Questions tagged [probability]

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In the real world, is probability discrete or continuous?

I am not quite sure whether this belongs on math SE. Anyway, my question is this. In math, probability can theoretically be any real number between 0 and 1 inclusive. But what about in the real world? ...
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384 views

How can statements of probability be verified?

Suppose I said, "There is a 50% chance of it raining tomorrow", and someone else said, "No, it is actually 60%". How can we know which person, if either, is correct? What I am ...
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Shouldn't there be a determinism behind all random processes, so even the ones seen in quantum mechanics?

Behind all random processes lay deterministic principles. Behind the throwing of a dice there are deterministic processes at work that fix the outcome. Our lack of knowledge is due to the chances in ...
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Do probability and statistics apply to the decisions of an agent with libertarian free will?

Do probability and statistics apply to libertarian free agents? Can a libertarian free agent have a statistical tendency towards certain decisions? Would it make sense to say, for example, that there ...
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Probabilistic prediction (quantum mechanics) - what is the meaning of such a prediction and how do you falsify it?

Suppose there's a hypothetical quantum physics experiment. There are 2 possible outcomes to this experiment A or B. QM predicts that the probability of each is 50%. Firstly, what is the meaning of ...
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How do we interpret the death rate (probability) or admission rate and apply it to ourselves?

(I also asked this question on Mathematics StackExchange. But since this question is more about the thinking and reasoning process, it is better to post it here, I think.) These were very intuitive ...
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45 views

Cloning order paradox

Suppose there is a cloning device that could make exact copies of humans. It makes one person into two with the exactly same memory and other properties, with equal status and no one defined to be the ...
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1answer
44 views

Questions on “Bayes or Bust?” by Earman

In bayesian epistemology, we usually find the bayesian theorem expressed in relation with three proposition: H, hypoyesis, E, evidence, K, background knowledge. In particular, in "Bayes or Bust?&...
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207 views

Winning Percentage Fallacy

Consider a combat tournament with a large number (sufficiently large that small sample size is not a problem) of combatants, in which each match is zero-sum and has a winner (there are no ties). The ...
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40 views

Carnap's method of induction

Carnap provides a general understanding of symbolic induction, given as c(h, e)=r. c = degree of confirmation h = hypothesis e = evidence r = outcome What exactly is meant by Carnap's 'degree of ...
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117 views

Probability vs Possiblity vs gambling knowledge gap for a beginner

Probability is a difficult subject for me to grasp. I watch many religious vs atheist vs philosopher debates on YouTube where probability is often brought up, and because of my poor understanding I ...
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37 views

How do you estimate a witness reliability who claims to have seen a miracle? Question about miss-rate neglect fallacy [closed]

I'm interested in knowing how you would estimate witness reliability who claims to have seen a miracle in the following case: Linda says that she met with Santa Claus yesterday. She promises you that ...
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Term for this bias kind of probability bias related to choosing the wrong reference class to calculate prior from? [closed]

Let's say that you want to calculate the prior for a woman in her 40s getting breast cancer. P(H) But instead of using the base rate from women in their 40s getting breast cancer, you use the base ...
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1answer
35 views

You found a strange instrument you know nothing about and will have to use it to predict H [closed]

Let's say you're trying to predict the probability of (H |E) P(H) = 0,01 Let's say that you've found an instrument lying on the floor with a label on it saying "To be used to measure H). You know ...
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1answer
35 views

How to make sense of “ I know that p but I could be wrong as to p”? ( Faillibilism)

There is a well known modal fallacy regarding knowledge which says that if some subject s knows that p, then p cannot be false, and therefore , p is a necessarily true proposition. Source : [ by ...
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90 views

Guessing the past - Bayes - Throwing Dart

I'm trying to understand how Bayes formula helps us make guesses about the past. What are your thoughts about the following philosophical metaphor regarding claims about events in the past? Whenever ...
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Discussion: Should or should not P(Lying | Human) be above or equal to 0,5?

Condition: An human called X, in this specific case, according to game theory will win the most money and lose the least if applying a lying strategy about event Y happening. If he tells the truth ...
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1answer
77 views

Low probability events and witness testimony

I experienced a low probability event yesterday. It has according to frequencists 5% chance of occuring. However, you know there is a 25% chance that I'm mistaken about experiencing the event at all ...
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1answer
74 views

How are objective probabilites and statistics (frequency in the world) of groups related to individual cases?

I'm a bit confused about why frequentist measures of probability based on groups are relevant to individual cases. It seems that moving from the group to the individual is somehow a violation of the ...
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Using probability theory to estimate odds in a forensic scenario?

I'm fascinated by forensic investigations and probability theory. I would like to know if I'm thinking correctly in this scenario: Let's say an elderly person with dementia has been exposed to fraud ...
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185 views

How would an philosopher and scientist solve the following kidnapping - scenario?

I would like to hear your opinion as philosophers and scientists regarding how you would solve the problem of proof in the following scenario: "Plato" who has dementia and a damaged left ...
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Using Bayes Theorem in a Court Case - dementia and testamentary capacity

I'm trying to learn how to use Bayes theorem to explain probabilities in court cases related to dementia and testamentary capacity. Let's say that we are trying to explain the probability for a person ...
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Does the Multiverse Undermine argumente based on statistical inference? [duplicate]

In the last fifty years, eminent physicists have discovered that the physical parameters of our universe are fine tuned, which means that a slight change in these parameters would render life as we ...
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Maximizing expected value - “triple or nothing” on a fair bet

The "triple-or-nothing paradox" is that a game where I expect to increase my money (on average) at each stage ends up bankrupting me with probability 1 if I play long enough. However, the ...
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1answer
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two problems with the (log) likelihood measure of evidentiary support [closed]

This is basically a reference request. I'm looking for literature on the two types of counter-example to the log likelihood measure of support for hypotheses which I discuss below. First some ...
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100 views

A priori vs false witness statement

John tells Linda the following false statement to trick her into believing that UFO:s exist. Yesterday when I was walking in the forest I saw a UFO for 5 seconds and then it disappeared, you have to ...
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1answer
148 views

Does Bayes' Theorem justify rejecting an argument for the supernatural from a well-supported miracle?

Suppose you have really good evidence for a miracle. Let's say that given the evidence, the probability of the miracle having occurred is about 80%. Now, you also know that miracles can only occur if ...
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How does Consequentialism handle uncertainty?

E.g. Suppose you are a Consequentialist faced with a variation of the trolley car problem. Your options are to save five people with a 20% likelihood or one person with a 100% likelihood. Which option,...
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155 views

Is defining the concept of Probability still an open problem in the Philosophy of Science?

There exist several interpretations of the concept of Probability: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability_interpretations Being the assumption of Repeatability an important difference between them. ...
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How would a monistic approach account for these categories of probabilities?

Donald Gillies, in his book "Philosophical Theories of Probability," draws a distinction between monistic views and dualistic views of probability, the latter of which, at least in his ...
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Is probability in classical physics always bayesian?

I am wondering how probability is intended in classical physics. I have read a number of articles where it is said that probability in classical physics is generally intended in subjectivist terms as ...
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345 views

Logical Interpretations of Probability

According to Wikipedia's page on probability interpretations... Logical probabilities are conceived (for example in Keynes' Treatise on Probability) to be objective, logical relations between ...
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206 views

Does the anthropic principle disprove the existence of aliens? [closed]

The anthropic principle states that I'm a typical sapient-level observer. What this implies is that if there are two groups of sapient-level observers, then I am most likely to find myself in the ...
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What is unique about the quantum state of superposition?

In the state of quantum superposition, as most famously illustrated by Schrodinger's Cat, we have a well-defined set of probabilistic outcomes that is not determined until observed. The cat is then ...
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552 views

In quantum physics, does zero probability imply impossibility?

Suppose I have a particle whose quantum state is known to be exactly spin-up along the z-axis. Then suppose I measure its spin along the z-axis. Quantum mechanics (QM) states that the probability of ...
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302 views

Bayesian reasoning regarding perceived unlikely outcomes

So this is a Bayesian question in words first and then I'll try to put a little mathematical meat on it. Admittedly, this will eventually be about teleological reasoning, but I would like you to just ...
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297 views

Is Quantum Bayesianism a viable solution to interpretational problems of quantum mechanics? [closed]

I noticed that Quantum Bayesianism (Qbism) seems to solve a number of issues in QM like non-locality, decoherence and the measurement problem. But I am not sure if physicists and philosophers would ...
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273 views

Is there a branch of philosophy/science that deals with making decision under uncertainty/imperfect information of a complex system?

I am curious whether there are well-established works of philosophical/scientific knowledge relating to ways to deal with an uncertain situation to produce desired outcome(s). I am asking this ...
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Logical fallacy: Person argues with wrong probability of event, without considering similar events

I know that this is a common error in argumentation that people make, but I don't know if there is a term for it. It's when people argue from an event being remarkable because of its low probability, ...
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Isn't the notion that everything will occur in an infinite timeline an example of the gambler's fallacy?

I've seen a few different formulations of this, but the most famous is "monkeys on a typewriter" - that if you put a team of monkeys on a typewriter, given infinite time, they will eventually produce ...
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Question about conditionalization and probability

I am working on a problem set and I am not sure if I am heading in the right direction. The scenario: "Suppose three identical boxes are presented to you, and you are told that one box contains two ...
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Is this general argument against immortality valid?

I found the following argument here (although the paper is about a different topic): A General Argument Against Immortality: The method of Theory Confirmation can be applied to the question of ...
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Inductive reasoning and probability: probability of the conclusion versus probability of the supporting relation?

It is often admitted that inductive reasoning has something to do with probability. While in a ( valid) deduction the premises necessarily imply the conclusion, in an inductive reasoning the premises ...
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Prove the following facts about Conditionalization

Prove that when an agent conditionalizes on new evidence, her credence in a proposition that entails the evidence cannot decrease. That is, when H entails E, it must be the case that cr2(H) is greater ...
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553 views

Deterministic or stochastic universe?

Just a little bit before my graduation from computer science, I attended a course about computational intelligence, and my professor then challenged us to debate on whether the world/universe follows ...
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Bayes and unknown probabilites: is this reasoning from the failure of explanation a fallacy?

Bayesian probability is an interpretation of the concept of probability, in which, instead of frequency or propensity of some phenomenon, probability is interpreted as reasonable expectation ...
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3answers
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What is the justification for the claim that observing something that is both a raven and black increases the likelihood that all ravens are black?

Suppose that I have access to a machine that allows me to input a positive integer (perhaps up to ten decimal digits) and the machine will -- depending only on the input -- output a statement. If the ...
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144 views

Is there a system where it is impossible to tell the fundamental type of probability?

Premise: What does it mean to take Planck's constant to 0? When someone takes Planck's constant to 0 then they do not effective just substitute Planck's constant with 0. The actual procedure is to ...
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What is the procentual probability that we live in the objective reality independent of our consciousness rather than in some virtual reality?

I am aware than it is impossible to prove anything in real life. Therefore we can't prove that the picture of the reality we are percieving through our senses is a subjective picture of an objective ...
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Uncertainty and evidence

Under uncertainty, precise probability cannot be assigned, see my other question: How valid is assignment of probabilities when evidence is totally lacking, as in Pascal's Wager? In this case, either ...