Okasha, Samir (2012) The Evolution of Bayesian Updating. In:  Philosophy of Science Assoc. 23rd Biennial Mtg (San Diego, CA) > PSA 2012 Contributed Papers.
An evolutionary basis for Bayesian rationality is suggested, by consid-
ering how natural selection would operate on an organism's `policy' for
choosing an action depending on an environmental signal. It is shown that
the evolutionarily optimal policy, as judged by the criterion of maximal
expected reproductive output, is the policy which for each signal, chooses
an action that maximizes conditional expected output given that signal.
An organism using such a policy is behaving as if it were a Bayesian
agent with probabilistic beliefs about the states of nature, that it updates
by conditionalization, and whose choice behaviour obeys expected util-
ity maximization. This suggests a possible route by which Bayes-rational
creatures might have evolved.
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