Bruno de Finetti’s Objectivity

Philip Dawid

While de Finetti famously rejected all objectivist conceptions of Probability, it is less widely understood that he was a strong advocate of objectivity in the assessment of probabilities. In particular, he allowed that one probability forecaster could be better or worse than another, and emphasised the importance of putting one’s probability forecasts against Nature’s actual values, advocating a method based on proper scoring rules for doing so. In this talk, I will survey this and other ways of contrasting probabilities and outcomes, and consider whether, and how, it might be possible to make sense of the concept of “the probability” of an unrepeatable event.

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