The new Tweety puzzle: arguments against monistic Bayesian approaches in epistemology and cognitive science

Synthese 190 (8):1407-1435 (2013)
In this paper we discuss the new Tweety puzzle. The original Tweety puzzle was addressed by approaches in non-monotonic logic, which aim to adequately represent the Tweety case, namely that Tweety is a penguin and, thus, an exceptional bird, which cannot fly, although in general birds can fly. The new Tweety puzzle is intended as a challenge for probabilistic theories of epistemic states. In the first part of the paper we argue against monistic Bayesians, who assume that epistemic states can at any given time be adequately described by a single subjective probability function. We show that monistic Bayesians cannot provide an adequate solution to the new Tweety puzzle, because this requires one to refer to a frequency-based probability function. We conclude that monistic Bayesianism cannot be a fully adequate theory of epistemic states. In the second part we describe an empirical study, which provides support for the thesis that monistic Bayesianism is also inadequate as a descriptive theory of cognitive states. In the final part of the paper we criticize Bayesian approaches in cognitive science, insofar as their monistic tendency cannot adequately address the new Tweety puzzle. We, further, argue against monistic Bayesianism in cognitive science by means of a case study. In this case study we show that Oaksford and Chater’s (2007, 2008) model of conditional inference—contrary to the authors’ theoretical position—has to refer also to a frequency-based probability function
Keywords New Tweety puzzle  Probability  Frequency  Probabilism  Monistic Bayesianism  Objective Bayesianism  Bayesian rationality  Oaksford and Chater  Conditional inference  MP-MT asymmetry  Cognitive science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-012-0159-y
 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 Matthias Unterhuber, The new Tweety puzzle: arguments against monistic Bayesian approaches in epistemology and cognitive science
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 45 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Geoffrey Hellman (1997). Bayes and Beyond. Philosophy of Science 64 (2):191-221.
John Horty (2007). Defaults with Priorities. Journal of Philosophical Logic 36 (4):367 - 413.
Andrew Wayne (1995). Bayesianism and Diverse Evidence. Philosophy of Science 62 (1):111-121.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

134 ( #30,329 of 1,938,583 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

47 ( #10,768 of 1,938,583 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

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