Imprecise probability and the measurement of Keynes’s “weight of arguments”

William PEDEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Many philosophers argue that Keynes’s concept of the “weight of arguments” is an important aspect of argument appraisal. The weight of an argument is the quantity of relevant evidence cited in the premises. However, this dimension of argumentation does not have a received method for formalisation. Kyburg has suggested a measure of weight that uses the degree of imprecision in his system of “Evidential Probability” to quantify weight. I develop and defend this approach to measuring weight. I illustrate the usefulness of this measure by employing it to develop an answer to Popper’s Paradox of Ideal Evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-708
Number of pages32
JournalIfCoLoG Journal of Logics and their Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

I am grateful to Julian Reiss, Nancy Cartwright, Wendy Parker, Rune Nyrup, and the rest of the team at CHESS, for their assistance in the development of this article. I was also helped by a very encouraging and insightful group of referees.


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