Updating for Externalists

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The internalist says that your evidence can never fail to tell you what your total evidence is. If your total evidence is e, then you must have the evidence that your total evidence is e. The externalist denies this. An update is a strategy for revising your degrees of belief, or credences, in response to the outcome of an experiment. The internalist has their update: upon learning e, adopt your pre-experimental credences conditional on e. This is the rule of conditionalization. Salow (forthcoming) teaches that, if the externalist adopts conditionalization, then they will be capable of engaging in deliberate self-delusion---designing experiments which are guaranteed to raise their credence that p as high as they like, independent of whether p is true or false. This is not rational inquiry, and no sensible epistemology will call it such. The externalist should reject conditionalization. So the externalist is in need of an update. I have one to offer. This update has maximal expected accuracy amongst those which the externalist should regard as genuinely available. In experiments where the internalist has it right and your evidence will tell you what your total evidence is, this update agrees with conditionalization. It similarly agrees with the updates of Jeffrey (1965), Hild (1998a,b), Schoenfield (forthcoming), and Gallow (2014) in the paradigm cases for which those updates were designed.
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First archival date: 2018-07-12
Latest version: 5 (2018-10-20)
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