Dwindling Confirmation

Philosophy of Science 81 (1):114-137 (2014)
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We show that as a chain of confirmation becomes longer, confirmation dwindles under screening-off. For example, if E confirms H1, H1 confirms H2, and H1 screens off E from H2, then the degree to which E confirms H2 is less than the degree to which E confirms H1. Although there are many measures of confirmation, our result holds on any measure that satisfies the Weak Law of Likelihood. We apply our result to testimony cases, relate it to the Data-Processing Inequality in information theory, and extend it in two respects so that it covers a broader range of cases.

Author Profiles

Tomoji Shogenji
Rhode Island College
William Roche
Texas Christian University


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