College of Arts and Sciences
Philosophy and Religion: Philosophy
Primary Subject Area
Bayesian Conditionalization; Prior Probabilities
Epistemology | Philosophy of Science | Probability
Arledge, C.S., "The Untenability of A Priori Prior Probabilities in Objective Bayesian Conditionalization" (2013). Senior Honors Theses. 361.
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.