Belief and Probability by Jaakko Hintikka, Robert S. Cohen, Donald Davidson (auth.),

By Jaakko Hintikka, Robert S. Cohen, Donald Davidson (auth.), John M. Vickers (eds.)

1. A notice approximately PRESUPPOSITIONS This booklet is addressed to philosophers, and never unavoidably to these philosophers whose pursuits and competence are principally mathematical or logical within the formal feel. It bargains for the main half with difficulties within the idea of partial judgment. those difficulties are clearly formulated in numerical and logical phrases, and it is usually hard to formulate them accurately in a different way. certainly, the involvement of arithmetical and logical suggestions turns out necessary to the philosophies of brain and motion at simply the purpose the place they turn into eager about partial judgment and" trust. i've got attempted all through to exploit no arithmetic that's not rather ordinary, for the main half not more than usual mathematics and algebra. there's a few rudimentary and philosophically very important employment of limits, yet no need is made up of integrals or differentials. Mathematical induction is never and inessentially hired within the textual content, yet is extra common and critical within the apP'endix on set concept and Boolean algebra. • so far as good judgment is worried, the e-book assumes a good acquaintance with predicate common sense and its ideas. The ideas of compactness and maximal consistency prove to have vital employment, which i've got attempted to maintain self-contained, in order that huge wisdom of meta­ logical issues isn't really assumed. In a note, the publication presupposes not more logical facility than is favourite between operating philosophers and graduate scholars, although it may well demand unaccustomed energy in its application.

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If 34 CHAPTER I we count beliefs as true so long as their operative character leads to satisfaction of the agent, we get counterintuitive results; for a belief may lead me to undertake actions which satisfy me in unexpected ways, and we should not want to count such beliefs as true. I want to see a certain film, for example, and, believing it to be showing at the local theater, I go there. Another film is showing instead which, however, I enjoy. My mistaken belief about which film was showing led to my satisfaction without satisfying my desires.

Ii) George IV believed Scott is the author of Waverley. is that the former but not the latter is referentially transparent at the position marked by 'the author of Waverley'. On the Russell-Kaplan view of proper names, both (i) and (ii) express de re propositions, the first with respect to Scott, and the second with respect to Scott and George IV (assuming 'George IV' to be a proper name and not a description). It is clear that sentences which express de re propositions are transparent at their subject positions as far as the preservation of truth value is concerned.

The strength of such a belief will, he says, be mj k just when: (i) The lively conception (belief in A) is followed in the mind by the lively conceptions of some distinct C 1" .. , C k • (ii) Just m of these cases are seen to be B. Hume's account assumes the principle of indifference. The alternatives in which B obtains are supposed to contribute equally to the strength of the belief in B. It is quite clear that this account is intended to be probabilistic, that is to conform to the laws. (iii) If B is a necessary consequence of A, then the strength of belief in B given A is 1.

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