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Bayesian conﬁrmation theory—abbreviated to in these notes—is the predominant approach to conﬁrmation in late twentieth century philosophy of science. It has many critics, but no rival theory can claim anything like the same following. The popularity of the Bayesian approach is due to its ﬂexibility, its apparently effortless handling of various technical problems, the existence of various a priori arguments for its validity, and its injection of subjective and contextual elements into the process of conﬁrmation in just the places where (...) 

Handbook of the History of Logic, vol. 10, eds. Dov Gabbay, Stephan Hartmann, and John Woods, forthcoming. 

The Paradox of the Ravens (a.k.a,, The Paradox of Confirmation) is indeed an old chestnut. A great many things have been written and said about this paradox and its implications for the logic of evidential support. The first part of this paper will provide a brief survey of the early history of the paradox. This will include the original formulation of the paradox and the early responses of Hempel, Goodman, and Quine. The second part of the paper will describe attempts (...) 

This paper argues for two theses: that degrees of belief are context sensitive; that outright belief is belief to degree 1. The latter thesis is rejected quickly in most discussions of the relationship between credence and belief, but the former thesis undermines the usual reasons for doing so. Furthermore, identifying belief with credence 1 allows nice solutions to a number of problems for the most widelyheld view of the relationship between credence and belief, the threshold view. I provide a sketch (...) 

We argue that logical semantics might have faltered due to its failure in distinguishing between two fundamentally very different types of concepts: ontological concepts, that should be types in a stronglytyped ontology, and logical concepts, that are predicates corresponding to properties of and relations between objects of various ontological types. We will then show that accounting for these differences amounts to the integration of lexical and compositional semantics in one coherent framework, and to an embedding in our logical semantics of (...) 

The canonical Bayesian solution to the ravens paradox faces a problem: it entails that black nonravens disconfirm the hypothesis that all ravens are black. I provide a new solution that avoids this problem. On my solution, black ravens confirm that all ravens are black, while nonblack nonravens and black nonravens are neutral. My approach is grounded in certain relations of epistemic dependence, which, in turn, are grounded in the fact that the kind raven is more natural than the kind black. (...) 

Bayesian confirmation theories might be the best standing theories of confirmation to date, but they are certainly not paradoxfree. Here I recognize that BCTs’ appeal mainly comes from the fact that they capture some of our intuitions about confirmation better than those the ories that came before them and that the superiority of BCTs is suffi ciently justified by those advantages. Instead, I will focus on Sylvan and Nola’s claim that it is desirable that our best theory of confirmation be (...) 



According to a widespread but implicit thesis in Bayesian confirmation theory, two confirmation measures are considered equivalent if they are ordinally equivalent—call this the “ordinal equivalence thesis”. I argue that adopting OET has significant costs. First, adopting OET renders one incapable of determining whether a piece of evidence substantially favors one hypothesis over another. Second, OET must be rejected if merely ordinal conclusions are to be drawn from the expected value of a confirmation measure. Furthermore, several arguments and applications of (...) 

Using the concept of purity to reflect on the relationship between chemical practice and the philosophy of science, this article considers the philosophical significance of the chemical manipulations that aim to purify or otherwise transform matter. Starting from a consideration of the nature and role of pure (or idealised) examples in philosophy of science, the article underlines the temptation towards abstraction and theory for both scientists and philosophers. The article goes on to argue that chemistry, despite its increasing theoretical sophistication, (...) 

Bayesians regard their solution to the paradox of confirmation as grounds for preferring their theory of confirmation to Hempel’s. They point out that, unlike Hempel, they can at least say that a black raven confirms “All ravens are black” more than a white shoe. However, I argue that this alleged advantage is cancelled out by the fact that Bayesians are equally committed to the view that a white shoe confirms “All nonblack things are nonravens” less than a black raven. In (...) 

According to Hempel’s raven paradox, the observation of one nonblack nonraven confirms the hypothesis that all ravens are black. Bayesians such as Howson and Urbach (Scientific reasoning: the Bayesian approach, 2nd edn. Open Court, Chicago, 1993 ) claim that the raven paradox can be solved by spelling out the concept of confirmation in the sense of the relevance criterion. Siebel (J Gen Philos Sci 35:313–329, 2004 ) disputes the adequacy of this Bayesian solution. He claims that spelling out the concept (...) 

The discussion about the Raven Paradox is everrenewing: after nearly 70 years, many authors propose from time to time new solutions, and many authors state that these solutions are unsatisfactory. It is worthy to be carefully noted that though most arguments in favor or against the paradox are based on the notion of “probability” and on the application of Bayes’ law, not one of them makes use of the Kolmogorov axiomatic theory of probability and on the subsequent notion of “random (...) 

I argue that the standard Bayesian solution to the ravens paradox— generally accepted as the most successful solution to the paradox—is insufficiently general. I give an instance of the paradox which is not solved by the standard Bayesian solution. I defend a new, more general solution, which is compatible with the Bayesian account of confirmation. As a solution to the paradox, I argue that the ravens hypothesis ought not to be held equivalent to its contrapositive; more interestingly, I argue that (...) 

The (recent, Bayesian) cognitive science literature on The Wason Task (WT) has been modeled largely after the (notsorecent, Bayesian) philosophy of science literature on The Paradox of Confirmation (POC). In this paper, we apply some insights from more recent Bayesian approaches to the (POC) to analogous models of (WT). This involves, first, retracing the history of the (POC), and, then, reexamining the (WT) with these historicophilosophical insights in mind. 

The (recent, Bayesian) cognitive science literature on the Wason Task (WT) has been modeled largely after the (notsorecent, Bayesian) philosophy of science literature on the Paradox of Confirmation (POC). In this paper, we apply some insights from more recent Bayesian approaches to the (POC) to analogous models of (WT). This involves, first, retracing the history of the (POC), and, then, reexamining the (WT) with these historicophilosophical insights in mind. 