Synthese 83 (1):159 - 177 (1990)
|Abstract||In this paper, I examine the possibility of accounting for the rationality of belief-formation by utilising decision-theoretic considerations. I consider the utilities to be used by such an approach, propose to employ verisimilitude as a measure of cognitive utility, and suggest a natural way of generalising any measure of verisimilitude defined on propositions to partial belief-systems, a generalisation which may enable us to incorporate Popper's insightful notion of verisimilitude within a Bayesian framework. I examine a dilemma generated by the decision-theoretic procedure and consider an adequacy condition (immodesty) designed to ameliorate one of its horns. Finally, I argue in a sceptical vein that no adequate verisimilitude measure can be used decision-theoretically.|
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