Online Encyclopedia

CHANCE (through the O. Fr. cheance, f...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 832 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHANCE (through the O. Fr. cheance, from the Late Lat. cadentia, things happening, from cadere, to fall out, happen; cf. " case "), an accident or event, a phenomenon which has no apparent or discoverable cause; hence an event which has not been expected, a piece of good or bad fortune. From the popular idea that anything of which no assignable cause is known has therefore no cause, chance (Gr. Tbxn) was regarded as having a substantial objective existence, being itself the source of such uncaused phenomena. For the philosophic theories relating to this subject see ACCIDENTALISM. " Chance," in the theory of probability, is used in two ways. In the stricter, or mathematical usage, it is synonymous with probability; i.e. if a particular event may occur in n ways in an aggregate of p events, then the " chance " of the particular event occurring is given by the fraction n/p. In the second usage, the "chance" is regarded as the ratio of the number of ways which a particular event may occur to the number of ways in which it may not occur; mathematically expressed, this chance is n/(p-n) (see PROBABILITY). In the English law relating to gaming and wagering a distinction is drawn between games of chance and games of skill (see GAMING AND WAGERING).
End of Article: CHANCE (through the O. Fr. cheance, from the Late Lat. cadentia, things happening, from cadere, to fall out, happen; cf. " case ")
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