Smith on Justification and Probability


Call Justificatory Probabilism (hereafter, JP) the thesis that there is some (classical) probability function Pr such that for an agent S with evidence E, the degree to which they are justified in believing a hypothesis H is given by Pr(H|E). As stated, the thesis is fairly ambiguous, though none of the disambiguations are obviously true. Indeed, several of them are obviously false. If JP is a thesis about how justified agents are in fully believing propositions, it is trivially false. I’m about to flip a penny. Call H the proposition that it will land heads. Right now I’m completely unjustified in believing either H or ¬H . Yet according to JP, at least one of them must be half-justified



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Brian Weatherson
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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