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Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment Summary

11/24/2010

Well it’s been a while since I read this book, but let’s look back over and drop some major lessons I gained from it.

In no particular order:
  1. Epistemological strategies of the past have failed to take into account the limited nature of human reasoning. Given limited resources, it becomes a practical problem to allocate our attention or other cognitive energies towards certain problems, and we are forced to decide what to look at more closely and what to give only brief glances. It seems part of being reasonable is applying your reason to problems proportional to their significance or the negative results that may occur from error.
  2. Standard Analytic Epistemology is not substantiated because it lends ultimate authority to the intuitions of philosophers. When a problem comes up as to what counts as ‘knowledge’ that stands in contrast to what philosophers feel is ‘knowledge’ then they don’t count it as knowledge. This is not a good basis.
  3. Statistical Prediction Rules are super good at predicting things. Given the same amount of info, they are better than humans almost all the time. We should use them more.
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