Optimum Inductive Methods

A Study in Inductive Probability, Bayesian Statistics, and Verisimilitude

  • Roberto Festa

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 232)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Roberto Festa
      Pages 1-9
  3. Inductive Probabilities, Bayesian Statistics, and Verisimilitude

  4. De Finetti’s Theorem, GC-Systems, and Dirichlet Distributions

  5. Verisimilitude, Disorder, and Optimum Prior Probabilities

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 154-194

About this book


This book deals with a basic problem arising within the Bayesian approach 1 to scientific methodology, namely the choice of prior probabilities. The problem will be considered with special reference to some inference methods used within Bayesian statistics (BS) and the so-called theory of inductive 2 probabilities (T/P). In this study an important role will be played by the assumption - defended by Sir Karl Popper and the supporters of the current verisimilitude theory (VT) - that the cognitive goal of science is the achievement of a high degree of truthlikeness or verisimilitude. A more detailed outline of the issues and objectives of the book is given in Section 1. In Section 2 the historical background of the Bayesian approach and the verisimilitude theory is briefly illustrated. In Section 3, the methods used in TIP and BS for making multinomial inference~ are considered and some conceptual relationships between TIP and BS are pointed out. In Section 4 the main lines of a new approach to the problem of the choice of prior probabilities are illustrated. Lastly, in Section 5 >the structure of the book is described and a first explanation of some technical terms is provided.


argue bayesian statistics knowledge logic philosophy of science probability science statistics

Authors and affiliations

  • Roberto Festa
    • 1
  1. 1.Fellow of the Department of Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of GroningenThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1993
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-4318-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-8131-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site