On Ratio Measures of Confirmation

There are different Bayesian measures to calculate the degree of confirmation of a hypothesis H in respect of a particular piece of evidence E. Zalabardo (Analysis 69:630–635, 2009) is a recent attempt to defend the likelihood-ratio measure (LR) against the probability-ratio measure (PR). The main disagreement between LR and PR concerns their sensitivity to prior probabilities. Zalabardo invokes intuitive plausibility as the appropriate criterion for choosing between them. Furthermore, he claims that it favours the ordering of pairs evidence/hypothesis generated by LR. We will argue, however, that the intuitive non-numerical example provided by Zalabardo does not show that prior probabilities do not affect the degree of confirmation. On account of this, we conclude that there is no compelling reason to endorse LR qua measure of degree of confirmation. On the other side, we should not forget some technicalities which still benefit PR
Keywords Confirmation theory  Confirmation measures  Hypothesis testing  Prior probabilities  Bayesianism  Likelihoodism
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-012-9175-3
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