David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 109 (2):175 - 216 (1996)
Probabilistic coherence is not an absolute requirement of rationality; nevertheless, it is an ideal of rationality with substantive normative import. An idealized rational agent who avoided making implicit logical errors in forming his preferences would be coherent. In response to the challenge, recently made by epistemologists such as Foley and Plantinga, that appeals to ideal rationality render probabilism either irrelevant or implausible, I argue that idealized requirements can be normatively relevant even when the ideals are unattainable, so long as they define a structure that links imperfect and perfect rationality in a way that enables us to make sense of the notion of better approximations to the ideal. I then analyze the notion of approximation to the ideal of coherence by developing a generalized theory of belief functions that allows for incoherence, and showing how such belief functions can be ordered with regard to greater or lesser coherence.
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Richard E. Nisbett & Lee Ross (1980). Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgment. Prentice-Hall.
W. D. Ross (2002). The Right and the Good. Clarendon Press.
Allan Gibbard (1990). Wise Choices, Apt Feelings: A Theory of Normative Judgment. Harvard University Press.
Richard Jeffrey (1983). The Logic of Decision. University of Chicago Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Julia Staffel (2015). Measuring the Overall Incoherence of Credence Functions. Synthese 192 (5):1467-1493.
Sven Ove Hansson (2006). Ideal Worlds — Wishful Thinking in Deontic Logic. Studia Logica 82 (3):329 - 336.
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