Probabilism, Representation Theorems, and Whether Deliberation Crowds Out Prediction
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Decision-theoretic representation theorems have been developed and appealed to in the service of two important philosophical projects: (a) in attempts to characterise credences in terms of preferences, and (b) in arguments for probabilism. Theorems developed within the formal framework that Savage developed have played an especially prominent role here. I argue that the use of these ‘Savagean’ theorems create significant difficulties for both projects, but particularly the latter. The origin of the problem directly relates to the question of whether we can have credences regarding acts currently under consideration and the consequences which depend on those acts; I argue that such credences are possible. Furthermore, I argue that attempts to use Jeffrey’s non-Savagean theorem (and similar theorems) in the service of these two projects may not fare much better.
KeywordsRational Agent Expected Utility Representation Theorem Credence State Credence Function
Thanks to Rachael Briggs, David Chalmers, Alan Hájek, Jessica Isserow, Leon Leontyev, Hanti Lin, J. Robert G. Williams, and several anonymous referees for helpful discussion and feedback. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement No. 312938.
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