Repository | Book | Chapter


(2018) The philosophers and mathematics, Dordrecht, Springer.

Some reasons to reopen the question of the foundations of probability theory following Gian-Carlo Rota

Carlos Lobo

pp. 145-187

Roshdi Rashed's work illustrates perfectly what can be a conscious and cautious practice of reflection, with the purpose of setting history of science (and mathematics) on renewed and deeper grounds (See the introduction, Problems of method: history of science between history and epistemology, in Classical Mathematics from Al-Khwarizmi to Descartes , 2014, (Rashed 2014).). This entails the methodical operations that he enumerates, such as enlargement towards undermined or ignored traditions (Chinese, Arab, Indian, etc.), careful and reasoned decompartmentalization of disciplines, correlative changes of periodization (without which the critique of scientific ideology and ideology of scientists would risk of falling back into some counter-ideological history, particular or general). (Europeocentrism for instance is twofold: promotion of the ambiguous and disputable notion of "western science" and ignorance or "minorization" of the contributions of non-western traditions. Cf. (Rashed 1984) and appendices in The Notion of Western Science: "Science as a Western Phenomenon" and "Periodization in Classical Mathematics" (Rashed 2014).) Among mathematicians, Gian-Carlo Rota is certainly both exceptional and, for this reason, exemplary. By choosing this perspective as a tribute, I hope that Roshdi Rashed will consider my comments not too unworthy. For any philosopher of science not insensitive to history of science, and for any historian not completely allergic to philosophical reflection, studying Rota's contribution in the fields of logic and phenomenology reveals itself instructive and fruitful. Contrary to dominant trends amongst his colleagues, in his own way, Rota showed a strong and continuous interest in logic, history of science and philosophy.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-93733-5_8

Full citation:

Lobo, C. (2018)., Some reasons to reopen the question of the foundations of probability theory following Gian-Carlo Rota, in H. Tahiri (ed.), The philosophers and mathematics, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 145-187.

This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.