Logic, Graded Belief, and Preferences

David Christensen

in Putting Logic in its Place

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780199263257
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602603 | DOI:
Logic, Graded Belief, and Preferences

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Defends probabilistic coherence as a logical constraint on graded belief. Standard Dutch Book and Representation Theorem arguments seek to defend coherence by positing very tight—even definitional—connections between graded beliefs and preferences, which are not clearly within the epistemic domain; thus they seem to change the subject away from epistemology proper. Argues that defining graded belief in terms of preferences requires an insupportable metaphysics of belief. Nevertheless, the arguments can be ’depragmatized’—reworked in a way that employs intuitively plausible normative principles connecting preference with beliefs, eliminating the need for positing implausible metaphysical or definitional connections. Thus, probabilistic coherence can be defended without making beliefs into something they are not.

Keywords: degrees of belief; depragmatized; Dutch Book; graded belief; preferences; probabilistic coherence; Representation Theorem

Chapter.  13095 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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