Countable Additivity, Idealization, and Conceptual Realism

Economics and Philosophy 36 (1):127-147 (2020)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This paper addresses the issue of finite versus countable additivity in Bayesian probability and decision theory -- in particular, Savage's theory of subjective expected utility and personal probability. I show that Savage's reason for not requiring countable additivity in his theory is inconclusive. The assessment leads to an analysis of various highly idealised assumptions commonly adopted in Bayesian theory, where I argue that a healthy dose of, what I call, conceptual realism is often helpful in understanding the interpretational value of sophisticated mathematical structures employed in applied sciences like decision theory. In the last part, I introduce countable additivity into Savage's theory and explore some technical properties in relation to other axioms of the system.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
LIUCAI-2
Upload history
First archival date: 2019-01-26
Latest version: 3 (2020-04-07)
View other versions
Added to PP index
2019-01-26

Total views
201 ( #25,812 of 56,983 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #25,562 of 56,983 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.