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Awareness growth and dispositional attitudes

Mahtani, Anna (2020) Awareness growth and dispositional attitudes. Synthese. ISSN 0039-7857

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11229-020-02611-5

Abstract

Richard Bradley and others endorse Reverse Bayesianism as the way to model awareness growth. I raise a problem for Reverse Bayesianism—at least for the general version that Bradley endorses—and argue that there is no plausible way to restrict the principle that will give us the right results. To get the right results, we need to pay attention to the (dispositional) attitudes that agents have towards propositions of which they are unaware. This raises more general questions about how awareness growth should be modelled. Classical Bayesian decision theory leaves no room for awareness growth. But in his book Decision Theory with a Human Face (Bradley 2017), Richard Bradley aims to give a decision theory for real agents, and it seems that real agents can grow in awareness. For example, I might be alerted to a possible state of affairs that had not occurred to me before; or I might discover that there is a further option available to me that I had not previously considered. Bradley gives an account of what rationality requires of agents without full awareness, and how rational agents’ credal states can change when they grow in awareness. In this paper I raise a problem for this account, and argue that we need to model awareness growth quite differently, taking into account an agent’s dispositional attitudes towards propositions of which (s)he is unaware.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.springer.com/journal/11229
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 13:36
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2020 11:45
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/103475

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