This course introduces the basics of Bayesian epistemology. Bayesian epistemology consists of three core theses: (1) Belief comes in degrees; (2) these degrees should satisfy the probability axioms; (3) one should change one’s beliefs by conditionalizing on new evidence. The first part of the course will be devoted to discussing these three theses, the main arguments that have been made in their favour, and objections that have been raised against them. The second part will be devoted to Bayesian confirmation theory, according to which the tools and formalism of Bayesian epistemology provides the foundation for scientific methodology. We will examine the claim that Bayesian confirmation theory has the resources to solve notorious philosophical puzzles, such as Hume’s problem of induction and the paradox of the ravens. We conclude by discussing the worry that Bayesian confirmation theory, and Bayesian epistemology more generally, is too liberal when it comes to determining which beliefs are rational.

Teacher: H. Orri Stefánsson,

Course dates: November 28–December 2

Time and location: All days 10–12 and 14–16 in D734

The schedule is on the page for TF Magisterkurs.

Course outline: Course outline Bayesian epistemology (102 Kb)  

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