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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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Suppositional consistency

Suppositional consistency

(p.137) 7 Suppositional consistency
Quitting Certainties

Michael G. Titelbaum

Oxford University Press

The previous chapter introduced Generalized Conditionalization (GC), an updating norm for degrees of belief that properly models rational requirements in stories involving memory loss. This chapter explains the intuitive idea behind GC: suppositional consistency, which requires an agent to evaluate a hypothesis the same way whenever she considers it relative to the same evidence. Suppositional consistency is easy to defend if Feldman’s and White’s Uniqueness Thesis is true—that is, if every body of evidence dictates a required attitude for every hypothesis. Uniqueness defenders dating back to Carnap have offered updating rules obeying suppositional consistency. But if Uniqueness is false, suppositional consistency (and GC) must be defended by considering when an agent’s permitted but not required attitude assignments rationally commit her to similar assignments in the future. The chapter examines a number of examples and objections concerning such commitments, including cases involving memory loss.

Keywords:   memory loss, generalized conditionalization, rationality, uniqueness thesis, conditionalization

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