The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Fri Dec 4, 2009
60 Evans Hall, 4:10–6 PM
Logic Colloquium
Sherrilyn Roush (UC Berkeley)
Rational Self-Doubt

If one is highly confident that Rosco is the murderer from having seen the crime, and then learns of the substantial experimental psychology evidence that human beings are very unreliable at eyewitness testimony, is one thereby obligated to reduce one’s confidence about Rosco? Current Bayesian rationality theory forbids any such revision because of idealizations that I argue are unnecessary. I develop a more general probabilistic framework that shows how we can learn about the world from information about our own unreliability, through higher-order updating that re-calibrates us. It shows why taking doubt about one’s own judgment seriously does not end up in incoherence or runaway skepticism, and what the added value of this kind of evidence is.