Updating on the Credences of Others: Disagreement, Agreement, and Synergy

Philosophers’ Imprint 16 (11):1-39 (2016)
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Abstract

We introduce a family of rules for adjusting one's credences in response to learning the credences of others. These rules have a number of desirable features. 1. They yield the posterior credences that would result from updating by standard Bayesian conditionalization on one's peers' reported credences if one's likelihood function takes a particular simple form. 2. In the simplest form, they are symmetric among the agents in the group. 3. They map neatly onto the familiar Condorcet voting results. 4. They preserve shared agreement about independence in a wide range of cases. 5. They commute with conditionalization and with multiple peer updates. Importantly, these rules have a surprising property that we call synergy - peer testimony of credences can provide mutually supporting evidence raising an individual's credence higher than any peer's initial prior report. At first, this may seem to be a strike against them. We argue, however, that synergy is actually a desirable feature and the failure of other updating rules to yield synergy is a strike against them.

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Joel D. Velasco
Texas Tech University

Citations of this work

Evidence: A Guide for the Uncertain.Kevin Dorst - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):586-632.
Belief dependence: How do the numbers count?Zach Barnett - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):297-319.
Support for Geometric Pooling.Jean Baccelli & Rush T. Stewart - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-40.

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