Reichenbach's metaphysical picture

Erkenntnis 35 (1-3):99--114 (1991)
To recapitulate, then, for Reichenbach probability is the foundation of both metaphysics and epistemology. Metaphysically, probability is fundamental because it is the probability relations among the sequences of events in the world that gives rise to causality, time, and space. Epistemologically, probability is fundamental because empirical knowledge is simply knowledge of probabilities. Even knowledge of observation sentences is considered to be probabilistic knowledge by Reichenbach (EP, pp. 183–188), because Reichenbach's fallibilism leads him to hold that no observation sentence is absolutely incorrigible, and with the advance of scientific knowledge we need to inquire into the probability that our singular observation judgments may be in error.My aim here has not been to argue that Reichenbach succeeded in his magnificent attempt any more than Carnap succeeded in his. But I hope to have convinced you that is was one of the most magnificent attempts by any empiricist philosopher of this or of any other century, and I believe that the effort to understand it and to master its details will as richly repay us as the much greater effort which has been devoted to the study of Carnap's work has already repayed us
Keywords Putnam
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DOI 10.2307/20012362
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