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CaptainOblivious2 comments on What is Bayesianism? - Less Wrong

81 Post author: Kaj_Sotala 26 February 2010 07:43AM

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Comment author: CaptainOblivious2 27 February 2010 04:52:47PM *  0 points [-]

Sub-tenet 1: If you experience something that you think could only be caused by cause A, ask yourself "if this cause didn't exist, would I regardless expect to experience this with equal probability?" If the answer is "yes", then it probably wasn't cause A.

I don't understand this at all - if you experience something that you think could only be caused by A, then the question you're supposed to ask yourself makes no sense whatsoever: absent A, you would expect to never experience this thing, per the original condition! And if the answer to the question is anything above "never", then clearly you don't think that A is the only possible cause!

Comment author: JGWeissman 27 February 2010 05:45:05PM 3 points [-]

The point is that people can erroneously report, even to themselves, that they believe their experience could only be caused by cause A. Asking the question if you would still anticipate the experience if cause A did not exist is a way of checking that you really believe that your experience could only be caused by cause A.

More generally, it is useful to examine beliefs you have expressed in high level language, to see if you still believe them after digging deeper into what that high level language means.

Comment author: FAWS 27 February 2010 05:47:27PM *  0 points [-]

I think that the inconsistency of such a position was the point. It would probably be better phrased as "... something that has to be caused by cause A" (or possibly just "proof of A"), which is effectively equivalent, but IMO something that someone who would answer yes to the following question could plausibly have claimed to believe (i. e. I wouldn't be very surprised by the existence of people who are that inconsistent in their beliefs) .