Re: need for anthropic reasoning

From: Jacques Mallah <>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 01:00:53 -0500

>From: "Jacques Mallah" <>
> (Also, there's no way to judge how effective something is in directing
>actions, unless you already have some means of judging what the truth is!)

    BTW, this is similar to the fact that you can't argue for the validity
of induction by citing its track record.

> In addition, you'd need a lot of data to judge the effectiveness of a
>belief (even with Occam's razor). No one has that much in most cases
>unless they also can just use Occam's razor directly. I'd like to see a
>counterexample; I doubt one is possible.

    I should be more precise here. Of course, sometimes you can determine
that some procedure (which would follow naturally from some belief) achieves
a desired result, even though you don't know why. In such cases, Occam's
razor may not indicate that the belief in question is true, just that the
procedure works. (e.g. Copenhagen QM) So I spoke too hastily, but the
point remains: even in such cases, rely on Occam's razor and not on
effectiveness; in such a case there must be more than one possible set of
beliefs that leads to employment of that procedure.

                         - - - - - - -
               Jacques Mallah (
         Physicist / Many Worlder / Devil's Advocate
"I know what no one else knows" - 'Runaway Train', Soul Asylum
         My URL:
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Received on Mon Feb 26 2001 - 22:04:39 PST

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