Download PDF by Patrick Maher: Betting on Theories

By Patrick Maher

ISBN-10: 0511527322

ISBN-13: 9780511527326

ISBN-10: 0521063469

ISBN-13: 9780521063463

ISBN-10: 052141850X

ISBN-13: 9780521418508

This publication is a big new contribution to choice conception, concentrating on the query of while it truly is rational to just accept clinical theories. the writer examines either Bayesian determination concept and affirmation thought, refining and elaborating the perspectives of Ramsey and Savage. He argues that the main reliable starting place for affirmation conception is to be present in selection conception, and he presents a decision-theoretic derivation of ideas for the way many percentages can be revised over the years. Professor Maher defines a inspiration of accepting a speculation, after which indicates that it's not reducible to chance and that it's had to take care of a few very important questions within the philosophy of technological know-how. A Bayesian decision-theoretic account of rational attractiveness is supplied including an evidence of the rules for this concept. a last bankruptcy indicates how this account can be utilized to solid gentle on such vexing matters as verisimilitude and clinical realism.

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Sample text

To interpret such preferences, we need to connect them with choice. Presumably, to say "you now (prior to choosing at node 1) prefer that at node 2 you prefer / " implies this: If you could now choose what preference you would have at node 2, and then make your choice at node 1, you would choose to prefer / . 5. 4. If at node 0 you anticipate choosing in accordance with your current preferences at node 1 (a or b), then you anticipate that choosing to proceed to node la will result in obtaining / , while choosing to proceed to node lb will result in obtaining h.

What representation theorems show (if their assumptions are accepted) is that you are not fully rational if your preferences do not all maximize expected utility relative to your probability and utility functions. It follows that maximization of your expected utility is a necessary condition of rationality. But it does not follow that maximization of your expected utility is a sufficient condition of rationality. Nor is there any other positive argument for unqualified Bayesianism, so far as I know.

I will call the position I am defending qualified Bayesianism. In saying that probabilities and utilities can themselves be irrational, I am not saying that rationality determines unique probability and utility functions that everyone with such-andsuch evidence ought to have. On the contrary, I would allow that a wide range of probability and utility functions may be rational for persons who have had all the same experiences. Thus I reject positions like that of Carnap (1950) or Salmon (1967) on what 29 it takes for probabilities to be rational.

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Betting on Theories by Patrick Maher

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