Chapter

 Comparisons

Wolfgang Spohn

in The Laws of Belief

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697502
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739323 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697502.003.0011
 Comparisons

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There is a large spectrum of representations of belief states besides probabilities and ranks. The chapter cannot give a complete survey, but it presents comparisons with a number of important accounts. It first discusses the predecessors of ranking theory: Shackle’s functions of potential surprise, Rescher’s hypothetical reasoning, and Cohen’s account of inductive support. It saves AGM belief revision theory from various critical examples. It carefully discusses Levi’s epistemology and finds discrepancies everywhere. It is critical of Lehrer’s account of knowledge and undefeated justification. Pollock’s theory of defeasible reasoning looks similar, but is quite different. This leads to a discussion of the nature of normative epistemology. The chapter closes with brief comparative remarks on formal learning theory, possibility theory, Dempster-Shafer belief functions, and non-monotonic reasoning.

Keywords: potential surprise; hypothetical reasoning; inductive support; levi; lehrer; agm belief revision theory; defeasible reasoning; formal learning theory; possibility theory; dempster-shafer belief functions

Chapter.  24285 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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