Scotching Dutch Books?

Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):139-151 (2005)

Alan Hajek
Australian National University
The Dutch Book argument, like Route 66, is about to turn 80. It is arguably the most celebrated argument for subjective Bayesianism. Start by rejecting the Cartesian idea that doxastic attitudes are ‘all-or-nothing’; rather, they are far more nuanced degrees of belief, for short credences, susceptible to fine-grained numerical measurement. Add a coherentist assumption that the rationality of a doxastic state consists in its internal consistency. The remaining problem is to determine what consistency of credences amounts to. The Dutch Book argument, in a nutshell, says that if your credences do not obey the probability calculus, you are ‘incoherent’—susceptible to sure losses at the hands of a ‘Dutch Bookie’—and thus irrational. Conclusion: rationality requires your credences to obey the probability calculus. And like Route 66, the fortunes of the Dutch Book argument have been mixed. Opinions on the argument are sharply divided. The list of its proponents is quite a ‘who’s who’ of philosophers of probability; they include de Finetti (1937, 1980), Carnap (1950, 1962, and more fully, 1955), Kemeny (1955), Lehman (1955), Shimony (1955), Adams (1962), Mellor (1971), Rosenkrantz (1981), van Fraassen (1989), Jeffrey (1983, 1992)
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DOI 10.1111/j.1520-8583.2005.00057.x
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References found in this work BETA

Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology: Volume 2.David Lewis - 1999 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
The Logic of Decision.Richard C. Jeffrey - 1965 - University of Chicago Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Dutch Book Theorem for Quantificational Credences.Benjamin Lennertz - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
How Does Coherence Matter?Niko Kolodny - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt3):229 - 263.
Arguments for–or Against–Probabilism&Quest;: Articles.Alan H.ájek - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):793-819.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

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