BEING SURE AND BEING CONFIDENT THAT YOU WON’T LOSE CONFIDENCE (pages 45-54)

Alexander R. PRUSS

ABSTRACT: There is an important sense in which one can be sure without being certain, i.e., without assigning unit probability. I will offer an explication of this sense of sureness, connecting it with the level of credence that a rational agent would need to have to be confident that she won’t ever lose her confidence. A simple formal result then gives us an explicit formula connecting the threshold α for credence needed for confidence with the threshold needed for being sure: one needs 1−(1−α)to be sure. I then suggest that stepping between α and 1−(1−α)gives a procedure that generates an interesting hierarchy of credential thresholds.

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