American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Philosophy The doctrine that probability is a sufficient basis for belief and action, since certainty in knowledge is unattainable.
- n. Roman Catholic Church The system of moral theology that applies when the lawfulness of an act is uncertain, by allowing an actor to follow an opinion favoring personal liberty if that opinion is solidly probable, even though an opposing opinion, favoring law, is more probable.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Roman Catholic theology, the doctrine that when there are two probable opinions, each resting on apparent reason, one in favor of and the other opposed to one's inclinations, it is lawful to follow the probable opinion which favors one's inclination. See probabiliorism, probabilist.
- n. theology, philosophy The doctrine that, in the absence of certainty, probability is the best criterion.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The doctrine of the probabilists.
- n. a Roman Catholic system of casuistry that when expert opinions differ an actor can follow any solidly probable opinion that he wishes even though some different opinion might be more probable
- n. (philosophy) the doctrine that (since certainty is unattainable) probability is a sufficient basis for belief and action
“Only the Academicians believed that certain things were probable, more probable than others, and they are the founders of probabilism, which is nothing more than conviction accompanied with modesty.”
“Orleans, in 1407, to find reasons for openly justifying the murder of tyrants, and the Council of Constance did not venture to pronounce a decided disapproval of this doctrine; and not only that, but it gave, for the first time, serious countenance to the notion of moral probabilism, that is, the doctrine that a morally doubtful action is permissible on condition that several esteemed Fathers can be cited in its favor.”
“Here again it seems that the principle of determinism must give way to that of probabilism.”
“His reality is much more in line with that described by quantum physics with its principles of probabilism and uncertainty: through intentionality man co-determines which scenario of all possible scenarios becomes the most probable and thus manifests in the world, whether this concerns an individual's life scenario or that of humanity as a whole.”
“The rigorists, tutiorists and probabiliorists mainly Dominicans and Franciscans liked to take this decree as proof for the condemnation of probabilism but the probabilists themselves considered it as condemning only laxism.”
“The "correction" of laxism and probabilism is at least an indication that some of the principles used by the Jesuits and their School were liable to error.”
“Just as in probabilism you are stuck with A once you assign it probability 1, so you are basically stuck with A once you assign its negation rank .”
“The depragmatized Dutch Book Argument is a more promising justification for probabilism.”
“The claim that one could direct one's intention away from what is otherwise a morally reprehensible action was consistent with the casuists 'defence of the doctrine of ˜probabilism™.”
“One product of that dispute was Pascal's famous Provincial Letters, a merciless but beautifully-written satire of Jesuit probabilism.”
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