Tsinghua University – University of Amsterdam Joint Research Centre for Logic

Invited Talk

  • Title: Rationality and the Anticipation of Awareness Growth (Based on joint work with H. Orri Stefánsson (Stockholm))
  • Abstract: To anticipate awareness growth in the context of decision making is to predict that one’s conception of the possible states of the world relevant to one’s decision problem will change. This is a more radical kind of change than the mere revision of one’s probabilistic beliefs or credences over a fixed set of possible states of the world. Nevertheless, we claim, by appeal to a familiar Dutch book argument, that both the more and less radical kinds of anticipated change are subject to a common Reflection principle(which constrains the relationship between current and predicted future credences)Indeed, in this and other regards, anticipated awareness growth turns out not to be such a strange phenomenon of reasoning after all, but rather a very ordinary predicament. However, Reflection does not entail the much-discussed norm of Reverse Bayesianism, if the latter is understood to constrain not just actual but also predicted credence change upon growth in awareness. So stronger arguments are required to ensure that rational credence changes under awareness growth are duly conservative, as per Reverse Bayesianism; moreover, it is not clear what form such arguments would take.