Read e-book online Acting under Uncertainty: Multidisciplinary Conceptions PDF

By George M. von Furstenberg

ISBN-10: 9048157854

ISBN-13: 9789048157853

ISBN-10: 9401578737

ISBN-13: 9789401578738

Uncertainty should be linked to knowledge, company, and discovery. In traditional speech, even if, it has generally adverse connotations. there's "fear of the unknown" and "ignorance is bliss;" there are maxims to the impression that "what you do not know does not harm you" (or: "bother you") in different languages. This quantity means that we want be troubled via the over the top self belief with which scientists, fairly social scientists, current a few of their conclusions and overstate their diversity of program. differently some of the questions that are supposed to be raised approximately all of the significant uncertainties attending a specific factor normally may possibly remain thwarted or suppressed. Down taking part in uncertainty doesn't bring about extra in charge or surer motion, it sidetracks examine agendas, and leaves the choice makers uncovered to nasty shock. This quantity demonstrates that spotting the numerous varieties of uncertainty that input into the advance of any specific subject material is a precondition for extra in charge selection and deeper wisdom. Our function is to give a contribution to a broader appreciation of uncertainty than usually accorded in any of the various disciplines represented the following. The seventeenth-century French thinker Descartes, quoted during this quantity, wrote that "whoever is looking after fact needs to, as soon as in his existence, doubt all issues; insofar as this is often attainable. " White components left on maps of the realm in prior centuries have been a way more efficient problem than marking the tip of the recognized international with the pillars of Hercules.

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Extra resources for Acting under Uncertainty: Multidisciplinary Conceptions

Sample text

But if the rhetorical and legal background to The Art of Conjecturing led to the prominence of legal cases as a paradigm, other sorts of cases were in fact much more amenable to mathematical treatment. Life insurance and annuities, for instance, might be dealt with using years of life as a common mathematical measure. The difficulty, however, was to figure out how to apply the idea of division into cases, worked out for games, to real life situations in which the cases were not known a priori. This is where the use of a posteriori ratios of cases and law of large numbers came in.

Yet in many sorts of situations, including perhaps most criminal trials, Bernoulli's art of conjecture would likely not have been of enormous practical benefit. Some modern theorists have attempted to make rather similar mathematical combinations of diverse evidence, and as in the seventeenth century, so in the twentieth, the mathematical combination of generically different sorts of evidence may raise eyebrows. Numbers may be used with rather silly, if not frightening, results as witness Voltaire's satire, quoted above, of the use of numerical measures of proof in the courts of his day.

He seems to assume that when the ratio of positive and negative outcomes, for instance wins and losses on tennis points, has been shown to approximate a given value after observation of a sufficiently large number of similar situations, then in the future that ratio can be used for practical purposes as the ratio of favorable to unfavorable cases in the art of conjecturing. What Bernoulli actually shows mathematically is, however, apparently not equivalent to what he needs f or his purposes, because his ma thema tical demonstra tion beg ins from an a priori known ratio of cases and predicts the likely outcomes, whereas in practice he must work only a posteriori.

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Acting under Uncertainty: Multidisciplinary Conceptions by George M. von Furstenberg


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