[extropy-chat] what is probability?

Benjamin Goertzel ben at goertzel.org
Sat Jan 13 17:10:53 UTC 2007

> So what should we do in real-world cases in which not
> enough information is given? I think we can and should
> usually still apply the PI, but, as I suggested in my
> message before last, I think we should agree with the
> subjectivists on this question and not imagine we are
> doing something grounded firmly in objective logic.
> The PI should be considered a handy rule of thumb, a
> heuristic tool and nothing else.

This agrees with my philosophy of probability.

I find the subjectivist interpretation to be fundamentally correct;
but, I also find that it does not give sufficient guidance regarding
how to carry out probabilistic reasoning in practical situations.

Objectivist approaches, in spite of their underlying conceptual
weaknesses, have given us some useful heuristic tools which may be
used in practical problems, but whose utility should ultimately be
judged in terms of the subjectivist interpretation.

(And, of course, the use of "subjectivist" here is technical in the
sense of "subjectivist vs. frequentist", I'm not trying to open up
arguments about the objectivity vs. subjectivity of ultimate reality,
etc. ...)

-- Ben G

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