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The Monist

Volume 84, Issue 2, April 2001

Probability as a Guide to Life

Henry E. Kyburg, Jr.
Pages 135-152

Probability as a Guide in Life

Bishop Butler, [Butler, 1736], said that probability was the very guide of life. But what interpretations of probability can serve this function? It isn’t hard to see that empirical (frequency) views won’t do, and many recent writers-for example John Earman, who has said that Bayesianism is “the only game in town”-have been persuaded by various dutch book arguments that only subjective probability will perform the function required. We will defend the thesis that probability construed in this way offers very little guidance, dutch book arguments notwithstanding. We will sketch a way out of the impasse.