The degree of epistemic justification and the conjunction fallacy

Synthese 184 (1):29-48 (2012)
This paper describes a formal measure of epistemic justification motivated by the dual goal of cognition, which is to increase true beliefs and reduce false beliefs. From this perspective the degree of epistemic justification should not be the conditional probability of the proposition given the evidence, as it is commonly thought. It should be determined instead by the combination of the conditional probability and the prior probability. This is also true of the degree of incremental confirmation, and I argue that any measure of epistemic justification is also a measure of incremental confirmation. However, the degree of epistemic justification must meet an additional condition, and all known measures of incremental confirmation fail to meet it. I describe this additional condition as well as a measure that meets it. The paper then applies the measure to the conjunction fallacy and proposes an explanation of the fallacy.
Keywords Degree of justification  Degree of confidence  Degree of confirmation  Information  Conjunction fallacy  Bayesian epistemology
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9699-1
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