David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 187 (1):33-48 (2012)
We argue that indeterminate probabilities are not only rationally permissible for a Bayesian agent, but they may even be rationally required . Our first argument begins by assuming a version of interpretivism: your mental state is the set of probability and utility functions that rationalize your behavioral dispositions as well as possible. This set may consist of multiple probability functions. Then according to interpretivism, this makes it the case that your credal state is indeterminate. Our second argument begins with our describing a world that plausibly has indeterminate chances. Rationality requires a certain alignment of your credences with corresponding hypotheses about the chances. Thus, if you hypothesize the chances to be indeterminate, your will inherit their indeterminacy in your corresponding credences. Our third argument is motivated by a dilemma. Epistemic rationality requires you to stay open-minded about contingent matters about which your evidence has not definitively legislated. Practical rationality requires you to be able to act decisively at least sometimes. These requirements can conflict with each other-for thanks to your open-mindedness, some of your options may have undefined expected utility, and if you are choosing among them, decision theory has no advice to give you. Such an option is playing Nover and Hájek’s Pasadena Game , and indeed any option for which there is a positive probability of playing the Pasadena Game. You can serve both masters, epistemic rationality and practical rationality, with an indeterminate credence to the prospect of playing the Pasadena game. You serve epistemic rationality by making your upper probability positive-it ensures that you are open-minded. You serve practical rationality by making your lower probability 0-it provides guidance to your decision-making. No sharp credence could do both.
|Keywords||Indeterminate probabilities Bayesianism Interpretivism Chance Principal Principle Regularity Rationality Pasadena game|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Timothy Williamson (1994). Vagueness. Routledge.
Richard Jeffrey (1983). The Logic of Decision. University of Chicago Press.
Roy A. Sorensen (2001). Vagueness and Contradiction. Oxford University Press.
Alan Hájek (2003). What Conditional Probability Could Not Be. Synthese 137 (3):273--323.
David Lewis (1994). Humean Supervenience Debugged. Mind 103 (412):473-490.
Citations of this work BETA
Aidan Lyon (forthcoming). Vague Credence. Synthese:1-24.
Similar books and articles
Alan Hájek (2008). Arguments for–or Against–Probabilism? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):793 - 819.
Alan Hájek & Harris Nover (2006). Perplexing Expectations. Mind 115 (459):703 - 720.
Teddy Seidenfeld, Mark J. Schervish & Joseph B. Kadane (2010). Coherent Choice Functions Under Uncertainty. Synthese 172 (1):157 - 176.
Daniel Silber (1999). Dutch Books and Agent Rationality. Theory and Decision 47 (3):247-266.
Lara Buchak (2012). Can It Be Rational to Have Faith? In Jacob Chandler & Victoria Harrison (eds.), Probability in the Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press 225.
Hilary Greaves (2007). On the Everettian Epistemic Problem. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):120-152.
Katie Steele (2007). Distinguishing Indeterminate Belief From “Risk-Averse” Preferences. Synthese 158 (2):189 - 205.
Paul Weirich (2001). Risk's Place in Decision Rules. Synthese 126 (3):427 - 441.
Thomas Kelly (2007). Evidence and Normativity: Reply to Leite. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):465–474.
Hilary Greaves & David Wallace (2006). Justifying Conditionalization: Conditionalization Maximizes Expected Epistemic Utility. Mind 115 (459):607-632.
Julian Fink (2014). A Constitutive Account of 'Rationality Requires'. Erkenntnis (4):1-33.
Patrick Maher (1992). Diachronic Rationality. Philosophy of Science 59 (1):120-141.
Julian Fink (2010). Asymmetry, Scope, and Rational Consistency. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):109-130.
Added to index2011-10-19
Total downloads98 ( #26,448 of 1,725,466 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #59,846 of 1,725,466 )
How can I increase my downloads?