Objective probability-like things with and without objective indeterminism

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):626-634 (2007)
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Abstract

I shall argue that there is no such property of an event as its “probability.” This is why standard interpretations cannot give a sound definition in empirical terms of what “probability” is, and this is why empirical sciences like physics can manage without such a definition. “Probability” is a collective term, the meaning of which varies from context to context: it means different — dimensionless [0, 1]-valued — physical quantities characterising the different particular situations. In other words, probability is a reducible concept, supervening on physical quantities characterising the state of affairs corresponding to the event in question. On the other hand, however, these “probability-like” physical quantities correspond to objective features of the physical world, and are objectively related to measurable quantities like relative frequencies of physical events based on finite samples — no matter whether the world is objectively deterministic or indeterministic.

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Laszlo E. Szabo
Eotvos Lorand University of Sciences

Citations of this work

Defusing Bertrand’s Paradox.Zalán Gyenis & Miklós Rédei - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):349-373.

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