On the proximity of the logical and 'objective bayesian' interpretations of probability

Erkenntnis 69 (3):335-349 (2008)
In his Bayesian Nets and Causality, Jon Williamson presents an ‘Objective Bayesian’ interpretation of probability, which he endeavours to distance from the logical interpretation yet associate with the subjective interpretation. In doing so, he suggests that the logical interpretation suffers from severe epistemological problems that do not affect his alternative. In this paper, I present a challenge to his analysis. First, I closely examine the relationship between the logical and ‘Objective Bayesian’ views, and show how, and why, they are highly similar. Second, I argue that the logical interpretation is not manifestly inferior, at least for the reasons that Williamson offers. I suggest that the key difference between the logical and ‘Objective Bayesian’ views is in the domain of the philosophy of logic; and that the genuine disagreement appears to be over Platonism versus nominalism (within weak psychologism).
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
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Ian Hacking (1995). The Emergence of Probability. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

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