Next Article in Journal
d-Wave Superconductivity and s-Wave Charge Density Waves: Coexistence between Order Parameters of Different Origin and Symmetry
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Lattices of Graphical Gaussian Models with Symmetries
Symmetry 2011, 3(3), 680-698; doi:10.3390/sym3030680

Symmetry and Evidential Support

Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 600 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Received: 27 April 2011 / Revised: 25 August 2011 / Accepted: 30 August 2011 / Published: 16 September 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry in Probability and Inference)
Download PDF [251 KB, 19 September 2011; original version 16 September 2011]


This article proves that formal theories of evidential favoring must fail because they are inevitably language dependent. I begin by describing Carnap’s early confirmation theories to show how language dependence problems (like Goodman’s grue problem) arise. I then generalize to showthat any formal favoring theory satisfying minimal plausible conditions will yield different judgments about the same evidence and hypothesis when they are expressed in alternate languages. This does not just indict formal theories of favoring; it also shows that something beyond our evidence must be invoked to substantively favor one hypothesis over another.
Keywords: evidence; evidential support; Carnap; grue; language dependence evidence; evidential support; Carnap; grue; language dependence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Titelbaum, M.G. Symmetry and Evidential Support. Symmetry 2011, 3, 680-698.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Symmetry EISSN 2073-8994 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert