Varieties of propensity

Donald Gillies
University College London
The propensity interpretation of probability was introduced by Popper ([1957]), but has subsequently been developed in different ways by quite a number of philosophers of science. This paper does not attempt a complete survey, but discusses a number of different versions of the theory, thereby giving some idea of the varieties of propensity. Propensity theories are classified into (i) long-run and (ii) single-case. The paper argues for a long-run version of the propensity theory, but this is contrasted with two single-case propensity theories, one due to Miller and the later Popper, and the other to Fetzer. The three approaches are compared by examining how they deal with a key problem for the propensity approach, namely the relationship between propensity and causality and Humphreys' paradox.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/51.4.807
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,013
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Quantum Propensities.Mauricio Suárez - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):418-438.
An Objective Counterfactual Theory of Information.Jonathan Cohen & Aaron Meskin - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (3):333 – 352.
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.
Fitness and Propensity’s Annulment?Marshall Abrams - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
Time and the Propensity Interpretation of Probability.Niall Shanks - 1993 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 24 (2):293 - 302.


Added to PP index

Total views
108 ( #61,358 of 2,312,430 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #138,947 of 2,312,430 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature