March 21, 2022

Interpreting Carnap:  Seven Decades Later

Sandy Zabell, Northwestern

Abstract: In 1950 and 1952 Rudolph Carnap published his Logical Foundations of Probability and The Continuum of Inductive Methods, setting out his views on probability and inductive inference.  Given his prestige, it is not surprising that these together sparked both interest and controversy.  This talk surveys that discussion and debate:  what criticisms were advanced, how did Carnap’s views evolve, how has his program been advanced?  A primary thesis of this talk is that many of these issues can be most readily understood from the standpoint of modern probability, rather than Carnap’s initial logical and sentential approach.