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Bayesian Philosophy of Science$
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Jan Sprenger and Stephan Hartmann

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672110

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199672110.001.0001

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Confirmation and Induction

Confirmation and Induction

(p.41) Variation 1: Confirmation and Induction
Bayesian Philosophy of Science

Jan Sprenger

Stephan Hartmann

Oxford University Press

Confirmation of scientific theories by empirical evidence is an important element of scientific reasoning and a central topic in philosophy of science. Bayesian Confirmation Theory—the analysis of confirmation in terms of degree of belief—is the most popular model of inductive reasoning. It comes in two varieties: confirmation as firmness (of belief), and confirmation as increase in firmness. We show why increase in firmness is a particularly fruitful explication of degree of confirmation, and how it resolves longstanding paradoxes of inductive inference (e.g., the paradox of the ravens, the tacking paradoxes and the grue paradox). Finally, we give an axiomatic characterization of various confirmation measures and we discuss the question of whether there is a single adequate measure of confirmation or whether a pluralist position is more promising

Keywords:   confirmation, induction, Bayesian Confirmation Theory, confirmation as increase in firmness, paradoxes of inductive inference, confirmation measures, confirmational monism/pluralism, axiomatic method, method of representation theorems

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