Certainty

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Certainty

 

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.

A. I. RAKITOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
La certitude de ne pas mourir des suites d'une morsure venimeuse ou d'une grossesse difficile.
Another manifestation of incredible certitude is that governments produce precise official forecasts of unknown accuracy.
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"Nous avons la certitude de gagner", a-t-il dit soulignant les "exploits politiques et militaires" du regime.
Weathers proposes to categorize writings according to four postures of the mind maintained by the authors in their writings: certitude, judiciousness, involvement, and absurdity.
His basic idea is that noncognitivists should employ the notion of being for (Schroeder 2008) to account for normative certitude. But as we shall see in section 2, the being for account of normative certitude is vulnerable to many problems shared by other noncognitivist theories.
Until his investigators get more information, he refuses to say with "certitude" whether or not the photo was of him.
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Powell evaluates this doctrine as he would the conservative Protestant doctrine of biblical inerrancy: from the standpoint of William Abraham's canonical theism, which distinguishes the canonical confession of ecclesial truth from the epistemological methods by which certitude is given.
The demand for such a protocol arises from a potent combination of insecurity and certitude. The insecurity arises from the sense that Islam is under siege and that words or images produced half a world away can somehow erode religious faith.