Answering the bayesian challenge

Erkenntnis 70 (2):237 - 252 (2009)
This essay answers the “Bayesian Challenge,” which is an argument offered by Bayesians that concludes that belief is not relevant to rational action. Patrick Maher and Mark Kaplan argued that this is so because there is no satisfactory way of making sense of how it would matter. The two ways considered so far, acting as if a belief is true and acting as if a belief has a probability over a threshold, do not work. Contrary to Maher and Kaplan, Keith Frankish argued that there is a way to make sense of how belief matters by introducing a dual process theory of mind in which decisions are made at the conscious level using premising policies . I argue that Bayesian decision theory alone shows that it is sometimes rational to base decisions on beliefs; we do not need a dual process theory of mind to solve the Bayesian Challenge. This point is made clearer when we consider decision levels : acting as if a belief is true is sometimes rational at higher decision levels.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ontology   Ethics   Logic
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40267420
 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
Patrick Maher (1993). Betting on Theories. Cambridge University Press.
Keith Frankish (2004). Mind and Supermind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mark Kaplan (1983). Decision Theory as Philosophy. Philosophy of Science 50 (4):549-577.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

56 ( #61,073 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #84,767 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.