The Beta Prior and the Lambda Continuum

In an earlier post we met the $\lambda$-continuum, a generalization of Laplace’s Rule of Succession. Here is Laplace’s rule, stated in terms of flips of a coin whose bias is unknown.
The Rule of Succession Given $k$ heads out of $n$ flips, the...

Laplace's Rule of Succession

The Rule of Succession gives a simple formula for “enumerative induction”: reasoning from observed instances to unobserved ones. If you’ve observed 8 ravens and they’ve all been black, how certain should you be the next raven you see will also be...

Crash Course in Inductive Logic

There are four ways things can turn out with two flips of a coin: $$ HH, \quad HT, \quad TH, \quad TT.$$ If we know nothing about the coin’s tendencies, we might assign equal probability to each of these four possible outcomes: $$ Pr(HH) = Pr(HT) =...

The Super-Humean Theory of Belief

The classic “Lockean” thesis about full and partial belief says full belief is rational iff strong partial belief is rational. Hannes Leitgeb’s “Humean” thesis proposes a subtler connection. $ \newcommand\p{Pr} \newcommand{\B}{\mathbf{B}}...

Coherentism Without Coherence

If you look at the little network diagram below, you’ll probably agree that $P$ is the most “central” node in some intuitive sense.
This post is about using a belief’s centrality in the web of belief to give a coherentist account of its...

Odds & Ends

A textbook introducing philosophy students to probability, decision theory, and the philosophical foundations of statistics

The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology

Today The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology is available for download. It’s an open access book, the first published by PhilPapers itself. (The editors are Richard Pettigrew and me.)
The book features 11 outstanding entries by 11 wonderful...

Prestige and Placement in North American Philosophy

How does prestige correlate with placement in academic philosophy? There’s good stuff on this already, like this post by Carolyn Dicey Jennings, Pablo Contreras Kallens, and Justin Vlasits.1 This post uses the same data sources, but emphasizes...

Placement, PageRank, and the PGR: Part 2

This post is the second of two devoted to an idea of David Wallace’s: applying Google’s PageRank algorithm to the APDA placement data.
Part 1 Part 2 Source on GitHub Last time we looked at the motivation and theory behind the idea. Now we’ll try...

Gender & Journal Referees

We looked at author gender in a previous post, today let’s consider referees. Does their gender have any predictive value?
Once again our discussion only covers men and women because we don’t have the data to support a deeper analysis.1
Using data...

Nobody Expects the Chance Function!

Here’s a striking result that caught me off guard the other day. It came up in a facebook thread, and judging by the discussion there it caught a few other people in this neighbourhood off guard too.
The short version: chances are “self-expecting”...

Prestige and Time to the Tenure-Track

How much does a PhD from a prestigious program help you on the job market in academic philosophy?
It makes a big difference to where you get a tenure-track job, if you do get one (see here). It also seems to make some difference to whether you get a...

Model Referees

In the previous post we saw there’s about a $35$% chance a given referee will agree to review a paper for Ergo. And on average it takes about $5.8$ tries to find two referees for a submission. The full empirical distribution looks like this:
But...

How Hard Is It to Find Referees?

Finding willing referees is one of the more tedious parts of an editor’s job. And with all the talk about how overloaded the peer-review system is, it’s worth pausing to examine just how hard it is to find referees.
Well, at Ergo it takes on average...