Re: Bayes Destroyed?

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2009 00:34:00 -0700

marc.geddes wrote:
> On Aug 29, 6:50 pm, Brent Meeker <> wrote:
>> marc.geddes wrote:
>>> Ok, probablistic/axiomatic, none of it works without the correct
>>> priors, which Bayes can't produce.
>> Bayes explicitly doesn't pretend to produce priors - although some have
>> invented ways of producing priors with minimum presumption (e.g. Jaynes
>> maximum entropy priors). Analogical reasoning doesn't produce priors
>> either and it can produce false conclusions too.
> Actually, I think that's exactly what analogical reasoning *does* do
> (analogies can produce priors by biasing thoughts in the right
> direction by viewing reality through the 'lens' of categories -see
> above, analogy is categorization),
>>> I do. I think Bayes is just a special case of analogical reasoning ;)
>> Then you can say analogical reasoning is just a special case of
>> reasoning. Which then proves that reasoning is more fundamental than
>> analogical reasoning. Then will you claim to have destroyed analogical
>> reasoning. ??
>> Brent-
> No, I think the buck stops with analogical reasoning, since no form of
> reasoning is more powerful. Analogical reasoning can produce priors
> and handle knowledge representation (via categorization),
Really? How does analogy assign probabilities or degrees of belief?
What degree of belief does it assign to "Global warming is caused by
burning fossil fuel" for example?

> Bayes can't.

But obviously reasoning, per se, is at least as powerful as analogical
reasoning, since it includes analogical as well as axiomatic,
probabilistic, metaphorical, intuitionist, etc. My point is that you
have not given any definition of analogical reasoning. By leaving it
vague and undefined you allow yourself to alternately identify every
kind of reasoning as analogical - or a special case of analogical.
Which isn't wrong - but it doesn't have much content either.


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Received on Sat Aug 29 2009 - 00:34:00 PDT

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