[lit-ideas] Re: Back to Popper (and further back to Hume)

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 20:38:31 -0800

This is part of Donal's experiment, partly in paraphrase:

Then we're told that we cannot open the third box unless and until we 'have
found a way to say _as a probability_ what should _probably_ be in the box.'

Trying to respond to this, I wrote:

The presentation of the boxes and their manipulation are, so to speak,
speechless. You may mean, 'Given (all this) what would you say was "probably"
in the third box?' or, more in keeping with your enterprise, perhaps, 'Given
this, what would you say, based on induction (or 'inductive probability') was
in the third box?' The answer 'nothing' came to several people's minds.
I added that it was what would have been in Hume's mind too.

This certainly looks as if I were saying that that the third box had nothing in
it, and that this was what several others and I were saying in answer to the
question, 'What (based on some sort of probability) should be in the box. Right
misleading this was. I meant that in answer to the question 'What would you
say...?' the right answer would be that one could say nothing. Language is
sometimes too smart to me.

Robert Paul

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