David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (3):626-634 (2007)
I shall argue that there is no such property of an event as its “probability.” This is why standard interpretations cannot give a sound deﬁnition in empirical terms of what “probability” is, and this is why empirical sciences like physics can manage without such a deﬁnition. “Probability” is a collective term, the meaning of which varies from context to context: it means diﬀerent — dimensionless [0, 1]-valued — physical quantities characterising the diﬀerent particular situations. In other words, probability is a reducible concept, supervening on physical quantities characterising the state of aﬀairs corresponding to the event in question. On the other hand, however, these “probability-like” physical quantities correspond to objective features of the physical world, and are objectively related to measurable quantities like relative frequencies of physical events based on ﬁnite samples — no matter whether the world is objectively deterministic or indeterministic.
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