Logic and probability

Authors
Colin Howson
London School of Economics
Abstract
This paper argues that Ramsey's view of the calculus of subjective probabilities as, in effect, logical axioms is the correct view, with powerful heuristic value. This heuristic value is seen particularly in the analysis of the role of conditionalization in the Bayesian theory, where a semantic criterion of synchronic coherence is employed as the test of soundness, which the traditional formulation of conditionalization fails. On the other hand, there is a generally sound rule which supports conditionalization in appropriate contexts, though these contexts are not universal. This sound Bayesian rule is seen to be analogous in certain respects to the deductive rule of modus ponens.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/48.4.517
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