Good Thinking: The Foundations of Probability and Its Applications

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Dover Publications, Nov 1, 2009 - Mathematics - 332 pages
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These sparkling essays by a gifted thinker offer philosophical views on the roots of statistical interference. A pioneer in the early development of computing, Irving J. Good made fundamental contributions to the theory of Bayesian inference and was a key member of the team that broke the German Enigma code during World War II. Good maintains that a grasp of probability is essential to answering both practical and philosophical questions. This compilation of his most accessible works concentrates on philosophical rather than mathematical subjects, ranging from rational decisions, randomness, and the nature of probability to operational research, artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and chess. 
These twenty-three self-contained articles represent the author's work in a variety of fields but are unified by a consistently rational approach. Five closely related sections explore Bayesian rationality; probability; corroboration, hypothesis testing, and simplicity; information and surprise; and causality and explanation. A comprehensive index, abundant references, and a bibliography refer readers to classic and modern literature. Good's thought-provoking observations and memorable examples provide scientists, mathematicians, and historians of science with a coherent view of probability and its applications.

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