Standards for Modest Bayesian Credences


Gordon Belot argues that Bayesian theory is epistemologically immodest. In response, we show that the topological conditions that underpin his criticisms of asymptotic Bayesian conditioning are self-defeating. They require extreme a priori credences regarding, for example, the limiting behavior of observed relative frequencies. We offer a different explication of Bayesian modesty using a goal of consensus: rival scientific opinions should be responsive to new facts as a way to resolve their disputes. Also we address Adam Elga’s rebuttal to Belot’s analysis, which focuses attention on the role that the assumption of countable additivity plays in Belot’s criticisms.

In Philosophy of Science
Rafael B. Stern
Rafael B. Stern
Professor of Statistics

I am an Assistant Professor at the Federal University of São Carlos. I have a B.A. in Statistics from University of São Paulo, a B.A. in Law from Pontifícia Universidade Católica in São Paulo, and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. I am currently a member of the Scientific Council of the Brazilian Association of Jurimetrics, an associate investigator at NeuroMat and a member of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil.