Bayes and Beyond

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Abstract

Several leading topics outstanding after John Earman's Bayes or Bust? are investigated further, with emphasis on the relevance of Bayesian explication in epistemology of science, despite certain limitations. (1) Dutch Book arguments are reformulated so that their independence from utility and preference in epistemic contexts is evident. (2) The Bayesian analysis of the Quine-Duhem problem is pursued; the phenomenon of a "protective belt" of auxiliary statements around reasonably successful theories is explicated. (3) The Bayesian approach to understanding the superiority of variety of evidence is pursued; a recent challenge (by Wayne) is converted into a positive result on behalf of the Bayesian analysis, potentially with far-reaching consequences. (4) The condition for applying the merger-of-opinion results and the thesis of underdetermination of theories are compared, revealing significant limitations in applicability of the former. (5) Implications concerning "diachronic Dutch Book" arguments and "non-Bayesian shifts" are drawn, highlighting the incompleteness, but not incorrectness, of Bayesian analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-221
Number of pages31
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1997

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