Philosophy 184P:
Probability and Epistemology
Spring, 2010

Joel Velasco
Bld 380, Rm 380D M,W 12:30-1:45

Download the Shortened Syllabus
In this course we will ask what probability is and what use it is for epistemology. We begin by asking how to interpret probability statements and then we will focus on subjective, personalist views. We then look at arguments for and against probabilism - the view that we should assign degrees of belief to various propositions. We will then look at belief change through time and finally, we will examine what relationship probability has to more traditional epistemological notions like belief, justification, and knowledge.
Attendance in class and participation in discussion, are required and will affect your grade.  There will be two papers assigned. One will be due around the sixth week and one will be due during finals week. There is no final exam.
Office hours:
My office hours are Mon 2-3 and Tues 11-12, or by appointment, in 92B on the second floor of building 90 in the main quad.
Books available at the university bookstore:
Ian Hacking, Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic, Cambridge University Press, 2001
Books available on reserve at Tanner Library in building 90:
Jeffrey, Richard C., Probability and the Art of Judgment
Jeffrey, Richard C., The Logic of Decision, 2nd ed.
Eells, Ellery, Rational Decision and Causality
Savage, Leonard J., The Foundations of Statistics, 2nd ed.


Reading Schedule:

Unit 1: Probability Theory

Unit 2: Interpretations of Probability