Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Some Classic Papers on Probability Theory

A selection:
Ayer, A. J. 1963. “Two Notes on Probability,” in The Concept of a Person and Other Essays. Macmillan, 188–208.

Bunge, Mario. 1981. “Four Concepts of Probability,” Applied Mathematical Modelling 5: 306–312.

Bunge, Mario. 1988. “Two Faces and Three Masks of Probability,” in Evandro Agazzi (ed.), Probability in the Sciences. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht and London. 27–50.

Carnap, Rudolf. 1945. “The Two Concepts of Probability,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 5.4: 513–532.

Keynes, John Maynard. 1931. “Ramsey as a Philosopher,” The New Statesman and Nation, 3 October.

Keynes, John Maynard. 1963. “F. P. Ramsey 1903–1930,” in John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Biography (new edn.). Norton, New York. 239–254.

Perry, Stephen R. 1995. “Risk, Harm, and Responsibility,” in David G. Owen (ed.), Philosophical Foundations of Tort Law. Oxford University Press, New York. 321–346.

Popper, Karl R. 1957. “The Propensity Interpretation of the Calculus of Probability, and the Quantum Theory,” in S. Körner (ed.), Observation and Interpretation: A Symposium of Philosophers and Physicists: Proceedings of the Ninth Symposium of the Colston Research Society, held in the University of Bristol, April 1st–April 4th, 1957. Butterworths, London. 65–70.

Popper, Karl R. 1959. “The Propensity Interpretation of Probability,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10: 25–42.

Ramsey, Frank. P. 1922. “Mr. Keynes on Probability,” Cambridge Magazine 11.1: 3–5. [Reprinted in Ramsey 1989.]

Ramsey, Frank. P. 1931. “Truth and Probability,” in Frank. P. Ramsey, The Foundations of Mathematics and Other Logical Essays (ed. by R. B. Braithwaite). Kegan Paul & Co., London. 58–100.

Ramsey, Frank. P. 1989 [1922]. “Mr Keynes on Probability,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40.2: 219–222.
Ramsey (1922 and 1931) are criticisms of Keynes’ logical theory of probability. Keynes (1931) is his response to Ramsey.

Ayer (1963) and Carnap (1945) are classic papers in philosophy of probability, and Popper (1957 and 1959) are famous statements of his “propensity” theory of probability, a modern development of which seems to be the preferred version of objective probability theory in modern philosophy (Gillies 2000: 136).

Perry (1995) is a fascinating paper examining risk versus uncertainty in the context of law and litigation.

Gillies, D. A. 2000. Philosophical Theories of Probability. Routledge, London.


  1. LK

    I saw this comment by you at free advice, quoting Marc Lavoie:

    ".. thus leading to the conclusion that a government deficit, all else equal, leads to an increase in bank reserves and therefore downward pressures on the overnight rate – the exact opposite of the mainstream crowding-out argument.”

    This is the controversial point made by MMT... and Lavoie's critique of MMT disagreed with this, if I remember correctly. So how does Lavoie explain this argument in his paper?

    1. Do you have the reference to Lavoie's critique of MMT?

      In his chapter (M. Lavoie, 2013. “Teaching Post-Keynesian Economics in a Mainstream Department,” in Jesper Jespersen and Mogens Ove Madsen (eds.), Teaching Post Keynesian Economics. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK. 12–33), I don't believe he mentions MMT.