Contraction, Rational Choice and Economy

Isaac Levi

in Mild Contraction

Published in print June 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270705
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601774 | DOI:
Contraction, Rational Choice and Economy

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The author considers the answers he favours over those of Rott and Pagnucco to two questions: what is to be required of a decision-theoretic rationale for a change in state of full belief? and should enquirers contemplating a contraction seek to minimize losses of informational value, or seek the most plausible contraction? It is explained how the author’s views differ from those of Rott and Pagnucco on the ground of deep disagreements about the aims of enquiry, and their use of the idea of plausibility is discussed and argued against. The philosophical motivation for preferring the terminology of mild contraction over that of severe withdrawal, which Rott and Pagnucco use, is set out. The implications of the author’s views for suppositional or conditional reasoning, incorrigibility, and indeterminacy are discussed.

Keywords: conditional reasoning; incorrigibility; indeterminacy; Pagnucco; plausibility; Rott; severe withdrawal; suppositional reasoning

Chapter.  25044 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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