Plenty of room left for the Dogmatist

Analysis 80 (1):66-76 (2019)
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Barnett provides an interesting new challenge for Dogmatist accounts of perceptual justification. The challenge is that such accounts, by accepting that a perceptual experience can provide a distinctive kind of boost to one’s credences, would lead to a form of diachronic irrationality in cases where one has already learnt in advance that one will have such an experience. I show that this challenge rests on a misleading feature of using the 0–1 interval to express probabilities and show that if we switch to using Odds or Log-Odds, the misleading appearance that there is only ‘a little room’ for one’s credences to increase evaporates. Moreover, there are familiar, independent reasons for taking the Log-Odds scale to provide a clearer picture of the confirmatory effect of evidence. Thus the Dogmatist can after all escape the charge of diachronic irrationality.

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Thomas Raleigh
University of Luxembourg


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