We're taught in school something like the following: DNA is the blueprint for an organism. We can sharpen up this kind of idea using ideas from information theory. In particular, biologists tend to say things like "DNA transmits information" or "DNA sequences are coded instructions". However, some philosophers of biology have claimed that when biologists… Continue reading Paper Review: The Transmission Sense of Information
Is it rational for me to want to have a child if I cannot know what it will be like to have a child? Laurie Paul, in her book Transformative Experience, argues that this question poses a significant problem for traditional theories of decision-making. Paul holds that many major life decisions are ones in which… Continue reading Can one rationally choose to have a child?
Last week I reviewed Kadane and Larkey's paper. In short, the main claim of their paper was that since the solution concepts used in game theory do not depend on the beliefs of the players they are irrelevant to game theory. Haranyi wrote a response to this paper, which it what I will review today.… Continue reading Paper Review: Subjective Probability and the Theory of Games: Comments on Kadane and Larkey’s Paper
Game theory is the study of the strategic interaction of rational agents. Decision theory is the study of the decision making of a rational agent. Clearly there is something similar about these two fields. What, exactly, is the relationship though? Do they study different aspects of rational action, or do they overlap? If they overlap,… Continue reading Paper Review: Subjective Probability and the Theory of Games
We've seen before on this blog that we often take probability theory to be the core of rational belief. What we haven't seen before is that our beliefs tend to violate probability theory not just in random ways, which is what you would expect if you thought we were making random mistakes, but systematically, in… Continue reading Paper Review: The Rational Status of Quantum Cognition
I write a lot on this blog about rationality. Not only is it interesting in its own right, but the claim that we are rational creatures has been at the center of western philosophy for millennia, even when under attack. However, regardless of whether or not one thinks we are rational beings, there is one… Continue reading Paper Review: The Evolution of Social Norms
One of the more interesting things I've learned in my life is that our best account of epistemology is that rational beliefs are governed by the probability axioms. Furthermore, there is a specific way in a rational agent updates her beliefs given new evidence---Bayesian conditionalization. Of course there is disagreement on this. At this point… Continue reading Paper Review: Philosophy and the practice of Bayesian statistics