Chapter

Three Roads to Objective Probability<sup>1</sup>

Tim Maudlin

in Probabilities in Physics

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199577439
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730603 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577439.003.0011
Three Roads to Objective Probability1

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This chapter considers three ways in which probabilities may be derived from a physical theory without adverting to subjective considerations. The first derives from a fundamentally stochastic dynamics that implies transition chances at the level of natural law. The second is a Humean approach, in which probabilities are deployed as part of a compact system for conveying information about the structure of the Humean mosaic, i.e. the distribution of local physical quantities in space-time. The last employs either deterministic or stochastic dynamics together with a measure of typicality, i.e. a measure of sets of initial conditions that count as extremely large. Probabilities emerge in this setting as typical frequencies, that is, frequencies exhibited by most initial conditions.

Keywords: probabilities; typicality; stochastic dynamics; Humeanism; natural law; determinism

Chapter.  13453 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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