Probability and Epistemology
Bld 380, Rm 380D M,W 12:30-1:45
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.
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.
Unit 1: Probability Theory
- Mon, Mar 29
- Basic Logic and
Calculating with Probabilities
- Wed, Mar 31 NO CLASS
- Mon, Apr 5
- Wed, Apr 7
Unit 2: Interpretations of Probability
- Mon, Apr 12
- Interpretations I
- Wed, Apr 14
- Mon, Apr 19
- Wed, Apr 21
- Mon, Apr 26
- Wed, Apr 28
- How are degrees of belief and chances related?
- Mon, May 3
- Wed, May 5
Unit 3: Bayesian Epistemology
- Mon, May 10
- Wed, May 12
- On Jeffrey Conditionalization
- Mon, May 17
- Conditionalization 2: Reflection
- Wed, May 19
Unit 4: Bayesian and Mainstream Epistemology
- Mon, May 24
- Wed, May 26
- Mon, May 31
- Criticisms of Bayesian Epistemology
- Wed, Jun 2
Extra topics you might be interested in:
- Higher order degrees of belief
- Representation Theorems + Utilities
- confirmational holism 1
- confirmational holism 2
- Logical Omniscience
- Bayesian Confirmation Theory