, Volume 156, Issue 1, pp 53–77 | Cite as

Bayesian Confirmation Theory and The Likelihood Principle

  • Daniel SteelEmail author


The likelihood principle (LP) is a core issue in disagreements between Bayesian and frequentist statistical theories. Yet statements of the LP are often ambiguous, while arguments for why a Bayesian must accept it rely upon unexamined implicit premises. I distinguish two propositions associated with the LP, which I label LP1 and LP2. I maintain that there is a compelling Bayesian argument for LP1, based upon strict conditionalization, standard Bayesian decision theory, and a proposition I call the practical relevance principle. In contrast, I argue that there is no similarly compelling argument for or against LP2. I suggest that these conclusions lead to a restrictedly pluralistic view of Bayesian confirmation measures.


Likelihood Function Inductive Inference Identical Alternative Likelihood Principle Causal Decision Theory 
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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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