Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(3,290 words)

1. Cultural and intellectual history

1.1. Introduction

Probability (Latin probabilitas) began its meteoric rise in the early modern period as an aid in times of crisis. It connoted an opinion that was to form the basis for an urgent decision to act in a certain way and no other. Soon, however, it developed into a legitimate alternative to truth, the very possibility of which natural philosophy and epistemology were casting into ever greater doubt. Probability began to establish itself as a sufficie…

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Eckert, Georg and Callens, Stephane, “Probability”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 10 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_029971>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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