Archive for A Treatise on Probability

a stretched view on Keynes’ Treatise

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2020 by xi'an

I came across a rather bemusing interpretation of Keynes’ Treatise on Probability, as a tribune in Le Monde of 6 September, as being a statement against the mathematical modelling of economy. Written by Annie Cot, professor of economics at Paris Sorbonne University. While the philosophical thread of the book is inclined towards a subjective perception of probability, albeit rejecting the Bayesian approach, and while the view on statistics is equally pessimistic, falling into the infinite regress of conditioning on the observation itself, outside a Bayesian framework, as I discussed in my 2011 paper, the book makes no mention whatsoever of economics or economic models. As far as I remember the book from reading it ten years ago. To conclude, as the author of this tribune, that Keynes rejected the viability of prevision based on economic models via this book sounds therefore stretching the facts to a fair extent.

someone who might benefit from increased contacts with the statistical community

Posted in Books, Statistics with tags , , , , , on July 23, 2012 by xi'an

A (kind of automated) email I got today:

Your name has come to our attention as someone who might benefit from increased contacts with the international statistical community. Given your professional interests and your statistical background (noting your publication ‘Reading Keynes’ Treatise on Probability’ in the journal International Statistical Review, volume 79, 2011), you should consider elected membership in the International Statistical Institute (ISI).

Hmmm, thanks but no thanks, I am not certain I need become a member of the ISI to increase my contacts with the international statistical community! (Disclaimer: This post makes fun of the anonymous emailing, not of the ISI!)

A seminar I will sadly miss

Posted in Books, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by xi'an

Next Friday, January 7, Jean Claude Saut will give a seminar in Orsay (bâtiment 425, salle 113, 13:30) on “Autour de `A Treatise on Probability’ de John Maynard Keynes  (II)”. I would have liked very much to be there and hear about a mathematician’s views on this book, which are most likely orthogonal to mines… For those in Paris this week there also is a Big’MC seminar on Thursday (IHP, 3pm) with Jean-Louis Foulley on evidence computation (in connection with Ando’s book) and Gilles Celeux (on latent blocks).

key[ed/nes] in!

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , on November 19, 2010 by xi'an

Great news in the mail today: my revision of Keynes’ A Treatise on Probability has been accepted by the International Statistical Review! With a very nice message from the editor:

It is an excellent revision and has addressed all the important points and more. I must also compliment you on your fluid and interesting writing style. It makes for very nice reading.

(In fact, this review of Keynes’ book is my first publication in this journal. This irrelevant point of information reminds me of an equally unimportant but enjoyable discussion Andrew Gelman and I had in the IHP cafeteria last year about the merits of publishing in new journals… )

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“Reading Keynes” revised

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , on October 19, 2010 by xi'an

Over the past weeks, I have revised Reading Keynes’ Treatise on Probability and the new version is now arXived (and resubmitted). I have mostly focussed on the presentation of the Treatise within the (then) current scene and on the existing advances missed by Keynes, rather than studying the technical work on the principal averages any further. For the same reason, I also abstained from relating the book to the notion of uncertain probabilities, despite a nice suggestion by Michael Brady, as I felt this was not directly related to the statistical focus of the review.