## The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and Its Philosophical ApplicationsWolfgang Spohn presents the first full account of the dynamic laws of belief, by means of ranking theory. This book is his long-awaited presentation of ranking theory and its ramifications. He motivates and introduces the basic notion of a ranking function, which recognises degrees of belief and at the same time accounts for belief simpliciter. He provides a measurement theory for ranking functions, accounts for auto-epistemology in ranking-theoretic terms, and explicates the basic notion of a (deductive or non-deductive) reason. The rich philosophical applications of Spohn's theory include: a new account of lawlikeness, an account of ceteris paribus laws, a new perspective on dispositions, a rich and detailed theory of deterministic causation, an understanding of natural modalities as an objectification of epistemic modalities, an account of the experiential basis of belief—and thus a restructuring of the debate on foundationalism and coherentism (and externalism and contextualism)—and, finally, a revival of fundamental a priori principles of reason fathoming the basics of empiricism and the relation between reason and truth, and concluding in a proof of a weak principle of causality. All this is accompanied by thorough comparative discussions, on a general level as well as within each topic, and in particular with respect to probability theory. |

### What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

### Contents

1 Introduction | 1 |

2 Belief and its Objects | 16 |

3 The Probabilistic Way | 32 |

Some Standard Moves | 47 |

5 Ranking Functions | 65 |

6 Reasons and Apriority | 104 |

7 Conditional Independence and Ranking Nets | 125 |

8 The Measurement of Ranks | 162 |

12 Laws and their Confirmation | 271 |

13 Ceteris Paribus Conditions and Dispositions | 304 |

14 Causation | 338 |

15 Objectification | 442 |

16 Justification Perception and Consciousness | 472 |

17 The A Priori Structure of Reasons | 521 |

556 | |

581 | |

9 Supposing Updating and Reflection | 185 |

10 Ranks and Probabilities | 200 |

11 Comparisons | 225 |

### Other editions - View all

The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and Its Philosophical Applications Wolfgang Spohn No preview available - 2012 |

The Laws of Belief: Ranking Theory and Its Philosophical Applications Wolfgang Spohn No preview available - 2014 |

### Common terms and phrases

accept algebra argument assumption axioms basic Bayesian belief change belief revision theory belief set called causal chain causal dependence causal Markov condition causal relations ceteris paribus Chapter claim clear concept conditional independence conditionalization counterfactual course d-separation deductive reasons defeasible defeasible reasoning defined Definition direct cause disbelief discussion dispositions doxastic dynamics entails epistemic epistemological evidence example explained explication fact finite further given Hence idea independence inductive inference intuitive issue iterated contraction justification Lehrer’s Levi’s logical lottery paradox Markov condition material implication maximal negative ranking function normal conditions normative notion objectifiable objects observation philosophical plausible Popper measures positive relevance possible postulates principle probabilistic probability measure probability theory problem problem of induction propositions ranking theory ranking-theoretic reason relation Sect Section seems sense simply Spohn sufficient Theorem tion truth unrevisably a priori variables λξ