David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 106 (2):89-108 (2009)
The role of probability is one of the most contested issues in the interpretation of contemporary physics. In this paper, I’ll be reevaluating some widely held assumptions about where and how probabilities arise. Larry Sklar voices the conventional wisdom about probability in classical physics in a piece in the Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy, when he writes that “Statistical mechanics was the first foundational physical theory in which probabilistic concepts and probabilistic explanation played a fundamental role.” And the conventional wisdom about quantum probabilities is that they are basic, not reducible to the types of probabilities we see in statistical mechanics. In the first section of this paper, I’ll argue that in fact classical physics was steeped in probability long before statistical mechanics came on the scene, specifically, that an objective measure over phase space is an indispensable component of any informative physical theory. In the next section, I’ll argue that this objective measure is the fundamental form of physical probability and that quantum probabilities can be defined in terms of it. In the last, I’ll raise some questions about the metaphysical status of the fundamental measure
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Meir Hemmo (2007). Quantum Probability and Many Worlds. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (2):333-350.
B. Loewer (2001). Determinism and Chance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (4):609-620.
Michael Strevens (2011). Probability Out Of Determinism. In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press 339--364.
Lawrence Sklar (1993). Physics and Chance: Philosophical Issues in the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics. Cambridge University Press.
Simon Saunders (forthcoming). What is Probability? Arxiv Preprint Quant-Ph/0412194.
Jenann Ismael (1996). What Chances Could Not Be. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):79-91.
Jan Von Plato (1982). Probability and Determinism. Philosophy of Science 49 (1):51-66.
Aidan Lyon (2010). Deterministic Probability: Neither Chance nor Credence. Synthese 182 (3):413-432.
J. Ismael (2011). A Modest Proposal About Chance. Journal of Philosophy 108 (8):416-442.
J. T. Ismael (2009). Probability in Deterministic Physics. Journal of Philosophy 106 (2):89-108.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads246 ( #3,512 of 1,707,766 )
Recent downloads (6 months)54 ( #14,306 of 1,707,766 )
How can I increase my downloads?