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 2010. 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. Contrastive Causal Explanation and the Explanatoriness of Deterministic and Probabilistic Hypotheses Theories.Elliott Sober - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Science.
    Carl Hempel (1965) 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 (1971, 1984, 1990, 1998) and Richard Jeffrey (1969) 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 (...)
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  4. 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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  5. What are Coincidences? A Philosophical Guide Between Science and Common Sense.Alessandra Melas & Pietro Salis - 2023 - Wilmington: Vernon Press.
    It is a common opinion that chance events cannot be understood in causal terms. Conversely, according to a causal view of chance, intersections between independent causal chains originate accidental events, called “coincidences”. Firstly, this book explores this causal conception of chance and tries to shed new light on it. Such a view has been defended by authors like Antoine Augustine Cournot and Jacques Monod. Second, a relevant alternative is provided by those accounts that, instead of acknowledging an intersection among causal (...)
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  6. Infinite frequency principles of direct inference.Lennart B. Ackermans - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    According to an infinite frequency principle, it is rational, under certain conditions, to set your credence in an outcome to the limiting frequency of that outcome if the experiment were repeated indefinitely. I argue that most infinite frequency principles are undesirable in at least one of the following ways: accepting the principle would lead you to accept bets with sure losses, the principle gives no guidance in the case of deterministic experiments like coin tosses and the principle relies on a (...)
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  7. Variantes du déterminisme.Joseph Agassi - 2022 - Mεtascience: Discours Général Scientifique 2:293-304.
    L’article de Karl Popper « Indeterminism in Quantum Physics and in Classical Physics » est tombé injustement dans l’oubli. Popper jugeait le déterminisme faux : l’avenir est ouvert. En principe, remplacer la variante de Laplace de la pré-détermination par une prédétermination prévisible permet de rendre scienti-fique, donc réfutable, le déterminisme « scientifique ». Popper a affirmé qu’il l’avait réfuté. Maintenant, un système métaphysique peut avoir une extension – au sens mathématique – qui le rend explicatif et testable. Si une extension (...)
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  8. “The Paradox of Deterministic Probabilities”.Valia Allori - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1 (DOI: 10.1080/0020174X.2022.20655):0-00.
    This paper aims to investigate the so-called paradox of deterministic probabilities: in a deterministic world, all probabilities should be subjective; however, they also seem to play important explanatory and predictive roles which suggest they are objective. The problem is then to understand what these deterministic probabilities are. Recent proposed solutions of this paradox are the Mentaculus vision, the range account of probability, and a version of frequentism based on typicality. All these approaches aim at defining deterministic objective probabilities as to (...)
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  9. Objectivity and the Method of Arbitrary Functions.Chloé de Canson - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (3):663-684.
    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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  10. Chance and Determinism.Nina Emery - 2022 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
    This chapter focuses on the relations between objective probabilities in physical theories at different levels. In general philosophy of probability, it is frequently assumed that a fundamental deterministic theory cannot support probabilistic phenomena at any higher level, or more generally that there cannot be non-trivial probabilities in higher-level theories that are not encoded in probabilities at the lower level. These assumptions face significant challenges from some well-understood physical theories – I focus on statistical mechanics and Bohmian mechanics – where a (...)
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  11. The Open Past in an Indeterministic Physics.Nicolas Gisin & Flavio Del Santo - 2022 - Foundations of Physics 53 (1):1-11.
    Discussions on indeterminism in physics focus on the possibility of an open future, i.e. the possibility of having potential alternative future events, the realisation of one of which is not fully determined by the present state of affairs. Yet, can indeterminism affect also the past, making it open as well? We show that by upholding principles of finiteness of information one can entail such a possibility. We provide a toy model that shows how the past could be fundamentally indeterminate, while (...)
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  12. Knowledge of Future Contingents.Andrea Iacona - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):447-467.
    This paper addresses the question whether future contingents are knowable, that is, whether one can know that things will go a certain way even though it is possible that things will not go that way. First I will consider a long-established view that implies a negative answer, and draw attention to some endemic problems that affect its credibility. Then I will sketch an alternative line of thought that prompts a positive answer: future contingents are knowable, although our epistemic access of (...)
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  13. Powers, Probabilities, and Tendencies.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (4):2035-2067.
    In this article, I aim at showing how powers may ground different types of probability in the universe. In Section 1 I single out several dimensions along which the probability of something can be determined. Each of such dimensions can be further specified at the type-level or at the token-level. In Section 2 I introduce some metaphysical assumptions about powers. In Section 3 I show how powers can ground single-case probabilities and frequency-probabilities in a deterministic setting. Later on, in Section (...)
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  14. Was ist Zufall? Kontingenz ‒ Unvorhersagbarkeit ‒ Koinzidenz.Hans Rott - 2022 - In Konstantina Papathanasiou (ed.), Zufall: Rechtliche, philosophische und theologische Aspekte. Berlin: Duncker & Humblodt. pp. 34-51.
    This paper offers a conceptual clarification of the German word "Zufall". I argue that talk of "Zufall" is systematically ambiguous. There are - at least - three different usages of the word in colloquial (and probably also in philosophical and scientific) discourse: it may refer to "genuine" metaphysical indeterminacy, or, in somewhat looser ways, to absolute unpredictability or to the coincidence of causal chains that are perceived as independent. The paper includes some historical remarks on Hume and on the falling (...)
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  15. Understanding probability and irreversibility in the Mori-Zwanzig projection operator formalism.Michael te Vrugt - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (3):1-36.
    Explaining the emergence of stochastic irreversible macroscopic dynamics from time-reversible deterministic microscopic dynamics is one of the key problems in philosophy of physics. The Mori-Zwanzig projection operator formalism, which is one of the most important methods of modern nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, allows for a systematic derivation of irreversible transport equations from reversible microdynamics and thus provides a useful framework for understanding this issue. However, discussions of the MZ formalism in philosophy of physics tend to focus on simple variants rather than (...)
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  16. Bell’s Theorem, Quantum Probabilities, and Superdeterminism.Eddy Keming Chen - 2021 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to 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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  17. Where are the chances?Katrina Elliott - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6761-6783.
    Not all probability ascriptions that appear in scientific theories describe chances. There is a question about whether probability ascriptions in non-fundamental sciences, such as those found in evolutionary biology and statistical mechanics, describe chances in deterministic worlds and about whether there could be any chances in deterministic worlds. Recent debate over whether chance is compatible with determinism has unearthed two strategies for arguing about whether a probability ascription describes chance—that is, to speak metaphorically, two different strategies for figuring out where (...)
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  18. A subjectivist’s guide to deterministic chance.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4339-4372.
    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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  19. Chance and the Continuum Hypothesis.Daniel Hoek - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):639-60.
    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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  20. Blocking an Argument for Emergent Chance.David Kinney - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (5):1057-1077.
    Several authors have argued that non-extreme probabilities used in special sciences such as chemistry and biology can be objective chances, even if the true microphysical description of the world is deterministic. This article examines an influential version of this argument and shows that it depends on a particular methodology for defining the relationship between coarse-grained and fine-grained events. An alternative methodology for coarse-graining is proposed. This alternative methodology blocks this argument for the existence of emergent chances, and makes better sense (...)
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  21. Dynamic and stochastic systems as a framework for metaphysics and the philosophy of science.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - 2021 - 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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  22. Degrees of Freedom.Pieter Thyssen & Sylvia Wenmackers - 2021 - Synthese 198 (11):10207-10235.
    Human freedom is in tension with nomological determinism and with statistical determinism. The goal of this paper is to answer both challenges. Four contributions are made to the free-will debate. First, we propose a classification of scientific theories based on how much freedom they allow. We take into account that indeterminism comes in different degrees and that both the laws and the auxiliary conditions can place constraints. A scientific worldview pulls towards one end of this classification, while libertarianism pulls towards (...)
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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. Difference-making and deterministic chance.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2215-2235.
    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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. Objective consequentialism and the plurality of chances.Leszek Wroński - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):12089-12105.
    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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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. Probabilistic kingdom: problem of objectivity in contemporary science.Paweł Pruski - 2019 - Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 9 (2):317-327.
    In modern science, the theory of probability is one of the basic tools. Scientists using probability often refer to its objective interpretation. They emphasize that their probabilistic hypotheses concern objective facts, not degrees of belief. Accordingly, the following questions arise: What is the meaning of this type of probabilistic hypothesis? Is the assumption of objectivity necessary? The paper addresses these questions by analyzing objective probability in the context of the scientific debate on determinism. Two types of arguments will be presented. (...)
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  36. Everettian theory as pure wave mechanics plus a no-collapse probability postulate.Paul Tappenden - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6375-6402.
    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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  37. An Inchoate Universe: James's Probabilistic Underdeterminism.Kyle Bromhall - 2018 - William James Studies 14 (1):54-83.
    In this paper, I challenge the traditional narrative that William James’s arguments against determinism were primarily motivated by his personal struggles with depression. I argue that James presents an alternative argument against determinism that is motivated by his commitment to sound scientific practice. James argues that determinism illegitimately extrapolates from observations of past events to predictions about future events without acknowledging the distinct metaphysical difference between them. This occupation with futurity suggests that James’s true target is better understood as logical (...)
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  38. 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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  39. 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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  40. Physical (a)Causality: Determinism, Randomness and Uncaused Events.Karl Svozil - 2018 - Cham: Springer Verlag.
    This open access book addresses the physical phenomenon of events that seem to occur spontaneously and without any known cause. These are to be contrasted with events that happen in a determined, predictable, lawful, and causal way. All our knowledge is based on self-reflexive theorizing, as well as on operational means of empirical perception. Some of the questions that arise are the following: are these limitations reflected by our models? Under what circumstances does chance kick in? Is chance in physics (...)
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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. Making it Formally Explicit: Probability, Causality and Indeterminism.Gábor Hofer-Szabó & Leszek Wroński (eds.) - 2017 - Springer International Publishing.
    This book collects research papers on the philosophical foundations of probability, causality, spacetime and quantum theory. The papers are related to talks presented in six subsequent workshops organized by The Budapest-Kraków Research Group on Probability, Causality and Determinism. Coverage consists of three parts. Part I focuses on the notion of probability from a general philosophical and formal epistemological perspective. Part II applies probabilistic considerations to address causal questions in the foundations of quantum mechanics. Part III investigates the question of indeterminism (...)
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  46. Is Time Travel Too Strange to Be Possible? - Determinism and Indeterminism on Closed Timelike Curves.Ruward A. Mulder & Dennis Dieks - 2017 - In Anguel S. Stefanov & Marco Giovanelli (eds.), General Relativity 1916 - 2016. Montreal, Canada: Minkowski Institute Press. pp. 93-114.
    Notoriously, the Einstein equations of general relativity have solutions in which closed timelike curves occur. On these curves time loops back onto itself, which has exotic consequences: for example, traveling back into one's own past becomes possible. However, in order to make time travel stories consistent constraints have to be satisfied, which prevents seemingly ordinary and plausible processes from occurring. This, and several other "unphysical" features, have motivated many authors to exclude solutions with CTCs from consideration, e.g. by conjecturing a (...)
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  47. 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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  48. 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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  49. “Of All the Gin Joints …” Causality, Science, Chance, and God.Michael J. Dodds - 2016 - Nova et Vetera 14 (2):503-525.
  50. 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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