Single Idea 7448

[catalogued under 10. Modality / B. Possibility / 6. Probability]

Full Idea

Probability has two aspects: the degree of belief warranted by evidence, and the tendency displayed by some chance device to produce stable relative frequencies. These are the epistemological and statistical aspects of the subject.

Gist of Idea

Probability is statistical (behaviour of chance devices) or epistemological (belief based on evidence)


Ian Hacking (The Emergence of Probability [1975], Ch.1)

Book Reference

Hacking,Ian: 'The Emergence of Probability' [CUP 1975], p.1

A Reaction

The most basic distinction in the subject. Later (p.124) he suggests that the statistical form (known as 'aleatory' probability) is de re, and the other is de dicto.