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a term used in probability theory, logic, epistemology, and law (theory of legal proof). In philosophical and logical-methodological investigations it is most frequently used to characterize knowledge that is valid, conclusive, or indisputable and also as a synonym for truth. In experimental natural science the term “certainty” frequently designates events and judgments that are regarded as empirically confirmed by special experiments or, more broadly, by the social and productive practice of men.

The term acquires a somewhat specialized meaning in probability theory. In so-called subjective, or personal, probability, certainty is most frequently interpreted as a concept reflecting the subject’s confidence in the correctness of his evaluation of the probability that a particular event will occur. From this point of view certainty also expresses the extent of a given individual’s knowledge about the conditions and factors contributing to or counteracting the occurrence of events. In this sense, with the exception of extremely idealized or oversimplified cases, certainty includes a considerable element of uncertainty, inasmuch as exhaustive knowledge about such conditions and factors is practically unobtainable.


References in classic literature ?
To ask her for passion or for certainty seemed like asking that damp prospect for fierce blades of fire, or the faded sky for the intense blue vault of June.
This raises the problem of VERIFIABILITY: are there any circumstances which can justifiably give us an unusual degree of certainty that such and such a belief is true?
I am afraid their chief reason for this search has been the wish to feel more certainty than seems otherwise possible as to what is true and what is false.
Again, self-evidence must not be the same thing as the absence of doubt or the presence of complete certainty.
Our subjective certainty is usually a result of habit, and may lead us astray in circumstances which are unusual in ways of which we are unaware.
Nevertheless, it is perhaps true that judgments having a high degree of subjective certainty are more apt to be true than other judgments.
Tn an essay published in the American monthly Catholic World Report, March 2001, Bishop Bruskewitz, of Lincoln, Nebraska, and others, point out that the debate about when a person should be considered dead with complete certainty has not been resolved.
Here grace is the sheer fact that I cannot not see the emptiness or space between myself and my certainty.
In 1929 the great American philosopher John Dewey published a book called The Quest for Certainty.
However, the IRS has programs that provide taxpayers with transfer-pricing certainty and ensure that it does not audit transfer-pricing policies that may otherwise seem aggressive.
To maximize the total selling price of the bonds, the transaction sponsors must predict with certainty the amount and timing of every mortgage payment the Trust will receive.
It is expected that the inclusion of certainty information on thematic maps will improve the confidence with which decision making occurs and that it will help users to make the correct decision more often and in a shorter time.