Journal Article

Logic and Probability

Colin Howson

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 48, issue 4, pages 517-531
Published in print December 1997 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online December 1997 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/48.4.517
Logic and Probability

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This paper argues that Ramsey's view of the calculus of subjective probabilities as, in effect, logical axioms is the correct view, with powerful heuristic value. This heuristic value is seen particularly in the analysis of the role of conditionalization in the Bayesian theory, where a semantic criterion of synchronic coherence is employed as the test of soundness, which the traditional formulation of conditionalization fails. On the other hand, there is a generally sound rule which supports conditionalization in appropriate contexts, though these contexts are not universal. This sound Bayesian rule is seen to be analogous in certain respects to the deductive rule of modus ponens.

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Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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