The Fall of “Adams' Thesis”?

Abstract
The so-called ‘Adams’ Thesis’ is often understood as the claim that the assertibility of an indicative conditional equals the corresponding conditional probability—schematically: $${({\rm AT})}\qquad\qquad\quad As(A\rightarrow B)=P({B|A}),{\rm provided}\quad P(A)\neq 0.$$ The Thesis is taken by many to be a touchstone of any theorizing about indicative conditionals. Yet it is unclear exactly what the Thesis is . I suggest some precise statements of it. I then rebut a number of arguments that have been given in its favor. Finally, I offer a new argument against it. I appeal to an old triviality result of mine against ‘Stalnaker’s Thesis’ that the probability of a conditional equals the corresponding conditional probability. I showed that for all finite-ranged probability functions, there are strictly more distinct values of conditional probabilities than there are distinct values of probabilities of conditionals, so they cannot all be paired up as Stalnaker’s Thesis promises. Conditional probabilities are too fine-grained to coincide with probabilities of conditionals across the board. If the assertibilities of conditionals are to coincide with conditional probabilities across the board, then assertibilities must be finer-grained than probabilities. I contend that this is implausible—it is surely the other way round. I generalize this argument to other interpretations of ‘ As ’, including ‘acceptability’ and ‘assentability’. I find it hard to see how any such figure of merit for conditionals can systematically align with the corresponding conditional probabilities
Keywords Adams’ Thesis  Assertability  Assertibility  Probabilities of conditionals  Conditional probability  Triviality results
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,350
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 20 references

Citations of this work BETA
Ian Rumfitt (2013). Old Adams Buried. Analytic Philosophy 54 (2):157-188.
Similar books and articles
Richard Bradley (2006). Adams Conditionals and Non-Monotonic Probabilities. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 15 (1-2):65-81.
Stefan Kaufmann (2004). Conditioning Against the Grain. Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (6):583-606.
Igor Douven (2008). Kaufmann on the Probabilities of Conditionals. Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (3):259 - 266.
Richard Bradley (1999). More Triviality. Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (2):129-139.
Carl G. Wagner (2004). Modus Tollens Probabilized. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):747-753.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-02-05

Total downloads

66 ( #21,068 of 1,096,701 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #73,267 of 1,096,701 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.