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raven paradox

Tags: episteme

Logical paradox about the scientific method:

  • If a raven is black, and your hypothesis is that “ravens are black”, then every raven you see that is black supports the hypothesis
  • However, the cohort of this is that “if a thing is a raven, then it is black”
    • This means that non-raven non-black things support the hypothesis, which is nuts
    • So inherently there is a ranking of evidence, not non-raven non-black things are weaker evidence than a black raven
      • A la bayesian inference
    • However, baysesian inference requires you to know the rough % of non-black non-ravens to black ravens,
      • This number can be estimated, but where is it from?