J. M. Keynes' 'theory of evidential weight': Its relation to information processing theory and application in the general theory

Synthese 71 (1):37 - 59 (1987)
Abstract
The conclusions derived by Keynes in his Treatise on Probability (1921) concerning induction, analogical reasoning, expectations formation and decision making, mirror and foreshadow the main conclusions of cognitive science and psychology.The problem of weight is studied within an economic context by examining the role it played in Keynes' applied philosophy work, The General Theory (1936). Keynes' approach is then reformulated as an optimal control approach to dealing with changes in information evaluation over time. Based on this analysis the problem of inductive justification, from a societal perspective, is not, What can we rationally believe will occur in the economic future, given our past experiences? but Can we make the future so as to attain specific economic goals with practical certainty? An answer requires that restrictions be placed on the methodological individualist approach and the acceptance of a restricted holistic approach.
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