Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Michael_Rooney comments on Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People - Less Wrong

71 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 04 April 2007 06:01PM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (79)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: Michael_Rooney 07 April 2007 05:11:15PM 0 points [-]

By "suspending judgment" I mean neither accepting a claim as true, nor rejecting it as false. Claims about the probability of a given claim being true, helpful as they may be in many cases, are distinct from the claim itself. So, pdf, when you say "The proper attitude towards the claim "Rooney has string in his pockets" is that it has about an X% chance of being true", where X is unknown, I don't see how this is materially different from saying "I don't know if Rooney has string in his pockets", which is to say that you are (for the moment at least) suspending judgment about whether the claim (call it 'string') is true or false. And where X is estimated (on the basis of some hypothetical evidence) to be (say) .4, what is the proper attitude toward 'string'? Saying "'string' has a 40% chance of being true" doesn't answer the question, it makes a different claim, assigning probability. In such situations, the rational course of action is to suspend judgment about 'string'. You may of course hold beliefs about the probability of 'string' being true and act on those beliefs accordingly (by placing real or hypothetical bets, etc.), but in such cases you're neither accepting nor rejecting 'string'.