In Sahotra Sarkar & Jessica Pfeifer (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge (2005)
  Copy   BIBTEX


There are two central questions concerning probability. First, what are its formal features? That is a mathematical question, to which there is a standard, widely (though not universally) agreed upon answer. This answer is reviewed in the next section. Second, what sorts of things are probabilities---what, that is, is the subject matter of probability theory? This is a philosophical question, and while the mathematical theory of probability certainly bears on it, the answer must come from elsewhere. To see why, observe that there are many things in the world that have the mathematical structure of probabilities---the set of measurable regions on the surface of a table, for example---but that one would never mistake for being probabilities. So probability is distinguished by more than just its formal characteristics. The bulk of this essay will be taken up with the central question of what this “more” might be



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,098

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Philosophy of Probability.Aidan Lyon - 2010-01-04 - In Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Philosophies of the Sciences. Wiley‐Blackwell. pp. 92–125.
Probability, logic, and probability logic.Alan Hójek - 2001 - In Lou Goble (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Philosophical Logic. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. pp. 362--384.
What is Probability?Simon Saunders - 2004 - Arxiv Preprint Quant-Ph/0412194.
Chance and Probability.Stephen Turner - 2007 - In G. Ritzer, J. M. Ryan & B. Thorn (eds.), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology (1st Ed.). Wiley. pp. 425-426.
Self-referential probability.Catrin Campbell-Moore - 2016 - Dissertation, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Intersubjective probability and confirmation theory.Donald Gillies - 1991 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (4):513-533.
Probability and conditionals.Robert C. Stalnaker - 1970 - Philosophy of Science 37 (1):64-80.
The theory of probability.Hans Reichenbach - 1949 - Berkeley,: University of California Press.
Probability, Indeterminism and Biological Processes.Charlotte Werndl - 2012 - In D. Dieks, J. G. Wenceslao, Stephan Hartmann, Michael Stoeltzner & Marcel Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws, and Structures. Springer. pp. 263-277.


Added to PP

285 (#74,567)

6 months
16 (#172,129)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Branden Fitelson
Northeastern University
Alan Hajek
Australian National University
Ned Hall
Harvard University

Citations of this work

Perception and probability.Alex Byrne - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):1-21.
Perception and Probability.Alex Byrne - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):343-363.
Two Problems of Direct Inference.Paul D. Thorn - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (3):299-318.
The paradox of confirmation.Branden Fitelson - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (1):95–113.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Logical foundations of probability.Rudolf Carnap - 1950 - Chicago]: Chicago University of Chicago Press.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
A treatise on probability.John Maynard Keynes - 1921 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications.

View all 42 references / Add more references