Risk, Uncertainty and Profit

9780217868129: Risk, Uncertainty and Profit
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Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1921. Excerpt: ... activity is highly organized. Such estimates function as an indirect indication of what we may expect to happen in any set of conditions; we know and give ourselves credit for knowing nothing of value about the problem itself, but we know what is the belief of other men whose judgment we respect and which we accept in place of an opinion of our own. The degree of confidence which we feel in our own situation is simply the degree of confidence we feel in the value of the judgment of the "authority "whose pronouncement we accept as the best information available on the merits of the case. To be sure, the mode of formation of these opinions of others' opinions is complex and obscure, and is rarely free from all passing of judgment on the case itself independently. There is a mutual reinforcement; we have some ideas of our own in the premises, and these agree with the views of some authority. We often if not in general believe what we do because the authority believes it, but to some extent we believe in the authority because he holds the view to which we were already inclined. In large tneasure we even believe in ourselves because and in the measure that we think others believe in us, though, on the other hand, again, . . . But it is enough to indicate the complexity of the relations between our own and others' opinions without attempting to set all these relations out in logical statements. The importance of indirect knowledge of fact through knowledge of others' knowledge is the point we wish to emphasize. Correspondingly, the uncertainty of the knowledge on the basis of which we act is in large measure the margin of error in our estimates of the authorities whom we elect to follow. The uncertainties of business are predominantly of this character, and the genus calls for particularl...

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