Category Archives: Philosophy

Necessity as a source of law

Note: this is the third of five posts on the law and morality of necessity. My wife and I have been watching season 2 of Narcos on Netflix this Labor Day weekend. Narcos revolves mostly around Pablo Escobar, a notorious … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy | 4 Comments

Necessity as an ex post exception

Note: this is the second in a series of five posts on the common law doctrine of necessity. In our previous post (9/1), we presented three general theories of the legal doctrine of necessity. Here, we consider the first of … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Law of the Trolley Problem

We recently rediscovered and reread Lon Fuller’s classic “Case of the Speluncean Explorers” (via Peter Suber), and in the process of writing up our own response to Fuller, we noticed a possible parallel between this hypothetical case and the famous … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy | 6 Comments

Lon Fuller’s Speluncean Explorers

In our previous post, we mentioned Peter Suber’s beautiful book on Lon Fuller’s fictional “Case of the Speluncean Explorers.” By way of background, this hypothetical case occurs in the year 4300 A.D. in the Commonwealth of Newgarth. The relevant facts … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Probability, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Two questions about degrees of belief

Previously, we saw how the Bayesian notion of “degrees of belief” offers a possible solution to the preface paradox. Here, we shall consider some philosophical or epistemic objections to this idea of “degrees of belief.” In his thought-provoking and beautiful … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Mathematics, Philosophy, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Bayesian solution to the preface paradox

In our previous post, we presented Kenny Easwaran’s vivid description of the paradox of the preface. Briefly, the paradox is this: when a scholar writes up an academic paper, he would like to believe that every claim or proposition in … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Bayesian Reasoning, Paradoxes, Philosophy, Truth | 1 Comment

The Paradox of the Preface

Kenny Easwaran, a philosopher at Texas A&M, recently published in the journal Nous this beautiful paper on Bayesian probabilities (hat tip: Brian Leiter). Among other things, Easwaran’s paper contains the best and most succinct explanation of the “paradox of the … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Bayesian Reasoning, Paradoxes, Philosophy, Truth | 3 Comments

Ethical machines (part 3 of 3)

In our previous posts, we presented Brett Frischmann’s novel idea of a Reverse Turing Test, i.e. the idea of testing the ability of humans to think like a machine or a computer. But, how would we create such a test? … Continue reading

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Thinking like a machine (part 2 of 3)

In our previous post, we mentioned John Danaher’s excellent review of Brett Frischmann’s 2014 paper exploring the possibility of a Reverse Turing Test. One of the insightful contributions Frischmann makes to this voluminous literature is his idea of a Turing … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Philosophy, Science | 4 Comments

Reverse Turing Tests and Ethical Machines (part 1 of 3)

Our colleague John Danaher recently pondered the possibility of a “Reverse Turing Test” in this intriguing blog post dated 21 July 2016. That is, instead of testing for a machine’s ability to think like a human, what if we tested for a … Continue reading

Posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Philosophy, Science, Science Fiction | 1 Comment