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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. T-Theoretical Single-Case Ontic Probability.David Grünberg - unknown - Yeditepe'de Felsefe (Philosophy at Yeditepe) 4.
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  3. A Refined Propensity Account for GRW Theory.Lorenzo Lorenzetti - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (2):1-20.
    Spontaneous collapse theories of quantum mechanics turn the usual Schrödinger equation into a stochastic dynamical law. In particular, in this paper, I will focus on the GRW theory. Two philosophical issues that can be raised about GRW concern (i) the ontology of the theory, in particular the nature of the wave function and its role within the theory, and (ii) the interpretation of the objective probabilities involved in the dynamics of the theory. During the last years, it has been claimed (...)
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  4. The Chances of Propensities.Mauricio Suárez - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1155-1177.
    This paper argues that if propensities are displayed in objective physical chances then the appropriate representation of these chances is as indexed probability functions. Two alternative formal models, or accounts, for the relation between propensity properties and their chancy or probabilistic manifestations, in terms of conditionals and conditional probability are first reviewed. It is argued that both confront important objections, which are overcome by the account in terms of indexed probabilities. A number of further advantages of the indexed probability account (...)
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  5. Probability in Biology: The Case of Fitness.Roberta L. Millstein - 2016 - In A. Hájek & C. R. Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 601-622.
    I argue that the propensity interpretation of fitness, properly understood, not only solves the explanatory circularity problem and the mismatch problem, but can also withstand the Pandora’s box full of problems that have been thrown at it. Fitness is the propensity (i.e., probabilistic ability, based on heritable physical traits) for organisms or types of organisms to survive and reproduce in particular environments and in particular populations for a specified number of generations; if greater than one generation, “reproduction” includes descendants of (...)
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  6. The Propensity Interpretation of Probability: A Re-Evaluation.Joseph Berkovitz - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):629-711.
    Single-case and long-run propensity theories are among the main objective interpretations of probability. There have been various objections to these theories, e.g. that it is difficult to explain why propensities should satisfy the probability axioms and, worse, that propensities are at odds with these axioms, that the explication of propensities is circular and accordingly not informative, and that single-case propensities are metaphysical and accordingly non-scientific. We consider various propensity theories of probability and their prospects in light of these objections. We (...)
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  7. Toward a Propensity Interpretation of Stochastic Mechanism for the Life Sciences.Lane DesAutels - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2921-2953.
    In what follows, I suggest that it makes good sense to think of the truth of the probabilistic generalizations made in the life sciences as metaphysically grounded in stochastic mechanisms in the world. To further understand these stochastic mechanisms, I take the general characterization of mechanism offered by MDC :1–25, 2000) and explore how it fits with several of the going philosophical accounts of chance: subjectivism, frequentism, Lewisian best-systems, and propensity. I argue that neither subjectivism, frequentism, nor a best-system-style interpretation (...)
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  8. The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness and the Propensity Interpretation of Probability.Isabelle Drouet & Francesca Merlin - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):457-468.
    The paper provides a new critical perspective on the propensity interpretation of fitness, by investigating its relationship to the propensity interpretation of probability. Two main conclusions are drawn. First, the claim that fitness is a propensity cannot be understood properly: fitness is not a propensity in the sense prescribed by the propensity interpretation of probability. Second, this interpretation of probability is inessential for explanations proposed by the PIF in evolutionary biology. Consequently, interpreting the probabilistic dimension of fitness in terms of (...)
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  9. A Critique of Empiricist Propensity Theories.Mauricio Suárez - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):215-231.
    I analyse critically what I regard as the most accomplished empiricist account of propensities, namely the long run propensity theory developed by Donald Gillies . Empiricist accounts are distinguished by their commitment to the ‘identity thesis’: the identification of propensities and objective probabilities. These theories are intended, in the tradition of Karl Popper’s influential proposal, to provide an interpretation of probability that renders probability statements directly testable by experiment. I argue that the commitment to the identity thesis leaves empiricist theories, (...)
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  10. Chance and Temporal Asymmetry.Alastair Wilson (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume presents twelve original essays on the metaphysics of science, with particular focus on the physics of chance and time. Experts in the field subject familiar approaches to searching critiques, and make bold new proposals in a number of key areas. Together, they set the agenda for future work on the subject.
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  11. Mauricio Suárez, Ed. 2011. Probabilities, Causes, and Propensities in Physics.Foad Dizadji-Bahmani - 2013 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 28 (2):339-342.
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  12. Propensities and Pragmatism.Mauricio Suárez - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (2):61-92.
    : This paper outlines a genuinely pragmatist conception of propensity, and defends it against common objections to the propensity interpretation of probability, prominently Humphreys’ paradox. The paper reviews the paradox and identifies one of its key assumptions, the identity thesis, according to which propensities are probabilities. The identity thesis is also involved in empiricist propensity interpretations deriving from Popper’s influential original proposal, and makes such interpretations untenable. As an alternative, I urge a return to Charles Peirce’s original insights on probabilistic (...)
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  13. Probabilities, Laws, and Structures.Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalez, Hartmann J., Stöltzner Stephan, Weber Michael & Marcel (eds.) - 2012 - Springer: Netherlands.
  14. A Philosophical Guide to Chance: Physical Probability.Toby Handfield - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    Contents: 1. The concept of chance; 2. The classical picture; 3. Ways the world might be; 4. Possibilities of thought; 5. Chance in phase space; 6. Possibilist theories of chance; 7. Actualist theories of chance; 8. Anti-realist theories of chance; 9. Chance in quantum physics; 10. Chance in branching worlds; 11. Time and evidence; 12. Debunking chance.
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  15. Objective Chances in a Deterministic World.Daniel Lambright - 2012 - Dissertation, Bates College
    Determinism is the thesis that the state of the world at any time uniquely determines the state of the world at all future times. Our best scientific theories seem inconclusive as to whether our world is deterministic. Our world could very well be either partially or completely deterministic. But determinism is not as innocuous as it seems; the truth of determinism seems to come into conflict with many intuitive concepts. One such concept is objective chance. Our intuitive notions of objective (...)
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  16. Propensities and Transcendental Assumptions.Thomas Bartelborth - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (3):363-381.
    In order to comprehend the world around us and construct explaining theories for this purpose, we need a conception of physical probability, since we come across many (apparently) probabilistic phenomena in our world. But how should we understand objective probability claims? Since pure frequency approaches of probability are not appropriate, we have to use a single case propensity interpretation. Unfortunately, many philosophers believe that this understanding of probability is burdened with significant difficulties. My main aim is to show that we (...)
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  17. D. H. MELLOR The Matter of Chance.Luke Glynn - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):899-906.
    Though almost forty years have elapsed since its first publication, it is a testament to the philosophical acumen of its author that 'The Matter of Chance' contains much that is of continued interest to the philosopher of science. Mellor advances a sophisticated propensity theory of chance, arguing that this theory makes better sense than its rivals (in particular subjectivist, frequentist, logical and classical theories) of ‘what professional usage shows to be thought true of chance’ (p. xi) – in particular ‘that (...)
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  18. Time and Chance Propensities.Carl Hoefer - 2011 - In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press.
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  19. A Modest Proposal About Chance.Jenann Ismael - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (8):416-442.
    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 (...)
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  20. Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics.Mauricio Suárez - 2011 - In Mauricio Su’Arez (ed.), Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics. Springer.
    These are the introduction chapters to the forthcoming collection of essays published by Springer (Synthese Library) and entitled Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics.
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  21. Propensities and Frequencies.James H. Fetzer - 2010 - In Ellery Eells & James H. Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science. Springer. pp. 323--351.
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  22. Popper on Probability.Jozef Katina - 2010 - Filozofia 65 (4):343-355.
    One part of the paper is devoted to frequency interpretation, as advocated by early K. Popper. However, the main subject of the paper is Popper’s own propensity interpretation of probability. It outlines the fundamental principles of the propensity interpretation, as well as its relation to quantum theory and its various variants. In conclusion it examines the so called Humpreys’s paradox as related to the interpretation of causality in the frame of Popper’s propensity interpretation.
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  23. Chance in the Everett Interpretation.Simon Saunders - 2010 - In Simon Saunders, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.), Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory & Reality. Oxford University Press.
    According to the Everett interpretation, branching structure and ratios of norms of branch amplitudes are the objective correlates of chance events and chances; that is, 'chance' and 'chancing', like 'red' and 'colour', pick out objective features of reality, albeit not what they seemed. Once properly identified, questions about how and in what sense chances can be observed can be treated as straightforward dynamical questions. On that basis, given the unitary dynamics of quantum theory, it follows that relative and never absolute (...)
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  24. Probability, Rational Single-Case Decisions and the Monty Hall Problem.Jan Sprenger - 2010 - Synthese 174 (3):331-340.
    The application of probabilistic arguments to rational decisions in a single case is a contentious philosophical issue which arises in various contexts. Some authors (e.g. Horgan, Philos Pap 24:209–222, 1995; Levy, Synthese 158:139–151, 2007) affirm the normative force of probabilistic arguments in single cases while others (Baumann, Am Philos Q 42:71–79, 2005; Synthese 162:265–273, 2008) deny it. I demonstrate that both sides do not give convincing arguments for their case and propose a new account of the relationship between probabilistic reasoning (...)
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  25. Causes, Probabilities and Propensities in Physics.Mauricio Suarez - 2010 - Springer.
    Table of Contents: Preface.- 1. Introduction; Mauricio Suárez.- PART I: PROBABILITIES.- 2. Probability and time symmetry in classical Markov processes; Guido Bacciagaluppi.- 3. Probability assignments and the principle of indifference: An examination of two eliminative strategies; Sorin Bangu.- 4. Why typicality does not explain the approach to equilibrium; Roman Frigg; PART II: CAUSES.- 5. From metaphysics to physics and back: The example of causation; Federico Laudisa.- 6. On explanation in retro-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics; Joseph Berkovitz.- 7. Causal completeness in (...)
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  26. What Fitness Can’T Be.André Ariew & Zachary Ernst - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):289-301.
    Recently advocates of the propensity interpretation of fitness have turned critics. To accommodate examples from the population genetics literature they conclude that fitness is better defined broadly as a family of propensities rather than the propensity to contribute descendants to some future generation. We argue that the propensity theorists have misunderstood the deeper ramifications of the examples they cite. These examples demonstrate why there are factors outside of propensities that determine fitness. We go on to argue for the more general (...)
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  27. Leaving Things to Take Their Chances: Cause and Disposition Grounded in Chance.Stephen Barker - 2009 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;. pp. 100-126.
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  28. Simplicius and James of Viterbo on Propensities.Antoine Côté - 2009 - Vivarium 47 (1):24-53.
    The paper examines Simplicius's doctrine of propensities in his commentary on Aristotle's Categories and follows its application by the late thirteenth century theologian and philosopher James of Viterbo to problems relating to the causes of volition, intellection and natural change. Although he uses Aristotelian terminology and means his doctrine to conflict minimally with those of Aristotle, James's doctrine of propensities really constitutes an attempt to provide a technically rigorous dressing to his Augustinian and Boethian convictions. Central to James's procedure is (...)
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  29. Propensities.Lars-Göran Johansson - 2009 - In Lars-Göran Johansson, Jan Österberg & Rysiek Sliwinski (eds.), Logic, Ethics and All That Jazz: Essays in Honour of Jordan Howard Sobel. Uppsala University.
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  30. Logic, Ethics and All That Jazz: Essays in Honour of Jordan Howard Sobel.Lars-Göran Johansson, Jan Österberg & Rysiek Śliwiński (eds.) - 2009 - Dept. Of Philosophy, Uppsala University.
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  31. The Propensity Theory: A Decision-Theoretic Restatement.M. Albert - 2007 - Synthese 156 (3):587-603.
    Probability theory is important because of its relevance for decision making, which also means: its relevance for the single case. The propensity theory of objective probability, which addresses the single case, is subject to two problems: Humphreys’ problem of inverse probabilities and the problem of the reference class. The paper solves both problems by restating the propensity theory using (an objectivist version of) Pearl’s approach to causality and probability, and by applying a decision-theoretic perspective. Contrary to a widely held view, (...)
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  32. Propensities and Probabilities.Nuel Belnap - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):593-625.
    Popper’s introduction of ‘‘propensity’’ was intended to provide a solid conceptual foundation for objective single-case probabilities. By considering the partly opposed contributions of Humphreys and Miller and Salmon, it is argued that when properly understood, propensities can in fact be understood as objective single-case causal probabilities of transitions between concrete events. The chief claim is that propensities are well-explicated by describing how they fit into the existing formal theory of branching space-times, which is simultaneously indeterministic and causal. Several problematic examples, (...)
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  33. Falsification of Propensity Models by Statistical Tests and the Goodness-of-Fit Paradox.Christian Hennig - 2007 - Philosophia Mathematica 15 (2):166-192.
    Gillies introduced a propensity interpretation of probability which is linked to experience by a falsifying rule for probability statements. The present paper argues that general statistical tests should qualify as falsification rules. The ‘goodness-of-fit paradox’ is introduced: the confirmation of a probability model by a test refutes the model's validity. An example is given in which an independence test introduces dependence. Several possibilities to interpret the paradox and to deal with it are discussed. It is concluded that the propensity interpretation (...)
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  34. Propensities and Probabilities.Belnap Nuel - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 25 (4):358-375.
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  35. Problems of Determinism: Prediction, Propensity and Probability.Peter Clark - 2006 - In Wenceslao J. González & Jesus Alcolea (eds.), Contemporary Perspectives in Philosophy and Methodology of Science. Netbiblio.
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  36. Propensities in Quantum Mechanics.Mauricio Suárez - 2006 - Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science.
    I review five explicit attempts throughout the history of quantum mechanics to invoke dispositional notions in order to solve the quantum paradoxes, namely: Margenau’s latencies, Heisenberg’s potentialities, Popper’s propensity interpretation of probability, Nick Maxwell’s propensitons, and the recent selective propensities interpretation of quantum mechanics. I raise difficulties and challenges for all of them, but conclude that the selective propensities approach nicely encompasses the virtues of its predecessors. I elaborate on some of the properties of the type of propensities that I (...)
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  37. Measuring the Ethical Propensities of Accounting Students: Mach IV Versus DIT. [REVIEW]Kelly Richmond Pope - 2005 - Journal of Academic Ethics 3 (2-4):89-111.
    This study responds to Bay and Greenberg's (Bay, D.D. and Greenberg, R.R. (2001). The relationship of the DIT and behavior: A replication. Issues in Accounting Education 10(3): 367–380) call to investigate alternative psychometric instruments to measure ethical behavior other than the heavily relied upon Defining Issues Test. The Mach IV scale (Christie, 1970) has been cited in more than 500 published psychological studies; however, it has not been used extensively in the accounting ethics research. This study provides some preliminary evidence (...)
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  38. On Some Scientific Modalities: Propensities, Randomness and Causation.Antony Eagle - 2004 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    The essays that constitute this dissertation explore three strategies for understanding the role of modality in philosophical accounts of propensities, randomness, and causation. In Chapter 1, I discuss how the following essays are to be considered as illuminating the prospects for these strategies, which I call reductive essentialism, subjectivism and pragmatism. The discussion is framed within a survey of approaches to modality more broadly construed. ;In Chapter 2, I argue that any broadly dispositional analysis of probability as a physical property (...)
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  39. Twenty-One Arguments Against Propensity Analyses of Probability.Antony Eagle - 2004 - Erkenntnis 60 (3):371–416.
    I argue that any broadly dispositional analysis of probability will either fail to give an adequate explication of probability, or else will fail to provide an explication that can be gainfully employed elsewhere (for instance, in empirical science or in the regulation of credence). The diversity and number of arguments suggests that there is little prospect of any successful analysis along these lines.
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  40. Some Considerations on Conditional Chances.Paul Humphreys - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):667-680.
    Four interpretations of single-case conditional propensities are described and it is shown that for each a version of what has been called ‘Humphreys' Paradox’ remains, despite the clarifying work of Gillies, McCurdy and Miller. This entails that propensities cannot be a satisfactory interpretation of standard probability theory. Introduction The basic issue The formal paradox Values of conditional propensities Interpretations of propensities McCurdy's response Miller's response Other possibilities 8.1 Temporal evolution 8.2 Renormalization 8.3 Causal influence Propensities to generate frequencies Conclusion.
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  41. Probability: A Philosophical Introduction.D. H. Mellor - 2004 - Routledge.
    _Probability: A Philosophical Introduction_ introduces and explains the principal concepts and applications of probability. It is intended for philosophers and others who want to understand probability as we all apply it in our working and everyday lives. The book is not a course in mathematical probability, of which it uses only the simplest results, and avoids all needless technicality. The role of probability in modern theories of knowledge, inference, induction, causation, laws of nature, action and decision-making makes an understanding of (...)
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  42. On Quantum Propensities: Two Arguments Revisited.Mauricio Suárez - 2004 - Erkenntnis 61 (1):1-16.
    Peter Milne and Neal Grossman have argued against Popper's propensity interpretation of quantum mechanics, by appeal to the two-slit experiment and to the distinction between mixtures and superpositions, respectively. In this paper I show that a different propensity interpretation successfully meets their objections. According to this interpretation, the possession of a quantum propensity by a quantum system is independent of the experimental set-ups designed to test it, even though its manifestations are not.
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  43. Causal Processes and Propensities in Quantum Mechanics.Mauricio Suárez - 2004 - Theoria 19 (3):271-300.
    In an influential article published in 1982, Bas Van Fraassen developed an argument against causal realism on the basis of an analysis of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen correlations of quantum mechanics. Several philosophers of science and experts in causal inference -including some causal realists like Wesley Salmon- have accepted Van Fraassen’s argument, interpreting it as a proof that the quantum correlations cannot be given any causal model. In this paper I argue that Van Fraassen’s article can also be interpreted as a good (...)
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  44. Quantum Selections, Propensities and the Problem of Measurement.Mauricio Suárez - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):219-255.
    This paper expands on, and provides a qualified defence of, Arthur Fine's selective interactions solution to the measurement problem. Fine's approach must be understood against the background of the insolubility proof of the quantum measurement. I first defend the proof as an appropriate formal representation of the quantum measurement problem. The nature of selective interactions, and more generally selections, is then clarified, and three arguments in their favour are offered. First, selections provide the only known solution to the measurement problem (...)
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  45. Characteristics and Propensities of Marmosets and Tamarins: Implications for Studies of Innovation.Hilary O. Box - 2003 - In Simon M. Reader & Kevin N. Laland (eds.), Animal Innovation. Oxford University Press.
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  46. Interpretations of Probability in Evolutionary Theory.Roberta L. Millstein - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1317-1328.
    Evolutionary theory (ET) is teeming with probabilities. Probabilities exist at all levels: the level of mutation, the level of microevolution, and the level of macroevolution. This uncontroversial claim raises a number of contentious issues. For example, is the evolutionary process (as opposed to the theory) indeterministic, or is it deterministic? Philosophers of biology have taken different sides on this issue. Millstein (1997) has argued that we are not currently able answer this question, and that even scientific realists ought to remain (...)
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  47. Frequencies and Propensities: Inference to the Best Explanation.James H. Fetzer - 2002 - Synthese 132 (1-2):27-61.
    An approach to inference to the best explanation integrating a Popperianconception of natural laws together with a modified Hempelian account of explanation, one the one hand, and Hacking's law of likelihood, on the other, which provides a robust abductivist model of sciencethat appears to overcome the obstacles that confront its inductivist,deductivist, and hypothetico-deductivist alternatives.This philosophy of scienceclarifies and illuminates some fundamental aspects of ontology and epistemology, especially concerning the relations between frequencies and propensities. Among the most important elements of this (...)
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  48. Propensities and Frequencies: Inference to the Best Explanation.James H. Fetzer - 2002 - Synthese 132 (1-2):27 - 61.
    An approach to inference to the best explanation integrating a Popperianconception of natural laws together with a modified Hempelian account of explanation, one the one hand, and Hacking's law of likelihood (in its nomicguise), on the other, which provides a robust abductivist model of sciencethat appears to overcome the obstacles that confront its inductivist,deductivist, and hypothetico-deductivist alternatives.This philosophy of scienceclarifies and illuminates some fundamental aspects of ontology and epistemology, especially concerning the relations between frequencies and propensities. Among the most important (...)
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  49. Causality, Propensity, and Bayesian Networks.Donald Gillies - 2002 - Synthese 132 (1-2):63 - 88.
    This paper investigates the relations between causality and propensity. Aparticular version of the propensity theory of probability is introduced, and it is argued that propensities in this sense are not causes. Some conclusions regarding propensities can, however, be inferred from causal statements, but these hold only under restrictive conditions which prevent cause being defined in terms of propensity. The notion of a Bayesian propensity network is introduced, and the relations between such networks and causal networks is investigated. It is argued (...)
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  50. Don't Take Unnecessary Chances!Henry E. Kyburg Jr - 2002 - Synthese 132 (1/2):9 - 26.
    The dominant argument for the introduction of propensities or chances as an interpretation of probability depends on the difficulty of accounting for single case probabilities. We argue that in almost all cases, the "single case" application of probability can be accounted for otherwise. "Propensities" are needed only in theoretical contexts, and even there applications of probability need only depend on propensities indirectly.
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