Journal Article

Conditionalizing on Knowledge

Timothy Williamson

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 49, issue 1, pages 89-121
Published in print March 1998 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online March 1998 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/49.1.89
Conditionalizing on Knowledge

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A theory of evidential probability is developed from two assumptions:(1) the evidential probability of a proposition is its probability conditional on the total evidence;(2) one's total evidence is one's total knowledge. Evidential probability is distinguished from both subjective and objective probability. Loss as well as gain of evidence is permitted. Evidential probability is embedded within epistemic logic by means of possible worlds semantics for modal logic; this allows a natural theory of higher-order probability to be developed. In particular, it is emphasized that it is sometimes uncertain which propositions are part of one's total evidence; some surprising implications of this fact are drawn out.

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Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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