Timothy Williamson’s Coin-Flipping Argument: Refuted Prior to Publication?

Erkenntnis 86 (3):575-583 (2021)
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In a well-known paper, Timothy Williamson claimed to prove with a coin-flipping example that infinitesimal-valued probabilities cannot save the principle of Regularity, because on pain of inconsistency the event ‘all tosses land heads’ must be assigned probability 0, whether the probability function is hyperreal-valued or not. A premise of Williamson’s argument is that two infinitary events in that example must be assigned the same probability because they are isomorphic. It was argued by Howson that the claim of isomorphism fails, but a more radical objection to Williamson’s argument is that it had been, in effect, refuted long before it was published.



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Author's Profile

Colin Howson
Last affiliation: London School of Economics

Citations of this work

Weintraub’s response to Williamson’s coin flip argument.Matthew W. Parker - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-21.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Fair infinite lotteries.Sylvia Wenmackers & Leon Horsten - 2013 - Synthese 190 (1):37-61.
Infinitesimal Probabilities.Vieri Benci, Leon Horsten & Sylvia Wenmackers - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):509-552.
Philosophical Papers.Graeme Forbes & David Lewis - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):108.

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