Nomic Probability and the Foundations of Induction

Overview

In this book Pollock deals with the subject of probabilistic reasoning, making general philosophical sense of objective probabilities and exploring their relationship to the problem of induction. He argues that probability is fundamental not only to physical science, but to induction, epistemology, the philosophy of science and much of the reasoning relevant to artificial intelligence. Pollock's main claim is that the fundamental notion of probability is nomic—that is, it involves the notion of natural law, valid...

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Nomic Probability and the Foundations of Induction

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Overview

In this book Pollock deals with the subject of probabilistic reasoning, making general philosophical sense of objective probabilities and exploring their relationship to the problem of induction. He argues that probability is fundamental not only to physical science, but to induction, epistemology, the philosophy of science and much of the reasoning relevant to artificial intelligence. Pollock's main claim is that the fundamental notion of probability is nomic—that is, it involves the notion of natural law, valid across possible worlds. The various epistemic and statistical conceptions of probability, he demonstrates, are derived from this nomic notion. He goes on to provide a theory of statistical induction, an account of computational principles allowing some probabilities to be derived from others, an account of acceptance rules, and a theory of direct inference.

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Editorial Reviews

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"The book gives evidence of a powerful philosophical mind, and it is well worth the investment its careful study requires."—Philosophical Review

"There is no doubt whatsoever that this book will be a serious contribution to the field. No one, I am confident, has even come close to developing as thorough and persuasive a treatment of uncertain reasoning and its relation to nomic probability. It is very impressive. The unity that Pollock's book introduces to the treatment of statistics, induction, nonmonotonic reasoning in AI, and defeasible reasoning in epistemology, constitutes a permanent contribution in itself."—Henry Kyburg, University of Rochester

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195060133
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/1990
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.21 (d)

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