Robert Leslie Ellis's work on philosophy of science and the foundations of probability theory

Historia Mathematica 40 (4):423-454 (2013)

Authors
Lukas M. Verburgt
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
The goal of this paper is to provide an extensive account of Robert Leslie Ellisʼs largely forgotten work on philosophy of science and probability theory. On the one hand, it is suggested that both his ‘idealist’ renovation of the Baconian theory of induction and a ‘realism’ vis-à-vis natural kinds were the result of a complex dialogue with the work of William Whewell. On the other hand, it is shown to what extent the combining of these two positions contributed to Ellisʼs reformulation of the metaphysical foundations of traditional probability theory. This parallel is assessed with reference to the disagreement between Ellis and Whewell on the nature of (pure) mathematics and its relation to scientific knowledge.
Keywords Robert Leslie Ellis  Probability theory  British mathematics  William Whewell
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John Venn's Hypothetical Infinite Frequentism and Logic.Lukas M. Verburgt - 2014 - History and Philosophy of Logic 35 (3):248-271.

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