Seminar on History and Philosophy of Science
Abstract: How should an agent respond to information about the reliability of her judgments? Various philosophers have argued for various versions of calibrationism, a view according to which an agent's credences should correspond to the (suitably defined) expected reliabilities of her judgments. Calibrationism gives intuitively reasonable verdicts, and it applies straightforwardly even when an agent is worried that her judgments may be flawed. Because of these advantages, even philosophers who don't want to endorse calibrationism in full generality are often inclined to endorse its verdicts in a wide array of cases. But calibrationism is misguided. Calibrationism relies on the base-rate fallacy, a classic mistake in probabilistic epistemology. Thus while calibrationism is intuitive, it cannot be correct.