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Quitting CertaintiesA Bayesian Framework Modeling Degrees of Belief$
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Michael G. Titelbaum

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658305

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658305.001.0001

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Generalized Conditionalization

Generalized Conditionalization

(p.116) (p.117) 6 Generalized Conditionalization
Quitting Certainties

Michael G. Titelbaum

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how memory loss creates problems for Conditionalization, the traditional Bayesian norm for updating degrees of belief. It first presents stories in which agents suffer from memory loss (or the threat thereof) and shows how these stories are counterexamples to Conditionalization. It then argues that memory loss does indicate a failure of rationality on the part of the agent. The chapter then presents a new updating norm, Generalized Conditionalization (GC), which properly handles memory loss stories. GC is applied to a somewhat more complex story in which memory loss occurs multiple times, then the norm is used to derive a generalized version of Bas van Fraassen’s Reflection Principle applying to cases in which agents both gain and lose information.

Keywords:   Bayesianism, conditionalization, memory loss, generalized conditionalization, reflection principle, rationality

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