[lit-ideas] Re: Grice and the logic of confirmation

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 14:02:13 -0700 (PDT)

Eh, there would be more than a few passages to summarize, and mathematical 
theories of probability are involved which I don't understand very well, 
myself. Sorry that I cannot oblige at the time, but the book is available on 
the Net. My summary, even if I provided it, would be inadequate.

I did provide some arguments about induction in the subsequent post.

O.K.



On Friday, March 21, 2014 9:53 PM, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
wrote:
 


>Well, yes, he discusses that at quite some length. I am afraid that I am not 
>going to summarize a full/length book here.>

Well, yes, there will be some kind of error (probably more than one) within 
that "quite some length". Can I specify the error/s? No, as not even the gist 
is specified (of how R explains how accumulated positive instances lessen 
probability of any counter-instance). [Btw, it would be v. surprising if 
anything like the "full/length book" is concerned with just this point, so it 
may be irrelevant for O.K. to refer to the "full length book" and not merely 
that portion that concerns the point at issue: so if that portion is only a few 
paragraphs, O.K.'s relevant point would be that he is not going to summarize 
those relevant few paragraphs (no one is asking for irrelevant parts of the 
book to be summarized)]. So? I am afraid that I am not going to address that 
unspecified gist here.

Nor am likely to hare off to read this "full/length book", since nothing 
specified in O.K.'s post indicates it is at all convincing, nevermind "fairly 
convincing". To be convinced that where positive instances increase, logically, 
the probability of any counter-instance decreases, we need something specific 
that demonstrates this - as against the view that all the accumulated white 
swans found in Europe did not, logically, lower the logical probability of a 
black swan being found elsewhere.

Dnl
Ldn





On Friday, 21 March 2014, 19:04, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
 
Well, yes, he discusses that at quite some length. I am afraid that I am not 
going to summarize a full/length book here.

O.K.



On Friday, March 21, 2014 7:47 PM, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
wrote:
 

>Reichenbach in Experience and Prediction provides a fairly convincing account 
>or defense of the 
validity of inductive reasoning in terms of the probability or 'weight' 
of a hypothesis being increased by successive confirming observations, 
in proportion to their number and frequency. (Mainly, even though it is 
more complicated than that, and mathematical theories of probability are 
involved.)>

As one counter-example falsifies a law-like prediction, how does Reichenbach 
explain how - logically and infallibly - "successive confirming observations" 
("in proportion to their number and frequency") render it less probable that 
any counter-example exists?

Without such an explanation it is clear R's account, however "fairly 
convincing" it may seem, fails - for the accumulation of "successive confirming 
observations" cannot increase the probability of a law-like prediction being 
true unless that accumulation lessens the probability of there being any 
counter-example. The problem is that no such accumulation, logically, does 
lessen the probability of there being any counter-example - a point that was 
clearly enough understood by Hume, who saw that probabilistic induction was in 
no better logical boat than non-probabilistic induction.


Dnl
Ldn




On Friday, 21 March 2014, 18:23, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
 
Reichenbach in Experience and Prediction provides a fairly convincing account 
or defense of the validity of inductive reasoning in terms of the probability 
or 'weight' of a hypothesis being increased by successive confirming 
observations, in proportion to their number and frequency. (Mainly, even though 
it is more complicated than that, and mathematical theories of probability are 
involved.) He does not claim that this is necessarily the only or the main 
method by which scientists arrive at new hypotheses, and acknowledges the role 
of conjectures and intuitions in the process of discovery. Since Popper also 
grants that hypothesis are 'corroborated' by successive failed attempts at 
falsification, the difference so far might be one of terms rather than 
substance. However, Reichenbach emphasizes that scientific theories need to be 
capable of predicting future events for the purposes of planning human action, 
which renders it necessary that they should be as
 reliable as possible. Popper, on the other hand, seems to be more concerned 
with the explanatory power of hypotheses rather with their predictive 
reliability.

O.K.



On Friday, March 21, 2014 6:15 PM, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
wrote:
 

>O. T. O. H., cfr. the reverse implicature we get by exchanging  adverbs:>

The "reverse implicature"? Whatever next?

Dnl
Ldn




On Friday, 21 March 2014, 16:02, "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" <Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx> 
wrote:
 
Subj: Re: [lit-ideas] Re: Popper's "critical approach" to science seen in  
action

In a message dated 3/21/2014 6:18:56 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
_donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxx.uk_ (mailto:donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx)   quotes:

"Nevertheless, the signal will have to
 be confirmed. "I think a lot of  
people will be looking very critically at this," says Pontzen.'"

and comments:

"Very critically" being the operative words - not "very inductively".

O. T. O. H., cfr. the reverse implicature we get by exchanging  adverbs:

"And then, Ponzen said,

"I think a lot of people will be looking very inductively at this."

On the OTHER hand (can we use this in sequence, or does this implicate that 
we have three hands?) the keyword may well be, 'confirm', which many 
(including  Vincenzo Crupi, below) take as synonym for 'inductively prove'.

Or not.

Note that, granted, as even Pontzen may grant, to confirm a theory is  
different from (or 'than', as some
 sociolects go) to confirm a signal. 

Or not?

Cheers,

Speranza

'Confirmation', 

Crupi, Vincenzo, "Confirmation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  
(Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = 
<http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/confirmation/>.

Selected references:

Betz, G., 2013, “Revamping Hypothetico-Deductivism: A Dialectic Account of  
Confirmation”,Erkenntnis (doi: 10.1007/s10670-012-9406-3).

Chandler, J., 2013, “Contrastive Confirmation: Some
 Competing  Accounts”, 
Synthese, 190: 129–138.

Christensen, D., 1997, “What Is Relative Confirmation?”, Noûs, 3:  370–384.
.
Crupi, V. and K. Tentori, 2013, “Confirmation as Partial  Entailment: A 
Representation Theorem in Inductive
 Logic”,Journal of Applied  Logic, 11: 364–
372.
–––, “Confirmation Theory”, in A. Hájek and C. Hitchcock  (eds.), Oxford 
Handbook of Philosophy and Probability, Oxford: Oxford University  Press.

Crupi, V., R. Festa, and C. Buttasi, 2010, “Towards a Grammar of  Bayesian 
Confirmation”, in M. Suárez, M. Dorato, and M. Rédei (eds.),  Epistemology 
and Methodology of Science, Dordrecht: Springer, pp.  73–93.

Crupi, V., B. Fitelson, and K. Tentori, 2008, “Probability, Confirmation,  
and the Conjunction Fallacy”, Thinking & Reasoning, 14:  182–199.

Douven, I. and W. Meijs, 2006, “Bootstrap Confirmation Made  Quantitative”
, Synthese, 149: 97–132.

Earman, J. and W.C. Salmon, 1992, “The Confirmation of Scientific  
Hypotheses”, in M.H. Salmon et al., Introduction to the Philosophy of Science,  
Englewood
 Cliff: Prentice Hall, pp. 42–103.

Festa, R., 1999, “Bayesian Confirmation”, in M. Galavotti and A. Pagnini  
(eds.), Experience, Reality, and Scientific Explanation, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 
pp.  55–87.

Fitelson, B., 1999, “The Plurality of Bayesian Measures of  Confirmation 
and the Problem of Measure Sensitivity”, Philosophy of Science, 66:  S362–78.

Fitelson, B. and J. Hawthorne, 2010, “How Bayesian Confirmation Theory  
Handles the Paradox of the Ravens”, in E. Eells and J. Fetzer (eds.), The Place 
of Probability in Science, Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 247–276.

Gillies, D., 1989, “Non-Bayesian Confirmation Theory and the Principle of  
Explanatory Surplus”, in A. Fine and J.
 Leplin (eds.), Proceedings of the 
1988  Biennial Meeting of Philosophy of Science Association, Vol. 2, East 
Lansing  (MI): Philosophy of Science Association, pp.
 381–392.

Glass, D.H., 2013,  “Confirmation Measures of Association Rule 
Interestingness”, Knowledge-Based  Systems, 44: 65–77.

Hawthorne, J., –––, 2011, “Confirmation Theory”, in D. Gabbay, P. 
Thagard,  J. Woods, P.S. Bandyopadhyay, and M. Forster (eds.), Handbook of the 
Philosophy  of Science: Philosophy of Statistics, Dordrecht: Elsevier, pp.  333–
389.

Hempel, C.G., –––, 1943, “A Purely Syntactical Definition of Confirmation”
,  Journal of Symbolic Logic, 8: 122–143.
–––, 1945, “Studies in the Logic of  Confirmation”, Mind, 54: 1–26, 97–
121.

Hosiasson-Lindenbaum, J., 1940, “On Confirmation”, Journal of Symbolic  
Logic, 5: 133–148.

Huber, F., 2008a, “Hempel's Logic of Confirmation”, Philosophical Studies, 
139: 181–189.

Maher, P., –––, 2006, “Confirmation Theory”, in D.M.
 Borchert (ed.),  
Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2ndedition), Detroit (MI): Macmillan  Reference.

Milne, P., 1996, “Log[P(h|eb)/P(h|b)] Is the One True Measure of  
Confirmation”, Philosophy of Science, 63: 21–6.
–––,  “On Measures of  Confirmation”, British Journal for the Philosophy 
of Science.

Musgrave, A., 1974, “Logical versus Historical Theories of Confirmation”,  
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 25: 1–23.

Norton, J., –––, 2011b, “Challenges to Bayesian Confirmation Theory”, in 
D.  Gabbay, P. Thagard, J. Woods, S. Bandyopadhyay, and M. Forster (eds.), 
Handbook  of the Philosophy of Science: Philosophy of Statistics, Amsterdam: 
Elsevier,
 pp.  391–440.

Okasha, S., 2011, “Experiment, Observation, and the Confirmation of Laws”, 
Analysis, 71: 222–232.

Peijnenburg, J., 2012, “A Case of
 Confusing Probability and Confirmation”, 
Synthese, 184: 101–107.

Salmon, W.C., –––, 1975, “Confirmation and Relevance”, in Maxwell and  
Anderson, 1975, pp. 3–36.
–––, 2001, “Explanation and Confirmation: A  Bayesian Critique of 
Inference to the Best Explanation”, in G. Hon and S.S.  Rakover (eds.), 
Explanation: Theoretical Approaches and Applications, Dordrecht:  Kluwer, pp. 
61–91.

Schlosshauer, M. and G. Wheeler, 2011, “Focussed Correlation, Confirmation, 
and the Jigsaw Puzzle of Variable Evidence”, Philosophy of Science, 78:  
376–392.

Schurz, G., –––, 2005, “Bayesian H-D Confirmation and Structuralistic  
Truthlikeness: Discussion and Comparison with
 the Relevant-Element and the  
Content-Part Approach”, in R. Festa, A. Aliseda, and J. Peijnenburg (eds.),  
Confirmation, Empirical Progress, and Truth
 Approximation. Essays in Debate 
with  Theo Kuipers, Vol. I, Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 141–159.

Sprenger, J., 2011a, “Hempel and the Paradoxes of Confirmation”, in 
Gabbay,  Hartmann, and Woods, 2011, pp. 231–260.
–––, 2011b, “Hypothetico-Deductive  Confirmation”, Philosophy Compass, 6: 
497–508.

Steel, D., 2007, “Bayesian Confirmation Theory and the Likelihood  Principle
”, Synthese 156: 55–77.

Steele, K. and C. Werndl, 2013, “Climate Models, Calibration, and  
Confirmation”, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 64:  609–635.

Tentori, K., V. Crupi, and D. Osherson, 2007, “Determinants of  Confirmation
”, Psychonomic Bulletin &
 Review, 14: 877–83.
–––, 2010,  “Second-order Probability Affects Hypothesis Confirmation”, 
Psychonomic Bulletin  & Review, 17: 129–34.

Williamson, J., 2011,
 “An Objective Bayesian Account of Confirmation”, in  
D. Dieks, W.J. Gonzalez, S. Hartmann, T. Uebel, and M. Weber (eds.),  
Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation, Berlin: Springer, 2011, pp.  53–81.

Woodward, J., 1983, “Glymour on Theory Confirmation”, Philosophical  
Studies, 43: 147–152.
–––, 2011, “Scientific Explanation”, The Stanford  Encyclopedia of 
Philosophy (Winter 2011 Edition), E.N. 

Zalabardo, J., 2009, “An Argument for the Likelihood Ratio Measure of  
Confirmation”, Analysis, 69: 630–5.

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