Is it always rational to satisfy Savage's axioms?

Economics and Philosophy 25 (3):285-296 (2009)
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Abstract

This note argues that, under some circumstances, it is more rational not to behave in accordance with a Bayesian prior than to do so. The starting point is that in the absence of information, choosing a prior is arbitrary. If the prior is to have meaningful implications, it is more rational to admit that one does not have sufficient information to generate a prior than to pretend that one does. This suggests a view of rationality that requires a compromise between internal coherence and justification, similarly to compromises that appear in moral dilemmas. Finally, it is argued that Savage's axioms are more compelling when applied to a naturally given state space than to an analytically constructed one; in the latter case, it may be more rational to violate the axioms than to be Bayesian

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References found in this work

The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays.Frank Plumpton Ramsey - 1925 - London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Edited by R. B. Braithwaite.
Truth and probability.Frank Ramsey - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. New York: Routledge. pp. 52-94.
Risk, Uncertainty and Profit.Frank H. Knight - 1921 - University of Chicago Press.

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