Probability plays an important role in all of our lives, from weather forecasts to medical diagnoses, from election forecasts to earthquake predictions, and much, much more.
Indeed, probability talk is so commonplace that we would be forgiven for thinking that probability itself is familiar and well understood. Fortunately, for the philosophically minded at least, probability is anything but well understood.
Probability theory gives rise to a number of rich and interesting philosophical questions such as: should we understand probabilities as something in our heads or something out in the world? How should we interpret probability statements about single-case events such as the probability of rain tomorrow? And why are we so bad at probabilistic reasoning?
Mark Colyvan will argue that although we know a lot about probability theory, there is much more to learn. And this "much more" has a decidedly philosophical flavour.
Mark Colyvan is Professor of Philosophy, ARC Future Fellow, and Director of the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science at the University of Sydney. He is also President Elect of the Society for Risk Analysis (Australia and New Zealand).
Then it's up to us to bounce around our own perspectives on probability in the following discussion!
The next Socrates Café Newtown, held on 13th February from 6.30pm at Berkelouw Books at 6-8 O’Connell Street Newtown, Sydney.
The meeting will kick off with a 30 minute talk by Mark. Following a few minutes for questions, we'll move into the open discussion. At that point, we'll break off into groups, and discuss the topic at our leisure.
During this time, Mark will join each discussion group for a brief period, giving everyone a chance to bounce ideas around with him. After about 45 minutes, we'll reconvene and share the issues discussed in each group.
Socrates Café has a $5 door charge, which includes a tea or coffee from the café.
Note: there is no RSVP limit on this event. Seats in the café are limited (around 70 all up) so arrive early to secure your spot! If you arrive late, it may be standing room only!
Hope to see you there!