Ur-Priors, Conditionalization, and Ur-Prior Conditionalization

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Conditionalization is a widely endorsed rule for updating one’s beliefs. But a sea of complaints have been raised about it, including worries regarding how the rule handles error correction, changing desiderata of theory choice, evidence loss, self-locating beliefs, learning about new theories, and confirmation. In light of such worries, a number of authors have suggested replacing Conditionalization with a different rule — one that appeals to what I’ll call “ur-priors”. But different authors have understood the rule in different ways, and these different understandings solve different problems. In this paper, I aim to map out the terrain regarding these issues. I survey the different problems that might motivate the adoption of such a rule, flesh out the different understandings of the rule that have been proposed, and assess their pros and cons. I conclude by suggesting that one particular batch of proposals, proposals that appeal to what I’ll call “loaded evidential standards”, are especially promising.
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First archival date: 2016-08-01
Latest version: 2 (2016-09-15)
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Elusive Knowledge.Lewis, David K.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Williamson, Timothy
Bayes or Bust?Earman, John

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Precise Credences.Titelbaum, Michael
Bayesian Beauty.Milano, Silvia
Eternal Worlds and the Best System Account of Laws.Olsen, Ryan A. & Meacham, Christopher
A Plea for Falsehoods.Comesaña, Juan

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