Almost pregnant: On probabilism and its moral uses in the social sciences

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 39 (4):572-594 (2009)
The turn from deterministic to probabilistic explanations has been used to argue that social science does not explain human action in ways that are incompatible with free will, since, according to some accounts of probabilism, causal factors merely influence actions without determining them. I argue that the notion of nondetermining causal influence is a multifaceted and problematic idea, which notably is unclear about whether the probability is objective or subjective, whether it applies to individual occurrences or merely to sets of occurrences, and whether it is possible for an occurrence to be "almost determined."
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