Probability logic, logical probability, and inductive support

Synthese 172 (1):97-118 (2010)
Isaac Levi
Columbia University
This paper seeks to defend the following conclusions: The program advanced by Carnap and other necessarians for probability logic has little to recommend it except for one important point. Credal probability judgments ought to be adapted to changes in evidence or states of full belief in a principled manner in conformity with the inquirer’s confirmational commitments—except when the inquirer has good reason to modify his or her confirmational commitment. Probability logic ought to spell out the constraints on rationally coherent confirmational commitments. In the case where credal judgments are numerically determinate confirmational commitments correspond to Carnap’s credibility functions mathematically represented by so—called confirmation functions. Serious investigation of the conditions under which confirmational commitments should be changed ought to be a prime target for critical reflection. The necessarians were mistaken in thinking that confirmational commitments are immune to legitimate modification altogether. But their personalist or subjectivist critics went too far in suggesting that we might dispense with confirmational commitments. There is room for serious reflection on conditions under which changes in confirmational commitments may be brought under critical control. Undertaking such reflection need not become embroiled in the anti inductivism that has characterized the work of Popper, Carnap and Jeffrey and narrowed the focus of students of logical and methodological issues pertaining to inquiry.
Keywords Philosophy   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language   Logic   Epistemology   Computer Science, general   Philosophy of Science
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Reprint years 2010
DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9474-3
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References found in this work BETA

The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Logical Foundations of Probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]University of Chicago Press.

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