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Facts vs Inferences

Module 7

Notable Quotes

“…it would be very unlikely for unlikely events not to occur.  If you don’t specify a predicted event precisely, there are an indeterminate number of ways for an event of that general kind to take place.” -- John Allen Paulos

“An inference, as we shall use the term, is a statement about the unknown made on the basis of the known…... Inferences may be carelessly or carefully made. They may be made on the basis of a great background of previous experience with the subject-matter, or no experience at all. For example, the inferences a good mechanic can make about the internal condition of a motor by listening to it are often startlingly accurate, while the inferences made by an amateur (if he tries to make any) may be entirely wrong. But the common characteristic of inferences is that they are statements about matters which are not directly known, made on the basis of what has been observed. “—Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action, p. 41.

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