Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-22-2013

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

Philosophy and Religion: Philosophy

Primary Subject Area

Philosophy

Keywords

Bayesian Conditionalization; Prior Probabilities

Disciplines

Epistemology | Philosophy of Science | Probability

Abstract

The problem of theory confirmation has been an issue in the philosophy of science for decades. Many valiant attempts have been made to formulate a generally accepted criterion for determining the validity of a scientific theory. Bayesian probability theory has been utilized in numerous attempts to examine the epistemic nature of theory confirmation and Jonathan Weisberg offers a formulation of Bayesian Conditionalization that he believes to be both objective and successful.

In this paper I intend to show the defects in Weisberg’s theory of objective Bayesian confirmation by utilizing the arguments of both W.V. Quine and Bas van Fraassen to support the claim that the epistemic difficulties presented against Weisberg are numerous and formidable and ultimately undermine his formulation of objective Bayesian confirmation.

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