An Examination of the Many Severe Errors Made by Richard Braithwaite in His Editorial Foreword to Volume 8 of the a Treatise on Probability in the Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes
24 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2016 Last revised: 5 Nov 2017
Date Written: August 30, 2016
The editors of the Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes made an unfortunate blunder when they assigned to Richard Braithwaite the task of writing an editorial foreword to Volume 8, A Treatise on Probability, of the Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes. Braithwaite never read the A Treatise on Probability and had no idea about what Keynes was doing or how he had built on the original ,algebraic and logical foundations of George Boole. There are so many errors in Braithwaite’s foreword that reading it is a complete waste of time and effort. It is worthless.
This foreword, unfortunately, has been required reading at Cambridge University since 1973 for anyone working on Keynes’s A Treatise on Probability. Reading it leads to a completely erroneous understanding of Keynes’s work. This would explain why Meeks, Skidelsky, Runde, Carabelli, Dow, O’Donnell, Fitzgibbons, and many others associated with Cambridge University, are simply ignorant about Parts II, Part III and V of the A Treatise on Probability. Without Boole, there is no A Treatise on Probability. Keynes uses Boole as the foundation for Parts II and III of the A Treatise on Probability.
Braithwaite could not follow Parts II and III of the A Treatise on Probability. The work of Boole is not mentioned or covered in any of the works of Meeks, Skidelsky, Runde, Carabelli, Dow, O’Donnell, Fitzgibbons, etc, or in the 2003 book edited by Runde and Mizuhara on Keynes’s philosophy. Edwin Wilson’s 1934 analysis, demonstrating that Keynes’s theory was interval valued and specifically designed to deal with uncertainty, brought on by missing information completely refutes Braithwaite’s position.
Keywords: Boole's interval valued approach to uncertainty, Keynes's logical theory
JEL Classification: B10, B12, B14, B18, B22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation