About

My name is Jordan DeLange, and I received my masters in philosophy at the University of Houston (I got my BA from Rice).  I’m now doing my PhD at Princeton.  I’m primarily interested, right now, in the epistemology of science, the philosophy of physics and biology, the philosophy of probability/inductive logic/confirmation theory, decision theory, causation and general epistemology. I’m also working to learn more about general metaphysics, the philosophy of math, and various logics and the philosophy of logic. In other words … I’m still primarily working on gaining background knowledge and familiarity with various fields and haven’t figured out exactly what I think about anything … yet. This blog will be where I post expanded versions of my philosophy-themed entries from my livejournal and theexludedmiddle.wordpress.com, as well (perhaps) as entries from other philosophy-themed communities and sites. So, its mostly kind of just a central place for me to keep track of what I was thinking at any particular moment. Comments are heavily encouraged in case anyone actually reads all this, but I doubt there will be anything that is all that interesting or original. The following are some papers I have written for various classes and/or conferences.

Relevant Alternatives and Tracking Views of Knowledge

In this paper I compare Dretske’s Relevant Alternatives and Nozick’s Tracking analyses of knowledge. I illustrate four significant similarities between the two theories, and propose that for a “reasonable believer” the relevant alternatives theory can provide the neighborhoods of possible worlds necessary for Nozick’s account and that both theories make the same ascriptions for knowledge.

Bayesian Measures of Confirmation

In this paper I argue that the Log-Likelihood Ratio Measure is the uniquely best (up to ordinal equivalence) Bayesian measure of scientific confirmation. I show that it, the difference measure and the ratio measure allow a satisfactory solution of the paradox of the ravens, and the it alone allows a satisfactory resolution of the problem of old evidence.

Critical Summary of Carnap’s Logical Foundations of Probability

In this paper I give a critical overview of Carnap’s Logical Foundations of Probability, including criticisms of his notion of comparative confirmation and of his extension of his arguments to infinite cases.

Determinism, Free Will and Internal Causation

In this paper I argue that a coherent notion of libertarian free will requires a notion of “internal causation.” I argue that the traditional view that the main idea is whether free will is compatible with determinism or not is misguided, given the indeterministic character of our best sciences, including not only quantum mechanics (perhaps) but also general relativity and even Newtonian mechanics. I argue that any libertarian notion of free will requires some idea of “internal causation” which is more or less agent causation.

The Unit Selection Problem in Evolutionary Biology

I briefly examine the unit selection problem in evolutionary biology, including the idea that the appropriate unit of selection is the gene, the individual or the population. I argue that there is no unique unit of selection, and instead that each unit is appropriate depending on the relevant biological phenomena under investigation.

Vision and Knowledge in Sanches’ That Nothing is Known

I examine the comparison between vision and knowledge in Francisco Sanches’ That Nothing is Known, an astonishingly ahead of its time book written well before Descartes that nevertheless appears to be the first work of modern philosophy.

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