Inductive Logic and the Foundations of Probability Theory: A Revaluation of Carnap's Program

Dissertation, Princeton University (1992)

In this thesis I defend and pursue that line about the foundations of probability theory which has come to be known as "the logicist view about probability", and, in particular, the shape which it took in Carnap's Inductive Logic. ;Most philosophers who now deal with probability theory claim that Carnap's program of Inductive Logic has failed. The main aim of my thesis is to show that this judgment is based on a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature and the aim of inductive logic. To that end, I follow, in chapter 1, the events in the history of probability, logic and mathematics which led to choosing certain requirements as the requirements which any theory about the foundations of probability must fulfill in order to be acceptable. ;In chapter 2 I explain how Carnap's inductive logic fulfills those requirements and how the method it uses to give foundations to probability theory can also be used to solve another major problem about probability, namely, the problem of statistical inference. ;Chapter 3 shows how the ideas explained in chapter 2 were developed, formally, by Carnap, and how Carnap's program can be continued in a particular case, that of reasoning by analogy. ;Finally, in chapter 4, I attempt to show that subjectivism about probability theory, the rival theory to Carnap's logicism, does not succeed in meeting the most basic requirement for the acceptability of any theory about the foundations of probability
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