Scoring Imprecise Credences: A Mildly Immodest Proposal

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):55-78 (2016)
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Abstract

Jim Joyce argues for two amendments to probabilism. The first is the doctrine that credences are rational, or not, in virtue of their accuracy or “closeness to the truth” (1998). The second is a shift from a numerically precise model of belief to an imprecise model represented by a set of probability functions (2010). We argue that both amendments cannot be satisfied simultaneously. To do so, we employ a (slightly-generalized) impossibility theorem of Seidenfeld, Schervish, and Kadane (2012), who show that there is no strictly proper scoring rule for imprecise probabilities. The question then is what should give way. Joyce, who is well aware of this no-go result, thinks that a quantifiability constraint on epistemic accuracy should be relaxed to accommodate imprecision. We argue instead that another Joycean assumption — called strict immodesty— should be rejected, and we prove a representation theorem that characterizes all “mildly” immodest measures of inaccuracy.

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Author Profiles

Gregory Wheeler
Frankfurt School Of Finance And Management
Conor Mayo-Wilson
University of Washington

References found in this work

The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays.Frank Plumpton Ramsey - 1925 - London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Edited by R. B. Braithwaite.
Truth and probability.Frank Ramsey - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. New York: Routledge. pp. 52-94.
Evidentialism.Richard Feldman & Earl Conee - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 48 (1):15 - 34.

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