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Finite additivity, another lottery paradox and conditionalisation

Howson, Colin (2014) Finite additivity, another lottery paradox and conditionalisation. Synthese, 191 (5). pp. 989-1012. ISSN 0039-7857

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11229-013-0303-3


In this paper I argue that de Finetti provided compelling reasons for rejecting countable additivity. It is ironical therefore that the main argument advanced by Bayesians against following his recommendation is based on the consistency criterion, coherence, he himself developed. I will show that this argument is mistaken. Nevertheless, there remain some counter-intuitive consequences of rejecting countable additivity, and one in particular has all the appearances of a full-blown paradox. I will end by arguing that in fact it is no paradox, and that what it shows is that conditionalisation, often claimed to be integral to the Bayesian canon, has to be rejected as a general rule in a finitely additive environment.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Springer, Part of Springer Science+Business Media
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BC Logic
Date Deposited: 08 May 2014 14:02
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:18

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