September 19, 2022

Bayesianism via Likelihood Theory

Hartry Field (NYU)

Abstract: Bayesianism is best introduced not by the usual arguments for it but by its applications.  And a good way to focus on its applications is by comparison to the likelihood ratio approach to the confirmation of statistical hypotheses.  The latter turns out to be a much more general theory than is usually appreciated, but does have limitations that a recognizably Bayesian approach overcomes.  An advantage of approaching Bayesianism via likelihood theory is that doing so leads naturally to a questioning of some harmful idealizations built into crude forms of Bayesianism.