Philosophy 148

Spring 2004

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
148 Probability and Induction Fitelson TuTh 2-3:30 TBA

What is probability? How is probability useful for understanding inductive and statistical inference? Is there such a thing as inductive logic? If so, how does it relate to deductive logic, and what role does probability play in inductive logic? These are the main questions we will address in this course. Other topics will include: foundational aspects of modern statistical methods and techniques, Hume’s problem of induction, Goodman’s “new riddle of induction”, Bayesian confirmation theory, and Bayesian statistics.

Prerequisites. PHIL 12A, and willingness to engage both in mathematical (i.e., probability theory) and philosophical work.

Required Texts (two of them): (1) Hacking, I. (2002) An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521775019 (2) Skyrms, B. (1999) Choice and Chance: An Introduction to Inductive Logic. Wadsworth (Thompson) Publishing, fourth edition, 1999.

Other readings to be provided electronically on the course website.