How to Be a Bayesian Dogmatist

Brian T. Miller
2016 Australasian Journal of Philosophy  
Rational agents have (more or less) consistent beliefs. Bayesianism is a theory of consistency for partial belief states. Rational agents also respond appropriately to experience. Dogmatism is a theory of how to respond appropriately to experience. Hence Dogmatism and Bayesianism are theories of two very di↵erent aspects of rationality. It's surprising, then, that in recent years it has become common to claim that Dogmatism and Bayesianism are actually inconsistent: how can two independently
more » ... sistent theories with distinct subject matter be jointly inconsistent? In this essay I argue that Bayesianism and Dogmatism are inconsistent only with the addition of a specific hypothesis about how the appropriate responses to perceptual experience are to be incorporated into the formal models of the Bayesian. That hypothesis isn't essential either to Bayesianism or to Dogmatism, and so Bayesianism and Dogmatism are consistent. That leaves the matter of how experiences and consistent partial belief states are related, and so in the remainder of the essay I o↵er an alternative account of how perceptual justification as the Dogmatist understands it can be incorporated in the Bayesian formalism.
doi:10.1080/00048402.2016.1138233 fatcat:c6rm7bm6xbh7zehkwbwgssfvbi