HPS 2682       Theories of Confirmation        Spring 2010
Phil 2690

Topics and Readings

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This list contains far more material than we can cover in one term. When we have decided which topics we will cover, I will add more readings as needed.

Introductory topics
"A Little Survey of Induction"
Source: John D. Norton, "A Little Survey of Induction," in P. Achinstein, ed., Scientific Evidence: Philosophical Theories and Applications. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1905. pp. 9-34.
Warm Up Case Studies
Evidence for the theory of evolution "Lines of Evidence: The Science of Evolution"
Evidence and string theory Peter Woit, "Is String Theory Even Wrong?" American Scientist, March-April, 2002.
Richard Dawid, "Underdetermination and Theory Succession from the Perspective of String Theory." Philosophy of Science 73 No.3 (2006), pp. 298-322.
Principal Accounts of Induction
Inductive Generalization
Enumerative Induction
Hempel's Satisfaction Criterion
Mill's Methods
Glymour's bootstrap
Demonstrative Induction
(Newtonian deduction from the phenomena)
Hypothetical Induction
Exclusionary accounts. Error statistical methods.
(Akaike, BIC)
Abduction: Inference to the best explanation
Inference to a common cause Michel Janssen, "COI Stories: Explanation and Evidence in the History of Science," Perspectives on Science. 10 (2002): 457-522.
Probabilistic Induction
A Bayes' primer
Bayesian success stories
Subjective Bayesianism
(big topic)
Objective Bayesianism
(big topic)
Probability disassembled John D. Norton, "Probability Disassembled," British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 58 (2007), pp. 141-171.
Extended Bayesianism (convex sets, interval valued probabilities, improper priors, Jeffrey's conditionalization)
Arguing for Bayesianism
Dutch book arguments
Function theoretic representation theorems
Decision theoretic representation theorems
Loss functions
Arguing against Bayesianism
Not the universal theory John D. Norton, “Challenges to Bayesian Confirmation Theory,” Prepared for Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay and Malcolm Forster (eds.), Philosophy of Statistics: Vol. 7 Handbook of the Philosophy of Science. Elsevier.

John D. Norton, "Cosmic Confusions: Not Supporting versus Supporting Not-". Philosophy of Science. Forthcoming.

John D. Norton, "Ignorance and Indifference." Philosophy of Science, 75 (2008), pp. 45-68.

Problem of old evidence
Problems of Induction
The Problem of induction
(aka Hume's problem)
Hempel's Raven
Observationally indistinguishable spacetimes John D. Norton, "Observationally Indistinguishable Spacetimes: A Challenge for Any Inductivist." In G. Morgan, ed., Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. Oxford University Press.
More Bayesian Topics
(Bayes without priors)
Limit theorems Hawthorne, James, "Inductive Logic", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2009/entries/logic-inductive/>.
Measures of coherence
(Bovens and Hartmann)
Wheeler, Gregory and Scheines, Richard (2010) Causation, Association, and Confirmation. philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00005525/
Measures of incremental support
The conjunction fallacy
(Linda the bank teller)
Measures of explanatory power Schupbach, Jonah N. (2010) Comparing Probabilistic Measures of Explanatory Power. philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00005227
Schupbach, Jonah N. and Sprenger, Jan (2010) The Logic of Explanatory Power. philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00005521
Gotcha's in Probability
The exchange paradox
The doomsday argument
Sleeping beauty
De Finetti's lottery
Evidential Case Studies
Evidence for evolution Elliott Sober, Evidence and Evolution: The Logic Behind the Science. Cambridge UP, 2008.
Newton's argument for universal gravitation
The electron John D. Norton, "How We Know About Electrons," pp. 67- 97 in R. Nola and H. Sankey, eds., After Popper, Kuhn and Feyerabend; Recent Issues in Theories of Scientific Method. Dordrecht Kluwer.
___Your suggestions?
Material Theory of Induction
Ranking theory Wolfgang Spohn (2009). A Survey of Ranking Theory. In Franz Huber & Christoph Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Springer.
Hume's argument against miracles John Earman, Hume's abject failure: the argument against miracles.
Confirmation theory and the learning theoretic paradigm