Synthese 199:5255–5584 (2021)

Authors
Mario Hubert
American University in Cairo
Abstract
Philosophers now seem to agree that frequentism is an untenable strategy to explain the meaning of probabilities. Nevertheless, I want to revive frequentism, and I will do so by grounding probabilities on typicality in the same way as the thermodynamic arrow of time can be grounded on typicality within statistical mechanics. This account, which I will call typicality frequentism, will evade the major criticisms raised against previous forms of frequentism. In this theory, probabilities arise within a physical theory from statistical behavior of almost all initial conditions. The main advantage of typicality frequentism is that it shows which kinds of probabilities can be derived from physics. Although one cannot recover all probability talk in this account, this is rather a virtue than a vice, because it shows which types of probabilities can in fact arise from physics and which types need to be explained in different ways, thereby opening the path for a pluralistic account of probabilities.
Keywords frequentism  probability  typicality  statistical mechanics
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03024-8
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Harvard University Press.
After Physics.David Z. Albert - 2015 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Understanding physics: ‘What?’, ‘Why?’, and ‘How?’.Mario Hubert - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-36.

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