chance
Chance is frequently regarded as unreal, a mere reflection of human ignorance, due to be eroded by the onset of deterministic science. In ancient and medieval philosophy chance could be contrasted with divine purpose, and until the 18th century the concept was of little application, since nothing is strictly due to chance when God's purpose is shown in all creation. The equally ancient opposition between chance and science was eroded after the rise of statistics and probability theory in the 17th century. Probability became the ‘guide of life’ providing the tools with which to assess chances in insurance and gambling, discovering causal connections, finding rates of mortality, crime, and marriage, even before the onset of probabilistic theories in physics, such as statistical mechanics and then quantum mechanics . The problem of interpretation is that of deciding whether probabilities measure something ‘real’ or whether they merely reflect the beliefs of reasonable persons faced with various quantities of data (see personalism ). The widespread view that quantum mechanics is irreducibly probabilistic, so that quantum events do not merely manifest superficial randomness overlaying a deterministic basis, is the main stimulus to attempts to give theories of what chance ‘really is’, or of how fundamental laws of nature can have a probabilistic form. One difficulty lies in seeing how two universes that are the same in respect of the events that occur, might yet differ in the chance with which those events came about.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • chance — [ ʃɑ̃s ] n. f. • XIIe chaance « manière dont tombent les dés »; lat. pop. cadentia, de cadere « tomber » → choir 1 ♦ (XIIIe) Manière favorable ou défavorable selon laquelle un événement se produit (⇒ aléa, hasard); puissance qui préside au succès …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Chance — may refer to: Contents 1 Philosophy, logic and theology 2 Places 3 Music …   Wikipedia

  • Chance — (ch[.a]ns), n. [F. chance, OF. cheance, fr. LL. cadentia a allusion to the falling of the dice), fr. L. cadere to fall; akin to Skr. [,c]ad to fall, L. cedere to yield, E. cede. Cf. {Cadence}.] 1. A supposed material or psychical agent or mode of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chance — CHANCE. s. f. Sorte de jeu à deux ou trois à dez. Ils joüent à la chance. joüer à la chance. je luy ay livré chance. ramener sa chance. Il se prend aussi pour le point qu on livre à celuy contre lequel on jouë, & pour celuy qu on se livre à soy… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • chance — [chans, chäns] n. [ME chaunce < OFr cheance < VL cadentia, that which falls out < L cadens, prp. of cadere, to fall: see CASE1] 1. the happening of events without apparent cause, or the apparent absence of cause or design; fortuity; luck …   English World dictionary

  • chance — n 1 Chance, accident, fortune, luck, hap, hazard denote something that happens without an apparent or determinable cause or as a result of unpredictable forces. Chance serves often as a general term for the incalculable and fortuitous element in… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Chance! — Single par Tsukishima Kirari starring Kusumi Koharu (Morning Musume) extrait de l’album Kirarin Land Face A Chance! Face B Ramutara Sortie 7 novembre 2007 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • chance — CHANCE. s. f. Sorte de jeu de dés. Jouer à la chance. f♛/b] Il se prend aussi pour Le point qu ou livre à celui contre lequel on joue aux dés, et pour Celui qu on se livre à soi même. Livrer chance. Amener sa chance. [b]f♛/b] On dit figurément,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Chancé — Kantieg …   Wikipedia

  • chance — ► NOUN 1) a possibility of something happening. 2) (chances) the probability of something happening. 3) an opportunity. 4) the occurrence of events in the absence of any obvious design. ► VERB 1) do something by accident …   English terms dictionary

  • chance — I (fortuity) noun advantage, befalling, casus, circumstance, event, favorable time, fortuitousness, good fortune, happening, occasion, opening, suitable circumstance, time associated concepts: arise by chance, last clear chance II (possibility) …   Law dictionary

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