RE: Bayesian epistemology versus Geddesian epistemology

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat May 28 2005 - 22:08:59 MDT

> > A word of advice: don't waste your time
> > with the "philosophy of science". (1) Bayes already presents a
> > solution to the "problem" of induction. (2) Bayes presents a
> > quantitative "Occam's Razor", obviating the need for determining
> > which hypothesis is simpler.
> >
> > The applied Bayesian-statistician daily makes use of these
> > solutions, while the philosophers will continue to argue about
> > these solved problems for decades to come.
> >
> > When you have the calculus of science, of what use is the
> > philosophy of it?

As an aside, I don't agree with the obsessive focus on "Bayes rule" that I
observe in some members of this list.

Probability theory is a very valuable tool, and Bayes theorem is one
important consequence of the axioms of probability theory, but it's only one
useful theorem among many.

Often "Bayesian" is used as a shorthand for "probabilistic/statistical
methods that don't make bogus assumptions regarding underlying probability
distributions." I agree that one shouldn't make bogus assumptions regarding
underlying probability distributions -- as if often done in standard
parametric statistics -- but once one throws these assumptions out, there
are lots of nice probabilistic tools one can use instead, not just Bayes

-- Ben G

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