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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 111, Issue 12, December 2014

Gary Ebbs
Pages 689-703

Conditionalization and Conceptual Change: Chalmers in Defense of a Dogma

David Chalmers has recently argued that Bayesian conditionalization is a constraint on conceptual constancy, and that this constraint, together with “standard Bayesian considerations about evidence and updating,” is incompatible with the Quinean claim that every belief is rationally revisable. Chalmers’s argument presupposes that the sort of conceptual constancy that is relevant to Bayesian conditionalization is the same as the sort of conceptual constancy that is relevant to the claim that every belief is rationally revisable. To challenge this presupposition I explicate a sort of “conceptual role” constancy that a rational subject could take to be necessary and sufficient for a rule of Bayesian conditionalization to govern her belief updating, and show that a rational subject may simultaneously commit herself to updating her beliefs in accord with such a rule and accept the claim that every belief is rationally revisable. 

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