A subjectivist’s guide to deterministic chance

Synthese 198 (5):4339-4372 (2021)
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Abstract

I present an account of deterministic chance which builds upon the physico-mathematical approach to theorizing about deterministic chance known as 'the method of arbitrary functions'. This approach promisingly yields deterministic probabilities which align with what we take the chances to be---it tells us that there is approximately a 1/2 probability of a spun roulette wheel stopping on black, and approximately a 1/2 probability of a flipped coin landing heads up---but it requires some probabilistic materials to work with. I contend that the right probabilistic materials are found in reasonable initial credence distributions. I note that, with some normative assumptions, the resulting account entails that deterministic chances obey a variant of Lewis's 'principal principle'. I additionally argue that deterministic chances, so understood, are capable of explaining long-run frequencies.

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Author's Profile

J. Dmitri Gallow
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

Objectivity and the Method of Arbitrary Functions.Chloé de Canson - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (3):663-684.
Two-Dimensional De Se Chance Deference.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
Be Modest: You're Living on the Edge.Kevin Dorst - 2022 - Analysis 81 (4):611-621.

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The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Harvard University Press.

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