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The History of Moral Certainty as the Pre-History of Typicality

Hubert, Mario (2023) The History of Moral Certainty as the Pre-History of Typicality. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper investigates the historical origin and ancestors of typicality, which is now a central concept in Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics and Bohmian Mechanics. Al- though Ludwig Boltzmann did not use the word typicality, its main idea, namely, that something happens almost always or is valid for almost all cases, plays a crucial role for his explanation of how thermodynamic systems approach equilibrium. At the beginning of the 20th century, the focus on almost always or almost everywhere was fruitful for developing measure theory and probability theory. It was apparently Hugh Everett III who first mentioned typicality in physics in 1957 while searching for a justification of the Born rule in his interpretation of quantum mechanics. The historically closest concept before these developments is moral certainty, which was invented by the medieval French theologian Jean Gerson, and it became a standard concept at least until the Age of Enlightenment, when Jakob Bernoulli proved the Law of Large numbers.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hubert, Mariomario.hubert@aucegypt.edu0000-0002-1170-6020
Keywords: typicality, moral certainty, Aristotle, Gerson, Descartes, Locke, Bernoulli
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Dr. Mario Hubert
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2023 14:46
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2023 14:46
Item ID: 22321
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22321

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