FOM: Boole, Probability, and Material Implication

Steve Stevenson steve at
Thu Jun 21 15:59:53 EDT 2001


Thank you very much. The article is also available online in
JSTOR. The full reference is The Philosophical Review, Vol. 85,
No. 3. (Jul., 1976), pp. 297-315.


Robert Black writes:
 > Well, you may know this already, but I think the key article on the topic
 > is David Lewis's 'Probabilities of Conditionals and Conditional
 > Probabilities', _Philosophical Review_ 1976, reprinted with a postscript in
 > volume 2 of Lewis's _Philosophical Papers_. The main point is that,
 > roughly, not only are conditional probabilities not the probabilities of
 > material implications, i.e. truth-*functional* conditionals, they can't be
 > the probabilities of *any* sort of conditionals with truth-*conditions*:
 > there is *no* sense of 'if' such that uniformly p(C/A) = p(if A then C).
 > Robert
 >  >
 > >Theodore's Hailperin in *Boole's Logic and Probability* makes the
 > >point that Boole seemed confused over the difference between
 > >conditional probability and the probability of a implication
 > >statement. If he did, he probably inherited it from Bayes and
 > >Laplace.

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