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
rested on the fact that
et precludes "learning from experience" because
it fails to incorporate suitable relevance relations. Carnap's alternative
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-
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.
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
I wish to express gratitude to the National Science Foundation for
support of research on inductive logic and probability. Some of the ideas
paper were discussed
in my article "Confirmation," Scientific Ameri-
can, 228, 5 (May 1973), 75-83.
Chicago Press, 1950), sec. 1l0A.
Nicholas Rescher. ed.,
Honor of Carl G.
1969), snd "Camap's Inductive Logic," Journal of Philosophy, 64 (1967),725-39.
Camap, Logical Foundations, secs. 86-88.