David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theory and Decision 51 (2/4):89-124 (2001)
De Finetti's treatise on the theory of probability begins with the provocative statement PROBABILITY DOES NOT EXIST, meaning that probability does not exist in an objective sense. Rather, probability exists only subjectively within the minds of individuals. De Finetti defined subjective probabilities in terms of the rates at which individuals are willing to bet money on events, even though, in principle, such betting rates could depend on state-dependent marginal utility for money as well as on beliefs. Most later authors, from Savage onward, have attempted to disentangle beliefs from values by introducing hypothetical bets whose payoffs are abstract consequences that are assumed to have state-independent utility. In this paper, I argue that de Finetti was right all along: PROBABILITY, considered as a numerical measure of pure belief uncontaminated by attitudes toward money, does not exist. Rather, what exist are de Finetti's `previsions', or betting rates for money, otherwise known in the literature as `risk neutral probabilities'. But the fact that previsions are not measures of pure belief turns out not to be problematic for statistical inference, decision analysis, or economic modeling
|Keywords||Probability Beliefs Values Statistical inference Decision theory|
No categories specified
(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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Robert Nau (forthcoming). Risk-Neutral Equilibria of Noncooperative Games. Theory and Decision.
Similar books and articles
Paul Bartha (2004). Countable Additivity and the de Finetti Lottery. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):301-321.
Patryk Dziurosz-Serafinowicz (2009). Subjective Probability and the Problem of Countable Additivity. Filozofia Nauki 1.
Jan von Plato (1989). De Finetti's Earliest Works on the Foundations of Probability. Erkenntnis 31 (2-3):263 - 282.
Teddy Seidenfeld & Mark J. Schervish (1983). A Conflict Between Finite Additivity and Avoiding Dutch Book. Philosophy of Science 50 (3):398-412.
Jan von Plato (1982). The Generalization of de Finetti's Representation Theorem to Stationary Probabilities. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:137 - 144.
Alan Hájek (2001). Probability, Logic, and Probability Logic. In Lou Goble (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic. Blackwell Publishers. 362--384.
Jan Plato (1982). The Significance of the Ergodic Decomposition of Stationary Measures for the Interpretation of Probability. Synthese 53 (3):419-432.
Jan von Plato (1982). The Significance of the Ergodic Decomposition of Stationary Measures for the Interpretation of Probability. Synthese 53 (3):419 - 432.
Colin Howson (2007). Logic with Numbers. Synthese 156 (3):491-512.
Alberto Mura (2009). Probability and the Logic of de Finetti's Trievents. In Maria Carla Galavotti (ed.), Bruno de Finetti Radical Probabilist. College Publications. 201--242.
Jon Williamson (2010). Bruno de Finetti. Philosophical Lectures on Probability. Collected, Edited, and Annotated by Alberto Mura. Translated by Hykel Hosni. Synthese Library; 340. [REVIEW] Philosophia Mathematica 18 (1):130-135.
Jürgen Humburg (1986). Foundations of a New System of Probability Theory. Topoi 5 (1):39-50.
Teddy Seidenfeld, Mark Schervish & Joseph Kadane, When Coherent Preferences May Not Preserve Indifference Between Equivalent Random Variables: A Price for Unbounded Utilities.
Patrick Maher (2006). The Concept of Inductive Probability. Erkenntnis 65 (2):185 - 206.
Added to index2010-09-02
Total downloads11 ( #141,908 of 1,099,791 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #66,740 of 1,099,791 )
How can I increase my downloads?