[extropy-chat] what is probability?
gts
gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 16 17:45:22 UTC 2007
On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 12:23:35 -0500, Benjamin Goertzel <ben at goertzel.org>
wrote:
> It seems that the notion of randomness is definable objectively only
> for infinite entities.
Yes, at least under the frequentist interpretation no doubt assumed by
these researchers. And this infinity issue exists as a philosophical
problem not only for the definition of "random" but also for the
definition of "probability".
As you probably already know, probability on the frequentist view is
calculated as the relative frequency of an outcome in the limit as the
number of observations goes to infinity. (This is how most of us where
taught to believe. Certainly I was.)
Von Mises, who developed the frequency theory, defended his use of
mathematical infinities by arguing that he was merely 'abstracting' or
'idealizing' the objective laws of nature from empirical observations, in
the same way as it is thought all scientists do.
-gts
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