The Objectivity of Subjective Bayesianism

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Sprenger, Jan
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preprint description
Subjective Bayesianism is a major school of uncertain reasoning and statistical inference. It is often criticized for a lack of objectivity: (i) it opens the door to the influence of values and biases, (ii) evidence judgments can vary substantially between scientists, (iii) it is not suited for informing policy decisions. My paper rebuts these concerns by bridging the debates on scientific objectivity and statistical method. First, I show that the above concerns arise equally for standard frequentist inference. Second, I argue that the involved senses of objectivity are epistemically inert. Third, I show that Subjective Bayesianism promotes other, epistemically relevant senses of scientific objectivity---most notably by increasing the transparency of scientific reasoning.