Hempel's Raven paradox: A lacuna in the standard bayesian solution

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):545-560 (2004)
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Abstract

According to Hempel's paradox, evidence (E) that an object is a nonblack nonraven confirms the hypothesis (H) that every raven is black. According to the standard Bayesian solution, E does confirm H but only to a minute degree. This solution relies on the almost never explicitly defended assumption that the probability of H should not be affected by evidence that an object is nonblack. I argue that this assumption is implausible, and I propose a way out for Bayesians. Introduction Hempel's paradox, the standard Bayesian solution, and the disputed assumption Attempts to defend the disputed assumption Attempts to refute the disputed assumption A way out for Bayesians Conclusion.

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Peter Vranas
University of Wisconsin, Madison

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