About this topic
Summary Past global states of a deterministic system, together with the laws governing that system, entail the entire future history of the system. There is only one way that a deterministic system can evolve, given a prior state and deterministic laws. Prima facie, determinism excludes any non-trivial chance of that system evolving over time in any other way: it has chance 1 of evolving the way it in fact will evolve.   The dispute over deterministic chance, like that over free will and determinism, revolves around two issues: (i) how to make that prima facie case for the incompatibility of chance and determinism into a precise argument; and (ii) whether the resulting argument is successful.
Key works Incompatibilism about chance and determinism is rarely explicitly defended. (It is expressed forcefully by Lewis 1980.) Earman 1986 articulates the notion of determinism precisely, and also endorses the difficulty of making irreducible objective probability consistent with determinism (chapter VIII). The most notable recent attempt to defend incompatibilism is that of Schaffer 2007, who derives incompatibilism from considerations of the conceptual role of chance. A response along the same lines is Eagle 2011. A compatibilist approach relying on a more substantive Humean theory of chance is Frigg & Hoefer 2010. The recent compatibilist debate has focussed intensively on the status of probabilities in classical statistical mechanics, appearing as they do to be objective and nevertheless grounded in a deterministic theory. Clark & Butterfield 1987 and Loewer 2001 are prominent discussions of this issue; Ismael 2009 uses the basic framework of phase space to argue that some kind of objective probability, if not chance, is compatible with determinism. The prospects for quantum chances in deterministic versions of quantum theory, like the Everett interpretation, is explored by Greaves 2004.  The converse issue—can there be indeterminism without chance?—is addressed by Norton 2008.
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  1. Probability Out Of Determinism.Michael Strevens - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 339--364.
    This paper offers a metaphysics of physical probability in (or if you prefer, truth conditions for probabilistic claims about) deterministic systems based on an approach to the explanation of probabilistic patterns in deterministic systems called the method of arbitrary functions. Much of the appeal of the method is its promise to provide an account of physical probability on which probability assignments have the ability to support counterfactuals about frequencies. It is argued that the eponymous arbitrary functions are of little philosophical (...)
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  2. Dynamics, Quantum Mechanics and the Indeterminism of Nature.Jörg Neunhäuserer - manuscript
    We show that determinism is false assuming a realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics and considering the sensitive dynamics of macroscopical physical systems.
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  3. Difference-Making and Deterministic Chance.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Why do we value higher-level scientific explanations if, ultimately, the world is physical? An attractive answer is that physical explanations often cite facts that don't make a difference to the event in question. I claim that to properly develop this view we need to commit to a type of deterministic chance. And in doing so, we see the theoretical utility of deterministic chance, giving us reason to accept a package of views including deterministic chance.
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  4. Bell’s Theorem, Quantum Probabilities, and Superdeterminism.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
    In this short survey article, I discuss Bell’s theorem and some strategies that attempt to avoid the conclusion of non-locality. I focus on two that intersect with the philosophy of probability: (1) quantum probabilities and (2) superdeterminism. The issues they raised not only apply to a wide class of no-go theorems about quantum mechanics but are also of general philosophical interest.
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  5. Objectivity and the Method of Arbitrary Functions.Chloé de Canson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axaa001.
    There is widespread excitement in the literature about the method of arbitrary functions: many take it to show that it is from the dynamics of systems that the objectivity of probabilities emerge. In this paper, I differentiate three ways in which a probability function might be objective, and I argue that the method of arbitrary functions cannot help us show that dynamics objectivise probabilities in any of these senses.
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  6. A Subjectivist’s Guide to Deterministic Chance.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Synthese.
    I present an account of deterministic chance which builds upon the physico-mathematical approach to theorizing about deterministic chance known as 'the method of arbitrary functions'. This approach promisingly yields deterministic probabilities which align with what we take the chances to be---it tells us that there is approximately a 1/2 probability of a spun roulette wheel stopping on black, and approximately a 1/2 probability of a flipped coin landing heads up---but it requires some probabilistic materials to work with. I contend that (...)
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  7. Chance and the Continuum Hypothesis.Daniel Hoek - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper presents and defends an argument that the continuum hypothesis is false, based on considerations about objective chance and an old theorem due to Banach and Kuratowski. More specifically, I argue that the probabilistic inductive methods standardly used in science presuppose that every proposition about the outcome of a chancy process has a certain chance between 0 and 1. I also argue in favour of the standard view that chances are countably additive. Since it is possible to randomly pick (...)
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  8. The Reference Class Problem in Evolutionary Biology: Distinguishing Selection From Drift.Michael Strevens - forthcoming - In Charles Pence & Grant Ramsey (eds.), Chance in Evolution.
    Evolutionary biology distinguishes differences in survival and reproduction rates due to selection from those due to drift. The distinction is usually thought to be founded in probabilistic facts: a difference in (say) two variants' average lifespans over some period of time that is due to selection is explained by differences in the probabilities relevant to survival; in the purest cases of drift, by contrast, the survival probabilities are equal and the difference in lifespans is a matter of chance. When there (...)
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  9. Everettian Theory as Pure Wave Mechanics Plus a No-Collapse Probability Postulate.Paul Tappenden - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    Proposed derivations of the Born rule for Everettian theory are controversial. I argue that they are unnecessary but may provide justification for a simplified version of the Principal Principle. It’s also unnecessary to replace Everett’s idea that a subject splits in measurement contexts with the idea that subjects have linear histories which partition Many worlds? Everett, quantum theory, and reality, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 181–205, 2010; Wallace in The emergent multiverse, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012, Chapter 7; Wilson in (...)
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  10. Objective Consequentialism and the Plurality of Chances.Leszek Wroński - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    I claim that objective consequentialism faces a problem stemming from the existence in some situations of a plurality of chances relevant to the outcomes of an agent’s acts. I suggest that this phenomenon bears structural resemblance to the well-known Reference Class problem. I outline a few ways in which one could attempt to deal with the issue, suggesting that it is the higher-level chance that should be employed by OC.
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  11. Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature.Valia Allori (ed.) - 2020 - Singapore: World Scientific.
    The book explores several open questions in the philosophy of statistical mechanics. Each chapter is written by a leading expert in the field. Here is a list of some questions that are addressed in the book: 1) Boltzmann showed how the phenomenological gas laws of thermodynamics can be derived from statistical mechanics. Since classical mechanics is a deterministic theory there are no probabilities in it. Since statistical mechanics is based on classical mechanics, all the probabilities statistical mechanics talks about cannot (...)
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  12. Some Reflections on the Statistical Postulate: Typicality, Probability and Explanation Between Deterministic and Indeterministic Theories.Valia Allori - 2020 - In Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature, (2020). Singapore: World Scientific. pp. 65-111.
    A common way of characterizing Boltzmann’s explanation of thermodynamics in term of statistical mechanics is with reference to three ingredients: the dynamics, the past hypothesis, and the statistical postulate. In this paper I focus on the statistical postulate, and I have three aims. First, I wish to argue that regarding the statistical postulate as a probability postulate may be too strong: a postulate about typicality would be enough. Second, I wish to show that there is no need to postulate anything, (...)
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  13. Time's Arrow in a Quantum Universe: On the Status of Statistical Mechanical Probabilities.Eddy Keming Chen - 2020 - In Valia Allori (ed.), Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature. World Scientific. pp. 479–515.
    In a quantum universe with a strong arrow of time, it is standard to postulate that the initial wave function started in a particular macrostate---the special low-entropy macrostate selected by the Past Hypothesis. Moreover, there is an additional postulate about statistical mechanical probabilities according to which the initial wave function is a ''typical'' choice in the macrostate. Together, they support a probabilistic version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: typical initial wave functions will increase in entropy. Hence, there are two (...)
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  14. Eros and Logos.Stuart Kauffman - 2020 - Angelaki 25 (3):9-23.
    For the ancient Greeks, the world was both Eros, the god of chaos and creativity, and Logos, the regularity of the heavens as law. From chaos the world came forth. The world was home to ultimate creativity. Two thousand years later Kepler, Galileo, and then mighty Newton created deterministic classical physics in which all that happens in the universe is determined by the laws of motion, initial and boundary conditions. The Theistic God who worked miracles became the Deistic God who (...)
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  15. Contrastive causal explanation and the explanatoriness of deterministic and probabilistic hypotheses.Elliott Sober - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-15.
    Carl Hempel argued that probabilistic hypotheses are limited in what they can explain. He contended that a hypothesis cannot explain why E is true if the hypothesis says that E has a probability less than 0.5. Wesley Salmon and Richard Jeffrey argued to the contrary, contending that P can explain why E is true even when P says that E’s probability is very low. This debate concerned noncontrastive explananda. Here, a view of contrastive causal explanation is described and defended. It (...)
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  16. Probability in Two Deterministic Universes.Mateus Araújo - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (3):202-231.
    How can probabilities make sense in a deterministic many-worlds theory? We address two facets of this problem: why should rational agents assign subjective probabilities to branching events, and why should branching events happen with relative frequencies matching their objective probabilities. To address the first question, we generalise the Deutsch–Wallace theorem to a wide class of many-world theories, and show that the subjective probabilities are given by a norm that depends on the dynamics of the theory: the 2-norm in the usual (...)
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  17. Chance, Determinism, and Unsettledness.Antony Eagle - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):781-802.
    A previously unrecognised argument against deterministic chance is introduced. The argument rests on the twin ideas that determined outcomes are settled, while chancy outcomes are unsettled, thus making cases of determined but chancy outcomes impossible. Closer attention to tacit assumptions about settledness makes available some principled lines of resistance to the argument for compatibilists about chance and determinism. Yet the costs of maintaining compatibilism may be higher with respect to this argument than with respect to existing incompatibilist arguments.
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  18. Two Kinds of High-Level Probability.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - 2019 - The Monist 102 (4):458-477.
    According to influential views the probabilities in classical statistical mechanics and other special sciences are objective chances, although the underlying mechanical theory is deterministic, since the deterministic low level is inadmissible or unavailable from the high level. Here two intuitions pull in opposite directions: One intuition is that if the world is deterministic, probability can only express subjective ignorance. The other intuition is that probability of high-level phenomena, especially thermodynamic ones, is dictated by the state of affairs in the world. (...)
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  19. On Leaving as Little to Chance as Possible.Michael Kary - 2019 - In Mario Augusto Bunge, Michael R. Matthews, Guillermo M. Denegri, Eduardo L. Ortiz, Heinz W. Droste, Alberto Cordero, Pierre Deleporte, María Manzano, Manuel Crescencio Moreno, Dominique Raynaud, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe, Nicholas Rescher, Richard T. W. Arthur, Rögnvaldur D. Ingthorsson, Evandro Agazzi, Ingvar Johansson, Joseph Agassi, Nimrod Bar-Am, Alberto Cupani, Gustavo E. Romero, Andrés Rivadulla, Art Hobson, Olival Freire Junior, Peter Slezak, Ignacio Morgado-Bernal, Marta Crivos, Leonardo Ivarola, Andreas Pickel, Russell Blackford, Michael Kary, A. Z. Obiedat, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Luis Marone, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Francisco Yannarella, Mauro A. E. Chaparro, José Geiser Villavicencio- Pulido, Martín Orensanz, Jean-Pierre Marquis, Reinhard Kahle, Ibrahim A. Halloun, José María Gil, Omar Ahmad, Byron Kaldis, Marc Silberstein, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe & Villavicencio-Pulid (eds.), Mario Bunge: A Centenary Festschrift. Springer Verlag. pp. 609-631.
    Randomness was one of Mario Bunge’s earliest philosophical interests, and remains as one of his most persistent. Bunge’s view of the nature of randomness has been largely consistent over many decades, despite some evolution. For a long time now, he has seen chance as a purely ontological matter of contingency, something that does not result from either psychological uncertainty or epistemological indeterminacy, and that disappears once the die is cast. He considers the Bayesian school of probability and statistics to be (...)
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  20. Dynamic and Stochastic Systems as a Framework for Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2551-2612.
    Scientists often think of the world as a dynamical system, a stochastic process, or a generalization of such a system. Prominent examples of systems are the system of planets orbiting the sun or any other classical mechanical system, a hydrogen atom or any other quantum–mechanical system, and the earth’s atmosphere or any other statistical mechanical system. We introduce a general and unified framework for describing such systems and show how it can be used to examine some familiar philosophical questions, including (...)
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  21. Did the Universe Have a Chance?C. D. McCoy - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1262-1272.
    In a world awash in statistical patterns, should we conclude that the universe’s evolution or genesis is somehow subject to chance? I draw attention to alternatives that must be acknowledged if we are to have an adequate assessment of what chance the universe might have had.
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  22. Czy możemy wykazać istnienie zjawisk całkowicie przypadkowych?Marek Kuś - 2018 - Philosophical Problems in Science 65:111-143.
    I show how classical and quantum physics approach the problem of randomness and probability. Contrary to popular opinions, neither we can prove that classical mechanics is a deterministic theory, nor that quantum mechanics is a nondeterministic one. In other words it is not possible to show that randomness in classical mechanics has a purely epistemic character and that of quantum mechanics an ontic one. Nevertheless, recent developments of quantum theory and increasing experimental possibilities to check its predictions call for returning (...)
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  23. Chance.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2018 - Vocabulary for the Study of Religion.
    This entry explains that a chance is a kind of probability in the world, introduces a number of ways to understand probabilities in the world, and discusses how the existence of chances bears on the issue of determinism.
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  24. Chance, Determinism and the Classical Theory of Probability.Anubav Vasudevan - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 67:32-43.
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  25. Are Objective Chances Compatible with Determinism?Seamus Bradley - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12430.
    We review the question of whether objective chances are compatible with determinism. We first outline what we mean by chance and what we mean by determinism. We then look at the alleged incompatibility between those concepts. Finally, we look at some ways that one might attempt to overcome the incompatibility.
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  26. The Metaphysical Consequences of Counterfactual Skepticism.Nina Emery - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):399-432.
    A series of recent arguments purport to show that most counterfactuals of the form if A had happened then C would have happened are not true. These arguments pose a challenge to those of us who think that counterfactual discourse is a useful part of ordinary conversation, of philosophical reasoning, and of scientific inquiry. Either we find a way to revise the semantics for counterfactuals in order to avoid these arguments, or we find a way to ensure that the relevant (...)
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  27. On the Tension Between Ontology and Epistemology in Quantum Probabilities.Amit Hagar - 2017 - In Lombardi (ed.), What is Quantum Information. Cambridge: CUP. pp. 147-178.
    For many among the scientifically informed public, and even among physicists, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle epitomizes quantum mechanics. Nevertheless, more than 86 years after its inception, there is no consensus over the interpretation, scope, and validity of this principle. The aim of this chapter is to offer one such interpretation, the traces of which may be found already in Heisenberg's letters to Pauli from 1926, and in Dirac's anticipation of Heisenberg's uncertainty relations from 1927, that stems form the hypothesis of finite (...)
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  28. Случайности. Историческа типология.Vassil Vidinsky - 2017 - Sofia: Sofia University Press.
    В настоящата книга се изследва идеята за случайността през нейното историческо и концептуално развитие и са отделени пет основни и типични понятия. Анализът тръгва от класическите примери – Платон, Аристотел, Кант и Хегел – и стига до съвременния контекст на случайността, който е представен през теорията на вероятностите и теорията на сложността. Някои от изведените понятия са формализирани и имат по-логически, математически или пък информационен характер, а други са по-скоро физически или субектни, но всички те са представени в една обща (...)
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  29. The Universe Had One Chance.Heather Demarest - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (2):248-264.
    In a deterministically evolving world, the usefulness of nontrivial probabilities can seem mysterious. I use the ‘Mentaculus’ machinery developed by David Albert and Barry Loewer to show how all probabilities in such a world can be derived from a single, initial chance event. I go on to argue that this is the only genuine chance event. Perhaps surprisingly, we have good evidence of its existence and nature. I argue that the existence of this chance event justifies our epistemic reliance on (...)
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  30. “Of All the Gin Joints …” Causality, Science, Chance, and God.Michael J. Dodds - 2016 - Nova et Vetera 14 (2):503-525.
  31. Probability.Antony Eagle - 2016 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 417-439.
    Rather than entailing that a particular outcome will occur, many scientific theories only entail that an outcome will occur with a certain probability. Because scientific evidence inevitably falls short of conclusive proof, when choosing between different theories it is standard to make reference to how probable the various options are in light of the evidence. A full understanding of probability in science needs to address both the role of probabilities in theories, or chances, as well as the role of probabilistic (...)
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  32. Chance and Determinism.Roman Frigg - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy.
    Determinism and chance seem to be irreconcilable opposites: either something is chancy or it is deterministic but not both. Yet there are processes which appear to square the circle by being chancy and deterministic at once, and the appearance is backed by well-confirmed scientific theories such as statistical mechanics which also seem to provide us with chances for deterministic processes. Is this possible, and if so how? In this essay I discuss this question for probabilities as they occur in the (...)
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  33. Determinism, Supervenience, and Probabilistic Inference.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2016 - Amazon Digital Services LLC.
    This volume identifies the different ways in which one event can compel the occurrence of another event and on this basis identifies important facts about the nature of probability and probabilistic inference.
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  34. A Philosophical Guide to Chance. [REVIEW]J. T. M. Miller - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):pqv037.
    A review of A Philosophical Guide to Chance by Toby Handfield. Cambridge CUP 2012.
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  35. Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2016 - In Christopher Hitchcock & Alan H’Ajek (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 573-600.
    This chapter will review selected aspects of the terrain of discussions about probabilities in statistical mechanics (with no pretensions to exhaustiveness, though the major issues will be touched upon), and will argue for a number of claims. None of the claims to be defended is entirely original, but all deserve emphasis. The first, and least controversial, is that probabilistic notions are needed to make sense of statistical mechanics. The reason for this is the same reason that convinced Maxwell, Gibbs, and (...)
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  36. Johannes von Kries’s Range Conception, the Method of Arbitrary Functions, and Related Modern Approaches to Probability.Jacob Rosenthal - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):151-170.
    A conception of probability that can be traced back to Johannes von Kries is introduced: the “Spielraum” or range conception. Its close connection to the so-called method of arbitrary functions is highlighted. Possible interpretations of it are discussed, and likewise its scope and its relation to certain current interpretations of probability. Taken together, these approaches form a class of interpretations of probability in its own right, but also with its own problems. These, too, are introduced, discussed, and proposals in response (...)
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  37. Determinism.Charlotte Werndl - 2016 - In Meghan Griffith, Kevin Timpe & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
    This article focuses on three recent discussions on determinism in the philosophy of science. First, determinism and predictability will be discussed. Then, second, the paper turns to the topic of determinism, indeterminism, observational equivalence and randomness. Finally, third, there will be a discussion about deterministic probabilities. The paper will end with a conclusion.
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  38. Probability and Manipulation: Evolution and Simulation in Applied Population Genetics.Marshall Abrams - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):519-549.
    I define a concept of causal probability and apply it to questions about the role of probability in evolutionary processes. Causal probability is defined in terms of manipulation of patterns in empirical outcomes by manipulating properties that realize objective probabilities. The concept of causal probability allows us see how probabilities characterized by different interpretations of probability can share a similar causal character, and does so in such way as to allow new inferences about relationships between probabilities realized in different chance (...)
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  39. Equidynamics and Reliable Reasoning About Frequencies: Michael Strevens: Tychomancy: Inferring Probability From Causal Structure. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 265pp, $39.95 HB.Marshall Abrams, Frederick Eberhardt & Michael Strevens - 2015 - Metascience 24 (2):173-188.
    A symposium on Michael Strevens' book "Tychomancy", concerning the psychological roots and historical significance of physical intuition about probability in physics, biology, and elsewhere.
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  40. Chance, Possibility, and Explanation.Nina Emery - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (1):95-120.
    I argue against the common and influential view that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic. The problem with this view, I claim, is not that it conflicts with some antecedently plausible metaphysics of chance or that it fails to capture our everyday use of ‘chance’ and related terms, but rather that it is unstable. Any reason for adopting the position that non-trivial chances arise only when the fundamental laws are indeterministic is also a reason for adopting (...)
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  41. The Best Humean System for Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):551-574.
    Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.
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  42. Counting Steps: A Finitist Interpretation of Objective Probability in Physics.Amit Hagar & Giuseppe Sergioli - 2015 - Epistemologia 37 (2):262-275.
    We propose a new interpretation of objective deterministic chances in statistical physics based on physical computational complexity. This notion applies to a single physical system (be it an experimental set--up in the lab, or a subsystem of the universe), and quantifies (1) the difficulty to realize a physical state given another, (2) the 'distance' (in terms of physical resources) from a physical state to another, and (3) the size of the set of time--complexity functions that are compatible with the physical (...)
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  43. Probability and Typicality in Deterministic Physics.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):575-586.
    In this paper we analyze the relation between the notion of typicality and the notion of probability and the related question of how the choice of measure in deterministic theories in physics may be justified. Recently it has been argued that although the notion of typicality is not a probabilistic notion, it plays a crucial role in underwriting probabilistic statements in classical statistical mechanics and in Bohm’s theory. We argue that even in theories with deterministic dynamics, like classical statistical mechanics (...)
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  44. Does It Make Sense to Speak of Self-Locating Uncertainty in the Universal Wave Function? Remarks on Sebens and Carroll.Adrian Kent - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (2):211-217.
    Following a proposal of Vaidman The Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy, 2014) The probable and the improbable: understanding probability in physics, essays in memory of Itamar Pitowsky, 2011), Sebens and Carroll , have argued that in Everettian quantum theory, observers are uncertain, before they complete their observation, about which Everettian branch they are on. They argue further that this solves the problem of making sense of probabilities within Everettian quantum theory, even though the theory itself is deterministic. We note some problems (...)
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  45. Emergent Chance.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):119-152.
    We offer a new argument for the claim that there can be non-degenerate objective chance (“true randomness”) in a deterministic world. Using a formal model of the relationship between different levels of description of a system, we show how objective chance at a higher level can coexist with its absence at a lower level. Unlike previous arguments for the level-specificity of chance, our argument shows, in a precise sense, that higher-level chance does not collapse into epistemic probability, despite higher-level properties (...)
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  46. Emergent Evolutionism, Determinism and Unpredictability.Olivier Sartenaer - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:62-68.
    The fact that there exist in nature thoroughly deterministic systems whose future behavior cannot be predicted, no matter how advanced or fined-tune our cognitive and technical abilities turn out to be, has been well established over the last decades or so, essentially in the light of two different theoretical frameworks, namely chaos theory and (some deterministic interpretation of) quantum mechanics. The prime objective of this paper is to show that there actually exists an alternative strategy to ground the divorce between (...)
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  47. Determinism and Indeterminism.Charlotte Werndl - 2015 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. Oxford University Press.
    This article focuses on three themes concerning determinism and indeterminism. The first theme is observational equivalence between deterministic and indeterministic models. Here I discuss several results about observational equivalence and present an argument on how to choose between deterministic and indeterministic models involving indirect evidence. The second theme is whether Newtonian physics is indeterministic. I argue that the answer depends on what one takes Newtonian mechanics to be, and I highlight how contemporary debates on this issue differ from those in (...)
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  48. Chance and Context.Toby Handfield & Alastair Wilson - 2014 - In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press.
    The most familiar philosophical conception of objective chance renders determinism incompatible with non-trivial chances. This conception – associated in particular with the work of David Lewis – is not a good fit with our use of the word ‘chance’ and its cognates in ordinary discourse. In this paper we show how a generalized framework for chance can reconcile determinism with non-trivial chances, and provide for a more charitable interpretation of ordinary chance-talk. According to our proposal, variation in an admissible ‘evidence (...)
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  49. The Only Probability Is Verbal Probability.George Masterton - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (1).
    In 1977 van Fraassen showed convincingly, and in detail, how one can give a dissentive answer to the question `[a]re there necessities in nature?'. In this paper I follow his lead and show in a similar fashion and detail, how it is possible to give a dissentive answer to: Are there probabilities in nature? This is achieved by giving a partial analysis—with the aid of Kaplanian pragmatics—of objective chance in terms of that credence that is reasonable where prevailing laws and (...)
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  50. Mię y determinizmem a prawdopodobieństwem Analiza poglądów Jana Łukasiewicza.Pruski Paweł - 2014 - Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 4 (2):315-324.
    In the contemporary philosophical debate about probability, one of the main problems con‐ cerns the relation between objective probability and determinism. Is it possible for objective probability and determinism to co‐exist? this is one of the questions this dispute tries to answer. the scope of discussion is conducted between advocates of a positive answer (com‐ patibilist) and co‐existence opponents (incompatibilist). In the early twentieth century, many logicians also developed topics regarding probability and determinism. One of them was the outstanding Polish (...)
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