The concept of probability in physics: an analytic version of von Mises’ interpretation

Abstract
In the following we will investigate whether von Mises’ frequency interpretation of probability can be modified to make it philosophically acceptable. We will reject certain elements of von Mises’ theory, but retain others. In the interpretation we propose we do not use von Mises’ often criticized ‘infinite collectives’ but we retain two essential claims of his interpretation, stating that probability can only be defined for events that can be repeated in similar conditions, and that exhibit frequency stabilization. The central idea of the present article is that the mentioned ‘conditions’ should be well-defined and ‘partitioned’. More precisely, we will divide probabilistic systems into object, initializing, and probing subsystem, and show that such partitioning allows to solve problems. Moreover we will argue that a key idea of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics (the determinant role of the observing system) can be seen as deriving from an analytic definition of probability as frequency. Thus a secondary aim of the article is to illustrate the virtues of analytic definition of concepts, consisting of making explicit what is implicit.
Keywords Interpretation of Probability  Frequency Interpretation  von Mises  Probability in physics  Probabilistic system
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Objective Probabilities in Number Theory.J. Ellenberg & E. Sober - 2011 - Philosophia Mathematica 19 (3):308-322.
Probability and Conditionals.Robert C. Stalnaker - 1970 - Philosophy of Science 37 (1):64-80.
Time and the Propensity Interpretation of Probability.Niall Shanks - 1993 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 24 (2):293 - 302.
Wittgenstein on Probability.Brian McGuinness - 1982 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 16:159-174.
Frequencies and Possibility.John Meixner - 1987 - Philosophy Research Archives 13:73-77.
A Theistic Conception of Probability.Richard Otte - 1987 - Faith and Philosophy 4 (4):427-447.
Added to PP index
2010-11-30

Total downloads
233 ( #16,373 of 2,193,222 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
25 ( #6,735 of 2,193,222 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature