A Philosophical Guide to Chance: Physical Probability
It is a commonplace that scientific inquiry makes extensive use of probabilities, many of which seem to be objective chances, describing features of reality that are independent of our minds. Such chances appear to have a number of paradoxical or puzzling features: they appear to be mind-independent facts, but they are intimately connected with rational psychology; they display a temporal asymmetry, but they are supposed to be grounded in physical laws that are time-symmetric; and chances are used to explain and predict frequencies of events, although they cannot be reduced to those frequencies. This book offers an accessible and non-technical introduction to these and other puzzles. Toby Handfield engages with traditional metaphysics and philosophy of science, drawing upon recent work in the foundations of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics to provide a novel account of objective probability that is empirically informed without requiring specialist scientific knowledge.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
1 The concept of chance
2 The classical picture
3 Ways the world might be
4 Possibilities of thought
5 Chance in phase space
6 Possibilist theories of chance
7 Actualist theories of chance
8 Antirealist theories of chance
Other editions - View all
account of chance actualist advice function agent anti-realism anti-realist atom available evidence Barack Obama Bayesian behaviour beta-minus decay Bohmian mechanics Born rule branch causal chance claims chance hypotheses chance norms characterisation classical picture coin lands concept of chance conditional probability counterfactual credences decay decision theory degree of belief deterministic dimension electrons entropy epistemic peers Everett Everettian explain facts frequencies frequentist future given Greaves and Myrvold happen hard Humean idea initial conditions instance involved lands heads Lewis Lewis’s macro-condition mathematical measure metaphysical modal volume theory moral norms non-cognitivism non-cognitivist outcomes particles particular past hypothesis phase space philosophical physical plausible position possible precisely probabilistic beliefs probability properties proposition psychology quantum mechanics reason reference class reference class problem relatively represent role seems sense sentences simply sort statistical mechanics strategy subjectivist suggest superposition Suppose tails things thought tossed trials true velocity