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Inductive explanation and Garber-style solutions to the problem of old evidence

Kinney, David (2017) Inductive explanation and Garber-style solutions to the problem of old evidence. Synthese. ISSN 0039-7857

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11229-017-1634-2


The Problem of Old Evidence is a perennial issue for Bayesian confirmation theory. Garber (Test Sci Theor 10:99–131, 1983) famously argues that the problem can be solved by conditionalizing on the proposition that a hypothesis deductively implies the existence of the old evidence. In recent work, Hartmann and Fitelson (Philos Sci 82(4):712–717, 2015) and Sprenger (Philos Sci 82(3):383–401, 2015) aim for similar, but more general, solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence. These solutions are more general because they allow the explanatory relationship between a new hypothesis and old evidence to be inductive, rather than deductive. In this paper, I argue that these solutions are either unsound or under-motivated, depending on the case of inductive explanation that we have in mind. This lends support to the broader claim that Garber–Style Bayesian confirmation cannot capture the sense in which new hypotheses that do not deductively imply old evidence nevertheless seem to be confirmed via old evidence.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 The Author © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 15:36
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:36

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