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Bayesian Convergence and the Fair-Balance Paradox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalErkenntnis
Volume83
Issue number2
Early online date28 Feb 2017
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Feb 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Apr 2018

Abstract

The paper discusses Bayesian convergence when the truth is excluded from the analysis by means of a simple coin-tossing example. In the fair-balance paradox a fair coin is tossed repeatedly. A Bayesian agent, however, holds the a priori view that the coin is either biased towards heads or towards tails. As a result the truth (i.e., the coin is fair) is ignored by the agent. In this scenario the Bayesian approach tends to confirm a false model as the data size goes to infinity. I argue that the fair-balance paradox reveals an unattractive feature of the Bayesian approach to scientific inference and explore a modification of the paradox.

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