Triviality Pursuit

Topoi 30 (1):3-15 (2011)
Authors
Alan Hajek
Australian National University
Abstract
The thesis that probabilities of conditionals are conditional probabilities has putatively been refuted many times by so-called ‘triviality results’, although it has also enjoyed a number of resurrections. In this paper I assault it yet again with a new such result. I begin by motivating the thesis and discussing some of the philosophical ramifications of its fluctuating fortunes. I will canvas various reasons, old and new, why the thesis seems plausible, and why we should care about its fate. I will look at some objections to Lewis’s famous triviality results, and thus some reasons for the pursuit of further triviality results. I will generalize Lewis’s results in ways that meet the objections. I will conclude with some reflections on the demise of the thesis—or otherwise
Keywords Probabilities of conditionals  Conditional probabilities  Stalnaker’s thesis  Triviality results  Conditionalization  Imaging  Blurred imaging  Maximum entropy  Minimum cross entropy  Boldness  Moderation  Revision rules
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-010-9083-2
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Philosophical Papers.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.

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Citations of this work BETA

Probabilities of Conditionals in Context.Justin Khoo - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (1):1-43.
Conditionals, Indeterminacy, and Triviality.Justin Khoo - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):260-287.
Placing Probabilities of Conditionals in Context.Ronnie Hermens - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (3):415-438.

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