By Lorraine Daston, Gerd Gigerenzer, Zeno Swijtink, Theodore Porter, John Beatty, Lorenz Kruger

ISBN-10: 0521331153

ISBN-13: 9780521331159

**Publish yr note:** First released April thirteenth 1989

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This e-book tells how quantitative principles of probability have remodeled the average and social sciences in addition to daily life over the last 3 centuries. a continuing narrative connects the earliest program of chance and information in playing and assurance to the newest forays into legislation, drugs, polling, and baseball. Separate chapters discover the theoretical and methodological impression on biology, physics, and psychology. not like the literature at the mathematical improvement of likelihood and data, this e-book facilities on how those technical suggestions recreated our conceptions of nature, brain, and society.

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**Extra resources for The Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life (Ideas in Context)**

**Example text**

Game. Although Although the the mathematicians mathematicians labeled labeled this this aa paradox, it contained no no contradiction between results results derived tained contradiction between derived from from assumptions assumptions of of equal expe~tation is and equal validity. validity. The The calculation calculation of of expectation is straightforward, straightforward, and there prethere is is nothing nothing in in the the mathematical mathematical definition definition of of expectation expectation that that precludes an an infinite infinite answer.

A. N. Condorcet, argued argued that mathematical expectation was indeed correct, but only when applied as an average to many repetitions of of the game (Daston, 1980; Jorland, 1987). However, all agreed that the paradox was a real one, and struck at the very foundations of of the mathematical theory. The fact that classical probabilists were willing to tinker with definitions definitions and postulates as funfundamental as expectation in order to realign their calculus with good sense attests to their commitment commitment to the mixed mathematical goal of of quantifyquantifying the the reasonable.

Here Here the the theory theory was was prescriptive, and sometimes sometimes presumptuously tuously so, so, as as when when Condorcet Condorcet sent sent Frederick Frederick II II of of Prussia Prussia aa weighty weighty tome judicial system tome of of calculations calculations on on how how to to improve improve the the judicial system (Condorcet, (Condorcet, 1785). 1785). Two Two ambiguities, ambiguities, neither neither ever ever clearly clearly recognized, recognized, confused confused and and ultiultimately undermined the program to mathemately undermined the classical classical program to render render reasonableness reasonableness mathefirst surfaced matical.

### The Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life (Ideas in Context) by Lorraine Daston, Gerd Gigerenzer, Zeno Swijtink, Theodore Porter, John Beatty, Lorenz Kruger

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