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

  • From: John Wager <john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2006 11:25:01 -0600

Donal McEvoy wrote:

--- John Wager <john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Can I say "as a probabillity" what is NOT in the box? "Probably" there is NOT a swan of either color, because in my experience ("probability") boxes don't contain swans. We are left with just one swan, a white one.

There is thus SOME evidence for the proposition that "all swans are white" but not enough to either confirm or disconfirm it as a generality.

In the word of Eric Morcambe: "Rubbish!". Have a (logical) look at your smug
and stupid last paragraph - a truly appalling piece piece of thought!
"Some" evidence is accurate. If there were a black swan in the box, it would be sufficient evidence against the claim that all swans are white.

For all swans to be white, some swans must be white. This counts as "some evidence" in the sense that the contradictory "No swans are white" cannot be true, leaving open the possibility that the contrary is still true.

Btw, it is _logically impossible_ for a set of assumptions to subject
themselves to the same level of "logical analy." as the
assumptions/hypotheticals they are analysing. You are just a logical prat for
thinking otherwise.

"Assumptions" can't subject themselves to anything. People can analyze assumptions, using logic. The main point of my "analysis" was to point out that the probability doesn't just involve the analysis of the logic of the situation as given, it also involves the probability of finding a swan in a box in the first place, an _extremely_ low probability. Nothing pratish about that.

Happy Thanksgiving from across the pond. (The turkey is started, the sweet potatoes are in the oven, the floors are swept, and the garbage from cooking is about to go out to the trash bin.) I needed a break from all these practical activities; thanks for the opportunity to use my mind for something other than multiplying 1/4 stick of butter by three.


"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence and ignorance." -------------------------------------------------
John Wager                john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx
                                  Lisle, IL, USA

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