David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 75 (1):45-68 (2008)
The epistemic state of complete ignorance is not a probability distribution. In it, we assign the same, unique, ignorance degree of belief to any contingent outcome and each of its contingent, disjunctive parts. That this is the appropriate way to represent complete ignorance is established by two instruments, each individually strong enough to identify this state. They are the principle of indifference (PI) and the notion that ignorance is invariant under certain redescriptions of the outcome space, here developed into the ‘principle of invariance of ignorance' (PII). Both instruments are so innocuous as almost to be platitudes. Yet the literature in probabilistic epistemology has misdiagnosed them as paradoxical or defective since they generate inconsistencies when conjoined with the assumption that an epistemic state must be a probability distribution. To underscore the need to drop this assumption, I express PII in its most defensible form as relating symmetric descriptions and show that paradoxes still arise if we assume the ignorance state to be a probability distribution. *Received February 2007; revised July 2007. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e-mail: email@example.com.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Glenn Shafer (1976). A Mathematical Theory of Evidence. Princeton University Press.
Harold Jeffreys (1940). Theory of Probability. Journal of Philosophy 37 (19):524-528.
Maria Carla Galavotti (2005). A Philosophical Introduction to Probability. Csli Publications.
Citations of this work BETA
Yann Benétreau-Dupin (2015). The Bayesian Who Knew Too Much. Synthese 192 (5):1527-1542.
John D. Norton (2011). Waiting for Landauer. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (3):184-198.
Jill North (2010). An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):27-40.
Joel Katzav, Henk A. Dijkstra & A. T. J. de Laat (2012). Assessing Climate Model Projections: State of the Art and Philosophical Reflections. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 43 (4):258-276.
Richard Dawid (forthcoming). Bayesian Perspectives on the Discovery of the Higgs Particle. Synthese:1-18.
Similar books and articles
Nancy Tuana (2006). The Speculum of Ignorance: The Women's Health Movement and Epistemologies of Ignorance. Hypatia 21 (3):1-19.
Re'em Segev (2006). Justification, Rationality and Mistake: Mistake of Law is No Excuse? It Might Be a Justificaton! Law and Philosophy 25 (1):31-79.
Danielle A. Layne (2009). In Praise of the Mere Presence of Ignorance. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:253-267.
Lorraine Code (2004). The Power Of Ignorance. Philosophical Papers 33 (3):291-308.
Neal Grossman (1974). The Ignorance Interpretation Defended. Philosophy of Science 41 (4):333-344.
Rik Peels (2010). What is Ignorance? Philosophia 38 (1):57-67.
John D. Norton (2007). Disbelief as the Dual of Belief. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (3):231 – 252.
Gideon Rosen (2002). Culpability and Ignorance. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):61–84.
Erinn Gilson (2011). Vulnerability, Ignorance, and Oppression. Hypatia 26 (2):308-332.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads105 ( #36,979 of 1,801,598 )
Recent downloads (6 months)42 ( #20,674 of 1,801,598 )
How can I increase my downloads?