A Naturalist’s Guide to Objective Chance

Philosophy of Science 84 (3):480-499 (2017)

Abstract

I argue that there are such things as nomological probabilities—probabilities that play a certain explanatory role with respect to stable, long-run relative frequencies. Indeed, I argue, we should be willing to accept nomological probabilities even if they turn out to be metaphysically weird or even wholly sui generis entities. I then give an example of one way in which this argument should shape future work on the metaphysics of chance by describing a challenge to a common group of analyses of objective probability—Humean analyses— understood as analyses of nomological probability.

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Author's Profile

Nina Emery
Mount Holyoke College

References found in this work

Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
Two Accounts of Laws and Time.Barry Loewer - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):115-137.
The Propensity Interpretation of Probability.Karl R. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):25-42.
Humean Scientific Explanation.Elizabeth Miller - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1311-1332.
Determinism and Chance.Barry Loewer - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):609-620.

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Citations of this work

Non‐Humean Theories of Natural Necessity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (5):1-1.
Laws and Their Instances.Nina Emery - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1535-1561.
Breaking the Explanatory Circle.Michael Townsen Hicks - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):533-557.
On Moral Obligations and Our Chances of Fulfilling Them.Farbod Akhlaghi - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):625-638.
Naturalism, Functionalism and Chance: Not a Best Fit for the Humean.Alison Fernandes - forthcoming - In Michael Hicks, Siegfried Jaag & Christian Loew (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents.

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