David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In C. Wade Savage & C. Anthony Anderson (eds.), ReReading Russell: Bertrand Russell's Metaphysics and Epistemology; Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume 12. University of Minnesota Press (1989)
This essay is an attempt to gain better insight into Russell's positive account of inductive inference. I contend that Russell's postulates play only a supporting role in his overall account. At the center of Russell's positive view is a probabilistic, Bayesian model of inductive inference. Indeed, Russell and Maxwell actually held very similar Bayesian views. But the Bayesian component of Russell's view in Human Knowledge is sparse and easily overlooked. Maxwell was not aware of it when he developed his own view, and I believe he was never fully aware of the extent to which Russell's account anticipates his own. The primary focus of this paper will be the explication of the Bayesian component of the Russell-Maxwell view, and the way in which it undermines judgment empiricism.
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