Probability

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science (2015)
Abstract
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 judgment in theory choice. In this chapter, the author introduces and distinguishes the two sorts of probability from one another and attempts to offer a satisfactory characterization of how the different uses for probability in science are to be understood. A closing section turns to the question of how views about the chance of some outcome should guide our confidence in that outcome. probability, chance, frequency, determinism, credence, confirmation, Bayesianism, the Principal Principle
Keywords probability  chance  frequency  determinism  credence  confirmation  Bayesianism  Principal Principle
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