Financial Mathematics Text

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Modeling Gold Returns: A Case Study

In my previous post, I considered the problem of induction. Looking at emeralds and noting that they are green (or grue) is supposed to be a simple example since making color judgements is presumably a simple task. The example could be further complicated if we factor in the vagueness of making color judgements. After all, it's likely the case that the distribution of electromagnetic frequencies differ between one emerald and the next. (And they would differ further depending on the distribution of EM frequencies of the "white light" used upon it.)

In most real world scientific inquiries, these uncertainties are present and need to be dealt with. So instead of focusing on the sorts of examples used in "simple" philosophical thought experiments, I thought I would provide a more detailed example.

The motivation for looking at this came from an interesting paper entitled The Golden Dilemma. I will make frequent reference to Exhibits from this paper. [1]

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Problem of Induction

This is a continuation of a series devoted to the question of what an "empirical question" is. See Part I and Part II if you're interested.

One tool that is considered essential to the empirical sciences is induction. It's importance is, in my opinion, overstated by most philosophers (I firmly believe that abduction rarely gets the proper credit it deserves). In spite of that, I do not dismiss its important role in scientific inquiry.

That's an Empirical Question: Part II

See here for Part I.

Thus far I've conjectured that an empirical question in some way or form entails the use of empirical tools as distinct from other kinds of tools. One type of alternative tool is mathematical while another is philosophical. This interpretation rests on the idea that (some) philosophers believe there to be a distinct set of questions which can be addressed only with a particular set of tools. I would like to further explore this issue.