Skip to content

PROBABILITY HAS BEEN BEST UNDERSTOOD HISTORICALLY BY LEGAL SCHOLAR

PROBABILITY HAS BEEN BEST UNDERSTOOD HISTORICALLY BY LEGAL SCHOLARS (In new Intro for SILENT RISK, not talking about New York lawyers but MEDIEVAL legal scholars/philosophers).

Most people claiming a “scientific” approach to risk management do not quite understand what “science” means and how applicable it is for probabilistic decision making. Science consists in a body of rigorously verifiable, replicable, and generalizable claims and state- ments –and those statements only, nothing that doesn’t satisfy these constraints.

Science scorns the particular. It never aimed at covering all manner of exposure management, and never about opaque matters. It is just a subset of our field of decision making. We need to survive by making decisions that do not satisfy scientific methodologies, and cannot wait a hundred years or so for these to be established. So phronetic approaches or a broader class of matters we can call “wisdom” and precautionary actions are necessary. But not abiding by naive “evidentiary science”, we embrace a larger set of human endeavors; it becomes necessary to build former protocols of decision akin to legal codes:

rigorous, methodological, precise, adaptable, but certainly not standard “science” per se.

Indeed the rigor of the 12th Century legal philosopher Pierre Jean de Olivi is as close to our model as Kolmogorov and Paul Lévy. It is a fact that stochastic concepts such as probability, contingency, risk, hazard, and harm found an extreme sophistication in legal texts, from Cicero onwards, way before probability entered our scientific vocabulary, and of course probability was made poorer by the mental gymnastics and ludic version by Fermat-Pascal-Huygens-De Moivre …

Text is here https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B8nhAlfIk3QISHRiY1VLTkRiS1k/edit

via PROBABILITY HAS BEEN BEST UNDERSTOOD… – Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

2 Comments

  1. Trent wrote:

    Could you please re-up this doc link?

    Friday, July 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  2. John wrote:

    Pretty sure you’re looking for his ‘Silent Risk’. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8nhAlfIk3QIdUxFaXpZYkU3MVk/view?pli=1 or the tablet version https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8nhAlfIk3QIdUxFaXpZYkU3MVk/view?pli=1

    Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *
*
*