Probability and the Logic of de Finetti's Trievents
Graduate studies at Western
In Maria Carla Galavotti (ed.), Bruno de Finetti Radical Probabilist. College Publications (2009)
|Abstract||Today philosophical discussion on indicative conditionals is dominated by the so called Lewis Triviality Results, according to which, tehere is no binary connective '-->' (let alone truth-functional) such that the probability of p --> q equals the probability of q conditionally on p, so that P(p --> q)= P(q|p). This tenet, that suggests that conditonals lack truth-values, has been challenged in 1991 by Goodman et al. who show that using a suitable three-valued logic the above equation may be restored. In this paper it is first analysed a long neglected paper by Bruno de Finetti, written in 1935, where the essentials of Goodman's theory was clearly outlined. It is also stressed that de Finetti anticipated Kleene's as well as Bochvar and Blamey ideas. In the second part of the paper it is argued that the de Finetti-Goodman's original theory is defective and leads to absurd results. However, a new semantics, called semantics of hypervaluations, is here defined, that avoids the defects of the original theory. This appears to be a powerful challenge to Lewis Triviality results and to the thesis by which conditionals lack truth-values as well.|
|Keywords||de Finetti conditionals Probability of Conditionals tri-events trievents Logic of conditionals|
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