A problem for the alternative difference measure of confirmation

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Philosophical Studies, ISSN: 0031-8116, Vol: 164, Issue: 3, Page: 643-651

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Climenhaga, Nevin
Springer Nature
Arts and Humanities
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Among Bayesian confirmation theorists, several quantitative measures of the degree to which an evidential proposition E confirms a hypothesis H have been proposed. According to one popular recent measure, s, the degree to which E confirms H is a function of the equation P(H{pipe}E) - P(H{pipe}~E). A consequence of s is that when we have two evidential propositions, E1 and E2, such that P(H{pipe}E1) = P(H{pipe}E2), and P(H{pipe}~E1) ≠ P(H{pipe}~E2), the confirmation afforded to H by E1 does not equal the confirmation afforded to H by E2. I present several examples that demonstrate the unacceptability of this result, and conclude that we should reject s (and other measures that share this feature) as a measure of confirmation. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.