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Information gain and approaching true belief
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
(English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Recent years has seen a renewed interest in the philosophical study of information. In this paper a two-part analysis of information gain – objective and subjective – in the context of doxastic change is presented and discussed. Objective information gain is analyzed in terms of doxastic movement towards true belief, while subjective information gain is analyzed as an agent’s expectation value of her objective information gain for a given doxastic change. The resulting expression for subjective information gain turns out to be a familiar one with well-known formal properties: the Kullback-Leibler divergence.

The suggested measure of subjective information gain is then compared with the view that information gain equals uncertainty reduction. Three counterexamples to the latter view are suggested and it is also argued that the numerical results given by the suggested measure of subjective information gain in those three cases are considerably more intuitive.

Keyword [en]
belief, change, doxastic, information, truth, uncertainty
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-72675OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-72675DiVA: diva2:487938
Note
QS 2012Available from: 2012-02-01 Created: 2012-02-01 Last updated: 2012-02-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Dealing with uncertainty
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dealing with uncertainty
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Uncertainty is, it seems, more or less constantly present in our lives. Even so, grasping the concept philosophically is far from trivial. In this doctoral thesis, uncertainty and its conceptual companion information are studied. Axiomatic analyses are provided and numerical measures suggested. In addition to these basic conceptual analyses, the widespread practice of so-called safety factor use in societal regulation is analyzed along with the interplay between science and policy in European regulation of chemicals and construction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. 25 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831 ; 40
Keyword
safety factor, safety margin, uncertainty factor, uncertainty function, uncertainty, information, risk, risk assessment, risk management, epistemology, science, reasoning
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-72680 (URN)978-91-7501-216-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-02-17, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20120202Available from: 2012-02-02 Created: 2012-02-01 Last updated: 2012-02-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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  • de-DE
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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