The Twentieth Century has seen a dramatic rise in the use of probability and statistics in almost all fields of research. This has stimulated many new philosophical ideas on probability. Philosophical Theories of Probability is the first book to present a clear, comprehensive and systematic account of these various theories and to explain how they relate to one another. Gillies also offers a distinctive version of the propensity theory of probability, and the intersubjective interpretation, which develops the subjective theory.
First published in 1982, Philosophical Foundations of Probability Theory starts with the uses we make of the concept in everyday life and then examines the rival theories that seek to account for these applications. It offers a critical exposition of the major philosophical theories of probability, with special attention given to the metaphysical and epistemological assumptions and implications of each. The Classical Theory suggests probability is simply the ratio of favorable cases to all equi-possible cases: it is this theory that is relied on by gamblers and by most non-specialists. The A Priori Theory, on the other hand, describes probability as a logical relation between statements based on evidence. The Relative Frequency theories locate it not in logic but among empirical rates of occurrence in the real world, while the Subjectivist Theory identifies probability with the degree of a person's belief in a proposition. Each of these types of theory is examined in turn, and the treatment is unified by the use of running examples and parallel analyses of each theory. The final chapter includes a summary and the author's conclusions. This book is an essential read for scholars and researchers of Philosophy.
This volume represents a radical departure from the current philosophical duopoly in the area of foundations of probability, that is, the frequency and subjective theories. One of the main new ideas is a set of scientific laws of probability. The new laws are simple, intuitive and, last but not least, they agree well with the contents of current textbooks on probability. Another major new claim is that the OC frequency statisticsOCO has nothing in common with the OC frequency philosophy of probability, OCO contrary to popular belief. Similarly, contrary to the general perception, the OC Bayesian statisticsOCO shares nothing in common with the OC subjective philosophy of probability.OCO The book is non-partisan on the scientific side OCo it is supportive of both frequency statistics and Bayesian statistics. On the other hand, it contains well-documented and thoroughly-explained criticisms of the frequency and subjective philosophies of probability. Short reviews of other philosophical theories of probability and basic mathematical methods of probability and statistics are incorporated. The book includes substantial chapters on decision theory and teaching probability, and it is easily accessible to the general audience
Resonance examines some building blocks of epistemology as a prelude to the careful analysis of the foundations of probability. The concept of resonance is introduced to shed light on the philosophical problems of induction, consciousness, intelligence and free will. The same concept is later applied to provide support for a new philosophical theory of probability.Although based on existing ideas and theories, the epistemological concept of resonance is investigated for the first time in this book. The best-known philosophical theories of probability, frequency and subjective, are shown to be unrealistic and dissociated from the two main branches of statistics: frequency statistics and Bayesian statistics.Written in an accessible style, this book can be enjoyed by philosophers, statisticians and mathematicians, and also by anyone looking to expand their understanding of the disciplines of epistemology and probability.
Twenty-five leading contemporary theorists of criminal law tackle a range of foundational issues about the proper aims and structure of the criminal law in a liberal democracy. The challenges facing criminal law are many. There are crises of over-criminalization and over-imprisonment; penal policy has become so politicized that it is difficult to find any clear consensus on what aims the criminal law can properly serve; governments seeking to protect their citizens in the face of a range of perceived threats have pushed the outer limits of criminal law and blurred its boundaries. To think clearly about the future of criminal law, and its role in a liberal society, foundational questions about its proper scope, structure, and operations must be re-examined. What kinds of conduct should be criminalized? What are the principles of criminal responsibility? How should offences and defences be defined? The criminal process and the criminal trial need to be studied closely, and the purposes and modes of punishment should be scrutinized. Such a re-examination must draw on the resources of various disciplines-notably law, political and moral philosophy, criminology and history; it must examine both the inner logic of criminal law and its place in a larger legal and political structure; it must attend to the growing field of international criminal law, it must consider how the criminal law can respond to the challenges of a changing world. Topics covered in this volume include the question of criminalization and the proper scope of the criminal law; the grounds of criminal responsibility; the ways in which offences and defences should be defined; the criminal process and its values; criminal punishment; the relationship between international criminal law and domestic criminal law. Together, the essays provide a picture of the exciting state of criminal law theory today, and the basis for further research and debate in the coming years.
A collection of essays discussing a wide range of sciences and the central philosophical issues associated with them, presenting the sciences collectively to encourage a greater understanding of their associative theoretical foundations, as well as their relationships to each other. Offers a new and unique approach to studying and comparing the philosophies of a variety of scientific disciplines Explores a wide variety of individual sciences, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology and economics The essays are written by leading scholars in a highly accessible style for the student audience Complements more traditional studies of philosophy of science
This volume represents a radical departure from the current philosophical duopoly in the area of foundations of probability, that is, the frequency and subjective theories. One of the main new ideas is a set of scientific laws of probability. The new laws are simple, intuitive and, last but not least, they agree well with the contents of current textbooks on probability. Another major new claim is that the ?frequency statistics? has nothing in common with the ?frequency philosophy of probability,? contrary to popular belief. Similarly, contrary to the general perception, the ?Bayesian statistics? shares nothing in common with the ?subjective philosophy of probability.? This volume is non-partisan on the scientific side ? that it is supportive of both frequency statistics and Bayesian statistics. On the other hand, it contains well-documented and thoroughly-explained criticisms of the frequency and subjective philosophies of probability. Short reviews of other philosophical theories of probability and basic mathematical methods of probability and statistics are incorporated. This volume includes essential chapters on decision theory and teaching probability, and it is easily accessible to the general audience.
Probability: A Philosophical Introduction introduces and explains the principal concepts and applications of probability. It is intended for philosophers and others who want to understand probability as we all apply it in our working and everyday lives. The book is not a course in mathematical probability, of which it uses only the simplest results, and avoids all needless technicality. The role of probability in modern theories of knowledge, inference, induction, causation, laws of nature, action and decision-making makes an understanding of it especially important to philosophers and students of philosophy, to whom this book will be invaluable both as a textbook and a work of reference. In this book D. H. Mellor discusses the three basic kinds of probability – physical, epistemic, and subjective – and introduces and assesses the main theories and interpretations of them. The topics and concepts covered include: * chance * frequency * possibility * propensity * credence * confirmation * Bayesianism. Probability: A Philosophical Introduction is essential reading for all philosophy students and others who encounter or need to apply ideas of probability.
This volume is dedicated to the life and work of Ernest Nagel (1901-1985) counted among the influential twentieth-century philosophers of science. Forgotten by the history of philosophy of science community in recent years, this volume introduces Nagel’s philosophy to a new generation of readers and highlights the merits and originality of his works. Best known in the history of philosophy as a major American representative of logical empiricism with some pragmatist and naturalist leanings, Nagel’s interests and activities went beyond these limits. His career was marked with a strong and determined intention of harmonizing the European scientific worldview of logical empiricism and American naturalism/pragmatism. His most famous and systematic treatise on, The Structure of Science, appeared just one year before Thomas Kuhn’s even more renowned, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. As a reflection of Nagel’s interdisciplinary work, the contributing authors’ articles are connected both historically and systematically. The volume will appeal to students mainly at the graduate level and academic scholars. Since the volume treats historical, philosophical, physical, social and general scientific questions, it will be of interest to historians and philosophers of science, epistemologists, social scientists, and anyone interested in the history of analytic philosophy and twentieth-century intellectual history.
This book addresses controversies concerning the epistemological foundations of data science: Is it a genuine science? Or is data science merely some inferior practice that can at best contribute to the scientific enterprise, but cannot stand on its own? The author proposes a coherent conceptual framework with which these questions can be rigorously addressed. Readers will discover a defense of inductivism and consideration of the arguments against it: an epistemology of data science more or less by definition has to be inductivist, given that data science starts with the data. As an alternative to enumerative approaches, the author endorses Federica Russo’s recent call for a variational rationale in inductive methodology. Chapters then address some of the key concepts of an inductivist methodology including causation, probability and analogy, before outlining an inductivist framework. The inductivist framework is shown to be adequate and useful for an analysis of the epistemological foundations of data science. The author points out that many aspects of the variational rationale are present in algorithms commonly used in data science. Introductions to algorithms and brief case studies of successful data science such as machine translation are included. Data science is located with reference to several crucial distinctions regarding different kinds of scientific practices, including between exploratory and theory-driven experimentation, and between phenomenological and theoretical science. Computer scientists, philosophers and data scientists of various disciplines will find this philosophical perspective and conceptual framework of great interest, especially as a starting point for further in-depth analysis of algorithms used in data science.
Patrick Suppes is a philosopher and scientist whose contributions range over probability and statistics, mathematical and experimental psychology, the foundations of physics, education theory, the philosophy of language, measurement theory, and the philosophy of science. He has also been a pioneer in the area of computer assisted instruction. In each of these areas, Suppes has provided seminal ideas that in some cases led to shaping the direction of research in the field. The papers contained in this collection were commissioned with the mandate of advancing research in their respective fields rather than retrospectively surveying the contributions that Suppes himself has made. The authors form an interesting mixture of researchers in both formal philosophy of science and science itself all of whom have been inspired by his ideas. To maintain the spirit of constructive dialogue that characterizes Suppes's intellectual style, he has written individual responses to each article. In Volume 1: Probability and Probabilistic Causality, nineteen distinguished philosophers and scientists focus their attention on probabilistic issues. In Part I the contributors explore axiomatic representations of probability theory including qualitative and interval valued probabilities as well as traditional point valued probabilities. Belief structures and the dynamics of belief are also treated in detail. In Part II the rapidly growing field of probabilistic causation is assessed from both formal and empirical viewpoints. For probability theorists, statisticians, economists, philosophers of science, psychologists and those interested in the foundations of mathematical social science. In Volume 2: Philosophy of Physics, Theory Structure, and Measurement Theory, fifteen distinguished philosophers and scientists cover a wide variety of topics. Part III covers issues in quantum theory, geometry, classical mechanics, and computational physics. Part IV explores Suppes's well known set-theoretic account of scientific theories which has served him well throughout his career. Suppes's contributions to measurement theory have been widely used in mathematical psychology and elsewhere, and this material is the subject of Part V. For physicists, logicians, workers in mathematical social sicence, and philosophers of science. In Volume 3: Philosophy of Language and Logic, Learning and Action Theory, fourteen distinguished philosophers and scientists explore issues in the philosophy of language, logic, and philosophical psychology. Suppes's suggestions that quantum theory requires a rethinking of classical logic form a particularly sharp account of that controversial thesis, and Part VI deals with this issue together with topics in the philosophy of language and logic, including relational grammars and anaphora. Part VII deals with issues in psychology, action theory, and robotics, while Part VIII concludes with a general survey of Suppes's views in the philosophy of science. A comprehensive chronological and topical bibliography of Suppes's writings is included in this volume. For philosophers of language, theoretical linguists, logicians, workers in mathematical social sciences, and philosophers of science.