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Creating Modern Probability

Creating Modern Probability
Its Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy in Historical Perspective

$63.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction and Decision Theory

  • Date Published: January 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521597357

$ 63.99 (P)
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About the Authors
  • This is the only book to chart the history and development of modern probability theory. It shows how in the first thirty years of this century probability theory became a mathematical science. The author also traces the development of probabilistic concepts and theories in statistical and quantum physics. There are chapters dealing with chance phenomena, and current major mathematical theories, together with their foundational and philosophical problems. Among the theorists whose work is treated at some length are Kolmogorov, von Mises and de Finetti.

    • Only book to offer a complete account of history and development of modern probability theory
    • Coverage is both historical and mathematical
    • Belongs to a tradition of Cambridge books on the history of probability (e.g. books by Ian Hacking)
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The reader will find a wealth of interesting material in this book. Exploring the ways in which the investigation of initially disparate special cases in physics and mathematics eventually led to the development of unified, rigorous, general, and profound theories of formal probability and its application to the worlds of physics and the theory of action is a fascinating intellectual journey." Lawrence Sklar, The Journal of Philosophy

    "Von Plato's narrative...nicely interweaves the philosophical, historical, and mathematical aspects of the subject. In doing so von Plato has consulted and drawn on a substantial body of archival material: letters, unpublished manuscripts, and drafts of later-published papers. Thus his book does not just simply revisit the standard chestnuts of the field, but substantially adds to our knowledge of them....In sum, this is a welcome addition to the literature: timely, informed, and technically competent." S.L. Zabell, Isis

    "Jan von Plato's Creating Modern Probability is a book to celebrate. It will be a source of pleasure for probabilists and a stimulus for historians. Combing a sweeping vision with a sympathetic and thorough marshaling of sources, it brings to life the emergence of measure-theoretic probability in the first third of the twentieth century....Von Plato's mathematical precision will satisfy specialits, while his success in organizing his sources with respect to larger questions will provoke and enable a new cycle of historical research and debate.... With grace and finesse, von Plato has conquered the buffer period of 1900-1933 for history. With grace, because his understanding of the mathematics of the period cannot be faulted. With finesse, because he has honored fully the claims of contemporary probabilists." Glen Shafer, The Annals of Probability

    "Jan von Plato's Creating Modern Probability is a book to celebrate. It will be a source of pleasure for probabilists and a stimulus for historians. Combing a sweeping vision with a sympathetic and thorough marshaling of sources, it brings to life the emrgence of measure-theoretic probability in the first third of the twentieth century....Von Plato's mathematical precision will satisfy specialits, while his success in organizing his sources with respect to larger questions will provoke and enable a new cycle of historical research and debate.... With grace and finesse, von Plato has conquered the buffer period of 1900-1933 for history. With grace, becuase his understanding of the mathematics of the period cannot be faulted. With finesse, because he has honored fully the claims of contemporary probabilists." Glen Shafer, The Annals of Probability

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521597357
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Introduction
    2. Pathways to modern probability
    3. Probability in statistical physics
    4. Quantum mechanical probability and indeterminism
    5. Classical embeddings of probability and chance
    6. Von Mises' frequentist probabilities
    7. Kolmogorov's measure theoretic probabilities
    8. De Finetti's subjective probabilities
    Supplement: Nicole Oresme and the ergodicity of rotations
    Bibliography
    Index of names
    Index of subjects.

  • Author

    Jan von Plato, University of Helsinki

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