Some Reasons to Reopen the Question of the Foundations of Probability Theory Following Gian-Carlo Rota

In Hassan Tahiri (ed.), The Philosophers and Mathematics: Festschrift for Roshdi Rashed. Springer Verlag. pp. 145-187 (2018)


Roshdi Rashed’s work illustrates perfectly what can be a conscious and cautious practice of reflection, with the purpose of setting history of science on renewed and deeper grounds.). This entails the methodical operations that he enumerates, such as enlargement towards undermined or ignored traditions, careful and reasoned decompartmentalization of disciplines, correlative changes of periodization. and appendices in The Notion of Western Science: “Science as a Western Phenomenon” and “Periodization in Classical Mathematics”.) Among mathematicians, Gian-Carlo RotaRota, Gian-Carlo 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, RotaRota, Gian-Carlo showed a strong and continuous interest in logic, history of science and philosophy.

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Carlos Lobo
Université de Caen

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