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Re: [ontolog-forum] Science, Statistics and Ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Simon Spero <ses@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 12:17:25 -0500
Message-id: <CADE8KM4N6Q9m_mE6n8u+bHnDYmz7erre7ehk7_qWNK7VvP-wwQ@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

What is subjective in this situation may be the degree to which you are justified in believing that when you swing the hammer the 101st time, that the nail will enter the wood.

C.p. , this belief should be stronger than when you swung the hammer the second time. 

Different sources of evidence can be combined to increase the degree to which  you and others should rationally believe the proposition, but although beliefs should converge towards a probable objective truth, the  rational degree of belief can differ between individuals.  For example suppose I secretly made a cut in the 101st nail; my belief that the nail will enter the wood should be much, much lower (but not zero).

If the nail does indeed fail to enter the wood, you are rationally bound to revise your degree of belief in your initial hypothesis downwards, modify your hypothesis, or both ("one plank at a time" :-)

There are other interpretations of probability, but the subjective bayesian approach is often useful.

Mellor is a good text on the subject- http://books.google.com/books/about/Probability.html?id=Nt91yxyo-18C


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