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The objects of credence

Mahtani, Anna ORCID: 0000-0003-1581-4325 (2024) The objects of credence. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom. ISBN 9780198847892

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Identification Number: 10.1093/oso/9780198847892.001.0001


This book brings to light a simple and deep insight with profound theoretical and policy implications for all who use the credence framework. There are concepts which need to be rethought, moves which turn out to be invalid, and principles which need to be rejected or transformed. The central aim is to give those who use the credence framework an awareness of the insight and its wide-reaching implications. The credence framework is used throughout the sciences and social sciences. On this framework, credences (degrees of belief, subjective probabilities, or Bayesian probabilities) are assigned to certain objects—but what objects? I argue that the objects of credence are ‘opaque’ or ‘hyperintensional’: to adapt an example from Gottlob Frege, a person’s credence that Hesperus is bright might be different from their credence that Phosphorus is bright, if that person does not know that Hesperus and Phosphorus are one and the same. We might put the point by saying that our credences are not about objects in themselves, but about objects under designators. This point has far-reaching implications for users of the credence framework. There are implications for principles of rationality, including deference principles and the Principal Principle, and practical implications for decision theory and welfare economics. Furthermore, there are implications for how the framework should be interpreted: this book explores both two-dimensionalism and impossible worlds, and assimilating either into the credence framework brings further significant repercussions.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2024 17:51
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 13:37

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