**From:** Jeff Medina (*analyticphilosophy@gmail.com*)

**Date:** Sun Sep 11 2005 - 20:41:14 MDT

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Hi, Ben. Fancy meeting you here. ;)

Jeff wrote, "The only assumption required is that our sample space is finite."

Ben replied:

*>> Suppose you have a population of 10 birds of different colors,
*

*>> and no other knowledge about the population.
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*>>
*

*>> If you sample one of the birds and find that it's a purple goose,
*

*>> why does this count as information that all the RAVENS in the
*

*>> population are black?"
*

Because it is evidence that [all non-black objects are non-ravens]. If

we know at least one raven exists, and sampling a non-black object

produces a non-raven on each of N sampling events, then with

increasing N comes increasing certainty that no non-black object is a

raven. And [no non-black object is a raven] is, of course, logically

and conceptually equivalent to [all ravens are black], given the tiny

extra assumption I left out earlier that at least one raven exists.

It's pretty clear to me that Hempel's paradox presupposes the

existence of its referents, but if you disagree and think it's a

sticking point, I'm happy to concede that a purple goose is only

evidence that [all ravens are black] if and only if there exists at

least one raven.

Best,

-- Jeff Medina http://www.painfullyclear.com/ Community Director Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence http://www.intelligence.org/ Relationships & Community Fellow Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies http://www.ieet.org/ School of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London http://www.bbk.ac.uk/phil/

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