Laplace, Pierre Simon de


Laplace, Pierre Simon de
(1749–1827)
The French mathematician is remembered in philosophy partly for his contributions to probability theory, and also for his strict determinism . He himself proved the mechanical stability of the solar system within Newtonian mechanics, thereby removing the need for any regulation by divine intervention. It is this that occasioned his celebrated remark to Napoleon about God: ‘Je n’ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse’: I have no need of that hypothesis. His determinism is frequently presented in the figure of a superhuman intelligence, to whom the entire state of nature at a time is known, and who can therefore compute the way it will evolve through subsequent times. Laplace, however, accepted that human beings would have to make do with probabilities. His Essai philosophique sur les probabilités (1814, trs. as A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities, 1951) is famous not only for its mathematical originality, but for the confidence with which Laplace applies inverse methods to give probabilities for such things as the rising of the sun or the correctness of a verdict by a jury of a given size. His reliance on both the rule of succession and on the principle of indifference have been subsequently criticized.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laplace, Pierre-Simon — • Mathematician and astronomer (1749 1827) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Laplace, Pierre-Simon, marquis de — born March 23, 1749, Beaumount en Auge, France died March 5, 1827, Paris French mathematician, astronomer, and physicist. He is best known for his investigations into the stability of the solar system and the theory of magnetic, electrical, and… …   Universalium

  • Laplace, Pierre-Simon, marqués de — (23 mar. 1749, Beaumount en Auge, Franciandash–5 mar. 1827, París). Matemático, astrónomo y físico francés. Se lo conoce principalmente por sus investigaciones sobre la estabilidad del sistema solar y su teoría de la propagación de ondas… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Laplace, Pierre Simón, marqués de — ► (1749 1827) Matemático y astrónomo francés. Resumió en un cuerpo de doctrina los trabajos separados de Newton, Halley, Clairaut, D´Alembert y Euler acerca de la gravitación universal y concibió, a propósito de la formación del sistema… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Pierre-Simon Laplace — Laplace redirects here. For the city in Louisiana, see LaPlace, Louisiana. For the joint NASA ESA space mission, see Europa Jupiter System Mission. Pierre Simon, marquis de Laplace Pierre Simon Laplace (1749–1827). Posthumous portrait …   Wikipedia

  • Pierre-Simon Laplace — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Laplace. Pierre Simon Laplace …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pierre-simon laplace — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Laplace. Pierre Simon Laplace …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pierre Simon de Laplace — Pierre Simon Laplace Pour les articles homonymes, voir Laplace. Pierre Simon Laplace …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pierre Simon Laplace — Pierre Simon Marqués de Laplace astrónomo, físico y matemático francés Nacimiento 23 de marzo de 1749 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Pierre-Simon Laplace —     Pierre Simon Laplace     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pierre Simon Laplace     Mathematical and physical astronomer, b. in Beaumont en Auge, near Caen, department of Calvados, France, in March (dates given 28, 25, 23, 22), 1749; d. in Paris, 5… …   Catholic encyclopedia


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