An empirical approach to symmetry and probability

Authors
Jill North
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
We often use symmetries to infer outcomes’ probabilities, as when we infer that each side of a fair coin is equally likely to come up on a given toss. Why are these inferences successful? I argue against answering this with an a priori indifference principle. Reasons to reject that principle are familiar, yet instructive. They point to a new, empirical explanation for the success of our probabilistic predictions. This has implications for indifference reasoning in general. I argue that a priori symmetries need never constrain our probability attributions, even when it comes to our initial credences.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2009.08.008
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References found in this work BETA

Epistemic Permissiveness.Roger White - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):445–459.
The "Structure" of Physics: A Case Study.Jill North - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (2):57-88.
Ignorance and Indifference.John D. Norton - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (1):45-68.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Games, Beliefs and Credences.Brian James Weatherson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):209-236.
Probabilities as Ratios of Ranges in Initial-State Spaces.Jacob Rosenthal - 2012 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 21 (2):217-236.

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