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Deliberation and Prediction

Liu, Yang and Price, Huw (2018) Deliberation and Prediction. [Preprint]

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Can an agent hold a meaningful credence about an upcoming action, while she deliberates about what to do. Can she believe that it is, say, 70% probable that she will do A, while she chooses whether to do A? Following Spohn and Levi, some writers claim that such ‘act credences’ are incoherent – Deliberation Crowds Out Prediction (DCOP), as Levi put it. Others claim that the case for DCOP is weak, or even that it is clearly false. We argue these disagreements are to a large extent terminological, or model-relative. After explaining why DCOP does hold in the kind of operationalist model of credence we owe to Ramsey, we note that it is a trivial matter to extend this model so that DCOP no longer holds, in the extended model. We then discuss in detail the model proposed by James Joyce, who presents it explicitly in opposition to Levi and to DCOP. We show that Joyce’s disagreement with writers such as Ramsey and Levi rests largely on different choices concerning the use of terms such as ‘evidence’, prediction’ and ‘belief’. Once these differences are in view, they reveal a great deal of underlying agreement. In particular, a principle that Joyce calls the Evidential Autonomy Thesis (EAT) is effectively DCOP, in new terminological clothing. We close by proposing that the origin of what is correct in both principles lies in the so-called ‘transparency’ of the first-person present-tensed view of certain of one’s own mental states.

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Item Type: Preprint
Liu, Yangliu@yliu.net0000-0001-8865-4647
Price, Huwmachuw@gmail.com0000-0002-9091-760X
Keywords: act credence, deliberation, prediction, Ramsey, Joyce, agency, transparency
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
Depositing User: Prof Huw Price
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2018 21:26
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2018 21:26
Item ID: 14283
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
Date: 2018

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