How to Be a Bayesian Dogmatist

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):766-780 (2016)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTRational agents have consistent beliefs. Bayesianism is a theory of consistency for partial belief states. Rational agents also respond appropriately to experience. Dogmatism is a theory of how to respond appropriately to experience. Hence, Dogmatism and Bayesianism are theories of two very different aspects of rationality. It's surprising, then, that in recent years it has become common to claim that Dogmatism and Bayesianism are jointly inconsistent: how can two independently consistent theories with distinct subject matter be jointly inconsistent? In this essay I argue that Bayesianism and Dogmatism are inconsistent only with the addition of a specific hypothesis about how the appropriate responses to perceptual experience are to be incorporated into the formal models of the Bayesian. That hypothesis isn't essential either to Bayesianism or to Dogmatism, and so Bayesianism and Dogmatism are jointly consistent. That leaves the matter of how experiences and credences are related, a...

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Brian T. Miller
Rice University

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