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Hume's ProblemInduction and the Justification of Belief$
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Colin Howson

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250371

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198250371.001.0001

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The Logic of Scientific Discovery

The Logic of Scientific Discovery

(p.168) 8 The Logic of Scientific Discovery
Hume's Problem

Colin Howson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Applies the results of Ch. 7 to scientific methodology and shows that they give a logical interpretation of the subjective Bayesian theory of inductive inference. This theory is therefore no more necessarily subjective than deductive logic, consisting as both do of objective logical rules for proceeding from premises to conclusion. In the Bayesian case, the premises are prior probability assignments. It is shown that familiar rules of scientific method are endorsed, and, in particular, the rule that unless there is prior support for a hypothesis, its overall probability will be very small however good the fit with current evidence.

Keywords:   Bayes factors, Bayes's Theorem, likelihood, prior probability, probability calculus, scientific method

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