There are a number of reasons for being interested in uncertainty, and there are also a number of uncertainty formalisms. These formalisms are not unrelated. It is argued that they can all be reflected as special cases of the approach of taking probabilities to be determined by sets of probability functions defined on an algebra of statements. Thus, interval probabilities should be construed as maximum and minimum probabilities within a set of distributions, Glenn Shafer's belief functions should be construed as (...) lower probabilities, etc. Updating probabilities introduces new considerations, and it is shown that the representation of belief as a set of probabilities conflicts in this regard with the updating procedures advocated by Shafer. The attempt to make subjectivistic probability plausible as a doctrine of rational belief by making it more flowery -- i.e., by adding new dimensions -- does not succeed. But, if one is going to represent beliefs by sets of distributions, those sets of distributions might as well be based in statistical knowledge, as they are in epistemological or evidential probability. (shrink)
The dominant argument for the introduction of propensities or chances as an interpretation of probability depends on the difficulty of accounting for single case probabilities. We argue that in almost all cases, the "single case" application of probability can be accounted for otherwise. "Propensities" are needed only in theoretical contexts, and even there applications of probability need only depend on propensities indirectly.
Hartry Field has suggested that we should adopt at least a methodological deflationism: "[W]e should assume full-fledged deflationism as a working hypothesis. That way, if full-fledged deflationism should turn out to be inadequate, we will at least have a clearer sense than we now have of just where it is that inflationist assumptions... are needed". I argue here that we do not need to be methodological deflationists. More precisely, I argue that we have no need for a disquotational truth-predicate; that (...) the word 'true', in ordinary language, is not a disquotational truth-predicate; and that it is not at all clear that it is even possible to introduce a disquotational truth-predicate into ordinary language. If so, then we have no clear sense how it is even possible to be a methodological deflationist. My goal here is not to convince a committed deflationist to abandon his or her position. My goal, rather, is to argue, contrary to what many seem to think, that reflection on the apparently trivial character of T-sentences should not incline us to deflationism. (shrink)
Edited by Marthe Chandler and Ronnie Littlejohn, this work is a collection of expository and critical essays on the work of Henry Rosemont, Jr., a prominent and influential contemporary philosopher, activist, translator, and educator in the field of Asian and Comparative Philosophy. The essays in this collection take up three major themes in Rosemont's work: his work in Chinese linguistics, his contribution to the theory of human rights, and his interest in East Asian religion. Contributions include works by the (...) leading scholars in Chinese philosophy in the Western world and Rosemont's close associates: Roger T. Ames, Bao Zhiming, Mary Bockover, Marthe Chandler, Ewing Y. Chinn, Erin M. Cline, Fred Dallmayr, Jeffrey Dippmann, Herbert Fingarette, Harrison Huang, Eric Hutton, Philip J. Ivanhoe, David Jones, William La Fleur, Ronnie Littlejohn, Ni Peimin, Michael Nylan, Harold Roth, Sumner Twiss, Tu Weiming, David Wong, with responses from Henry Rosemont, Jr. and a brief Reminiscence by Noam Chomsky. (shrink)
Get down as far as possible the minute inflections of day to day thought. Get down the key ideas as they occur. . . . Write on, not over again. Let it flow. . . . Don’t be stopping to jam the idea down somebody’s throat. Give it a chance. If there can be concrete philosophy, give it a chance. Let one perception move instantly on another. Where they come from is to be trusted. Unless this is so, after all (...) is said and done, philosophy is arbitrary and idle. I first heard the name “Henry Bugbee” several years ago in a graduate seminar on Heidegger. After discussing the mystical-poetic aspects of Heidegger’s later thought, the question was posed as to what possibilities were left for philosophy. A silence fell .. (shrink)
The system presented by the author in The Logical Foundations of Statistical Inference (Kyburg 1974) suffered from certain technical difficulties, and from a major practical difficulty; it was hard to be sure, in discussing examples and applications, when you had got hold of the right reference class. The present paper, concerned mainly with the characterization of randomness, resolves the technical difficulties and provides a well structured framework for the choice of a reference class. The definition of randomness that leads to (...) this framework is simplified and clarified in a number of respects. It resolves certain puzzles raised by S. Spielman and W. Harper in their contributions to Profiles: Henry E. Kyburg, Jr. and Isaac Levi (R. Bogdan (ed.) 1982). (shrink)
Henry W. Johnstone (1996) attempts to use a notion of postponement to give a general account of viciousness of infinite regresses. Though some of his examples suggest that his notion applies to only beginningless regresses (...eRdRcRbRa), I will show that it also applies to endless ones (aRbRcRdRe...). Unfortunately, despite this expanded application, it does not apply to all vicious regresses, even to some of his own examples; it is cumbersome and unnecessary, and it fails to explain how some (...) infinite regresses entail a contradiction. (shrink)