[hist-analytic] On Uncertainty

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Feb 12 17:02:00 EST 2011


In a message dated 2/12/2011 4:51:41 P.M., Baynesr at comcast.net writes  
interesting things about uncertainties referrring inter alia to 
_http://www.hist-analytic.org/UncertaintyIndeterminacy.pdf_ 
(http://www.hist-analytic.org/UncertaintyIndeterminacy.pdf) 

I was wondering, since, indeed Grice entitled his British Academy lecture  
"Intention and uncertainty", what we _do_ mean.
 
I tend to consider Wittgenstein's points about "Certainty" seriously  -- 
for a change!
 
I also tend to consider Sir Alfred Ayer's point, on the other hand, about  
identifying 'knowing' with 'certainty' a misguided one. 
 
Grice considers 'uncertainty' in connection with, well, _certainty_ and in  
connection with the 'sceptic' challenge. (A pretty 'academic' point of 
interests  to theoretical philosophers, only!).
 
This seems to be different from the theses presented by Bayne via Mele and  
the link above, which involves the calculus of probabilities, etc. 
 
In this respect, 'uncertainty' is perhaps the wrong word. Too negative! It  
just means the negation of _certainty_. 
 
Now, why is _knowledge_ relevant to this? Should it? I don't think so (but  
what do I _know_?)
 
Note that in Grice's and indeed Gettier's analysis of 'knowing' (Grice,  
WoW, ch. iii), there is NO REFERENCE to 'certainty':
 
Someone may be _certain_ that p, and yet NOT know that 'p'. I suppose this  
all transpires into the philosophy of action, or not!
 
Cheers.
Speranza
-- Ref.
Wittgenstein, "On Certainty"




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