Probability and Inference: Essays in Honour of Henry E. Kyburg, Jr.

Probability and Inference: Essays in Honour of Henry E. Kyburg, Jr., William Harper and Gregory Wheeler (eds.) (King’s College Publications, London, 2007) is now available at Amazon in the US and UK.

New essays by Gert de Cooman and Enrique Miranda, Clark Glymour, William Harper, Isaac Levi, Ron Loui, John Pollock, Teddy Seidenfeld, Choh Man Teng, Mariam Thalos, Gregory Wheeler, Jon Williamson, and Henry E. Kyburg, Jr.

A précis follows below the fold.

Recent advances in philosophy, artificial intelligence, mathematical psychology, and the decision sciences have brought a renewed focus to the role and interpretation of probability in theories of uncertain reasoning. Henry E. Kyburg, Jr. has long resisted the now dominate Bayesian approach to the role of probability in scientific inference and practical decision. The sharp contrasts between the Bayesian approach and Kyburg’s program offer a uniquely powerful framework within which to study several issues at the heart of scientific inference, decision, and reasoning under uncertainty.


Gregory Wheeler’s “A Review of the Lottery Paradox” serves as both a review of the lottery paradox and a thematic introduction to the volume. The difference between the theory of rational acceptance and the Carnap-Jeffrey conception of rational acceptance is presented, and minimal conditions for resolving the puzzle are proposed and defended. Meeting these conditions, it is argued, entails engaging several of the issues discussed in this volume.

William Harper’s “Acceptance and Scientific Method” presents an application of Kyburg’s theory of rational acceptance to capture the structure of Newton’s reasoning in Principia;

Choh Man Teng’s “Conflict and Consistency” addresses consistency maintenance within evidential probability and presents a proposal for updating;

Gert de Cooman and Enrique Miranda’s “Symmetry of Models versus Models of Symmetry” gives an introduction to the theory of Imprecise Probability and presents new results within IP that offer fresh insight into de Finetti’s exchangeability theorem;

Jon Williamson’s “Motivating Objective Bayesianism” presents a defense of Objective Bayesianism, remarks on de Cooman and Miranda’s argument for interval valued probabilities, and argues that Evidential Probability ought to go whole hog and embrace Objective Bayesianism;

Clark Glymour’s “Bayesian Ptolemaic Psychology” presents a thorough objection on complexity grounds to the claim that actual causal reasoning in humans is a form of Bayesian reasoning;

Ron Loui’s “An Architecture for Purely Probabilistic Negotiating Agents” outlines an entirely new framework for agent negotiation;

Mariam Thalos “Navigation: An Engineer’s Perspective” remarks on the source of Kyburg’s pragmatism;

John Pollock “The Y-Function” presents an important new result in his Nomic Probability theory of direct inference;

Isaac Levi, “Probability Logic and Logical Probability”, remarks on the historical place of evidential probability and launches an objection to how evidential probability handles conditioning;

Teddy Seidenfeld, “Forbidden Fruit: When Epistemological Probability may not take a bite of the Bayesian apple” launches an objection to evidential probability as well, but also notes that EP avoids a problem that falls most interval probability accounts: dilation;

Henry Kyburg, “Bayesian Inference with Evidential Probability” provides a brief history of evidential probability, including changes in recent versions of the theory, a reply to Seidenfeld’s Hollow Cube objection, and Levi’s objections, and presents a detailed example of an EP-inference.

The essays by Levi, Loui, Seidenfeld, and Thalos were presented at a Kyburg Symposium at the University of Rochester in October 2004. Finally, the volume is indexed to link together other common themes within the essays.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *