Malcolm R. Forster

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1 The problem No matter how often billiard balls have moved when struck in the past, the next billiard ball may not move when struck. For philosophers, this 'theoretical' possibility of being wrong raises a problem about how to justify our theories and models of the world and their predictions. This is the problem of induction. In practice, nobody denies(More)
The theory of fast and frugal heuristics, developed in a new book called Simple Heuristics that make Us Smart (Gigerenzer, Todd, and the ABC Research Group, in press), includes two requirements for rational decision making. One is that decision rules are bounded in their rationality—that rules are frugal in what they take into account, and therefore fast in(More)
Some quantum mechanical phenomena are notoriously hard to explain in causal terms. But what prior motivation is there for seeking a causal explanation in the first place, other than the fact that they have been used successfully to explain unrelated phenomena? The answer is twofold. First, the agreement of independent measurements of probabilities is the(More)
The simple question—What is empirical success?—turns out to have a surprisingly complicated answer. We need to distinguish between meritorious fit and " fudged fit " , which is akin to the distinction between prediction and accommodation. The final proposal is that empirical success emerges in a theory-dependent way from the agreement of independent(More)
Classical mechanics is empirically successful because the probabilistic mean values of quantum mechanical observables follow the classical equations of motion to a good approximation (Messiah 1970, 215). We examine this claim for the one-dimensional motion of a particle in a box, and extend the idea by deriving a special case of the ideal gas law in terms(More)
The Likelihood Theory of Evidence (LTE) says, roughly, that all the information relevant to the bearing of data on hypotheses (or models) is contained in the likelihoods. There exist counterexamples in which one can tell which of two hypotheses is true from the full data, but not from the likelihoods alone. These examples suggest that some forms of(More)