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Bayesian Epistemology by Luc Bovens

By Luc Bovens

Likelihood thought is more and more very important to philosophy. Bayesian probabilistic versions supply us methods of having to grips with basic difficulties approximately details, coherence, reliability, affirmation, and testimony, and therefore convey how we will be able to justify ideals and assessment theories. Bovens and Hartmann offer a scientific advisor to using probabilistic equipment not only in epistemology, but additionally in philosophy of technology, vote casting concept, jurisprudence, and cognitive psychology.

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But to construct a joint probability distribution, we need to make some additional assumptions. Let us make assumptions that could plausibly describe the degrees of confidence of an amateur ornithologist who is sampling a population of birds: 42 COHERENCE (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) There are four species of birds in the population of interest, ravens being one of them. There is an equal chance of picking a bird from each species: . The random variables and , whose values are the propositions and , and and , respectively, are probabilistically independent: Learning no more than that a raven was (or was not) picked teaches us nothing at all about whether all ravens are black.

The constitutive propositions of a theory are tested in unison. They are arranged into models that combine various propositions in the theory. e. some propositions in T may play a role in multiple models. It is more plausible to claim that each model is being supported by some set of evidence and that each shields off the evidence in support of the model from the other models in the theory and from other evidence. This is what it means for the models to be supported by independent evidence. There are complex probabilistic relations between the various models in the theory.

We are interested in versions that hinge on the claim that it is the very coherence of the story of the world that gives us a reason to believe that the story is likely to be true. This is not the place to defend a full-fledged version of the coherence theory of justification, but we will argue that the substitution of ( ) for ( ) is not damaging to this claim. First consider the following analogy. Suppose that we establish that the more a person reads, the more cultured she is, ceteris paribus. We conclude from this that if we meet with a very well-read person, then we have a reason to believe that she is cultured.

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