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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

5 comments:

  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.

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

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

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

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  5. No need to apologize, Pedro!

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