Bayesian Decision Theory and Stochastic Independence

Philosophy of Science 87 (1):152-178 (2020)
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Abstract

As stochastic independence is essential to the mathematical development of probability theory, it seems that any foundational work on probability should be able to account for this property. Bayesian decision theory appears to be wanting in this respect. Savage’s postulates on preferences under uncertainty entail a subjective expected utility representation, and this asserts only the existence and uniqueness of a subjective probability measure, regardless of its properties. What is missing is a preference condition corresponding to stochastic independence. To fill this significant gap, the article axiomatizes Bayesian decision theory afresh and proves several representation theorems in this novel framework.

Author's Profile

Philippe Mongin
Last affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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