How to Learn from Theory-Dependent Evidence, or Commutativity and Holism: A Solution for Conditionalizers

Abstract

Weisberg (2009) provides an argument that neither conditionalization nor Jeffrey conditionalization is capable of accomodating the confirmational holist's claim that beliefs acquired directly from experience can suffer undercutting defeat. I diagnose this failure as stemming from the fact that neither conditionalization nor Jeffrey conditionalization give any advise about how to respond to theory-dependent evidence, and I propose a novel updating procedure which does tell us how to respond to evidence like this. This holistic updating rule yeilds conditionalization as a special case when our evidence is theory-independent.

Cite
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 65(3): 493–519.
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