Degrees of Belief

  • Franz Huber
  • Christoph Schmidt-Petri

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 342)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-X
  2. Belief and Degrees of Belief

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Franz Huber
      Pages 1-33
  3. Plain Belief and Degrees of Belief

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 35-35
    2. James Hawthorne
      Pages 49-74
    3. Keith Frankish
      Pages 75-93
  4. What Laws Should Degrees of Belief Obey?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 95-95
    2. Rolf Haenni
      Pages 121-159
    3. Wolfgang Spohn
      Pages 185-228
    4. Alan Hájek
      Pages 229-251
  5. Logical Approaches

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 299-299
    2. David Makinson
      Pages 341-354

About this book


The idea that belief comes in degrees is based on the observation that we are more certain of some things than of others. Various theories try to give accounts of how measures of this confidence do or ought to behave, both as far as the internal mental consistency of the agent as well as his betting, or other, behaviour is concerned.

This anthology is the first book to give a balanced overview of these theories. It also explicitly relates these debates to more traditional concerns of the philosophy of language and mind, and epistemic logic, namely how belief simpliciter does or ought to behave. The paradigmatic theory, probabilism (which holds that degrees of belief ought to satisfy the axioms of probability theory) is given most attention, but competing theories, such as Dempster-Shafer theory, possibility theory, and AGM belief revision theory are also considered. Each of these approaches is represented by one of its major proponents.

The papers are specifically written to target advanced undergraduate students with a background in formal methods and beginning graduate students, but they will also serve as first point of reference for academics new to the area.

"This is a fascinating collection that brings together issues in traditional and formal epistemology, and succeeds in posing new challenges for both." Bas C. van Fraassen, San Francisco State University

"This is a splendid collection of essays on degrees of belief. [...] the essays are so clear and general that the book also provides an excellent overview of the field for the non-expert." Frank Arntzenius, University College, Oxford University

"Anyone interested in formal epistemology, or in the implications of formal epistemology for philosophy in general, should read this collection." Brian Weatherson, Rutgers University




Belief Degrees of Belief Dempster-Shafer Formal Epistemology Formal Representations of Belief John Locke Possibility theory Probabilism Probability Theory epistemology idea mind reason

Editors and affiliations

  • Franz Huber
    • 1
  • Christoph Schmidt-Petri
    • 2
  1. 1.Formal Epistemology Research Group Zukunftskolleg and Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Konstanz78457 KonstanzGermany
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Leipzig04009 LeipzigGermany

Bibliographic information