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Interpreting probability : controversies and developments in the early twentieth century, David Howie, electronic resource Resource Information. The item Interpreting probability : controversies and developments in the early twentieth century, David Howie, electronic resource represents a specific, individual, material embodiment of a distinct intellectual or artistic creation found in Maryville College. This item is available to borrow from 1 library branch.

Creator Howie, David, Summary This book investigates how Bayesianism as one theory of probability was discredited during the s and s by two British scientists and shows how the choice of a certain interpretation of probability depends on the experiences of the individuals involved. Language eng. Extent 1 online resource xi, p. Isbn Label Interpreting probability : controversies and developments in the early twentieth century, David Howie, electronic resource Instantiates Interpreting probability : controversies and developments in the early twentieth century Publication Cambridge New York, Cambridge University Press, Bibliography note Includes bibliographical references p.

Jeffreys Exchange, Form of item online Isbn Isbn Type electronic bk. Label Interpreting probability : controversies and developments in the early twentieth century, David Howie, electronic resource Publication Cambridge New York, Cambridge University Press, Bibliography note Includes bibliographical references p. Library Locations Map Details.

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Interpreting probability : controversies and developments in the early twentieth century

Embed Experimental. For their purposes, probability as a limiting frequency was useless, but they considered it mathematically unsound as well. Around Jeffreys, now involved in empirical geophysics, began devising methods for analyzing data, based—naturally—on epistemic probability.


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Fisher did not care much about philosophy or physics, but he knew about analyzing data and a dispute followed. Interpreting Probability aims "to place the s clash between the frequentist and epistemic interpretations of probability within a more general overview of the history of probability, and to provide.

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Fisher and, especially, Harold Jeffreys. I have also tried to make the broader point that mathematical theories, like other products of science, can only be fully understood as products of their culture. For Fisher and Jeffreys, the meaning of probability and the development of a theory of inference evolved in each case with a particular conception of scientific practice, characterized by the differing aims and method of genetics and geophysics respectively" A sketch of probability before the twentieth century, emphasizing the history of the two interpretations, follows a brief introduction.


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Chapters on Fisher and Jeffreys before the clash prepare for a chapter on the clash itself. The Fisher chapter is a useful synthesis of a fairly extensive literature. The Jeffreys chapter is very fresh with much new material and for me was the best in the book.

The controversy has been discussed before, but this treatment is deeper; it makes good use of the correspondence between Fisher and Jeffreys and other unexploited sources. The business concludes with an interesting wide-ranging survey of probability in the s, followed by a short epilogue.

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The identification of Fisher's culture as genetics and Jeffreys's as geophysics is debatable. Fisher was always involved with genetics, but when he wrote about probability for example, when reviewing Keynes's Treatise , he wrote as a statistician, using the same concept of probability as "Student" and other non-geneticist statisticians. Jeffreys's first probability publication predates his work in geophysics, and one could argue that his determining culture was one to which he never really belonged—Cambridge philosophy. The author is drawn to the Fisher-Jeffreys dispute by the thought that "the deep assumptions and commitments of a research program, though usually tacit are often unveiled during periods of controversy" 9.

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