David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 52 (2):274-294 (1985)
Can there be good reasons for judging one set of probabilistic assertions more reliable than a second? There are many candidates for measuring "goodness" of probabilistic forecasts. Here, I focus on one such aspirant: calibration. Calibration requires an alignment of announced probabilities and observed relative frequency, e.g., 50 percent of forecasts made with the announced probability of.5 occur, 70 percent of forecasts made with probability.7 occur, etc. To summarize the conclusions: (i) Surveys designed to display calibration curves, from which a recalibration is to be calculated, are useless without due consideration for the interconnections between questions (forecasts) in the survey. (ii) Subject to feedback, calibration in the long run is otiose. It gives no ground for validating one coherent opinion over another as each coherent forecaster is (almost) sure of his own long-run calibration. (iii) Calibration in the short run is an inducement to hedge forecasts. A calibration score, in the short run, is improper. It gives the forecaster reason to feign violation of total evidence by enticing him to use the more predictable frequencies in a larger finite reference class than that directly relevant
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