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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 periodicals archive ?
Two 2007 cases with differing results illustrate the parameters of the certainty required.
Cuno could deny states the ability to manage their economies and deprive taxpayers of the certainty required to plan and conduct their business affairs, it said.
6 increases access to natural gas supplies, expedites the placement of new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and provides the regulatory certainty required for investment in new infrastructure associated with natural gas supply.
To achieve the certainty required under the trust instrument, the trustees would have had to obtain either a private letter ruling in their favor or an appellate court ruling before making the prepayments.