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Wisdom, J.O. (1938). Applied: Harold Jeffreys. 'The Problem of Inference.' Mind, Vol. XLV, N.S., No. 179.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:107.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Applied: Harold Jeffreys. 'The Problem of Inference.' Mind, Vol. XLV, N.S., No. 179.

(1938). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 19:107

Applied: Harold Jeffreys. 'The Problem of Inference.' Mind, Vol. XLV, N.S., No. 179.

J. O. Wisdom

This paper discusses an interesting connection between inductive logic and psycho-analysis, between the theory of probability as developed by mathematical logic and the early generalizations made by children—these being based on the facts brought to light in Mrs. Melanie Klein's Psycho-Analysis of Children.

The theme is that not only science but much human behaviour depends upon inductive reasoning; that, although inductive inference cannot have a solely logical basis, it is rational to base conduct upon induction; that inductive inferences can be valid, when set in a logic of probability instead of a logic of certainty; that they can be valid and false; that adults have more relevant data at their disposal for assessing probabilities than children; that childhood phantasies may be found to contain valid inferences from the scanty data available; that a knowledge of the proportion of true to false generalizations in children's phantasies would have an important bearing on the prior probability assignable to a new scientific hypothesis.

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Article Citation

Wisdom, J.O. (1938). Applied. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:107

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