The Concept of Inductive Probability

Abstract

The word ‘probability’ in ordinary language has two different senses, here called inductive and physical probability. This paper examines the concept of inductive probability. Attempts to express this concept in other words are shown to be either incorrect or else trivial. In particular, inductive probability is not the same as degree of belief. It is argued that inductive probabilities exist; subjectivist arguments to the contrary are rebutted. Finally, it is argued that inductive probability is an important concept and that it is a mistake to try to replace it with the concept of degree of belief, as is usual today.

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Correspondence to Patrick Maher.

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Maher, P. The Concept of Inductive Probability. Erkenntnis 65, 185–206 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10670-005-5087-5

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Keywords

  • Subjective Probability
  • Ordinary Language
  • Total Evidence
  • Physical Probability
  • True Sentence