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Análisis filosófico

versión On-line ISSN 1851-9636


IRANZO, Valeriano. Probabilidad inicial y éxito probabilístico. Anal. filos. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.1, pp. 39-71. ISSN 1851-9636.

One of the most controversial issues for Bayesian theory of confirmation concerns the status of prior probabilities. Orthodox Bayesianism claims that logical consistency with the theorems of mathematical theory of probability is the only constraint on prior probabilities, while some authors claim for further requirements. I agree with the latter standpoint. My proposal is inspired by Wesley Salmon's frequentist justification of prior probabilities. According to him, prior probabilities are the best assessments of past scientific hypotheses' success. I think that historical information is relevant here, but I propose to focus on a particular sort of success -i.e., "probabilistic success". I claim that a particular prior for h is correct insofar as it reflects the probabilistic success of past scientific hypotheses similar to h. I also suggest a rule to set the priors for contemporary hypotheses. The closing paragraphs are devoted to some general objections against this proposal.

Palabras clave : Probability; Bayesianism; Confirmation Theory; Frequentism; Theorychoice problem.

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