The Empire of Chance : How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life (Ideas in Context) (Reprint)

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The Empire of Chance : How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life (Ideas in Context) (Reprint)

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  • 製本 Paperback:紙装版/ペーパーバック版/ページ数 360 p.
  • 言語 ENG
  • 商品コード 9780521398381
  • DDC分類 320

基本説明

New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 1989. Published with the support of the Exxon Education Foundation. Tells how quantitative ideas of chance have transformed the natural and social sciences as well as daily life, over the past three centuries.

Full Description


The Empire of Chance tells how quantitative ideas of chance transformed the natural and social sciences, as well as daily life over the last 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 in biology, physics and psychology. Themes recur - determinism, inference, causality, free will, evidence, the shifting meaning of probability - but in dramatically different disciplinary and historical contexts. In contrast to the literature on the mathematical development of probability and statistics, this book centres on how these technical innovations remade our conceptions of nature, mind and society. Written by an interdisciplinary team of historians and philosophers, this readable, lucid account keeps technical material to an absolute minimum. It is aimed not only at specialists in the history and philosophy of science, but also at the general reader and scholars in other disciplines.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments                                    xi
Introduction xiii
Classical probabilities, 1660--1840 1 (36)
Introduction 1 (1)
The beginnings 2 (4)
The classical interpretation 6 (5)
Determinism 11 (3)
Reasonableness 14 (5)
Risk in gambling and insurance 19 (7)
Evidence and causes 26 (6)
The moral sciences 32 (2)
Conclusion 34 (3)
Statistical probabilities, 1820--1900 37 (33)
Introduction 37 (1)
Statistical regularity and I'homme moyen 38 (7)
Opposition to statistics 45 (3)
Statistics and variation 48 (5)
The error law and correlation 53 (6)
The statistical critique of determinism 59 (9)
Conclusion 68 (2)
The inference experts 70 (53)
In want of a ``system of mean results'' 70 (3)
Analysis of variance 73 (6)
Fisher's antecedents: early significance 79 (11)
tests and comparative experimentation
The controversy: Fisher vs. Neyman and 90 (16)
Pearson
Hybridization: the silent solution 106 (3)
The statistical profession: intellectual 109 (6)
autonomy
The statistical profession: institutions 115 (5)
and influence
Conclusion 120 (3)
Chance and life: controversies in modern 123 (40)
biology
Introduction 123 (1)
Spontaneity and Control: chance in 124 (8)
physiology
Coincidence and design: chance in natural 132 (9)
history
Correlations and causes: chance in genetics 141 (11)
Sampling and selection: chance in 152 (11)
evolutionary biology
The probabilistic revolution in physics 163 (40)
The background: classical physics 163 (3)
Probability in classical physics: the 166 (4)
epistemic interpretation
Three limitations of classical physics: 170 (5)
sources of probabilism
Comments on the three limitations 175 (4)
Mass phenomena and propensities 179 (3)
Explanations from probabilistic assumptions 182 (5)
The puzzle of irreversibility in time 187 (3)
The discontinuity underlying all change 190 (13)
Statistics of the mind 203 (32)
Introduction 203 (1)
The pre-statistical period 204 (1)
The new tools 205 (6)
From tools to theories of mind 211 (3)
A Case study: from thining to judgments 214 (12)
under uncertainty
The return of the reasonable man 226 (7)
Conclusion 233 (2)
Numbers rule the world 235 (36)
Introduction 235 (2)
New objects 237 (14)
New values 251 (12)
New rules 263 (7)
Conclusion 270 (1)
The implications of chance 271 (22)
Probabilistic imperialism 271 (3)
What does probability mean? 274 (2)
Determinism 276 (10)
Mechanized inference 286 (3)
Statistical Lebensgefuhl 289 (4)
References 293 (34)
Name index 327 (7)
Subject index 334