The Problem for a Polycriterial Theory of Probability

L. Jonathan Cohen

in The Probable and The Provable

Published in print December 1977 | ISBN: 9780198244127
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680748 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy

The Problem for a Polycriterial Theory of Probability

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This chapter describes the problem for a polycriterial theory of probability. Recent philosophical theories about probability have tended to be polycriterial rather than monocriterial. The identification of mathematical structure does not suffice to explain why such-and-such criteria are all criteria of probability. Nor can a family-resemblance theory explain this (or any other) conceptual unity. The chapter also discusses the mathematicist theory. A formal axiomatization of probability is in principle open to non-standard interpretations. It then evaluates family-resemblance theory. The family-resemblance account imposes an all-too-familiar kind of gloss on the data, but cannot be relied on to lead to anything new.

Keywords: polycriterial theory; probability; mathematicist theory; family-resemblance theory; mathematical structure; formal axiomatization

Chapter.  2847 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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