On having no reason: dogmatism and Bayesian confirmation

Synthese 177 (1):1 - 17 (2010)
Recently in epistemology a number of authors have mounted Bayesian objections to dogmatism. These objections depend on a Bayesian principle of evidential confirmation: Evidence E confirms hypothesis H just in case Pr(H|E) > Pr(H). I argue using Keynes' and Knight's distinction between risk and uncertainty that the Bayesian principle fails to accommodate the intuitive notion of having no reason to believe. Consider as an example an unfamiliar card game: at first, since you're unfamiliar with the game, you assign credences based on the indifference principle. Later you learn how the game works and discover that the odds dictate you assign the very same credences. Examples like this show that if you initially have no reason to believe H, then intuitively E can give you reason to believe H even though Pr(H|E) ≤ Pr(H). I show that without the principle, the objections to dogmatism fail
Keywords Epistemology  Bayesianism  Confirmation  Evidence  Foundationalism  Dogmatism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40985617
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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
Roderick M. Chisholm (1966). Theory of Knowledge. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
James Pryor (2004). What's Wrong with Moore's Argument? Philosophical Issues 14 (1):349–378.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Luca Moretti (2015). In Defence of Dogmatism. Philosophical Studies 172 (1):261-282.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

100 ( #31,243 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

15 ( #48,707 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.