Knowledge and Uncertainty
Henry Kyburg Jr.
Abstract:
One purpose  quite a few thinkers would say the main purpose  of seeking knowledge about the world is to enhance our ability to make good decisions. An item of knowledge that can make no conceivable difference with regard to anything we might do would strike many as frivolous. Whether or not we want to be philosophical pragmatists in this strong sense with regard to everything we might want to enquire about, it seems a perfectly appropriate attitude to adopt toward artificial knowledge systems. If is granted that we are ultimately concerned with decisions, then some constraints are imposed on our measures of uncertainty at the level of decision making. If our measure of uncertainty is realvalued, then it isn't hard to show that it must satisfy the classical probability axioms. For example, if an act has a realvalued utility U(E) if the event E obtains, and the same realvalued utility if the denial of E obtains, so that U(E) = U(E), then the expected utility of that act must be U(E), and that must be the same as the uncertaintyweighted average of the returns of the act, pU(E) + qU('E), where p and q represent the uncertainty of E andE respectively. But then we must have p + q = 1.
Keywords: Probability Axioms, Uncertainty
Pages: 151158
PS Link:
PDF Link: /papers/86/p151kyburg.pdf
BibTex:
@INPROCEEDINGS{Kyburg Jr.86,
AUTHOR = "Henry Kyburg Jr.
",
TITLE = "Knowledge and Uncertainty",
BOOKTITLE = "Proceedings of the Second Conference Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI86)",
PUBLISHER = "AUAI Press",
ADDRESS = "Corvallis, Oregon",
YEAR = "1986",
PAGES = "151158"
}

