Philosophical Studies

, Volume 175, Issue 8, pp 1927–1944 | Cite as

A weak symmetry condition for probabilistic measures of confirmation

  • Jakob KoscholkeEmail author


This paper presents a symmetry condition for probabilistic measures of confirmation which is weaker than commutativity symmetry, disconfirmation commutativity symmetry but also antisymmetry. It is based on the idea that for any value a probabilistic measure of confirmation can assign there is a corresponding case where degrees of confirmation are symmetric. It is shown that a number of prominent confirmation measures such as Carnap’s difference function, Rescher’s measure of confirmation, Gaifman’s confirmation rate and Mortimer’s inverted difference function do not satisfy this condition and instead exhibit a previously unnoticed and rather puzzling behavior in certain cases of disconfirmation. This behavior also carries over to probabilistic measures of information change, causal strength, explanatory power and coherence.


Symmetry conditions (Probabilistic measures of) Confirmation (Probabilistic measures of) Information change (Probabilistic measures of) Causal strength (Probabilistic measures of) Explanatory power (Probabilistic measures of) Coherence 



I would like to thank Vincenzo Crupi, Igor Douven and Michael Schippers for helpful comments and discussion. This work was supported by Grant SI 1731/1-1 to Mark Siebel from the DFG as part of the priority program New Frameworks of Rationality and by Grant SCHU 3080/3-1 to Moritz Schulz from the DFG as part of the Emmy-Noether-Group Knowledge and Decisions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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