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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Molina added that even if the scientific evidence continues to fall short of the "absolute certainty measure," that heat, drought, severe storms and other weather events may prove beneficial in enhancing public awareness.
"One thing I think is an absolute certainty for next year is that the performance levels of athletes will once again be significantly raised," says Craven.
However, the possible truth of such hypotheses implies only that I do not know with absolute certainty that there is such a world, and most of those same philosophers hold that knowledge does not require absolute certainty.
They look to be an absolute certainty for the championship next year."
Until more information becomes available, it is not possible to declare with absolute certainty that the computing crisis can be laid at LDL's door.
Long experience and absolute certainty are requisite.
The Fina executive held the view that the evidence of 'in-use' air-trapping effect is complex and that it would require considerable time to create and implement comprehensive control mechanisms and test methods to tell with absolute certainty ascertain if competitors using certain models were getting an undue advantage.
Although we acknowledge that future progress depends on many disparate groups, we can say with absolute certainty that the interests of the Baloch people and the cause of the missing will suffer a terrible blow if harm is done to John.The news of Johns worsening condition.
I can state this will absolute certainty because I have experienced it.
'It looks like he might be out for three to four weeks, but it's too early to say with absolute certainty how long he will be out for.'
What it was, I believe, was an absolute certainty that gays were neither sick nor sinful but as worthy as any straight, even when some of the rest of us who had felt beaten down by society weren't so sure.
But there is absolute certainty about the result of our presence--escalating deaths on all sides." Zinn is firmly anti-death penalty and decries its usage as well.