David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (2):283-295 (1999)
Assuming it rational to treat other persons' probabilities as epistemically significant, how shall their judgements be weighted (Barnes )? Several plausible methods exist, but theorems in classical psychometrics greatly reduce the importance of the problem. If scientists' judgements tend to be positively correlated, the difference between two randomly weighted composites shrinks as the number of judges rises. Since, for reasons such as representative coverage, minimizing bias, and avoiding elitism, we would rarely employ small numbers of judges (e.g. less than 10), the difference between two weighting systems becomes negligible. Suggestions are made for quantifying verisimilitude, identifying 'types' of scientists or theories (taxometrics), inferring latent factors, and estimating reliability of pooled judgements.
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