classical probability in the enlightenment

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Classical Probability In The Enlightenment

Author : Lorraine Daston
ISBN : 069100644X
Genre : History
File Size : 30. 98 MB
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What did it mean to be reasonable in the Age of Reason? Classical probabilists from Jakob Bernouli through Pierre Simon Laplace intended their theory as an answer to this question--as "nothing more at bottom than good sense reduced to a calculus, " in Laplace's words. In terms that can be easily grasped by nonmathematicians, Lorraine Daston demonstrates how this view profoundly shaped the internal development of probability theory and defined its applications.What did it mean to be reasonable in the Age of Reason? Classical probabilists from Jakob Bernouli through Pierre Simon Laplace intended their theory as an answer to this question--as "nothing more at bottom than good sense reduced to a calculus, " in Laplace's words. In terms that can be easily grasped by nonmathematicians, Lorraine Daston demonstrates how this view profoundly shaped the internal development of probability theory and defined its applications.

Vitalizing Nature In The Enlightenment

Author : Peter H. Reill
ISBN : 0520931009
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 49. 37 MB
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This far-reaching study redraws the intellectual map of the Enlightenment and boldly reassesses the legacy of that highly influential period for us today. Peter Hanns Reill argues that in the middle of the eighteenth century, a major shift occurred in the way Enlightenment thinkers conceived of nature that caused many of them to reject the prevailing doctrine of mechanism and turn to a vitalistic model to account for phenomena in natural history, the life sciences, and chemistry. As he traces the ramifications of this new way of thinking through time and across disciplines, Reill provocatively complicates our understanding of the way key Enlightenment thinkers viewed nature. His sophisticated analysis ultimately questions postmodern narratives that have assumed a monolithic Enlightenment—characterized by the dominance of instrumental reason—that has led to many of the disasters of modern life.

The Enlightenment

Author : Dorinda Outram
ISBN : 9781139620123
Genre : History
File Size : 59. 29 MB
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Debate over the meaning of 'Enlightenment' began in the eighteenth century and still continues to this day. This period saw the opening of arguments on the nature of man, truth, the place of God and the international circulation of ideas, people and gold. But did the Enlightenment mean the same for men and women, for rich and poor, for Europeans and non-Europeans? In the third edition of her acclaimed book, Dorinda Outram addresses these and other questions about the Enlightenment as controversy increases about its place at the foundation of modernity. She studies it as a global phenomenon, setting the period against broader social changes. This new edition offers a new chapter on political economy, a completely revised further reading section and a new feature on electronic sources to stimulate primary research. This accessible overview will be essential reading for students of eighteenth-century history, philosophy and the history of ideas.

Interpreting Probability

Author : David Howie
ISBN : 1139434373
Genre : Science
File Size : 54. 21 MB
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The term probability can be used in two main senses. In the frequency interpretation it is a limiting ratio in a sequence of repeatable events. In the Bayesian view, probability is a mental construct representing uncertainty. This 2002 book is about these two types of probability and investigates how, despite being adopted by scientists and statisticians in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Bayesianism was discredited as a theory of scientific inference during the 1920s and 1930s. Through the examination of a dispute between two British scientists, the author argues that a choice between the two interpretations is not forced by pure logic or the mathematics of the situation, but depends on the experiences and aims of the individuals involved. The book should be of interest to students and scientists interested in statistics and probability theories and to general readers with an interest in the history, sociology and philosophy of science.

The Empire Of Chance

Author : Gerd Gigerenzer
ISBN : 052139838X
Genre : History
File Size : 20. 26 MB
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This book tells how quantitative ideas of chance have transformed the natural and social sciences as well as everyday life over the past three centuries. A continuous narrative connects the earliest application of probability and statistics in gambling and insurance to the most recent forays into law, medicine, polling, and baseball. Separate chapters explore the theoretical and methodological impact on biology, physics, and psychology. In contrast to the literature on the mathematical development of probability and statistics, this book centers on how these technical innovations recreated our conceptions of nature, mind, and society.

The Emergence Of Probability

Author : Ian Hacking
ISBN : 9781107268852
Genre : Science
File Size : 81. 86 MB
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Historical records show that there was no real concept of probability in Europe before the mid-seventeenth century, although the use of dice and other randomizing objects was commonplace. Ian Hacking presents a philosophical critique of early ideas about probability, induction, and statistical inference and the growth of this new family of ideas in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. Hacking invokes a wide intellectual framework involving the growth of science, economics, and the theology of the period. He argues that the transformations that made it possible for probability concepts to emerge have constrained all subsequent development of probability theory and determine the space within which philosophical debate on the subject is still conducted. First published in 1975, this edition includes an introduction that contextualizes his book in light of developing philosophical trends. Ian Hacking is the winner of the Holberg International Memorial Prize 2009.

Acting Under Uncertainty

Author : George M. von Furstenberg
ISBN : 9789401578738
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 54. 81 MB
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Uncertainty could be associated with wisdom, enterprise, and discovery. In ordinary speech, however, it has mostly negative connotations. There is "fear of the unknown" and "ignorance is bliss;" there are maxims to the effect that "what you don't know doesn't hurt you" (or: "bother you") in several languages. This volume suggests that we need be bothered by the excessive confidence with which scientists, particularly social scientists, present some of their conclusions and overstate their range of application. Otherwise many of the questions that should be raised about all the major uncertainties attending a particular issue routinely may continue to be thwarted or suppressed. Down playing uncertainty does not lead to more responsible or surer action, it sidetracks research agendas, and leaves the decision makers exposed to nasty surprise. This volume demonstrates that recognizing the many forms of uncertainty that enter into the development of any particular subject matter is a precondition for more responsible choice and deeper knowledge. Our purpose is to contribute to a broader appreciation of uncertainty than regularly accorded in any of the numerous disciplines represented here. The seventeenth-century French philosopher Descartes, quoted in this volume, wrote that "whoever is searching after truth must, once in his life, doubt all things; insofar as this is possible. " White areas left on maps of the world in past centuries were a much more productive challenge than marking the end of the known world with the pillars of Hercules.

Rationality For Mortals

Author : Gerd Gigerenzer
ISBN : 9780199890125
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 21. 13 MB
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Gerd Gigerenzer's influential work examines the rationality of individuals not from the perspective of logic or probability, but from the point of view of adaptation to the real world of human behavior and interaction with the environment. Seen from this perspective, human behavior is more rational than it might otherwise appear. This work is extremely influential and has spawned an entire research program. This volume (which follows on a previous collection, Adaptive Thinking, also published by OUP) collects his most recent articles, looking at how people use "fast and frugal heuristics" to calculate probability and risk and make decisions. It includes a newly writen, substantial introduction, and the articles have been revised and updated where appropriate. This volume should appeal, like the earlier volumes, to a broad mixture of cognitive psychologists, philosophers, economists, and others who study decision making.

Combinatorics Ancient Modern

Author : Robin Wilson
ISBN : 9780191630637
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 82. 97 MB
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Who first presented Pascal's triangle? (It was not Pascal.) Who first presented Hamiltonian graphs? (It was not Hamilton.) Who first presented Steiner triple systems? (It was not Steiner.) The history of mathematics is a well-studied and vibrant area of research, with books and scholarly articles published on various aspects of the subject. Yet, the history of combinatorics seems to have been largely overlooked. This book goes some way to redress this and serves two main purposes: 1) it constitutes the first book-length survey of the history of combinatorics; and 2) it assembles, for the first time in a single source, researches on the history of combinatorics that would otherwise be inaccessible to the general reader. Individual chapters have been contributed by sixteen experts. The book opens with an introduction by Donald E. Knuth to two thousand years of combinatorics. This is followed by seven chapters on early combinatorics, leading from Indian and Chinese writings on permutations to late-Renaissance publications on the arithmetical triangle. The next seven chapters trace the subsequent story, from Euler's contributions to such wide-ranging topics as partitions, polyhedra, and latin squares to the 20th century advances in combinatorial set theory, enumeration, and graph theory. The book concludes with some combinatorial reflections by the distinguished combinatorialist, Peter J. Cameron. This book is not expected to be read from cover to cover, although it can be. Rather, it aims to serve as a valuable resource to a variety of audiences. Combinatorialists with little or no knowledge about the development of their subject will find the historical treatment stimulating. A historian of mathematics will view its assorted surveys as an encouragement for further research in combinatorics. The more general reader will discover an introduction to a fascinating and too little known subject that continues to stimulate and inspire the work of scholars today.

Formations Of The Secular

Author : Talal Asad
ISBN : 9780804783095
Genre : Religion
File Size : 56. 13 MB
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Opening with the provocative query “what might an anthropology of the secular look like?” this book explores the concepts, practices, and political formations of secularism, with emphasis on the major historical shifts that have shaped secular sensibilities and attitudes in the modern West and the Middle East. Talal Asad proceeds to dismantle commonly held assumptions about the secular and the terrain it allegedly covers. He argues that while anthropologists have oriented themselves to the study of the “strangeness of the non-European world” and to what are seen as non-rational dimensions of social life (things like myth, taboo, and religion),the modern and the secular have not been adequately examined. The conclusion is that the secular cannot be viewed as a successor to religion, or be seen as on the side of the rational. It is a category with a multi-layered history, related to major premises of modernity, democracy, and the concept of human rights. This book will appeal to anthropologists, historians, religious studies scholars, as well as scholars working on modernity.

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