The Illusion of Certainty

This book provides an understanding and appreciation of the risk assessment process and the ability to objectively interpret health risk values.

Author: Erik Rifkin

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780387485720

Category: Medical

Page: 239

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This book provides an understanding and appreciation of the risk assessment process and the ability to objectively interpret health risk values. Included is an explanation of the uncertainty inherent in the assessment of risks as well as an explanation of how the communication and characterization of risks can dramatically alter the perception of those risks. Case studies illustrate the strengths and limitations of characterizing certain risks. Using the accepted risk assessment paradigm proposed by the National Research Council, these case studies illustrate which risk values have merit and why other assessments fail to meet basic criteria.
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The Illusion of Certainty

"The Illusion of Certainty" follows two parallel storylines.

Author: Greg Messel


ISBN: 193675052X

Category: Fiction

Page: 452

View: 869

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"The Illusion of Certainty" follows two parallel storylines. Marc is a successful businessman who seems to have everything-a great job, a beautiful wife, a house in an upscale neighborhood of Portland, Oregon and two great kids who are preparing for college. But something is not right. Marc is unsettled by the sudden change in his wife, Aimee, who seems distant and unhappy. What is going on with her? The second storyline involves a successful young attorney Alexandra Mattson. Alex, as she is called by her friends, meets a handsome young cop, Sean, during an unexpected crisis in her neighborhood. Sean and Alex seem made for each other and begin to merge their futures in a world of uncertainty. The only certainty in life is that we will face uncertainty. Despite all of the technology and controls available in the modern world, sometimes the only comfort comes from the human touch.
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The Illusion of Certainty

Houk coins the term "culturalism" to describe dogmatic viewpoints governed by culture-specific values and preconceived notions.

Author: James T. Houk

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 9781633883246

Category: Religion

Page: 381

View: 791

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In this examination of religion's influence on society, an anthropologist critiques fundamentalism and all mindsets based on rigid cultural certainties. The author argues that the future can only be safeguarded by a global humanistic outlook that recognizes and respects differing cultural perspectives and endorses the use of critical reason and empiricism. Houk coins the term "culturalism" to describe dogmatic viewpoints governed by culture-specific values and preconceived notions. Culturalism gives rise not only to fundamentalism in religion but also stereotypes about race, gender, and sexual orientation. Turning specifically to Christian fundamentalism, the author analyzes the many weaknesses of what he calls a faith-based epistemology, particularly as such thinking is displayed in young-earth creationism, the reliance on revelation and subjective experiences as a source of religious knowledge, and the reverence accorded the Bible despite its obvious flaws. As he points out, the problem with such cultural knowledge generally is that it is non-falsifiable and ultimately has no lasting value in contrast to the data-based and falsifiable knowledge produced by science, which continues to prove its worth as a reliable source of accurate information. Concluding that there is no future to the fundamentalist mindset in a diverse world where religion often exacerbates conflicts, he makes a strong case for reason and mutual tolerance.
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After Certainty

After Certainty offers a reconstruction of the history of epistemology, understood as a series of changing expectations about the cognitive ideal that we might hope to achieve in this world.

Author: Robert Pasnau

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198801788

Category: Philosophy

Page: 432

View: 173

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No part of philosophy is as disconnected from its history as is epistemology. After Certainty offers a reconstruction of that history, understood as a series of changing expectations about the cognitive ideal that beings such as us might hope to achieve in a world such as this. The story begins with Aristotle and then looks at how his epistemic program was developed through later antiquity and into the Middle Ages, before being dramatically reformulated in the seventeenth century. In watching these debates unfold over the centuries, one sees why epistemology has traditionally been embedded within a much larger sphere of concerns about human nature and the reality of the world we live in. It ultimately becomes clear why epistemology today has become a much narrower and specialized field, concerned with the conditions under which it is true to say, that someone knows something. Based on a series of lectures given at Oxford University, Robert Pasnau's book ranges widely over the history of philosophy, and examines in some detail the rise of science as an autonomous discipline. Ultimately Pasnau argues that we may have no good reasons to suppose ourselves capable of achieving even the most minimal standards for knowledge, and the final chapter concludes with a discussion of faith and hope.
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Certainty is Illusion

It is further codified in joint doctrine. The mythos is normative, implying successful military operations depend on the clarity of strategic guidance. It includes World War II and the 1991 Gulf War as exemplars of such strategic clarity.

Author: U. S. Military


ISBN: 1520702884


Page: 71

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It is axiomatic to military officers that civilian leaders will provide clearly defined, achievable, ends-oriented strategic guidance to inform military planning, springing from a completed strategy to achieve policy goals. This model of the strategic guidance process forms a strategic guidance mythos, reinforced by Samuel Huntington's model of objective civilian control of the military and the Weinberger-Powell doctrine for the use of force. It is further codified in joint doctrine. The mythos is normative, implying successful military operations depend on the clarity of strategic guidance. It includes World War II and the 1991 Gulf War as exemplars of such strategic clarity. Unfortunately, analysis of these two cases reveals something very different: the mythos is an ahistorical myth. Instead of the clear guidance of the mythos, the guidance processes from World War II (from Pearl Harbor to Operation Torch, specifically) and the Gulf War demonstrate a very different relationship between strategic guidance and military planning. In reality, guidance was more like general principles governing operations than clear objectives. It impacted ways and means, instead of only providing ends. Rather than flowing from a completed strategy, it emerged through a continuous conversation, informed by military planning as much as it guided that planning. These characteristics describe guidance as fact, rather than guidance as an unrealistic ideal. Accepting this fact would support better methods of military planning and better patterns of strategic thought. Such strategic thinking must replace the military's dependence on an unrealistic myth of strategic guidance. The Standard for Strategic Guidance: the Guidance Mythos * Historical Experiments: Evaluating the Mythos * Experiment #1: Operation Torch * Experiment #2: The Persian Gulf War * Experimental Results * Strategic Principles not Strategic Objectives * Strategy as Discourse * Implications * Fact not Blunder * Strategic Thinking Instead of Strategic Guidance
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Leading With Meaning

The illusion of idolatry is set in motion by an attitude of certainty in a world best
described as uncertain. Idolatry begins when the ambiguous environment
overwhelms the idolater so much that he is willing to embrace the illusion of
certainty ...

Author: Moses Pava

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 9781466891678

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

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What makes a good leader? How does good leadership impact an organization? Moses Pava's Leading With Meaning argues that meaningful and useful answers to these questions are available in traditional religious and spiritual resources. Pava shows how religion can talk to real world problems by exploring traditional literature that deal with the idea of the biblical covenant and Jewish leadership. Using what can be learned from these in the business world is the key to building leadership based on mutual trust and respect--a covenantal leadership. In the aftermath of the Enron scandal, leadership with a soul is more important than ever before. This book offers the paths of Humanity, of No Illusions, of Integration, of Moral Imagination, of the Role Model, and of Moral Growth as six ways to achieve it. The best teachers have always showed us how to use yesterday's language to solve tomorrow's problems. Moses Pava continues in this tradition and clearly shows us why a covenantal leader is a successful leader.
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The End of Certainty

The Nobel laureate and founder of chaos theory challenges the accepted laws of nature, explaining why Einstein's belief that time is merely an illusion is incorrect

Author: Ilya Prigogine

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780684837055

Category: Philosophy

Page: 228

View: 408

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The Nobel laureate and founder of chaos theory challenges the accepted laws of nature, explaining why Einstein's belief that time is merely an illusion is incorrect
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Risk Savvy

Believing that it delivers certainty is another. For those of us who suffer from the
illusion of certainty, there is a simple remedy. Always remember what Benjamin
Franklin said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and ...

Author: Gerd Gigerenzer

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780698151437

Category: Psychology

Page: 336

View: 142

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An eye-opening look at the ways we misjudge risk every day and a guide to making better decisions with our money, health, and personal lives In the age of Big Data we often believe that our predictions about the future are better than ever before. But as risk expert Gerd Gigerenzer shows, the surprising truth is that in the real world, we often get better results by using simple rules and considering less information. In Risk Savvy, Gigerenzer reveals that most of us, including doctors, lawyers, financial advisers, and elected officials, misunderstand statistics much more often than we think, leaving us not only misinformed, but vulnerable to exploitation. Yet there is hope. Anyone can learn to make better decisions for their health, finances, family, and business without needing to consult an expert or a super computer, and Gigerenzer shows us how. Risk Savvy is an insightful and easy-to-understand remedy to our collective information overload and an essential guide to making smart, confident decisions in the face of uncertainty.
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Calculated Risks

This eye-opening book explains how we can overcome our ignorance of numbers and better understand the risks we may be taking with our money, our health, and our lives.

Author: Gerd Gigerenzer

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780743254236

Category: Education

Page: 310

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At the beginning of the twentieth century, H. G. Wells predicted that statistical thinking would be as necessary for citizenship in a technological world as the ability to read and write. But in the twenty-first century, we are often overwhelmed by a baffling array of percentages and probabilities as we try to navigate in a world dominated by statistics. Cognitive scientist Gerd Gigerenzer says that because we haven't learned statistical thinking, we don't understand risk and uncertainty. In order to assess risk -- everything from the risk of an automobile accident to the certainty or uncertainty of some common medical screening tests -- we need a basic understanding of statistics. Astonishingly, doctors and lawyers don't understand risk any better than anyone else. Gigerenzer reports a study in which doctors were told the results of breast cancer screenings and then were asked to explain the risks of contracting breast cancer to a woman who received a positive result from a screening. The actual risk was small because the test gives many false positives. But nearly every physician in the study overstated the risk. Yet many people will have to make important health decisions based on such information and the interpretation of that information by their doctors. Gigerenzer explains that a major obstacle to our understanding of numbers is that we live with an illusion of certainty. Many of us believe that HIV tests, DNA fingerprinting, and the growing number of genetic tests are absolutely certain. But even DNA evidence can produce spurious matches. We cling to our illusion of certainty because the medical industry, insurance companies, investment advisers, and election campaigns have become purveyors of certainty, marketing it like a commodity. To avoid confusion, says Gigerenzer, we should rely on more understandable representations of risk, such as absolute risks. For example, it is said that a mammography screening reduces the risk of breast cancer by 25 percent. But in absolute risks, that means that out of every 1,000 women who do not participate in screening, 4 will die; while out of 1,000 women who do, 3 will die. A 25 percent risk reduction sounds much more significant than a benefit that 1 out of 1,000 women will reap. This eye-opening book explains how we can overcome our ignorance of numbers and better understand the risks we may be taking with our money, our health, and our lives.
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Natural Causes

In this revelatory book, Barbara Ehrenreich argues that our bodies are a battleground over which we have little control, and lays bare the cultural charades that shield us from this knowledge.

Author: Barbara Ehrenreich

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 9781783782437

Category: Social Science


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We tend to believe we have agency over our bodies, our minds and even our deaths. Yet emerging science challenges our assumptions of mastery: at the microscopic level, the cells in our bodies facilitate tumours and attack other cells, with life-threatening consequences. In this revelatory book, Barbara Ehrenreich argues that our bodies are a battleground over which we have little control, and lays bare the cultural charades that shield us from this knowledge. Challenging everything we think we know about life and death, she also offers hope - that we find our place in a natural world teeming with animation and endless possibility.
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Embracing Uncertainty

ILLUSION. OF. CERTAINTY. CREATED? The schools and the books make it all
seem so cut and dried. If you do this, you get this. Well, that's wrong. — Estée
Lauder IVIagicians, sorcerers, and illusionists have fascinated people in every
age ...

Author: Phillip G. Clampitt

Publisher: M.E. Sharpe

ISBN: 0765607743

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 211

View: 723

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Annotation Written for business executives, this book highlights the role of uncertainty in setting realistic goals, encouraging flexibility, and adapting to change. Clampitt (information sciences, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay) and DeKoch (a consultant) discuss the dangers of false certainty, the effective leader's reaction to uncertainty, and the specific skills needed to embrace uncertainty. Examples are taken from the classroom and from the business world. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Is God A Delusion

Certainty. Sam Harris acknowledges much of what I have said about the nature of
religion. He sees the importance of ... the illusion of certainty by remorselessly
persecuting every "heretic” whose differing beliefs might threaten that illusion.

Author: Eric Reitan

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781444358186

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

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Is God a Delusion? addresses the philosophical underpinnings of the recent proliferation of popular books attacking religious beliefs. Winner of CHOICE 2009 Outstanding Academic Title Award Focuses primarily on charges leveled by recent critics that belief in God is irrational and that its nature ferments violence Balances philosophical rigor and scholarly care with an engaging, accessible style Offers a direct response to the crop of recent anti-religion bestsellers currently generating considerable public discussion
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Behavioral Finance

Moving marginally from certainty to uncertainty has a big effect given the high
level of utility that individuals have ... effects) that create the illusion of certainty,
thereby generating choices that cannot be justified on grounds of SEU rationality.

Author: H. Kent Baker

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470769688

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 768

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A definitive guide to the growing field of behavioral finance This reliable resource provides a comprehensive view of behavioral finance and its psychological foundations, as well as its applications to finance. Comprising contributed chapters written by distinguished authors from some of the most influential firms and universities in the world, Behavioral Finance provides a synthesis of the most essential elements of this discipline, including psychological concepts and behavioral biases, the behavioral aspects of asset pricing, asset allocation, and market prices, as well as investor behavior, corporate managerial behavior, and social influences. Uses a structured approach to put behavioral finance in perspective Relies on recent research findings to provide guidance through the maze of theories and concepts Discusses the impact of sub-optimal financial decisions on the efficiency of capital markets, personal wealth, and the performance of corporations Behavioral finance has quickly become part of mainstream finance. If you need to gain a better understanding of this topic, look no further than this book.
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The Legal Realism of Jerome N Frank

Here again, the basis of the myth that judges do not make law is the childish
illusion that certainty can be achieved. If, therefore, one has a powerful need to
believe in the possibility of anything like exact legal predictability, he will find
judicial ...

Author: Julius Paul

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9789401194938

Category: Law

Page: 177

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Between the Levite at the gate and the judicial systems of our day is a long journey in courthouse government, but its basic structure remains the same - law, judge and process. Of the three, process is the most unstable - procedure and facts. Of the two, facts are the most intractable. While most of the law in books may seem to center about abstract theories, doctrines, princi ples, and rules, the truth is that most of it is designed in some way to escape the painful examination of the facts which bring parties in a particular case to court. Frequently the emphasis is on the rule of law as it is with respect to the negotiable instru ment which forbids inquiry behind its face; sometimes the empha sis is on men as in the case of the wide discretion given a judge or administrator; sometimes on the process, as in pleading to a refined issue, summary judgment, pre-trial conference, or jury trial designed to impose the dirty work of fact finding on laymen. The minds of the men of law never cease to labor at im proving process in the hope that some less painful, more trustworthy and if possible automatic method can be found to lay open or force litigants to disclose what lies inside their quarrel, so that law can be administered with dispatch and de cisiveness in the hope that truth and justice will be served.
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Beyond Certainty

a lot of things. Ten years ago we thought that we knew where we stood, ... It was
a time of certainty. ... Thus had the illusion of certainty made a monkey of me.

Author: Charles Handy

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9781448108725

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 224

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Over the last decade, change has accelerated violently. The Thatcher/Regan years were a time of certainty, when greed was good, more meant better, and the Western world rejoiced to see George Orwell's dismal prophecy for 1984 confounded. But there is a curvilinear logic in the universe. Prosperity cannot last forever. Empires and organisations must flounder. The world must be reinvented. We can now be certain only of uncertainty, and to plan for the future we must think differently. Compromise may be the way forward, and organisations must give more freedom to individuals to preserve commitment and creativity. In this challenging and exhilarating collection of pieces, Charles Handy, Britain's foremost business guru, takes us on an intellectual journey through a changing world, in order to see how we must adapt to make our future work.
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50 Great Myths About Atheism

He acknowledges that religious groups throughout history have, in fact, claimed
certainty: they have “attempted to preserve the illusion of certainty by
remorselessly persecuting every 'heretic' whose differing beliefs might threaten
that illusion.


Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781118607817

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 909

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Tackling a host of myths and prejudices commonly leveled at atheism, this captivating volume bursts with sparkling, eloquent arguments on every page. The authors rebut claims that range from atheism being just another religion to the alleged atrocities committed in its name. An accessible yet scholarly commentary on hot-button issues in the debate over religious belief Teaches critical thinking skills through detailed, rational argument Objectively considers each myth on its merits Includes a history of atheism and its advocates, an appendix detailing atheist organizations, and an extensive bibliography Explains the differences between atheism and related concepts such as agnosticism and naturalism
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Essential Decision Making and Clinical Judgement for Nurses E Book

Paradoxically, it is not uncertainty that reveals our innumeracy but our misplaced
belief in certainty; or the 'illusion' of certainty. Consider the statement, 'Everyone
in the A&E who comes in wanting pethidine uses other illegal drugs so we don't ...

Author: Carl Thompson

Publisher: Elsevier Health Sciences

ISBN: 9780702042522

Category: Medical

Page: 288

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This book provides the skills and knowledge to use information effectively when exercising professional judgement and clinical decisions. By integrating theory with practical examples, it provides an overview of the key issues facing nurses in decision making today. Review of up-to-date research into clinical professional judgement and decision making Focus on evidence and skills and knowledge relevant to nursing practice Combines current theory with analysis of applications in practice Learning exercises and self-assessment components in each chapter Comprehensive coverage of subject
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Rationality for Mortals

The illusion of certainty can be used to reach political or economic goals. For
example, as mad cow disease (BSE) spread across Europe, the German
government held their country to be free of the disease. “German beef is safe”—
this phrase ...

Author: Gerd Gigerenzer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199890125

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

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Gerd Gigerenzer's influential work examines the rationality of individuals not from the perspective of logic or probability, but from the point of view of adaptation to the real world of human behavior and interaction with the environment. Seen from this perspective, human behavior is more rational than it might otherwise appear. This work is extremely influential and has spawned an entire research program. This volume (which follows on a previous collection, Adaptive Thinking, also published by OUP) collects his most recent articles, looking at how people use "fast and frugal heuristics" to calculate probability and risk and make decisions. It includes a newly writen, substantial introduction, and the articles have been revised and updated where appropriate. This volume should appeal, like the earlier volumes, to a broad mixture of cognitive psychologists, philosophers, economists, and others who study decision making.
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The Fall Out of Redemption

A crucial aspect of fiction as Cioran writes it is that it is a fertile kind of illusion; the
certainty of absolute ludicity would shut down creative production since there
would be nothing to add to the articulation of a fully lucid and definitive position.

Author: Joseph Acquisto

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781628926538

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

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Joseph Acquisto examines literary writers and critical theorists who employ theological frameworks, but who divorce that framework from questions of belief and thereby remove the doctrine of salvation from their considerations. Acquisto claims that Baudelaire inaugurates a new kind of amodern modernity by canceling the notion of salvation in his writing while also refusing to embrace any of its secular equivalents, such as historical progress or redemption through art. Through a series of “interhistorical” readings that put literary and critical writers from the last 150 years in dialogue, Acquisto shows how these authors struggle to articulate both the metaphysical and esthetic consequences of attempting to move beyond a logic of salvation. Putting these writers into dialogue with Baudelaire highlights the way both literary and critical approaches attempt to articulate a third option between theism and atheism that also steers clear of political utopianism and Nietzschean estheticism. In the concluding section, Acquisto expands metaphysical and esthetic concerns to account also for the ethics inherent in the refusal of the logic of salvation, an ethics which emerges from, rather than seeking to redeem or cancel, a certain kind of nihilism.
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