Synthese

, Volume 190, Issue 12, pp 2391–2411

An impossibility theorem for amalgamating evidence

Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11229-011-9973-x

Cite this article as:
Stegenga, J. Synthese (2013) 190: 2391. doi:10.1007/s11229-011-9973-x

Abstract

Amalgamating evidence of different kinds for the same hypothesis into an overall confirmation is analogous, I argue, to amalgamating individuals’ preferences into a group preference. The latter faces well-known impossibility theorems, most famously “Arrow’s Theorem”. Once the analogy between amalgamating evidence and amalgamating preferences is tight, it is obvious that amalgamating evidence might face a theorem similar to Arrow’s. I prove that this is so, and end by discussing the plausibility of the axioms required for the theorem.

Keywords

Evidence Arrow’s theorem Amalgamating evidence Confirmation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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