Kinds of probabilism

The first part of the article deals with the theories of probability and induction put forward by Hans Reichenbach and Rudolf Carnap. It will be argued that, despite fundamental differences, Carnap's and Reichenbach's views on probability are closely linked with the problem of meaning generated by logical empiricism, and are characterized by the logico-semantical approach typical of this philosophical current. Moreover, their notions of probability are both meant to combine a logical and an empirical element. Of these, Carnap over the years put more and more emphasis on the logical aspect, while for Reichenbach the empirical aspect has always been predominant. Seen in this light, Carnap's and Reichenbach's theories of probability can be taken to represent the Viennese and Berlinese mainstreams of the common logical empiricist approach. The second part of the article contrasts the position of these authors with that of the Bruno de Finetti, who is the main representative of the subjective interpretation of probability. Though the latter is sometimes associated with the position taken by Carnap in his late writings, it will be argued that the two are in many ways irreconcilable.
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