**From:** Ben Goertzel (*ben@goertzel.org*)

**Date:** Wed Sep 14 2005 - 20:33:50 MDT

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Yo,

This is not narrowly an SL4 topic and I don't want to bore everyone, but I

spent another hour today mulling over this amusing Hempel paradox about

black ravens, and figured a few folks on this list could be interested.

Everyone who is bored by this topic should stop reading now ;-)

But, since there is so much general pontification about the divine wonders

of probability theory on this list, I figure a little more actual elementary

probability theory can't hurt that badly!

Anyway, if anyone feels like checking some interesting elementary

probability theory calculations, see:

http://www.goertzel.org/new_essays/hempel.htm

What I seem to have done there is to construct a simple case where there

seems to be no Hempel paradox according to elementary probability theory.

That is, I define a population of N entities containing at least one raven,

but where drawing a random nonblack entity from the population and observing

it to be a nonraven does not change one's rational estimate of

P(black|raven). Unless I made a calculational error, in which case I would

be curious to discover what it is ;-)

-- Ben

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