salmon_car - -WESLEy C. SALMON- Confirmation and Relevance...

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-----WESLEy C. SALMON----- Confirmation and Relevance , Item: One of the earliest surprises to emerge from Carnap's precise and systematic study of confirmation was the untenability of the initially plausible Wittgenstein confirmation function et. Carnap's objection rested on the fact that et precludes "learning from experience" because it fails to incorporate suitable relevance relations. Carnap's alternative confirmation function c' was offered as a distinct improvement because it does sustain the desired relevance relations.' Item: On somewhat similar grounds, it has been argued that the heu- ristic appeal of the concept of partial entailment, which is often used to explain the basic idea behind inductive logic, rests upon a confusion of relevance with nonrelevance relations. Once this confusion is cleared up, it seems, the apparent value of the analogy between full and partial en- tailment vanishes? Item: In a careful discussion, based upon his detailed analysis of rele- vance, Carnap showed convincingly that Hempel's classic conditions of adequacy for any explication of the concept of confirmation are vitiated by another confusion of relevance with nonrelevance relations. s Item: A famous controversy, in which Popper charges that Carnap's theory of confirmation contains a logical inconsistency, revolves around the same issue. As a result of this controversy, Carnap acknowledged in the preface to the second edition of Logical Foundations of Probability AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wish to express gratitude to the National Science Foundation for support of research on inductive logic and probability. Some of the ideas in this paper were discussed nontechnically in my article "Confirmation," Scientific Ameri- can, 228, 5 (May 1973), 75-83. 1 Rudolf Camap, Logical Foundations of Probability (Chicago: University Chicago Press, 1950), sec. 1l0A. ~ Wesley C. Salmon, "Partial Entailment as a Basis for Inductive Logic," in Nicholas Rescher. ed., Essays in Honor of Carl G. Hempel (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1969), snd "Camap's Inductive Logic," Journal of Philosophy, 64 (1967),725-39. 8 Camap, Logical Foundations, secs. 86-88.
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Wesley C. Salmon that the first edition had been unclear with regard to this very distinc- tion between relevance and nonrelevance concepts.' Item: A new account of statistical explanation, based upon relations of relevance, has recently been proposed as an improvement over Hem- pel's well-known account, which is based upon relations of high degree of confirmation.- Item: The problem of whether inductive logic can embody rules of acceptance - i.e., whether there are such things as inductive inferences in the usual sense - has been a source of deep concern to inductive logicians since the publication of Carnap's Logical Foundations of Probability (1950). Risto Hilpinen has proposed a rule of inductive inference which, he claims, avoids the "lottery paradox," thus overcoming the chief obsta- cle to the admission of rules of acceptance. Hilpinen's rule achieves this feat by incorporating a suitable combination of relevance and high con- firmation requirements.'
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salmon_car - -WESLEy C. SALMON- Confirmation and Relevance...

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