s Example Persuasive (2/2)

June 10, 2014

(Cross-posted from

In my previous post I presented some reasons to resist a clever counterexample to the Law of Likelihood developed by Mike Titelbaum. In that post I chose to stay at the level of intuitions about the example and about what kinds of features we might want a measure of evidential favoring to have. In this post I go deeper by examining Mike’s example in light of the purpose of the Law of Likelihood. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Don’t Find Titelbaum’s Counterexample Persuasive (1/2)

June 3, 2014

(Cross-posted from

Last week’s post in which I presented a purported counterexample to the Law of Likelihood (due to Mike Titelbaum) generated a lot of interest. In this post I comment on the counterexample. Next week I plan to “go meta” by commenting on the purpose of the Law of Likelihood and of counterexamples such as Mike’s.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oxford Postdoc: Ethics of Big Data

June 2, 2014

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Ethics of Big Data, Oxford Internet Institute
associated with a non-stipendiary Junior Research Fellowship at St Cross College
University of Oxford
Grade 7: £29,837 – £36,661 p.a.

We are a leading world centre for the multidisciplinary study of the Internet and society, looking for a full-time Researcher to work on a funded project, “The Ethics of Biomedical Big Data”, led by Professor Luciano Floridi.

The analysis of large datasets (Big Data) has become a major driver of innovation and success in biomedical research. However, the use of Biomedical Big Data raises serious ethical problems, which may threaten the huge opportunities it offers. This pilot project will formulate a blueprint of the ethical aspects, requirements and desiderata underpinning a European framework for the ethical use of Big Data in biomedical research.

Applicants should hold a PhD in a relevant discipline, have a strong interest in information/computer ethics and proven experience in ethical and policy analysis and writing papers based on qualitative and/or quantitative research. The successful candidate will work with Prof. Floridi (the PI of the project) and a multidisciplinary team of researchers, and will be able to take a lead in project management, conceptual analysis, and the dissemination of results.

Based at our OII North office at 34 St Giles, Oxford, this position is available from 1 October 2014 for 1 year, with a possibility of extension beyond that date, depending on funding.

The post is associated with a non-stipendiary Junior Research Fellowship at St Cross College for its duration. Details of the College and its facilities are available on the College website at:

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online.

To apply for this role and for further details, including a job description and selection criteria, please click on the link below:

The application deadline is 12.00 midday on Thursday 26 June 2014.

Interviews for those shortlisted are currently planned to take place in the week commencing 21 July 2014.

Best regards,

Luciano Floridi
_______________________________________________________   |

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information
Director of Research

Oxford Internet Institute
University of Oxford

PA Mrs. Julia Farquet,

Twitter: @Floridi
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 287202
1 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JS, UK

Michael Caie’s ‘Calibration and Probabilism’

May 30, 2014

Michael Caie has a really interesting paper forthcoming in Ergo. The paper is a criticism of van Fraassen’s Calibration argument. It’s carefully argued and technical, but here I just give the gist of Caie’s argument, and highlight a point that I think it would be interesting to pursue.

Here’s the rough idea behind van Fraassen’s Calibration argument. We can begin with this thought: being calibrated is a ‘good-making feature’ (as Caie puts it) of an agent’s credal state. And to say that an agent’s credal state is calibrated is to say, roughly, that the agent’s credence in claims of a particular type match the frequency of truths of that type. So here’s an example. Suppose that I am looking at a pack of cards. For each card in the pack (call them c_{1}, c_{2},..., c_{52} ), I have a credence of 1/4 that that card is a diamond (D). So we have a set of claims \{ D_{c_{1}}, D_{c_{2}},..., D_{c_{52}} \}, and I have a credence of 1/4 in each claim in this set. Now in fact (as you would expect), exactly 1/4 of the claims in the set are true – and so my credence matches up with the frequency. Thus we say that my credal state is ‘calibrated’ over this set of claims. (In fact, calibration does not require my credence to exactly match the frequency; it requires for any ε>0, the difference between my credence and the frequency is lower than ε). Read the rest of this entry »


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