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Book Gambling with Truth: Essay on Induction and the Aims of Science

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Gambling with Truth: Essay on Induction and the Aims of Science

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Gambling with Truth: Essay on Induction and the Aims of Science.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Isaac Levi(Author)

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A comprehensive discussion of the problem of rational belief which develops the subject on the pattenr of Bayesian decision theory.

This comprehensive discussion of the problem of rational belief develops the subject on the pattern of Bayesian decision theory. The analogy with decision theory introduces philosophical issues not usually encountered in logical studies and suggests some promising new approaches to old problems.

"We owe Professor Levi a debt of gratitude for producing a book of such excellence. His own approach to inductive inference is not only original and profound, it also clarifies and transforms the work of his predecessors. In short, the book deserves to become a classic.... There is a great deal of interest in the book besides these basic matters [forumlating rules of acceptance]. Some of the most interesting chapters are those that examine the implications of such rules. The discussions of probability, generalization, and various forms of inference are brilliant and enlightening. Indeed, the problems and methods elaborated by Professor Levi in his book serve as a new foundation for the study of inductive inference."--Keith Lehrer, Nous

"Levi's book is an extremely interesting report on 'tentative and speculative first steps' toward a decision-theoretic approach to inductive inference.... Professor Levi is to be congratulated on his ingenious development and application of this approach...."--Richard C. Jeffrey, The Journal of Philosophy

2.5 (7869)
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Book details

  • PDF | 266 pages
  • Isaac Levi(Author)
  • Routledge & Kegan Paul PLC; First Edition edition (October 1967)
  • English
  • 4
  • Science & Math

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Review Text

  • By Michael Emmett Brady on February 26, 2005

    Levi(L)presents a Bayesian approach to rational decision making and probability.Within this Bayesian framework,L examines epistemological,logical and philosophical issues that arise in the study of induction.L then discusses the concept of acceptability(what it means to accept a hypothesis,theory, belief,etc.,relative to the complete set of other beliefs held by an individual decision maker ).L then analyzes both strong and weak acceptability.Again,as in the Bayesian approach to probability,the roles of consistency and coherence of the complete set of beliefs are examined in the discussion of acceptability.Levi's general exposition in this book is superb.Unfortunately,the overall intellectual value of reading and absorbing the philosophical discussions and analysis in this book suffers from an extremely ignorant assessment of John Maynard Keynes's concept of the weight of the evidence and the role played by the weight of the evidence,w, in Keynes's decision theory as presented in chapter 26 of A Treatise on Probability(1921;TP).Levi's treatment of Keynes's breakthrough analysis of w in his chapter IX is as poor as the two error filled review essays written by Frank Ramsey on Keynes's approach to probability(Keynes's logical theory of probability and induction based on a set theoretic exposition of interval estimates).Levi makes a number of claims that are simply false,just as Ramsey did.For instance,L claims that Keynes never specified an index to measure the weight of the evidence,w.On page 315 of the TP,Keynes clearly defines w to be an element of the unit interval between 0 and 1,where 0<=w<=1!!!L next claims that Keynes never explicitly examined the role played by w,and its importance, in a decision theoretic discussion .On page 315 and page 315,footnote 2,Keynes explicitly defines a decision rule which Keynes called a "conventional coefficient of weight and risk,c".Keynes presented a general theory of decision making when he explicitly analyzed his coefficient in footnote 2 on page 315 of the TP.Keynes presents general solutions to,for example,both the Popper and the Ellsberg paradoxes 40 years before Popper or Ellsberg published their results in the late 1950's-early 1960's!!!The combined effect of the two error filled Ramsey review articles,first published in 1922 and 1926 and then reprinted numerous times in books of collected essays without any error correction, and the error filled chapter IX of Levi's Gambling with Truth,first published in 1967 and reprinted without any error correction,has been to totally mislead vast numbers of economists,philosophers,psychologists,mathematicians,statisticians,and decision theorists about the applicability and operational nature of Keynes's highly original and innovative approach to probability and decision theory over the last 40-80 years.I have deducted two stars from my review for the presence of chapter IX in this book.I recommend that a potential book buyer consider purchasing this book .If chapter IX is excluded from serious intellectual consideration,then the remaining chapters have value.


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