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Von Wright's Paradoxes

W. H. Baumer
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 30, No. 2 (Apr., 1963), pp. 165-172
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186423
Page Count: 8
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Von Wright's Paradoxes
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Abstract

This paper considers the relationship between G. H. von Wright's solution to the paradoxes of confirmation and his "Principal Theorem of Confirmation". The former utilizes the order of our knowledge of the qualities of confirming instances of an hypothesis; the latter states the way in which an instance contributes to the probability of an hypothesis. It is shown that these two, as stated by von Wright, are logically incompatible. Then the most thorough possible emendation of the paradoxes solution is considered, and it is shown that this still prohibits use of the "Principal Theorem" to confirm hypotheses stating necessary causal conditions, and to confirm by deliberate experiment hypotheses stating sufficient causal conditions. It is concluded that any solution of the paradoxes must rest solely upon the relation of the data to the hypothesis involved.

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