Classical Probability in the Enlightenment

Author: Lorraine Daston

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691006444

Category: History

Page: 423

View: 1365

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.

Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty

Science, Liberalism, and Private Life

Author: Deborah R. Coen

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226111784

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 5040

Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty traces the vital and varied roles of science through the story of three generations of the eminent Exner family, whose members included Nobel Prize–winning biologist Karl Frisch, the teachers of Freud and of physicist Erwin Schrödinger, artists of the Vienna Secession, and a leader of Vienna’s women’s movement. Training her critical eye on the Exners through the rise and fall of Austrian liberalism and into the rise of the Third Reich, Deborah R. Coen demonstrates the interdependence of the family’s scientific and domestic lives, exploring the ways in which public notions of rationality, objectivity, and autonomy were formed in the private sphere. Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty presents the story of the Exners as a microcosm of the larger achievements and tragedies of Austrian political and scientific life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Interpreting Probability

Controversies and Developments in the Early Twentieth Century

Author: David Howie

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139434379

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 4168

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.

Spiel der Wahrscheinlichkeit

Literatur und Berechnung zwischen Pascal und Kleist

Author: Rüdiger Campe

Publisher: Wallstein Verlag

ISBN: 9783892445937

Category: European literature

Page: 468

View: 2790

The Emergence of Probability

A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas about Probability, Induction and Statistical Inference

Author: Ian Hacking

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107268850

Category: Science

Page: N.A

View: 8472

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.

Family Fictions and Family Facts

Harriet Martineau, Adolphe Quetelet and the Population Question in England 1798-1859

Author: Brian Cooper

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113474756X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 7096

Classical political economy rests on the assumption that the market and the family are overlapping and mutually dependent realms, dominated in turn by economic men and domestic women. Here, Brian Cooper explores the role of economic theory in 'normalizing' the family in the first half of the nineteenth century. Drawing on a wide range of sources - novels, books on etiquette and statistical sources, as well as works of economics - the book examines the impacts of these different forms on contemporary debate and will be of interest to historians of economic thought, feminist economics and those interested in rhetoric and economics.

The Autocritique of Enlightenment

Rousseau and the Philosophes

Author: Mark Hulliung

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 1412854156

Category: Philosophy

Page: 319

View: 8168

Of all the critiques of the Enlightenment, the most telling may be found in the life and writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This searching, long overlooked autocritique receives its first full treatment by Mark Hulliung. Here he restores Rousseau to his historical context, the world of the philosophes, and shows how he employed the arsenal of Voltaire, Diderot, and others to launch a powerful attack on their version of the Enlightenment. With great intellectual skill and rhetorical force, Rousseau exposed the inconsistencies and shortcomings of the Enlightenment: the psychology of Locke, the genre of philosophical and conjectural history, the latest applications of science to the study of society and politics, and the growing interest in materialist modes of thought. As the century moved on, Hulliung shows, the most advanced philosophes found themselves drawn to conclusions that paralleled Rousseau’s—an agreement that went unacknowledged at the time. The Enlightenment that emerges here is richer, more nuanced, and more self-critical than the one reflected in many interpretations. By extracting Rousseau from personal entangle­ments that stymied debate in his time and that mislead critics to this day, Hulliung reveals the remarkable—and remarkably unacknowledged—force of Rousseau’s accomplishment. This edition includes a brilliant new introduction by the author.

The Power of Knowledge

How Information and Technology Made the Modern World

Author: Jeremy Black

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 030019854X

Category: History

Page: 504

View: 1459

Information is power. For more than five hundred years the success or failure of nations has been determined by a country’s ability to acquire knowledge and technical skill and transform them into strength and prosperity. Leading historian Jeremy Black approaches global history from a distinctive perspective, focusing on the relationship between information and society and demonstrating how the understanding and use of information have been the primary factors in the development and character of the modern age. Black suggests that the West’s ascension was a direct result of its institutions and social practices for acquiring, employing, and retaining information and the technology that was ultimately produced. His cogent and well-reasoned analysis looks at cartography and the hardware of communication, armaments and sea power, mercantilism and imperialism, science and astronomy, as well as bureaucracy and the management of information, linking the history of technology with the history of global power while providing important indicators for the future of our world.

Formations of the Secular

Christianity, Islam, Modernity

Author: Talal Asad

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804783098

Category: Religion

Page: 280

View: 1949

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.

Combinatorics: Ancient & Modern

Author: Robin Wilson,John J. Watkins

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191630632

Category: Mathematics

Page: 392

View: 4030

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.

Rationality for Mortals

How People Cope with Uncertainty

Author: Gerd Gigerenzer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199890129

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 5131

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.

Acting under Uncertainty

Multidisciplinary Conceptions

Author: George M. von Furstenberg

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401578737

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 486

View: 2025

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.

The Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Economics and the Law

Author: Eyal Zamir,Doron Teichman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199397953

Category: Psychology

Page: 496

View: 9053

The past twenty years have witnessed a surge in behavioral studies of law and law-related issues. These studies have challenged the application of the rational-choice model to legal analysis and introduced a more accurate and empirically grounded model of human behavior. This integration of economics, psychology, and law is breaking exciting new ground in legal theory and the social sciences, shedding a new light on age-old legal questions as well as cutting edge policy issues. The Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Economics and Law brings together leading scholars of law, psychology, and economics to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of this field of research, including its strengths and limitations as well as a forecast of its future development. Its 29 chapters organized in four parts. The first part provides a general overview of behavioral economics. The second part comprises four chapters introducing and criticizing the contribution of behavioral economics to legal theory. The third part discusses specific behavioral phenomena, their ramifications for legal policymaking, and their reflection in extant law. Finally, the fourth part analyzes the contribution of behavioral economics to fifteen legal spheres ranging from core doctrinal areas such as contracts, torts and property to areas such as taxation and antitrust policy.

States of Knowledge

The Co-Production of Science and the Social Order

Author: Sheila Jasanoff

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134328338

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 3905

Notes on contributors Acknowledgements 1. The Idiom of Co-production Sheila Jasanoff 2. Ordering Knowledge, Ordering Society Sheila Jasanoff 3. Climate Science and the Making of a Global Political Order Clark A. Miller 4. Co-producing CITES and the African Elephant Charis Thompson 5. Knowledge and Political Order in the European Environment Agency Claire Waterton and Brian Wynne 6. Plants, Power and Development: Founding the Imperial Department of Agriculture for the West Indies, 1880-1914 William K. Storey 7. Mapping Systems and Moral Order: Constituting property in genome laboratories Stephen Hilgartner 8. Patients and Scientists in French Muscular Dystrophy Research Vololona Rabeharisoa and Michel Callon 9. Circumscribing Expertise: Membership categories in courtroom testimony Michael Lynch 10. The Science of Merit and the Merit of Science: Mental order and social order in early twentieth-century France and America John Carson 11. Mysteries of State, Mysteries of Nature: Authority, knowledge and expertise in the seventeenth century Peter Dear 12. Reconstructing Sociotechnical Order: Vannevar Bush and US science policy Michael Aaron Dennis 13. Science and the Political Imagination in Contemporary Democracies Yaron Ezrah 14. Afterword Sheila Jasanoff References Index

Millenarianism and Messianism in Early Modern European Culture

Volume III: The Millenarian Turn: Millenarian Contexts of Science, Politics and Everyday Anglo-American Life in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Author: J.E. Force,R.H. Popkin

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 940172282X

Category: History

Page: 198

View: 1014

The influence of millenarian thinking upon Cromwell's England is well-known. The cultural and intellectual conceptions of the role of millenarian ideas in the `long' 18th century when, so the `official' story goes, the religious sceptics and deists of Enlightened England effectively tarred such religious radicalism as `enthusiasm' has been less well examined. This volume endeavors to revise this `official' story and to trace the influence of millenarian ideas in the science, politics, and everyday life of England and America in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Napoleon: On War

Author: Bruno Colson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191508772

Category: History

Page: 560

View: 1990

This is the book on war that Napoleon never had the time or the will to complete. In exile on the island of Saint-Helena, the deposed Emperor of the French mused about a great treatise on the art of war, but in the end changed his mind and ordered the destruction of the materials he had collected for the volume. Thus was lost what would have been one of the most interesting and important books on the art of war ever written, by one of the most famous and successful military leaders of all time. In the two centuries since, several attempts have been made to gather together some of Napoleon's 'military maxims', with varying degrees of success. But not until now has there been a systematic attempt to put Napoleon's thinking on war and strategy into a single authoritative volume, reflecting both the full spectrum of his thinking on these matters as well as the almost unparalleled range of his military experience, from heavy cavalry charges in the plains of Russia or Saxony to counter-insurgency operations in Egypt or Spain. To gather the material for this book, military historian Bruno Colson spent years researching Napoleon's correspondence and other writings, including a painstaking examination of perhaps the single most interesting source for his thinking about war: the copy-book of General Bertrand, the Emperor's most trusted companion on Saint-Helena, in which he unearthed a Napoleonic definition of strategy which is published here for the first time. The huge amount of material brought together for this ground-breaking volume has been carefully organized to follow the framework of Carl von Clausewitz's classic On War, allowing a fascinating comparison between Napoleon's ideas and those of his great Prussian interpreter and adversary, and highlighting the intriguing similarities between these two founders of modern strategic thinking.

Radikalaufklärung

Author: Jonathan I. Israel,Martin Mulsow

Publisher: Suhrkamp Verlag

ISBN: 3518798103

Category: Political Science

Page: 277

View: 9347

Seit einem Jahrzehnt gibt es eine intensive Forschung zur »Radikalaufklärung« – dem atheistischen, skeptischen und materialistischen Flügel des Denkens im späten 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Vor allem Jonathan Israel hat für die aufregende These argumentiert, dass diese radikalen Aufklärer verantwortlich sind für die Errungenschaften der Moderne, für Freiheit und Menschenrechte, Gleichheit und Toleranz, und dass der Spinozismus eine zentrale Rolle bei deren Durchsetzung gespielt hat. In diesem Band setzen sich acht führende nationale und internationale Experten mit Israels These auseinander und zeigen die Vielfalt und Deutungen der Radikalaufklärung auf. Mit Beiträgen von Silvia Berti, Wiep van Bunge, Margaret C. Jacob, Anthony McKenna u. a.

Science and Medicine in the Scottish Enlightenment

Author: Charles W. J. Withers,Paul Wood

Publisher: Birlinn Limited

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 364

View: 7583

Writing to Dugald Stewart in June 1789, Thomas Jefferson enthused that as far as science was concerned, no place in the world can pretend to a competition with Edinburgh. Yet, despite similar encomiums down the years, the role of the natural sciences and medicine in the Scottish Enlightenment is still neither generally appreciated nor fully understood. This collection of ten essays by scholars in the field provides a comprehensive overview of the place of scientific and medical enquiry in Scotland during the period 1690-1815. Each chapter presents new research in order to reflect upon previous interpretations and to suggest fresh perspectives on the relationship between science and medicine and culture and society in 18th-century Scotland. Collectively, the essays illustrate both the centrality of natural and medical knowledge in enlightened culture and the wider implications of Scotland's story for an understanding of science and medicine in the modern world.

Risk: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Baruch Fischhoff,John Kadvany

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191620246

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 184

View: 7465

We find risks everywhere—from genetically modified crops, medical malpractice, and stem-cell therapy to intimacy, online predators, identity theft, inflation, and robbery. They arise from our own acts and they are imposed on us. In this Very Short Introduction, Baruch Fischhoff and John Kadvany draw on the sciences and humanities to explore and explain the many kinds of risk. Using simple conceptual frameworks from decision theory and behavioural research, they examine the science and practice of creating measures of risk, showing how scientists address risks by combining historical records, scientific theories, probability, and expert judgment.Risk: A Very Short Introduction describes what has been learned by cognitive scientists about how people deal with risks, applying these lessons to diverse examples, and demonstrating how understanding risk can aid choices in everyday life and public policies for health, safety, environment, finance, and many other topics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.