Topic: Philosophy of Probability
The use of probability theory is ubiquitous in the sciences---from its theoretical role in quantum and statistical physics to its methodological role in statistical testing and experimentation, and its practical role in modeling the beliefs of agents in the social sciences. How did probability theory come to have such diverse applications? And how should we understand and interpret probability assignments in light of this diversity? This course will take a historical overview of the development of probability theory from the classical view of the Enlightenment to the 20th century frequentist and subjective belief approaches and the mathematical foundation provided by Kolmogorov. Our focus will be primarily on the philosophical questions that motivated these mathematical developments, and their relation to the conceptual, methodological, and epistemological foundation of the sciences.