The Probability of the Possible


Authors
Ronald Wilburn
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Abstract
In “Why is There Anything at All?” Peter van Inwagen argues that even though it was never necessary that concrete beings existed, it was always maximally probable – just short of necessity – that they did . I argue that van Inwagen’s argument fails, albeit for an interesting reason which has remained so far unnoticed in the literature: there is a critical ten- sion between two of its premises, both essential to its soundness, concerning the nature of comprehensively specified possible worlds. I summarize van Inwagen’s argument, develop this objection, and then describe more problems which invariably accrue when we try to ascribe probability values to possible worlds
Keywords existence  possible worlds  probability  van Inwagen  Hawking
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
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: 40,000
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

New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
Why Is There Anything At All?Peter van Inwagen & E. J. Lowe - 1996 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 70 (1):95-120.
What is a Law of Nature?David Armstrong - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (3):435-441.
Laws of Nature.Fred Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Van Inwagen’s Consequence Argument.Michael Huemer - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (4):525-544.
Roger White's Argument Against Imprecise Credences.Dylan Dodd - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):69-77.
Quantum Probability and Many Worlds.Meir Hemmo - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):333-350.
Van Inwagen on the Cosmological Argument.Anthony Brueckner - 2001 - Philosophical Papers 30 (1):31-40.
Van Inwagen’s Modal Skepticism.Peter Hawke - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (3):351-364.
McGrath on Universalism.Michael C. Rea - 1999 - Analysis 59 (3):200–203.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-04-12

Total views
31 ( #255,508 of 2,236,132 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #460,511 of 2,236,132 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature