Journal Article

A Generalised Lottery Paradox for Infinite Probability Spaces

Martin Smith

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 61, issue 4, pages 821-831
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axq019
A Generalised Lottery Paradox for Infinite Probability Spaces

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Many epistemologists have responded to the lottery paradox by proposing formal rules according to which high probability defeasibly warrants acceptance. Douven and Williamson ([2006]) present an ingenious argument purporting to show that such rules invariably trivialise, in that they reduce to the claim that a probability of 1 warrants acceptance. Douven and Williamson’s argument does, however, rest upon significant assumptions—among them a relatively strong structural assumption to the effect that the underlying probability space is both finite and uniform. In this article, I will show that something very like Douven and Williamson’s argument can in fact survive with much weaker structural assumptions—and, in particular, can apply to infinite probability spaces.

1 Introduction

2 Douven and Williamson’s Argument

3 Infinite Probability Spaces

Journal Article.  4893 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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