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Francis Garden - 1878 - Table of contents

Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden

Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy




Probable, Probability

Probable, Probability. In conversation we usually employ these words as mere synonyms of likely and likelihood. In philosophy, however, they have a range of meaning from much less to much more, in the way of belief and conviction, than is attached to those others. When any supposed case is possible, then a probability in its favour is constituted by any consideration, however slight, that makes for it; even though the likelihood is all to the contrary. From this lowest step on the scale probability mounts up to such an accumulation and such a force of favourable considerations, as produces entire conviction in the mind that entertains them.


The word probability therefore may mean much less, and much more, than likelihood. Where it does the latter, where the considerations which constitute the probability produce conviction, the difference between such conviction and mathematical certainty lies not in the state of mind or the amount of belief, but in the character of the arguments which have produced it.

 Probable arguments are generically different from necessary ones, though they may produce equal assurance. They differ because they can be rejected without involving contradiction, and their effects may often be different on different minds. Nevertheless they are the only arguments which can be brought to bear on contingent matter, and with contingent matter by far the greater part, if not the whole of practical life, is concerned. Hence as Butler says, "Probability is the very guide of life." It does not follow, however, from this, that we are to make no difference between a strong sense of likelihood, and thorough mental satisfaction, in cases where only the latter will justify our acting, such, for example, as finding guilty the prisoner at the bar.



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