Yemima Ben-Menahem, Meir Hemmo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Questions concerning the meaning of probability and its applications in physics are notoriously subtle. In the philosophy of the exact sciences, the conceptual analysis of the foundations of a theory often lags behind the discovery of the mathematical results that form its basis. The theory of probability is no exception. Although Kolmogorov’s axiomatization of the theory [1] is generally considered definitive, the meaning of the notion of probability remains a matter of controversy.1 Questions pertain both to gaps between the formalism and the intuitive notions of probability and to the inter-relationships between the intuitive notions. Further, although each of the interpretations of the notion of probability is usually intended to be adequate throughout, independently of context, the various applications of the theory of probability pull in different interpretative directions: some applications, say in decision theory, are amenable to a subjective interpretation of probability as representing an agent’s degree of belief, while others, say in genetics, call upon an objective notion of probability that characterizes certain biological phenomena. In this volume we focus on the role of probability in physics. We have the dual goal and challenge of bringing the analysis of the notion of probability to bear on the meaning of the physical theories that employ it, and of using the prism of physics to study the notion of probability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProbability in Physics
EditorsYemima Ben-Menahem, Meir Hemmo
Place of PublicationBerlin, Heidelberg
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-21329-8
StatePublished - 2012


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