## The Emergence of Probability: A Philosophical Study of Early Ideas about Probability, Induction and Statistical InferenceHistorical records show that there was no real concept of probability in Europe before the mid-seventeenth century although the use of dice and other randomizing objects was commonplace. Ian Hacking here presents a philosophical critique of early ideas about probability, induction and statistical inference and the growth of this new family of ideas in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The contemporary debate centres round such figures as Pascal, Leibniz and Jacques Bernoulli. What brought about the change in ideas? The author invokes in his explanation a wider intellectual framework involving the growth of science, economics and the theology of the period. |

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### Contents

An absent family of ideas | 1 |

Duality | 11 |

Opinion | 18 |

Evidence | 31 |

Signs | 39 |

The first calculations | 49 |

The Roannez circle | 57 |

The great decision | 63 |

Political arithmetic | 102 |

Annuities | 111 |

Equipossibility | 122 |

Inductive logic | 134 |

The art of conjecturing | 143 |

The first limit theorem | 154 |

Design | 166 |

Induction | 176 |

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### Common terms and phrases

aleatory annuities Arbuthnot argument from dominance arithmetic authority believe called Cardano certainty chapter coin concept of evidence concept of probability conjectandi conjecture credibility demonstration Descartes dice distinction doctrine doctrine of chances efficient causes epistemic probability epistemological equally possible equally probable equipossibility estimator event example expectation experiment fact fair price Fermat frequency Galileo gamble games of chance Graunt Hence Hudde Hume Huygens ideas inductive logic inference internal evidence Jacques Bernoulli kind of evidence knowledge L. J. Savage Laplace Leibniz limit theorem lottery low science mathematics matter metaphysics modern Moivre nature Nicholas Bernoulli notion observed opinion outcomes Paracelsus particular partition Pascal philosophers plague Port Royal Port Royal Logic prior probability probabilism probabilistic probability theory problem of induction propensity proposition question random reason Renaissance Roannez sceptical problem sense signs statistical suppose testimony things Thomas Bayes thought tickets tion wager Wilkins Witt word wrote