Probabilities and Beliefs
Choice-theoretic definitions of subjective probabilities originated with the work of Ramsey and de Finetti and attained their definitive form in the work of Savage. These probabilities are intended to provide a numerical representation of a decision maker's beliefs regarding the likely realization of alternative events. In this article, I argue that the choice-theoretic definitions of subjective probabilities involve a tacit convention--namely, state-independent utility functions--that is not implied by the axioms, and, as a consequence, choice-theoretic subjective probabilities, even when they exist, do not necessarily represent the decision makers' beliefs. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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