Dracula Meets Wolfman: Acceptance vs. Partial Belief

  • Richard C. Jeffrey
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 26)


One of the things I’d like to see come out of this conference is a clarification of the issues between Isaac Levi and me.1 I take it that Levi’s scruples about partial belief and probability kinematics are not idiosyncratic, nor are my scruples about his work on acceptance, so that the matter may be of general interest. When Dracula meets Wolfman in the movies it is not simply I-and-thou: They gibber and slaver for all vampires and all werewolves everywhere. So let it be with us.


Belief Function Preference Ranking Rational Belief Rigidity Condition Rational Deliberation 
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  1. 1.
    Those issues were indeed greatly clarified during the conference; but it seems best to publish the paper just as it was presented at the conference even unto the title - except for minor corrections throughout, and for some brief concluding remarks in Section V.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    My’ account is in [7]; it is a modification and, as I see it, an improvement of the accounts of Ramsey [13] and Savage [14].Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See [2], [3], and [4]. Bolker’s work was prior to mine: A case in which pure mathematics had an unexpected application.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    For some striking illustrations of the flexibility of the Bayesian framework, see [5], where some puzzling and rather complex behavior is rationalized via a simple hypothesis about the shape of the utility curve for income.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    This is the celebrated argument from coherence: If his degrees of belief do not satisfy the probability axioms there will be a set of bets, each of which looks fair to the agent, but on which he will with logical necessity suffer an overall loss. See [7], p. 49 and references given there.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The room in which this was read had some 40 people in it. Imagine that the date was September 25.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Politics 12603 13.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    One may take this as a reply to the objection, ‘One difficulty immediately leaps to the eye…’, just below the formula in [11], p. 205.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    In [10], p. 13, Levi observes that his “critical cognitivism renders asunder, at least partially, what many philosophers have endeavored to join together - theoretical and practical wisdom”.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard C. Jeffrey
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaUSA

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