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Philosophically, one of the most important questions in the enterprise termed confirmation theory is this: Why should one stick to well confirmed theories rather than to any other theories? This paper discusses the answers to this question one gets from absolute and incremental Bayesian confirmation theory. According to absolute confirmation, one should accept ''absolutely well confirmed'' theories, because absolute confirmation takes one to true theories. An examination of two popular measures of incremental confirmation suggests the view that one should stick (...) 



In der neueren Erkenntnistheorie wird der Bayesianismus immer populärer. In diesem Ansatz werden Überzeugungen mit Glaubensgraden versehen. Dazu möchte ich der Frage nachgehen, ob wir den klassischen Ansatz in der Erkennnistheorie mit seinen kategorischen Überzeugungen komplett durch einen bayesianischen mit einem probabilistischen Überzeugungssystem ersetzen könnten. Um das zu klären, rekonstruiere ich zunächst beide Modelle unserer Überzeugungssysteme und vergleiche sie dann im Hinblick darauf, wie leistungsfähig sie jeweils dafür sind, erkenntnistheoretische Probleme zu lösen und als Grundlage für Entscheidungen zu dienen. Dabei (...) 

This paper presents a new analysis of C.G. Hempel’s conditions of adequacy for any relation of confirmation [Hempel C. G. (1945). Aspects of scientific explanation and other essays in the philosophy of science. New York: The Free Press, pp. 3–51.], differing from the one Carnap gave in §87 of his [1962. Logical foundations of probability (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.]. Hempel, it is argued, felt the need for two concepts of confirmation: one aiming at true hypotheses and another (...) 

This paper considers two novel Bayesian responses to a wellknown skeptical paradox. The paradox consists of three intuitions: first, given appropriate sense experience, we have justification for accepting the relevant proposition about the external world; second, we have justification for expanding the body of accepted propositions through known entailment; third, we do not have justification for accepting that we are not disembodied souls in an immaterial world deceived by an evil demon. The first response we consider rejects the third intuition (...) 

Any theory of confirmation must answer the following question: what is the purpose of its conception of confirmation for scientific inquiry? In this article, we argue that no Bayesian conception of confirmation can be used for its primary intended purpose, which we take to be making a claim about how worthy of belief various hypotheses are. Then we consider a different use to which Bayesian confirmation might be put, namely, determining the epistemic value of experimental outcomes, and thus to decide (...) 

One of the most important questions in epistemology and the philosophy of science is: what is a good theory and when is a theory better than another theory, given some observational data? The coherentist‟s answer would be the following twofold conjecture: A theory is a good theory given some observational data iff that theory coheres with the observational data and a theory is better than another theory given some observational data iff the first theory coheres more with the observational data (...) 



This paper describes a formal measure of epistemic justification motivated by the dual goal of cognition, which is to increase true beliefs and reduce false beliefs. From this perspective the degree of epistemic justification should not be the conditional probability of the proposition given the evidence, as it is commonly thought. It should be determined instead by the combination of the conditional probability and the prior probability. This is also true of the degree of incremental confirmation, and I argue that (...) 



This paper starts by indicating the analysis of Hempel's conditions of adequacy for any relation of confirmation (Hempel, 1945) as presented in Huber (submitted). There I argue contra Carnap (1962, Section 87) that Hempel felt the need for two concepts of confirmation: one aiming at plausible theories and another aiming at informative theories. However, he also realized that these two concepts are conflicting, and he gave up the concept of confirmation aiming at informative theories. The main part of the paper (...) 

Franz Huber’s (2008a) attempt to unify inductivist and hypotheticodeductivist intuitions on confirmation by means of a single measure are examined and compared with previous work on the theory of verisimilitude or truthlikeness. The idea of connecting ‘the logic of confirmation’ with ‘the logic of acceptability’ is also critically discussed, and it is argued that ‘acceptability’ takes necessarily into account some pragmatic criteria, and that at least two normative senses of ‘acceptability’ must be distinguished: ‘acceptable’ in the sense of ‘being allowed (...) 

In this paper we show that the coherence measures of Olsson (J Philos 94:246–272, 2002), Shogenji (Log Anal 59:338–345, 1999), and Fitelson (Log Anal 63:194–199, 2003) satisfy the two most important adequacy requirements for the purpose of assessing theories. Following Hempel (Synthese 12:439–469, 1960), Levi (Gambling with truth, New York, A. A. Knopf, 1967), and recently Huber (Synthese 161:89–118, 2008) we require, as minimal or necessary conditions, that adequate assessment functions favor true theories over false theories and true and informative (...) 

Probabilistic dependence and independence are among the key concepts of Bayesian epistemology. This paper focuses on the study of one specific quantitative notion of probabilistic dependence. More specifically, section 1 introduces Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and shows how it is related to pivotal aspects of scientific reasoning such as confirmation, coherence, the explanatory and unificatory power of theories, and the diversity of evidence. The intimate connection between Keynes’s coefficient of dependence and scientific reasoning raises the question of how Keynes’s coefficient (...) 

The paper investigates measures of explanatory power and how to define the inference schema “Inference to the Best Explanation”. It argues that these measures can also be used to quantify the systematic power of a hypothesis and the inference schema “Inference to the Best Systematization” is defined. It demonstrates that systematic power is a fruitful criterion for theory choice and IBS is truthconducive. It also shows that even radical Bayesians must admit that systemic power is an integral component of Bayesian (...) 

The current state of inductive logic is puzzling. Survey presentations are recurrently offered and a very rich and extensive handbook was entirely dedicated to the topic just a few years ago [23]. Among the contributions to this very volume, however, one finds forceful arguments to the effect that inductive logic is not needed and that the belief in its existence is itself a misguided illusion , while other distinguished observers have eventually come to see at least the label as “slightly (...) 



Theory choice can be approached in at least four ways. One of these calls for the application of decision theory, and this article endorses this approach. But applying standard forms of decision theory imposes an overly demanding standard of numeric information, supposedly satisfied by pointvalued utility and probability functions. To ameliorate this difficulty, a version of decision theory that requires merely comparative utilities and plausibilities is proposed. After a brief summary of this alternative, the article illustrates how comparative decision theory (...) 

Theory choice can be approached in at least four ways. One of these calls for the application of decision theory, and this article endorses this approach. But applying standard forms of decision theory imposes an overly demanding standard of numeric information, supposedly satisfied by pointvalued utility and probability functions. To ameliorate this difficulty, a version of decision theory that requires merely comparative utilities and plausibilities is proposed. After a brief summary of this alternative, the article illustrates how comparative decision theory (...) 