Comparative Opinion Loss

Journal Article (Journal Article)

It is a consequence of the theory of imprecise credences that there exist situations in which rational agents inevitably become less opinionated toward some propositions as they gather more evidence. The fact that an agent's imprecise credal state can dilate in this way is often treated as a strike against the imprecise approach to inductive inference. Here, we show that dilation is not a mere artifact of this approach by demonstrating that opinion loss is countenanced as rational by a substantially broader class of normative theories than has been previously recognised. Specifically, we show that dilation-like phenomena arise even when one abandons the basic assumption that agents have (precise or imprecise) credences of any kind, and follows directly from bedrock norms for rational comparative confidence judgements of the form ‘I am at least as confident in p as I am in q’. We then use the comparative confidence framework to develop a novel understanding of what exactly gives rise to dilation-like phenomena. By considering opinion loss in this more general setting, we are able to provide a novel assessment of the prospects for an account of inductive inference that is not saddled with the inevitability of rational opinion loss.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Eva, B; Stern, R

Published Date

  • January 1, 2022

Published In

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1933-1592

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0031-8205

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/phpr.12921

Citation Source

  • Scopus