Skip to main content

Objective Bayesianism and the maximum entropy principle

Landes, Jürgen, Williamson, Jon (2013) Objective Bayesianism and the maximum entropy principle. Entropy, 15 (9). pp. 3528-3591. ISSN 1099-4300. (doi:10.3390/e15093528) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/9/3528/pdf

Abstract

Objective Bayesian epistemology invokes three norms: the strengths of our beliefs should be probabilities, they should be calibrated to our evidence of physical probabilities, and they should otherwise equivocate sufficiently between the basic propositions that we can express. The three norms are sometimes explicated by appealing to the maximum entropy principle, which says that a belief function should be a probability function, from all those that are calibrated to evidence, that has maximum entropy. However, the three norms of objective Bayesianism are usually justified in different ways. In this paper we show that the three norms can all be subsumed under a single justification in terms of minimising worst-case expected loss. This, in turn, is equivalent to maximising a generalised notion of entropy. We suggest that requiring language invariance, in addition to minimising worst-case expected loss, motivates maximisation of standard entropy as opposed to maximisation of other instances of generalised entropy. Our argument also provides a qualified justification for updating degrees of belief by Bayesian conditionalisation. However, conditional probabilities play a less central part in the objective Bayesian account than they do under the subjective view of Bayesianism, leading to a reduced role for Bayes’ Theorem

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3390/e15093528
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BC Logic
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA273 Probabilities
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 9 Formal systems, logics
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Philosophy
Depositing User: Jon Williamson
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2013 10:27 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:02 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/35197 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):