Four Waves in the Philosophy of Statistics

January 25, 2014

Deborah Mayo is posting slides from here Philosophy of Statistics course here.

Mayo on Confirmation and the Tacking Problem

October 20, 2013

Deborah Mayo has an engaging post on Bayesian confirmation theory here.

Epistemic Utility Theory 2013

June 4, 2013

Summer School on Epistemic Utility Theory
EUT 2013, Bristol
August 17-18, 2013

EUT is organized by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol and coordinated by Richard Pettigrew, Jason Konek, and Ben Levinstein.


  • Jim Joyce
  • Katie Steele
  • Rachael Briggs
  • Branden Fitelson
  • Kenny Easwaran

Deadline for registration is July 15, 2013. Grad Student Paper CfP deadline: July 5, 2013.

For details, visit

[Cross posted at Certain Doubts]

PROGIC 2013 Program

May 6, 2013

Munich Center for Philosophy of Science

September 17-18

Invited talks

  • Igor Douven (Groningen) Conditionals and closure. Abstract.
  • Alan Hájek (Australia National University) Probabilities of counterfactuals and counterfactual probabilities. Abstract.
  • Kevin T. Kelly & Hanti Lin (Carnegie Mellon) Qualitative reasoning that tracks Jeffrey conditioning. Abstract.
  • Hannes Leitgeb (Munich) Belief and stable probability. Abstract.
  • Peter Milne (Stirling) Information, confirmation, and conditionals. Abstract.

Contributed talks

  • Glauber De Bona, Fabio G. Cozman & Marcelo Finger (São Paulo) Towards classifying propositional probabilistic logics.
  • Liam Bright (Carnegie Mellon) Measuring degrees of incoherence.
  • Teddy Groves (Kent) An application of Carnapian inductive logic to philosophy of statistics.
  • Hykel Hosni (LSE/Scuola Normale Superiore), Tommaso Flaminio (DiSTA) & Lluís Godo (IIIA) On the logical structure of de Finetti’s notion of event.
  • Arthur Paul Pedersen (Max Planck Institute) Prospects for a theory of non-Archimedean expected utility: Impossibilities and possibilities.
  • Dana Scott (Carnegie Mellon) A stochastic λ-calculus.
  • Stanislav O. Speranski (Novosibirsk State) Quantification over events in probability logic and its applications to elementary analysis.
  • Sean Walsh (Irvine) Empiricism, probability, and knowledge of arithmetic.
  • Jon Williamson (Kent) & Jürgen Landes (Munich) Objective Bayesian epistemology for inductive logic on predicate languages.

For more information:

Rotten apples, Lockean belief, and Booleanosis

May 3, 2013

The Lockean thesis maintains that an individual fully believes a proposition p just when he has a high level of confidence in p.  The received view has it that the problem with Lockean accounts of qualitative belief  is summed up by Henry Kyburg’s lottery paradox, which pits high-probability acceptance rules against the rule of adjunction. For Kyburg, there was no paradox, but instead a misplaced commitment to the rule of adjunction, a condition he famously described as “conjunctivitis”.  

Less observed is a problem for Lockean belief and disjunction (Kyburg, Teng, and Wheeler 2007). It turns out that Lockeans expose themselves to a pernicious form of amalgamation reversals (a.k.a., “Simpson’s paradox”) which cannot be handled by the known recipes for avoiding such reversals (Good and Mittal 1987).  Below the fold is an example and short discussion.

Read the rest of this entry »

CMU Ockham’s Razor Workshop: Follow-up

June 27, 2012

The CMU Ockham’s Razor workshop was last weekend, and several participants have written up comments on their blogs:

Deborah Mayo, at her blog Error Statistics [here];

Cosma Shalizi, at his blog, Three-Toed Sloth  [Day 1, Day 2, Day 3] ;

Larry Wasserman, on his new blog, Normal Deviate [here], which also has a nice précis of Peter Grunwald’s talk on “Self-repairing Bayesian Statistics”.

Schervish on Strictly Proper Scoring Rules for Incentive-Compatible Elicitation

April 10, 2012

Mark Schervish, Professor and Head of the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University, will deliver a Games and Decisions lecture, “Incentive-Compatible Elicitation,” on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at Carnegie Mellon University.

Schervish joined the Department of Statistics in 1979 after earning a doctoral degree in statistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Michigan. His research interests in statistics are broad, spanning problems concerning foundations, methodology, theory, and applications. In addition to numerous articles, Schervish is author of Theory of Statistics (Springer) and co-author of Rethinking the Foundations of Statistics (with Teddy Seidenfeld and Jay Kadane; CUP) and Probability and Statistics (with Morris H. DeGroot; Addison-Wesley). What follows is an abstract of his Games and Decisions lecture.

Strictly proper scoring rules have been advertised as tools that allow the elicitation of various aspects of subjective probability distributions by providing the proper incentives to induce agents to honestly report their beliefs. We give a brief overview and report some results that raise some questions about the ability to implement the incentive structure as intended. The results extend to all statistical decision problems and raise issues that should be addressed whenever applying statistical decision theory in practice.

Games and Decisions Group
Department of Philosophy
Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
12:30-1:30 pm   Baker Hall 135

As usual, all are invited to attend. To ensure that we can accommodate all lunchtime guests, please contact Teddy Seidenfeld or Kevin Zollman to signal your intention to attend.


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