Wednesday, August 03, 2011

M. Polanyi on Subjective Probability

"Thus we would establish a probability relation P(H/E) between two propositions, which is a belief not about events but about a relation between propositions. Some authors describe a result of this kind as conveying a certain degree of belief in H based on the evidence E and symbolize it accordingly by PB(H/E).

"But this analysis does not correspond to actual practice or indeed to any acceptable practice. Darwin's intention was to establish the effect of cross-fertilization on plant growth and the relation of a proposition asserting such an effect to a proposition about observed heights of plants." -- Personal Knowledge, p. 24


  1. Great quote! There is a relationship between this and your criticism of ideologies, am I right? You can't create a set of rules for acting that can tell you what to do in every possible situation. Deciding what to do requires the skill of a human being. This skill is a kind of knowledge that can't be represented in writing, and can't be transferred from one human being to another. You won't play golf like Tiger Woods just by reading a book he wrote about golfig, even if he were the best of writers, and you were the best of readers.

  2. Yes, Pedro, very much so. You have that exactly right.

  3. But I do think you posted in the wrong thread!

  4. You're right. I did post in the wrong thread. Sorry.

  5. No need to apologize, Pedro!


Current review queue

Pearce: British Journal for the History of Philosophy Deneen: The American Conservative Chao-Reiss: Computing Reviews