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.
- Prof Dev