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Inductive Explanation and Garber-Style Solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence

Kinney, David (2017) Inductive Explanation and Garber-Style Solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence. [Preprint]

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The Problem of Old Evidence is a perennial issue for Bayesian confirmation theory. Garber (1983) famously argues that the problem can be solved by conditionalizing on the proposition that a hypothesis deductively implies the existence of the old evidence. In recent work, Hartmann and Fitelson (2015) and Sprenger (2015) aim for similar, but more general, solutions to the Problem of Old Evidence. These solutions are more general because they allow the explanatory relationship between a new hypothesis and old evidence to be inductive, rather than deductive. In this paper, I argue that these solutions are either unsound or under-motivated, depending on the case of inductive explanation that we have in mind. This lends support to the broader claim that Garber-style Bayesian confirmation cannot capture the sense in which new hypotheses that do not deductively imply old evidence nevertheless seem to be confirmed via old evidence.

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Item Type: Preprint
Keywords: Problem of Old Evidence, Bayesian Confirmation, Inductive Explanation
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Depositing User: Dr David Kinney
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2017 14:17
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2017 14:17
Item ID: 14126
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Date: 17 November 2017

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