Analysis 79 (1):43-52 (2019)

Brian Hedden
Australian National University
Humans typically display hindsight bias. They are more confident that the evidence available beforehand made some outcome probable when they know the outcome occurred than when they don't. There is broad consensus that hindsight bias is irrational, but this consensus is wrong. Hindsight bias is generally rationally permissible and sometimes rationally required. The fact that a given outcome occurred provides both evidence about what the total evidence available ex ante was, and also evidence about what that evidence supports. Even if you in fact evaluate the ex ante evidence correctly, you should not be certain of this. Then, learning the outcome provides evidence that if you erred, you are more likely to have erred low rather than high in estimating the degree to which the ex ante evidence supported the hypothesis that that outcome would occur.
Keywords epistemology  hindsight  higher-order evidence  biases and heuristics
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DOI 10.1093/analys/any023
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
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Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):452-458.

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Citations of this work BETA

Evidence and Bias.Nick Hughes - forthcoming - In Clayton Littlejohn & Maria Lasonen Aarnio (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence.
Revising Probabilities and Full Beliefs.Sven Ove Hansson - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (5):1005-1039.

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