- The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy
- List of Contributors
- Introduction
- Probability for Everyone—Even Philosophers
- Pre-history of Probability
- Probability in 17th- and 18th-century Continental Europe from the Perspective of Jacob Bernoulli’s <i>Art of Conjecturing</i>
- Probability and Its Application in Britain during the 17th and 18th Centuries
- A Brief History of Probability Theory from 1810 to 1940
- The Origins of Modern Statistics: The English Statistical School
- The Origins of Probabilistic Epistemology: Some Leading 20th-century Philosophers of Probability
- Kolmogorov’s Axiomatization and Its Discontents
- Conditional Probability
- The Bayesian Network Story
- Mathematical Alternatives to Standard Probability that Provide Selectable Degrees of Precision
- Probability and Nonclassical Logic
- A Logic of Comparative Support: Qualitative Conditional Probability Relations Representable by Popper Functions
- Imprecise and Indeterminate Probabilities
- Symmetry Arguments in Probability
- Frequentism
- Subjectivism
- Bayesianism vs. Frequentism in Statistical Inference
- The Propensity Interpretation
- Best System Approaches to Chance
- Probability and Randomness
- Chance and Determinism
- Human Understandings of Probability
- Probability Elicitation
- Probabilistic Opinion Pooling
- Quantum Probability: An Introduction
- Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics
- Probability in Biology: The Case of Fitness
- Probability in Epistemology
- Confirmation Theory
- Self-Locating Credences
- Probability in Logic
- Probability in Ethics
- Probability and the Philosophy of Religion
- Probability in Philosophy of Language
- Decision Theory
- Probabilistic Causation
- Name Index
- Subject Index

## Abstract and Keywords

The history of the use of symmetry arguments in probability theory is traced. After a brief consideration of why these did not occur in ancient Greece, the use of symmetry in probability, starting in the 17th century, is considered. Some of the contributions of Bernoulli, Bayes, Laplace, W. E. Johnson, and Bruno de Finetti are described. One important thread here is the progressive move from using symmetry to identify a single, unique probability function to using it instead to narrow the possibilities to a family of candidate functions via the qualitative concept of exchangeability. A number of modern developments are then discussed: partial exchangeability, the sampling of species problem, and Jeffrey conditioning. Finally, the use or misuse of seemingly innocent symmetry assumptions is illustrated, using a number of apparent paradoxes that have been widely discussed.

Keywords: symmetry argument, epistemic probability, equipossibility, James Bernoulli, Laplace, Bayes’s postulate, permutation postulate, exchangeability, Jeffrey conditioning, Bertrand’s paradox

Sandy Zabell, Department of Statistics, Northwestern University

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- The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy
- List of Contributors
- Introduction
- Probability for Everyone—Even Philosophers
- Pre-history of Probability
- Probability in 17th- and 18th-century Continental Europe from the Perspective of Jacob Bernoulli’s <i>Art of Conjecturing</i>
- Probability and Its Application in Britain during the 17th and 18th Centuries
- A Brief History of Probability Theory from 1810 to 1940
- The Origins of Modern Statistics: The English Statistical School
- The Origins of Probabilistic Epistemology: Some Leading 20th-century Philosophers of Probability
- Kolmogorov’s Axiomatization and Its Discontents
- Conditional Probability
- The Bayesian Network Story
- Mathematical Alternatives to Standard Probability that Provide Selectable Degrees of Precision
- Probability and Nonclassical Logic
- A Logic of Comparative Support: Qualitative Conditional Probability Relations Representable by Popper Functions
- Imprecise and Indeterminate Probabilities
- Symmetry Arguments in Probability
- Frequentism
- Subjectivism
- Bayesianism vs. Frequentism in Statistical Inference
- The Propensity Interpretation
- Best System Approaches to Chance
- Probability and Randomness
- Chance and Determinism
- Human Understandings of Probability
- Probability Elicitation
- Probabilistic Opinion Pooling
- Quantum Probability: An Introduction
- Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics
- Probability in Biology: The Case of Fitness
- Probability in Epistemology
- Confirmation Theory
- Self-Locating Credences
- Probability in Logic
- Probability in Ethics
- Probability and the Philosophy of Religion
- Probability in Philosophy of Language
- Decision Theory
- Probabilistic Causation
- Name Index
- Subject Index