Studia Logica 86 (2):185-215 (2007)
Probabilism is committed to two theses: 1) Opinion comes in degrees—call them degrees of belief, or credences. 2) The degrees of belief of a rational agent obey the probability calculus. Correspondingly, a natural way to argue for probabilism is: i) to give an account of what degrees of belief are, and then ii) to show that those things should be probabilities, on pain of irrationality. Most of the action in the literature concerns stage ii). Assuming that stage i) has been adequately discharged, various authors move on to stage ii) with varied and ingenious arguments. But an unsatisfactory response at stage i) clearly undermines any gains that might be accrued at stage ii) as far as probabilism is concerned: if those things are not degrees of belief, then it is irrelevant to probabilism whether they should be probabilities or not. In this paper we scrutinize the state of play regarding stage i). We critically examine several of the leading accounts of degrees of belief: reducing them to corresponding betting behavior (de Finetti); measuring them by that behavior (Jeffrey); and analyzing them in terms of preferences and their role in decision-making more generally (Ramsey, Lewis, Maher). We argue that the accounts fail, and so they are unfit to subserve arguments for probabilism. We conclude more positively: ‘degree of belief’ should be taken as a primitive concept that forms the basis of our best theory of rational belief and decision: probabilism
|Keywords||Philosophy Computational Linguistics Mathematical Logic and Foundations Logic|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Putting Logic in its Place: Formal Constraints on Rational Belief.David Christensen - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Truth and Probability.F. P. Ramsey - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 52-94.
Citations of this work BETA
The Nature of Doubt and a New Puzzle About Belief, Doubt, and Confidence.Andrew Moon - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
The Composite Nature of Epistemic Justification.Paul Silva Jr - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1).
Dr. Truthlove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bayesian Probabilities.Kenny Easwaran - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):816-853.
Representation Theorems and the Foundations of Decision Theory.Christopher J. G. Meacham & Jonathan Weisberg - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):641 - 663.
Similar books and articles
Degree of Belief is Expected Truth Value.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2009 - In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 491--506.
The Lockean Thesis and the Logic of Belief.James Hawthorne - 2009 - In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Synthese Library: Springer. pp. 49--74.
Representation Theorems and Realism About Degrees of Belief.Lyle Zynda - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):45-69.
Rational Agnosticism and Degrees of Belief.Jane Friedman - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 4:57.
Belief and Degrees of Belief.Franz Huber - 2009 - In F. Huber & C. Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Springer.
Diachronic Coherence and Radical Probabilism.Brian Skyrms - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):959-968.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads306 ( #9,943 of 2,171,986 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #28,624 of 2,171,986 )
How can I increase my downloads?