22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Oh so disappointing ..., 8 July 2008
I had been looking forward to reading an account of the latest thinking
surrounding a probabilistic account of human thought - what I found was
vague, self-aggrandising and frankly just wrong.
It is a rare feat for any science book where almost every equation on a
single page is simply wrong - but this book manages it spectacularly.
Page 109 is the offending example - I counted three spectacularly
glaring typo's, listed below.
Halfway down, we have:
P(p -> q) = P(q | p), where P(p) < 0
This can't be right since probability is always non-negative. Fair
enough, a simple typo. But then a couple of lines below that contains
the very basic "Ratio" formula - the authors wrote:
P(q | p) = P(q /\ p) / P(q)
It should naturally be: P(q | p) = P(q /\ p) / P(p)
Finally, three lines from the bottom of the page we have:
P(q) = P(p /\ q) + P(p /\ -q)
It should of course be P(p) = ....
My point is that *none* of these formulae were complicated - indeed,
they are all very straightforward. This simply suggests a wider
carelessness that doesn't give the reader much confidence that the
authors care that much about what they are trying to say. So called
"trivial" errors like these certainly undermined the value of the book
for this reader.
Another discouraging thing - if more were needed - is the large number of
citations to the works of the main author (Oaksford) - 29, by actual
count. This is surely vanity publication - at best.