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The Handbook of Rational and Social Choice$
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Paul Anand, Prasanta Pattanaik, and Clemens Puppe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290420

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290420.001.0001

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Dutch Book Arguments *

Dutch Book Arguments *

The Handbook of Rational and Social Choice

Alan Hájek

Oxford University Press

Dutch Book arguments purport to show that rationality requires certain constraints on an agent's subjective probabilities, on pain of the agent being susceptible to sure losses in corresponding bets. This survey offers critical assessments of several kinds of Dutch Book arguments. The chapter begins with the classic argument for obedience to the probability calculus, emphasizing both its literal interpretation in terms of monetary losses at the hands of a cunning bettor, and the interpretation that this merely dramatizes a deeper underlying defect, an inconsistency in the agent's credences. The chapter then discusses “diachronic” Dutch Book arguments that concern constraints on how agents should update their credences in the face of evidence. Finally, the chapter canvases some more “exotic” Dutch Book arguments and some recent developments.

Keywords:   Dutch Books, subjective probability, credences, sure loss, inconsistency, diachronic

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