Logos & Episteme

Volume 14, Issue 3, 2023

Danilo Fraga DantasOrcid-ID
Pages 271-298

When the (Bayesian) Ideal Is Not Ideal

Bayesian epistemologists support the norms of probabilism and conditionalization using Dutch book and accuracy arguments. These arguments assume that rationality requires agents to maximize practical or epistemic value in every doxastic state, which is evaluated from a subjective point of view (e.g., the agent’s expectancy of value). The accuracy arguments also presuppose that agents are opinionated. The goal of this paper is to discuss the assumptions of these arguments, including the measure of epistemic value. I have designed AI agents based on the Bayesian model and a nonmonotonic framework and tested how they achieve practical and epistemic value in conditions in which an alternative set of assumptions holds. In one of the tested conditions, the nonmonotonic agent, which is not opinionated and fulfills neither probabilism nor conditionalization, outperforms the Bayesian in the measure of epistemic value that I argue for in the paper (α -value). I discuss the consequences of these results for the epistemology of rationality.