V O L U M E 8 , D O C U M E N T 5 3 3 a 9 9

Tell Besso he should ask for the story. I’m curious if he finds the same fly in the

ointment as I do. At the Academy there were a couple of droll scenes about the pa-

per, about which I’ll tell both of you

later.[10]

A satisfactory relationship has formed between me and my wife, namely

through the correspondence I am conducting with her about the

divorce![11]

A fun-

ny opportunity indeed for reconciliation. I am currently trying to obtain the permis-

sion to give her my savings and send them to Switzerland. Up to now I have not

been able to carry it through at the

Reichsbank.[12]

Together with two large prizes

I recently received, it is 40,000

marks.[13]

You are certainly laughing at my telling

you this with a certain pride; but for my children it does mean something not to be

quite so dependent on friends in the event of my

death.[14]

I experienced that

myself!

Cordial greetings from your old

Einstein.

I[15]

wasn’t able to attach any meaning to the first two and a half lines.

Any judgment about probability W of complex events is based on certain set pre-

mises about probability w of elementary primitive events, From these premises

probabilities out of which the more complex ones are composed. The link between

the W’s and w’s is made according to certain rules that probability calculus chooses

in order for it to be advantageously applicable to as many series of observations as

possible.

The same probability for the 6 throws of a die has logically nothing to do with

the impossibility of preferring one such throw over the others.

The statement about equal probability of two events has nothing to do with the

statement about the independence of events from each another. One can be valid

without the other.

Probability considerations and causal considerations may indeed be mutually

exclusive, but in nature the causal connection, even if it is unbroken, allows room

for probability considerations. This comes from the fact that it is often not possible

nor intended to completely deduce the causal relations.

We don’t know whether the demand for strict ordering of observational facts ac-

cording to cause and effect is satisfiable, and we shall never know for certain. In

practice we have to dispense with it in almost all areas, because a certain and full

drawing of the causal chain almost always exceeds our abilities.

——————

Hitch: Rationally defined probability intrinsically does not permit application.

Structure of the theory, setting out from the empirical definition of probability, runs

up against major obstacles.