A probabilistic perspective


Book: 
Chance Encounters: Probability in Education
Authors: 
Borovcnik, M., Bentz, H. J., & Kapadia, R.
Editors: 
Kapadia, R., & Borovcnik, M.
Type: 
Category: 
Pages: 
27-71
Year: 
1991
Publisher: 
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Place: 
Dordrecht, Netherlands
Abstract: 

There are unusual features in the conceptual development of probability in comparison to other mathematical theories such as geometry or arithmetic. A mathematical approach only began to emerge rather late, about three centuries ago, long after man's first experiences of chance occurrences. A large number of paradoxes accompanied the emergence of concepts indicating the disparity between intuitions and formal approaches within the sometimes difficult conceptual development. A particular problem had been to abandon the endeavour to formalize one specific interpretation and concentrate on studying the structure of probability. Eventually, a sound mathematical foundation was only published in 1933 but this has not clarified the nature of probability. There are still a number of quite distinctive philosophical approaches which arouse controversy to this day. In this part of the book all these aspects are discussed in order to present a mathematical or probabilistic perspective. The scene is set by presenting the philosophical background in conjunction with historical development; the mathematical framework offers a current viewpoint while the paradoxes illuminate the probabilistic ideas.

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