Exploring a New Argument for Synchronic Chance
Elliott (Katrina)
Source: Philosophers' Imprint, Vol. 18, No. 2, January 2018, pp. 1-18
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. A synchronic probability is the probability at a time that an outcome occurs at that very time. Common sense invokes synchronic probabilities with values between 0 and 1 (e.g., the probability right now that the top card of this deck is presently the ace of spades is 1/52), as do scientific theories such as classical statistical mechanics.
  2. Recently, philosophers have argued about whether any synchronic probabilities are best interpreted as objective chances.
  3. I add to this debate an underappreciated reason we might have to believe in synchronic chance; it might turn out that the best interpretation of our common sense and scientific theories is one in which the macrophysical properties of physical systems are partly determined by synchronic chance distributions over microphysical properties of those systems.
  4. Additionally, I argue against the common charge that synchronic probability fails to satisfy various platitudes about chance — most notably Lewis’s ("Lewis (David) - A Subjectivist's Guide to Objective Chance", 1986) Principal Principle.


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