David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
I came to philosophy as a refugee from mathematics and statistics. I was impressed by their power at codifying and precisifying antecedently understood but rather nebulous concepts, and at clarifying and exploring their interrelations. I enjoyed learning many of the great theorems of probability theory—equations rich in ‘P’s of this and of that. But I wondered what is this ‘P’? What do statements of probability mean? When I asked one of my professors, he looked at me like I needed medication. That medication was provided by philosophy, and I found it first during my Masters at the University of Western Ontario, working with Bill Harper, and then during my Ph.D. at Princeton, working with Bas van Fraassen, David Lewis, and Richard Jeffrey—all deft practitioners of formal methods. I found that philosophers had been asking my question about ‘P’ since about 1650, but they were still struggling to find definitive answers. I was also introduced to a host of other philosophical problems, and it became clear to me within nanoseconds of arriving at U.W.O. that I wanted to spend my life pursuing some of them. But I kept being drawn back to the formal methods of mathematics, and in particular of probability theory. It may be worthwhile to pause for a moment and to ask “What are formal methods?” Of course, it’s easy to come up with examples: the use of various logical systems, computational algorithms, causal graphs, information theory, probability theory and mathematics more generally. What do they have in common? They are all abstract representational systems. Sometimes the systems are studied in their own..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
George Boolos (1993). The Logic of Provability. Cambridge University Press.
Stephen Spielman (1976). Bayesian Inference with Indeterminate Probabilities. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1976:185 - 196.
Branden Fitelson, Alan Hajek & Ned Hall (2006). Probability. In Jessica Pfeifer & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Routledge.
Alan Hájek (2001). Probability, Logic, and Probability Logic. In Lou Goble (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic. Blackwell Publishers. 362--384.
Leon Horsten & Igor Douven (2008). Formal Methods in the Philosophy of Science. Studia Logica 89 (2):151 - 162.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads55 ( #29,596 of 1,103,223 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #36,861 of 1,103,223 )
How can I increase my downloads?