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Bayesianism and Irrelevant Conjunction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

Bayesian confirmation theory offers an explicatum for a pretheoretic concept of confirmation. The “problem of irrelevant conjunction” for this theory is that, according to some people's intuitions, the pretheoretic concept differs from the explicatum with regard to conjunctions involving irrelevant propositions. Previous Bayesian solutions to this problem consist in showing that irrelevant conjuncts reduce the degree of confirmation; they have the drawbacks that (i) they don't hold for all ways of measuring degree of confirmation and (ii) they don't remove the conflict with intuition but merely “soften the impact” (as Fitelson has written). A better solution, which avoids both these drawbacks, is to show that the intuition is wrong.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

I thank Branden Fitelson and the referees for their comments on earlier versions of this paper.

References

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