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John Maynard Keynes

(1883—1946) economist


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(1883–1946)

English economist and philosopher. Although primarily known as an economist, Keynes produced one philosophical classic, the Treatise on Probability (1921). This develops the theory of probability and confirmation theory on the basis of an objective, logical relation of degrees of implication amongst propositions. Although subsequent work has not been kind to such a notion, Keynes's working-out of its possibilities remains, together with the work of Carnap, the main showpiece of confirmation theory. In particular, Keynes realized that in order for induction to increase the probability of generalizations as progressive evidence eliminates potential falsifications, a ‘principle of limited independent variety’ must be assumed, giving the necessary structure for probability to increase.


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