Imprecise evidence without imprecise credences

Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2735-2758 (2020)
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Does rationality require imprecise credences? Many hold that it does: imprecise evidence requires correspondingly imprecise credences. I argue that this is false. The imprecise view faces the same arbitrariness worries that were meant to motivate it in the first place. It faces these worries because it incorporates a certain idealization. But doing away with this idealization effectively collapses the imprecise view into a particular kind of precise view. On this alternative, our attitudes should reflect a kind of normative uncertainty: uncertainty about what to believe. This view refutes the claim that precise credences are inappropriately informative or committal. Some argue that indeterminate evidential support requires imprecise credences; but I argue that indeterminate evidential support instead places indeterminate requirements on credences, and is compatible with the claim that rational credences may always be precise.



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Jennifer Rose Carr
University of California, San Diego

Citations of this work

Rational Polarization.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
Higher-Order Evidence.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Evidence. Routledge.
Philosophical foundations for worst-case arguments.Lara Buchak - 2023 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 22 (3):215-242.

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References found in this work

Reflection and disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
Higher‐Order Evidence and the Limits of Defeat.Maria Lasonen-Aarnio - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):314-345.
Risk, Uncertainty and Profit.Frank Knight - 1921 - University of Chicago Press.
Evidential Symmetry and Mushy Credence.Roger White - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 3:161-186.

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