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Is an increase in probability always an increase in evidential support?


Logins, Artūrs (2022). Is an increase in probability always an increase in evidential support? Erkenntnis, 87(3):1231-1255.

Abstract

Peter Achinstein has argued at length and on many occasions that the view according to which evidential support is defined in terms of probability-raising faces serious counterexamples and, hence, should be abandoned. Proponents of the positive probabilistic relevance view have remained unconvinced. The debate seems to be in a deadlock. This paper is an attempt to move the debate forward and revisit some of the central claims within this debate. My conclusion here will be that while Achinstein may be right that his counterexamples undermine probabilistic relevance views of what it is for e to be evidence that h, there is still room for a defence of a related probabilistic view about an increase in being supported, according to which, if p(h|e) > p(h), then h is more supported given e than it is without e. My argument relies crucially on an insight from recent work on the linguistics of gradable adjectives.

Abstract

Peter Achinstein has argued at length and on many occasions that the view according to which evidential support is defined in terms of probability-raising faces serious counterexamples and, hence, should be abandoned. Proponents of the positive probabilistic relevance view have remained unconvinced. The debate seems to be in a deadlock. This paper is an attempt to move the debate forward and revisit some of the central claims within this debate. My conclusion here will be that while Achinstein may be right that his counterexamples undermine probabilistic relevance views of what it is for e to be evidence that h, there is still room for a defence of a related probabilistic view about an increase in being supported, according to which, if p(h|e) > p(h), then h is more supported given e than it is without e. My argument relies crucially on an insight from recent work on the linguistics of gradable adjectives.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Physical Sciences > Logic
Uncontrolled Keywords:Philosophy, Logic
Language:English
Date:1 June 2022
Deposited On:28 Jul 2020 06:06
Last Modified:09 May 2022 01:01
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0165-0106
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10670-020-00241-4

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