A Treatise on Probability
561 Pages
English

A Treatise on Probability

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Project Gutenberg’s A Treatise on Probability, by John Maynard Keynes This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: A Treatise on Probability Author: John Maynard Keynes Release Date: May 31, 2010 [EBook #32625] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A TREATISE ON PROBABILITY *** Produced by Andrew D. Hwang, Ralph Janke, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive) transcriber’s note Minor typographical corrections and presentational changes have been made without comment. Typographical corrections and regularizations of hyphenation are documented in the ALT Xsource file.E PDF bookmarks are provided for navigation to individual sections. This PDF file is formatted for screen viewing, but may be easily formatted for printing. Please consult the preamble of the ALT X source file for instructions.E BY THE SAME AUTHOR INDIAN CURRENCY AND FINANCE 8vo. Pp. viii + 263. 1913. 7s. 6d. net. THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE PEACE 8vo. Pp. vii + 279. 1919. 8s. 6d. net. ATREATISEONPROBABILITY MACMILLAN AND CO.

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Project Gutenberg’s A Treatise on Probability, by John Maynard Keynes
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: A Treatise on Probability
Author: John Maynard Keynes
Release Date: May 31, 2010 [EBook #32625]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A TREATISE ON PROBABILITY ***Produced by Andrew D. Hwang, Ralph Janke, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)
transcriber’s note
Minor typographical corrections and presentational changes
have been made without comment. Typographical corrections
and regularizations of hyphenation are documented in the
ALT Xsource file.E
PDF bookmarks are provided for navigation to individual
sections.
This PDF file is formatted for screen viewing, but may be easily
formatted for printing. Please consult the preamble of the
ALT X source file for instructions.EBY THE SAME AUTHOR
INDIAN CURRENCY AND FINANCE
8vo. Pp. viii + 263. 1913.
7s. 6d. net.
THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES
OF THE PEACE
8vo. Pp. vii + 279. 1919.
8s. 6d. net.ATREATISEONPROBABILITYMACMILLAN AND CO., Limited
LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA · MADRAS
MELBOURNE
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO
DALLAS · SAN FRANCISCO
THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd.
TORONTOA TREATISE
ON PROBABILITY
BY
JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
FELLOW OF KING’S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE
MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
ST. MARTIN’S STREET, LONDON
PREFACE
The subject matter of this book was first broached in the brain
of Leibniz, who, in the dissertation, written in his twenty-third year,
on the mode of electing the kings of Poland, conceived of Probability
as a branch of Logic. A few years before, “un problème,” in the
words of Poisson, “proposé à un austère janséniste par un homme du
monde, a été l’origine du calcul des probabilitiés.” In the intervening
centuries the algebraical exercises, in which the Chevalier de la Méré
interested Pascal, have so far predominated in the learned world over
the profounder enquiries of the philosopher into those processes of
human faculty which, by determining reasonable preference, guide our
choice, that Probability is oftener reckoned with Mathematics than
with Logic. There is much here, therefore, which is novel and, being
novel, unsifted, inaccurate, or deficient. I propound my systematic
conception of this subject for criticism and enlargement at the hand
of others, doubtful whether I myself am likely to get much further,
by waiting longer, with a work, which, beginning as a Fellowship
Dissertation, and interrupted by the war, has already extended over
many years.
It may be perceived that I have been much influenced by W. E.
Johnson, G. E. Moore, and Bertrand Russell, that is to say by
Cambridge, which, with great debts to the writers of Continental
Europe, yet continues in direct succession the English tradition of
Locke and Berkeley and Hume, of Mill and Sidgwick, who, in spite of
their divergences of doctrine, are united in a preference for what is
matter of fact, and have conceived their subject as a branch rather of
science than of the creative imagination, prose writers, hoping to be
understood.
J. M. KEYNES.
King’s College, Cambridge,
May 1, 1920.
vCONTENTS
PART I
fundamental ideas
CHAPTER I
page
The Meaning of Probability.............................. 2
CHAPTER II
Probability in Relation to the Theory of Knowledge 9
CHAPTER III
The Measurement of Probabilities...................... 20
CHAPTER IV
The Principle of Indifference............................ 44
CHAPTER V
Other Methods of Determining Probabilities......... 71
viCONTENTS vii
CHAPTER VI
page
The Weight of Arguments................................ 78
CHAPTER VII
Historical Retrospect .................................... 87
CHAPTER VIII
The Frequency Theory of Probability ................. 102
CHAPTER IX
The Constructive Theory of Part I. Summarized...... 123
PART II
fundamental theorems
CHAPTER X
Introductory ............................................... 126
CHAPTER XI
The Theory of Groups, with special reference to
Logical Consistence, Inference, and Logical
Priority..................................................... 135
CHAPTER XII
The Definitions and Axioms of Inference and
Probability .................................................... 146A TREATISE ON PROBABILITY viii
CHAPTER XIII
page
The Fundamental Theorems of Necessary Inference. 153
CHAPTER XIV
The Fundamental Theorems of Probable Inference.. 161
CHAPTER XV
Numerical Measurement and Approximation of
Probabilities ................................................. 180
CHAPTER XVI
Observations on the Theorems of Chapter XIV. and
their Developments, including Testimony......... 188
CHAPTER XVII
Some Problems in Inverse Probability, including
Averages................................................ 214
PART III
induction and analogy
CHAPTER XVIII
Introduction................................................ 250
CHAPTER XIX
The Nature of Argument by Analogy .................. 256