Paper Review: New Semantics for Bayesian Inference: The Interpretive Problem

The standard Bayesian story goes something like this: probabilities represent a rational agent's degrees of belief. When the agent learns something new she conditions on it, meaning that she updates her probabilities according to Bayes' rule. Importantly, the interpretation of the probability function is that it represents the agent's degrees of belief about how likely… Continue reading Paper Review: New Semantics for Bayesian Inference: The Interpretive Problem

Can one rationally choose to have a child?

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?

Paper Review: Subjective Probability and the Theory of Games: Comments on Kadane and Larkey’s Paper

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

Paper Review: Subjective Probability and the Theory of Games

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

Paper Review: The Rational Status of Quantum Cognition

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

Paper Review: Philosophy and the practice of Bayesian statistics

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

Paper Review: Unified dynamics for microscopic and macroscopic systems

In the wake of the quantum measurement problem there is a constellation of competing theories of quantum mechanics. Any adequate solution to the measurement problem must make predictions that agree with the observed quantum statistics. In particular, the theory must explain why small particles exhibit counter-intuitive behaviour and why this seems to go away at… Continue reading Paper Review: Unified dynamics for microscopic and macroscopic systems