By S. L. Zabell
This quantity brings jointly a suite of essays at the historical past and philosophy of chance and records by way of an eminent pupil in those topics.
Written over the past fifteen years, they fall into 3 huge different types. the 1st offers with using symmetry arguments in inductive chance, particularly, their use in deriving ideas of succession.
The moment team offers with 3 impressive people who made lasting contributions to chance and data in very alternative ways. The final team of essays bargains with the matter of "predicting the unpredictable."
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Additional resources for Symmetry and its Discontents: Essays on the History of Inductive Probability
The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (Cambridge University Press). Kyburg, Henry (1974). ‘Propensities and probabilities’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 25, 358–375. Laplace, Pierre Simon Marquis de (1952). A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (F. W. Truscott and F. L. ) (New York: Dover Publications). Long, A. A. (1974). Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons). Michell, J. (1767). ‘An inquiry into the probable parallax and magnitude of the ﬁxed stars from the quantity of light which they afford to us, and the particular circumstances of their situation’, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 57, 234–264.
19 Donkin thought such arguments, essentially pragmatic in nature, not to the point: . . I do not see on what ground it can be doubted that every deﬁnite state of belief concerning a proposed hypothesis is in itself capable of being represented by a numerical expression, however difﬁcult or impracticable it may be to ascertain its actual value. . [It is important to distinguish] the difﬁculty of ascertaining numbers in certain cases from a supposed difﬁculty of expression by means of numbers.
The application of the principle employed in the text and founded upon the general theorem of development in Logic, I hold to be not arbitrary. [Boole 1862] Perusal of “the application of the principle employed in the text” reveals it to be of the balls in an urn type, and what Boole now appears to be defending might be called the principle of cogent reason: if one possesses some information about the different alternatives, but this information is equally distributed amongst them, then one is justiﬁed in assigning the alternatives equal probability.
Symmetry and its Discontents: Essays on the History of Inductive Probability by S. L. Zabell