TNH 1.3.11.09

·Regarding •probability·: It might be said that though in an opposition of chances it is impossible to determine with certainty on which side the outcome will fall, we nevertheless can say for sure that it is more likely and probable that it will fall on the side that has the greater number of chances than that it will fall where there is a smaller number. If this is said, I reply:
What do you mean by ‘likelihood and probability’? The likelihood and probability of chances is a greater number of equal chances; so when you say that it is ‘likely’ that the outcome will fall on the side which has the greater number, rather than on one having a lesser number of chances, all you are saying is that where there is a greater number of chances there is actually a greater, and where there is an lesser there is a lesser. These are identical propositions [= ‘tautologies’], and of no significance.
So the question remains: how does a greater number of equal chances operate on the mind to produce belief or assent? Apparently it’s not by arguments derived from demonstration, or by ones from probability.

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