The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and Its Philosophical Applications by Wolfgang SpohnThe Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and Its Philosophical Applications by Wolfgang Spohn

The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and Its Philosophical Applications

byWolfgang Spohn

Paperback | June 1, 2014

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Wolfgang Spohn presents the first full account of the dynamic laws of belief, by means of ranking theory. This book is his long-awaited presentation of ranking theory and its ramifications. He motivates and introduces the basic notion of a ranking function, which recognises degrees of beliefand at the same time accounts for belief simpliciter. He provides a measurement theory for ranking functions, accounts for auto-epistemology in ranking-theoretic terms, and explicates the basic notion of a (deductive or non-deductive) reason. The rich philosophical applications of Spohn's theory include: a new account of lawlikeness, an account of ceteris paribus laws, a new perspective on dispositions, a rich and detailed theory of deterministic causation, an understanding of natural modalities as an objectification of epistemicmodalities, an account of the experiential basis of belief - and thus a restructuring of the debate on foundationalism and coherentism (and externalism and contextualism) - and, finally, a revival of fundamental a priori principles of reason fathoming the basics of empiricism and the relationbetween reason and truth, and concluding in a proof of a weak principle of causality. All this is accompanied by thorough comparative discussions, on a general level as well as within each topic, and in particular with respect to probability theory.
Wolfgang Spohn studied philosophy, logic/philosophy of science, and mathematics at the University of Munich. He has held positions at the University of Regensburg (1986-91) and the University of Bielefeld (1991-96), and has held a chair in philosophy and philosophy of science at the University of Konstanz since 1996. He is author of t...
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Title:The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and Its Philosophical ApplicationsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:616 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.03 inPublished:June 1, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198705859

ISBN - 13:9780198705857

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Introduction2. Belief and Its Objects3. The Probabilistic Way4. The Representation of Belief: Some Standard Moves5. Ranking Functions6. Reasons and Apriority7. Conditional Independence and Ranking Nets8. The Measurement of Ranks9. Supposing, Updating, and Reflection10. Ranks and Probabilities11. Comparisons12. Laws and Their Confirmation13. Ceteris Paribus Conditions and Dispositions14. Causation15. Objectification16. Justification, Perception, and Consciousness17. The A Priori Structure of ReasonsBibliographyName IndexSubject Index

Editorial Reviews

"Spohn has produced a remarkable synthesis of diverse currents in the theory of belief, and offers a fully explicit account of Baconian probability. His book throws fresh light on belief, conditional belief, and belief dynamics; it will no doubt frame discussion of these topics for years tocome." --Daniel Osherson, Princeton University