Acceptance, values, and probability.

  • Daniel Steel
  • Published 2015 in Studies in history and philosophy of science


This essay makes a case for regarding personal probabilities used in Bayesian analyses of confirmation as objects of acceptance and rejection. That in turn entails that personal probabilities are subject to the argument from inductive risk, which aims to show non-epistemic values can legitimately influence scientific decisions about which hypotheses to accept. In a Bayesian context, the argument from inductive risk suggests that value judgments can influence decisions about which probability models to accept for likelihoods and priors. As a consequence, if the argument from inductive risk is sound, then non-epistemic values can affect not only the level of evidence deemed necessary to accept a hypothesis but also degrees of confirmation themselves.

DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2015.05.010

Cite this paper

@article{Steel2015AcceptanceVA, title={Acceptance, values, and probability.}, author={Daniel Steel}, journal={Studies in history and philosophy of science}, year={2015}, volume={53}, pages={81-8} }