A modest proposal about chance

Journal of Philosophy 108 (8):416-442 (2011)
Abstract
First para: Before the 17th century, there was not much discussion, and little uniformity in conception, of natural laws. The rise of science in 17th century, Newton’s mathematization of physics, and the provision of strict, deterministic laws that applied equally to the heavens and to the terrestrial realm had a profound impact in transforming the philosophical imagination. A philosophical conception of physical law built on the example of Newtonian Mechanics became quickly entrenched. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, there was a great deal of philosophical interest in probabilities, but probabilities were mostly regarded as having something to do with the management of opinion, not as having a fundamental role in science. Probabilities made their first appearance in an evidently ineliminable way in the laws of a fundamental theory with the advent of quantum mechanics. Quantum probabilities have come to be called ‘chances’ in the philosophical literature, and their interpretation has been one of the central problems in philosophy of science now for almost a century. There continue to be hold-outs that insist that there must be an underlying probability-free replacement for quantum mechanics and Bohmians have had some success in formulating a deterministic alternative to quantum mechanics, but most physicists accept that the probabilistic character of the quantum mechanical laws is likely to be retained in any successor theory. While physics has adjusted itself comfortably to the existence of ineliminably probabilistic laws, philosophy has not managed arrive at a stable interpretation of quantum probability. The difficulty is that there are a number of constraints that an interpretation of chance must satisfy, constraints that appear to be partially definitive of the concept and it proves to be extraordinarily difficult to meet them simultaneously.
Keywords chance
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,404
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Luke Glynn (2010). Deterministic Chance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):51–80.
Jenann Ismael (1996). What Chances Could Not Be. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):79-91.
B. Loewer (2001). Determinism and Chance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (4):609-620.
Roberta L. Millstein (2000). Chance and Macroevolution. Philosophy of Science 67 (4):603-624.
Meir Hemmo (2007). Quantum Probability and Many Worlds. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (2):333-350.
Nancy Cartwright (1978). The Only Real Probabilities in Quantum Mechanics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:54 - 59.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-06-26

Total downloads

103 ( #10,992 of 1,102,998 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #11,162 of 1,102,998 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.