I came across the word ''apparatus'' in this phrase:

''The introduction of a formal apparatus for inductive logic'' in this article: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology-bayesian/

What does it mean in this context? What should I understand? Does it mean ''a formal system'' or literally ''formal equipment, tool''?

I have checked the dictionaries, of course, but I am not sure which meaning is compatible with this particular usage in the article. Can you help me? Thank you.

  • 2
    Please show your research. I'd suggest M-W 1c, with a broadened (abstract) sense for 'instrument' (Collins sense 4). And in fact, the Stanford article goes on to illustrate how the term is being used. May 19, 2020 at 13:02
  • Are you thinking that an apparatus for logic could be a physical tool, like a machine? May 19, 2020 at 13:06
  • Lexico also has 3 A collection of notes, variant readings, and other matter accompanying a printed text. May 19, 2020 at 13:11
  • Yosef Baskin, No, I do not think it is a physical tool. My question is not about the physical or abstract nature/meaning of the word. My question is about if the term means system or instrument which, in fact, both of them are already abstract. May 19, 2020 at 13:16
  • 1
    Your link says "The formal apparatus itself has two main elements: the use of the laws of probability as coherence constraints on rational degrees of belief (or degrees of confidence) and the introduction of a rule." May 19, 2020 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


An apparatus is a part of a Formal System.

A deductive system, also called a deductive apparatus or a logic, consists of the axioms (or axiom schemata) and rules of inference that can be used to derive theorems of the system.

  • Deductive or inductive? May 19, 2020 at 13:11
  • Thank you, this was really helpful. May 19, 2020 at 13:17

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