Full Text

probabilism


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Extract

E thics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of science Initially, a doctrine developed by the Jesuits in the sixteenth century to determine what one should do when different authorities are found to disagree. The theory claims that if one is willing to perform an action, and that action has some probability in its favor, one has reason to perform that action without being condemned. Here, probable means supported by authority rather than supported by evidence. One may follow a course of action if it is authorized by some authority of the Church. It does not matter how much weight the authority has. The theory has difficulty in making sense of responsibility and was criticized by the Port-Royal Logic. The appearance of probabilism suggests a sense of loss of the certainty that characterized the Renaissance. In another sense, probabilism is any position that requires one to be content with probability because certainty does not obtain or because it is difficult to know whether certainty could obtain. “The first contact of theories of probability with modern ethics appears in the Jesuit doctrine of probabilism. According to this doctrine, one is justified in doing an action for which there is any probability, however small, of its results being the best possible.” Keynes, A Treatise on Probability ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top