Philosophy of Science 83 (2):248-264 (2016)

Heather Demarest
University of Colorado, Boulder
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 nontrivial probabilities.
Keywords Deterministic  Chance  Probability  Initial Conditions
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DOI 10.1086/684914
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Citations of this work BETA

Mentaculus Laws and Metaphysics.Heather Demarest - 2019 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 23 (3):387--399.
Interpretive Analogies Between Quantum and Statistical Mechanics.C. D. McCoy - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):9.
The Implementation, Interpretation, and Justification of Likelihoods in Cosmology.C. D. McCoy - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:19-35.
Generalizing the Problem of Humean Undermining.Heather Demarest & Elizabeth Miller - forthcoming - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP.

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