Coherent, well organized text familiarizes readers with complete theory of logical inference and its applications to math and the empirical sciences. Part I deals with formal principles of inference and definition; Part II explores elementary intuitive set theory, with separate chapters on sets, relations, and functions. Last section introduces numerous examples of axiomatically formulated theories in both discussion and exercises. Ideal for undergraduates; no background in math or philosophy required.
An early, very preliminary edition of this book was circulated in 1962 under the title Set-theoretical Structures in Science. There are many reasons for maintaining that such structures play a role in the philosophy of science. Perhaps the best is that they provide the right setting for investigating problems of representation and invariance in any systematic part of science, past or present. Examples are easy to cite. Sophisticated analysis of the nature of representation in perception is to be found already (...) in Plato and Aristotle. One of the great intellectual triumphs of the nineteenth century was the mechanical explanation of such familiar concepts as temperature and pressure by their representation in terms of the motion of particles. A more disturbing change of viewpoint was the realization at the beginning of the twentieth century that the separate invariant properties of space and time must be replaced by the space-time invariants of Einstein's special relativity. Another example, the focus of the longest chapter in this book, is controversy extending over several centuries on the proper representation of probability. The six major positions on this question are critically examined. Topics covered in other chapters include an unusually detailed treatment of theoretical and experimental work on visual space, the two senses of invariance represented by weak and strong reversibility of causal processes, and the representation of hidden variables in quantum mechanics. The final chapter concentrates on different kinds of representations of language, concluding with some empirical results on brain-wave representations of words and sentences. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophers interested in value theory appear to be largely concerned with questions of the following sort:What is value?What is the meaning of the word ‘good’?Does the attribution of value to an object have a cognitive, or merely an emotive, significance?The first question is metaphysical; to ask it is analogous to asking in physics:What is matter?What is electricity?The others are generally treated as semantical questions; to ask them is analogous to asking in statistics:What is the meaning of the word ‘probable’?Does (...) an attribution of probability express an objective fact, or merely a subjective attitude? (shrink)
PREVIOUS WORK Theoretical discussion of the interval measurement of utility based upon theories of decision making under conditions of risk has been voluminous and will not be reviewed here. Those interested will find extensive ...
During the academic years 1972-1973 and 1973-1974, an intensive sem inar on the foundations of quantum mechanics met at Stanford on a regular basis. The extensive exploration of ideas in the seminar led to the org~ization of a double issue of Synthese concerned with the foundations of quantum mechanics, especially with the role of logic and probability in quantum meChanics. About half of the articles in the volume grew out of this seminar. The remaining articles have been so licited explicitly (...) from individuals who are actively working in the foun dations of quantum mechanics. Seventeen of the twenty-one articles appeared in Volume 29 of Syn these. Four additional articles and a bibliography on -the history and philosophy of quantum mechanics have been added to the present volume. In particular, the articles by Bub, Demopoulos, and Lande, as well as the second article by Zanotti and myself, appear for the first time in the present volume. In preparing the articles for publication I am much indebted to Mrs. Lillian O'Toole, Mrs. Dianne Kanerva, and Mrs. Marguerite Shaw, for their extensive assistance. (shrink)
This book publishes 31 of the author's selected papers which have appeared, with one exception, since 1970. The papers cover a wide range of topics in the philosophy of science. Part I is concerned with general methodology, including formal and axiomatic methods in science. Part II is concerned with causality and explanation. The papers extend the author's earlier work on a probabilistic theory of causality. The papers in Part III are concerned with probability and measurement, especially foundational questions about probability. (...) Part IV consists of several papers, including two historical ones, on the foundations of physics, with the main emphasis being on quantum mechanics. Part V, the longest part, is on the foundations of psychology and includes papers mainly on learning and perception. The book is aimed at philosophers of science, scientists concerned with the methodology of the social sciences, and mathematical psychologists interested in theories of learning, perception and measurement. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to state the single most powerful argument for use of a non-classical logic in quantum mechanics. In outline the argument is the following. The working logic of a science is the logic of the events and propositions to which probabilities are assigned. A probability should be assigned to every element of the algebra of events. In the case of quantum mechanics probabilities may be assigned to events but not, without restriction, to the conjunction of (...) two events. The conclusion is that the working logic of quantum mechanics is not classical. The nature of the logic that is appropriate for quantum mechanics is examined. (shrink)
The fundamental problem considered is that of the existence of a joint probability distribution for momentum and position at a given instant. The philosophical interest of this problem is that for the potential energy functions (or Hamiltonians) corresponding to many simple experimental situations, the joint "distribution" derived by the methods of Wigner and Moyal is not a genuine probability distribution at all. The implications of these results for the interpretation of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle are analyzed. The final section consists (...) of some observations concerning the axiomatic foundations of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
First of all, I agree with much of what F.A. Muller says in his article ‘Reflections on the revolution in Stanford’. And where I differ, the difference is on the decision of what direction of further development represents the best choice for the philosophy of science. I list my remarks as a sequence of topics.
Quantum mechanical entangled configurations of particles that do not satisfy Bell’s inequalities, or equivalently, do not have a joint probability distribution, are familiar in the foundational literature of quantum mechanics. Nonexistence of a joint probability measure for the correlations predicted by quantum mechanics is itself equivalent to the nonexistence of local hidden variables that account for the correlations (for a proof of this equivalence, see Suppes and Zanotti, 1981). From a philosophical standpoint it is natural to ask what sort of (...) concept can be used to provide a “joint” analysis of such quantum correlations. In other areas of application of probability, similar but different problems arise. A typical example is the introduction of upper and lower probabilities in the theory of belief. A person may feel uncomfortable assigning a precise probability to the occurrence of rain tomorrow, but feel comfortable saying the probability should be greater than ½ and less than ⅞. Rather extensive statistical developments have occurred for this framework. A thorough treatment can be found in Walley (1991) and an earlier measurement-oriented development in Suppes (1974). It is important to note that this focus on beliefs, or related Bayesian ideas, is not concerned, as we are here, with the nonexistence of joint probability distributions. Yet earlier work with no relation to quantum mechanics, but focused on conditions for existence has been published by many people. For some of our own work on this topic, see Suppes and Zanotti (1989). Still, this earlier work naturally suggested the question of whether or not upper and lower measures could be used in quantum mechanics, as a generalization of.. (shrink)
We prove the existence of hidden variables, or, what we call generalized common causes, for finite sequences of pairwise correlated random variables that do not have a joint probability distribution. The hidden variables constructed have upper probability distributions that are nonmonotonic. The theorem applies directly to quantum mechanical correlations that do not satisfy the Bell inequalities.
This article is concerned to formulate some open problems in the philosophy of space and time that require methods characteristic of mathematical traditions in the foundations of geometry for their solution. In formulating the problems an effort has been made to fuse the separate traditions of the foundations of physics on the one hand and the foundations of geometry on the other. The first part of the paper deals with two classical problems in the geometry of space, that of giving (...) operationalism an exact foundation in the case of the measurement of spatial relations, and that of providing an adequate theory of approximation and error in a geometrical setting. The second part is concerned with physical space and space-time and deals mainly with topics concerning the axiomatic theory of bodies, the operational foundations of special relativity and the conceptual foundations of elementary physics. (shrink)
This article focuses on the role of statistical concepts in both experiment and theory in various scientific disciplines, especially physics, including astronomy, and psychology. In Sect. 1 the concept of uncertainty in astronomy is analyzed from Ptolemy to Laplace and Gauss. In Sect. 2 theoretical uses of probability and statistics in science are surveyed. Attention is focused on the historically important example of radioactive decay. In Sect. 3 the use of statistics in biology and the social sciences is examined, with (...) detailed consideration of various Chi-square statistical tests. Such tests are essential for proper evaluation of many different kinds of scientific hypotheses. (shrink)