Subjective Probabilities Need Not be Sharp

Erkenntnis 79 (6):1273-1286 (2014)
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Abstract

It is well known that classical, aka ‘sharp’, Bayesian decision theory, which models belief states as single probability functions, faces a number of serious difficulties with respect to its handling of agnosticism. These difficulties have led to the increasing popularity of so-called ‘imprecise’ models of decision-making, which represent belief states as sets of probability functions. In a recent paper, however, Adam Elga has argued in favour of a putative normative principle of sequential choice that he claims to be borne out by the sharp model but not by any promising incarnation of its imprecise counterpart. After first pointing out that Elga has fallen short of establishing that his principle is indeed uniquely borne out by the sharp model, I cast aspersions on its plausibility. I show that a slight weakening of the principle is satisfied by at least one, but interestingly not all, varieties of the imprecise model and point out that Elga has failed to motivate his stronger commitment.

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Jake Chandler
La Trobe University

Citations of this work

Imprecise Probabilities.Seamus Bradley - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Imprecise Probabilities.Anna Mahtani - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 107-130.

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References found in this work

The Logic of Decision.Richard C. Jeffrey - 1965 - New York, NY, USA: University of Chicago Press.
Evidential Symmetry and Mushy Credence.Roger White - 2009 - In T. Szabo Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 161-186.

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