Journal Article

Internal laws of probability, generalized likelihoods and Lewis' infinitesimal chances–A response to Adam Elga

Frederik Herzberg

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 58, issue 1, pages 25-43
Published in print March 2007 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online February 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axl028
Internal laws of probability, generalized likelihoods and Lewis' infinitesimal chances–A response to Adam Elga

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The rejection of an infinitesimal solution to the zero-fit problem by A. Elga ([2004]) does not seem to appreciate the opportunities provided by the use of internal finitely-additive probability measures. Indeed, internal laws of probability can be used to find a satisfactory infinitesimal answer to many zero-fit problems, not only to the one suggested by Elga, but also to the Markov chain (that is, discrete and memory-less) models of reality. Moreover, the generalization of likelihoods that Elga has in mind is not as hopeless as it appears to be in his article. In fact, for many practically important examples, through the use of likelihoods one can succeed in circumventing the zero-fit problem. 1

The Zero-fit Problem on Infinite State Spaces

2

Elga's Critique of the Infinitesimal Approach to the Zero-fit Problem

3

Two Examples for Infinitesimal Solutions to the Zero-fit Problem

4

Mathematical Modelling in Nonstandard Universes?

5

Are Nonstandard Models Unnatural?

6

Likelihoods and Densities

A

Internal Probability Measures and the Loeb Measure Construction

B

The (Countable) Coin Tossing Sequence Revisited

C

Solution to the Zero-fit Problem for a Finite-state Model without Memory

D

An Additional Note on ‘Integrating over Densities’

E

Well-defined Continuous Versions of Density Functions

Journal Article.  6851 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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