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Questions tagged [probability]

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Can probability amplitudes be used as credences?

Probability amplitudes in quantum mechanics are sometimes called a "generalization" of probabilities. They are complex numbers a + bi. The probability associated with the probability ...
causative's user avatar
  • 14.3k
6 votes
4 answers
625 views

Is probability physical or idealistic? Is probability an inherent part of nature/reality?

I asked this question a while back: Is entropy physical or idealistic? Now, I am back to ask if the subject that entropy built around is inherently real i.e., probability in itself being inherent not ...
How why e's user avatar
  • 1,370
0 votes
1 answer
50 views

Supposing my death is not an intrinsic or extrinsic good, should I never engage in acts that will certainly or near certainly result in my death?

Supposing my death is not an intrinsic or extrinsic good, should I never engage in acts that will certainly or near certainly result in my death? It's not obviously a trivial inference, but it seems ...
andrós's user avatar
  • 1,426
6 votes
6 answers
508 views

Extraterrestrial organisms similar to humans and design [closed]

If we ever confirm that intelligent extraterrestrial organisms similar to ourselves are living on other planets, is that a fact which would make our being designed along with them more probable? For ...
mcc1789's user avatar
  • 377
1 vote
1 answer
112 views

Is there a set theory which implies the interval [0, 1] but no more?

A deductive system (as a collection of judgments and rules of inference) can be used to describe something commonly called a “set theory”. We can imagine a priori there are certain properties we would ...
Julius Hamilton's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
143 views

Bayesian conditional probability and material implication

I was reading E. T. Jaynes' Confidence Intervals vs Bayesian Intervals (available here), and I came across this statement regarding Boole's The Laws of Thought: Boole's own work on probability theory....
adoan's user avatar
  • 53
1 vote
2 answers
63 views

If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, can we surmise that known past and present behavior is the best estimate for unknown past?

A discussion about the ever increasing earth population made me wonder about the world population in the past, when such things could not be recorded. If we accept that past behavior is truly the best ...
terramac's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
660 views

How Probable is the Philosophical Significance of Numerical Patterns in Religious Texts?

I have a Muslim friend who told me about a chapter in the Quran (the holy book of Muslims) in which he claims there is a "numerical miracle." This chapter is unique in the Quran because a ...
Rede's user avatar
  • 55
1 vote
2 answers
58 views

Are sample spaces and counter factuals mind independent?

I was thinking about the notion of sample spaces and was wondering whether they can be “objectively” analyzed for their fruitfulness. For example, in the case of dice rolls, it seems obvious and ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
12 votes
12 answers
3k views

Does the "Sniper Firing Squad" analogy undermine the anthropic principle’s objection to the fine-tuning argument for God's existence?

The anthropic principle, also known as the "observation selection effect", is the hypothesis, first proposed in 1957 by Robert Dicke, that the range of possible observations that could be ...
Mark's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
126 views

Are epistemic probability and empirical probability comparable?

Let me illustrate this question with an example. Imagine you were to compare your credence or your belief of you winning the lottery twice with your belief in the devil’s existence. Some argue that me ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
141 views

Do we need expertise to rate the chance of very low and high probability events?

Do we need expertise to rate the chance of very low probability events? We make implicit judgments about probabilty quite often (is the bus late), but I catch myself struggling to do so with very low ...
andrós's user avatar
  • 1,426
5 votes
4 answers
647 views

What is the probability difference of an event that has one chance vs. multiple chances to happen?

For example, what is the probability that John will land a coin on heads two times in a row on Tuesday if he only gets to do two tosses? Clearly it’s 1/4. Now, what is the probability that we will ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
213 views

How do I validate my confidence in things? [duplicate]

This is honestly tripping me out the more I delved into it. Of course, I feel more confident that my mother is my real mother than myself being kidnapped tomorrow. But how do I show that this is ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
2k views

Should the evidence of OBEs and NDEs increase our epistemic probability of non-physicalist views of consciousness?

Should reports of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and near-death experiences (NDEs) increase our epistemic probability of non-physicalist views of consciousness? In other words, should we judge non-...
Mark's user avatar
  • 5,875
12 votes
15 answers
5k views

The implication if we discovered that natural abiogenesis is statistically nearly impossible

If we were to discover somehow that (sentient) life was so unlikely that it were almost impossible that it forms even once in the whole universe, does that imply anything about creation e.g.? My logic ...
Doot's user avatar
  • 237
2 votes
2 answers
73 views

When do I have sufficient evidence to believe that an observed event is an occurrence of a very rare event with similar characteristics?

Suppose I am aware of a particular type of event which only occurs every 10,000 years. Call this type of event ‘A’. Suppose that I now observe an event which has many characteristics that event ‘A’ ...
A-Level Student's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
231 views

Is there a distinction between one iteration and multiple iterations of Sleeping Beauty Problem?

Take two set-ups of the Sleeping Beauty experiment Set-up 1 The experiment is performed once. What is the probability that a random awakening corresponds to Heads? Set-up 2 The experiment is ...
Ryder Rude's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
74 views

When can you apply the principle of indifference?

If someone wanted to assign the probability of a dice landing on 1, there seems to be ample reason to give it a probability of 1/6. However, imagine a scenario where we randomly pick a human being, ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
6 votes
10 answers
4k views

What is a philosophical interpretation of Bayes’s theorem when one of the probabilities is zero?

Bayes' Theorem P(H) = probability of a hypothesis P(E) = probability of evidence P(E|H) = probability of evidence given the hypothesis P(H|E) = probability of hypothesis given the evidence P(H|E) = P(...
Hudjefa's user avatar
  • 3,891
3 votes
3 answers
153 views

Do arguments arising from probability convincingly argue a mass human extinction event in the near future? [closed]

One such argument is the Doomsday argument which is taken seriously by a number of academics. But more simply, if we look at the modern population trajectory, it's something of an exponential curve. ...
yters's user avatar
  • 1,937
3 votes
8 answers
3k views

Is this a statistical argument for reincarnation being almost inevitable?

In a scenario in which we have conscious souls (ignoring all the arguments against that for now), would the following be a statistical argument for reincarnation? Supposing we are in something like an ...
Cat Rat Pup's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
121 views

How can we even know which philosophical interpretation of probability is correct?

There are quite a few philosophical interpretations of probability. But how can we know which one, if any, is the correct interpretation? How do we decide that? What method would we use to even decide ...
user107952's user avatar
  • 7,160
3 votes
1 answer
183 views

Why would modal realist Lewis believe that the answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem is 1/2?

Why is Lewis, of all people, the champion of the halfer position, when modal realism seems to imply the thirder position? The main argument he seems to make for the halfer position is that, although ...
Juan's user avatar
  • 319
1 vote
1 answer
45 views

What is a "sphere model"?

I'm reading the SEP entry on multi-modal logic and there's this passage: Is this related to what the SEP entry on infinity says about probability, here?: Kolmogorov notes that if the original ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
94 views

Is Arithmetic more Extensional than Probability?

One of the views of probability is that it should be viewed as a multi-valued logic where p(A) represents the probability that a proposition A is true. In a discussion of this, I once read that ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
287 views

Is probability a concept derived from the wavefunction? Since the p.d.f. is found by finding the modulus of the wave function in Q.M

I am studying the different probability interpretations (frequentist, bayesian etcetera) but for me it keeps bugging that since the probability density function in quantum mechanics is found by ...
bananenheld's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Is a probability operator on propositions symmetrical?

What I mean is: does, "It is not probable that..." = "It is probable that not..."? For example, does, "It is 50% probable that..." = "It is probable that 50%..."...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
2k views

Does the law of large numbers explain why quantum mechanics leads to statistical regularities?

When the question of why chancy effects in quantum mechanics lead to statistical regularities is proposed, it is often answered using the law of large numbers. When you have particles that can be ...
user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
101 views

Is not knowing whether X is true inconsistent with assigning a probability to it?

I have read that it is wise to assign a non zero probability to beliefs, and not 0 or 1. This is because probability represents certainty and you cannot be certain of anything. xxxxxx However, if you ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
69 views

Are there phenomena which are partially spontaneous and partially causal?

Events can be spontaneous or non spontaneous. Spontaneous is defined as occurring without apparent external cause. Non spontaneous events are causal, that is, there is cause and effect. Suppose an ...
Dheeraj Verma's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
93 views

Can fatalism be disproved by fate-changing magic?

In a world where magic exists, fate-spinners are people with supernatural powers that influence the chances of events happening. Their power has been proven by countless experiments where they compare ...
Zachiel's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
2 answers
160 views

How can one evaluate the plausibility of an eternal object?

Suppose I told you one of two things. A) A Boeing 747 arose by chance in a scrapyard within a 24 hour period after a tornado flew through it. B) A Boeing 747 always existed. Suppose I then told you ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
598 views

How to understand the notion of majority when comparing infinite sets?

Suppose I make the argument: It is very unlikely that in a naturalistic universe, the constants have life sustaining values, since the majority of metaphysically possible universes do not have such ...
Mani's user avatar
  • 271
3 votes
2 answers
315 views

The Likelyhood Principle and Baysean Statistics

I am reading Kotzen's paper Selection Bias in Likelihood Arguments. The author takes the following principle as a starting point: I'm confused as to how to formalize this notion in terms of Bayesian ...
Mani's user avatar
  • 271
1 vote
0 answers
64 views

Probabilities and Certainties on the Monkey Axis: Yet more about those monkey typists

I was reading with some interest the answers and comments to this question about that familiar, weird and somewhat inhumane infinite-monkey experiment which, somehow, is still generating fresh and ...
Brandon Burt's user avatar
20 votes
13 answers
10k views

Why would infinite monkeys not produce the works of Shakespeare?

Apologies if this is a very basic/obvious question. I have no training in philosophy, but have been making my way through Peter Adamson's History of Philosophy podcast. Recently I listened to his ...
Uzai's user avatar
  • 303
4 votes
1 answer
127 views

Is there a term for the fact that it may need more information to describe a probability distribution than conveyed by the event itself?

For example, X is a random integer from 1 to 16. Now I get a piece of information: X is 3, 5, 9, or 14. This has 2 bits of information for the knowledge about X. But if the list of options is random ...
user23013's user avatar
  • 289
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

Would the kind of probability involved in strong/hard free will be non-unitary?

By "unitarity" I mean that the sums of the probabilities in the given cases would be 1. Non-unitarity would, I assume (for now!), allow for final negative probabilities as well as imaginary-/...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
201 views

Subjectivity vs. Objectivity, A Mathematical Analysis

To my knowledge, objectivity is more the merrier and subjectivity a loner. That is to say, the probability of something being objective is thought to increase with the number of observers. The whole ...
Hudjefa's user avatar
  • 3,891
4 votes
4 answers
344 views

Does the halfer position in the Sleeping Beauty problem make for an irrational gambler?

It's my understanding that the Sleeping Beauty problem doesn't have a consensus answer, with major camps along the lines of "halfers," "thirders," and "the-question-statement-...
Feryll's user avatar
  • 153
1 vote
2 answers
158 views

Are our intuitions about probability not wrong after all?

Many people feel as if significant events are less probable. For example, some may feel as if the sequence of all heads on a coin is less probable than any other sequence. Or that the next lottery ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
406 views

Implicit Models and Probability - are degrees of belief/truth/existence a complete free-for-all?

Or, to put it another way, as long as you model your statements using the grammatical framework of our modern logical idioms, is it appropriate practice to assign a probability to any utterance at all,...
Paul Ross's user avatar
  • 5,517
-2 votes
2 answers
111 views

If different realities can’t have probabilities, does this mean no reality is more reasonable to believe than another?

This question is ultimately a follow up to this one For the context of the question, assume that a metaphysical reality is a reality that can be conceived without contradiction and that these ...
user avatar
5 votes
11 answers
4k views

Does Bayesianism give an out for pseudoscience that it shouldn’t deserve?

In Bayesianism, every belief in a hypothesis is updated in the same way. You have a prior probability P (H). You have the probability of an observation under a hypothesis P (E|H). And then you update ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
35 views

Does probabilistic justification exist?

Is there such a thing as how likely it is for a hypothesis to be true given evidence as a matter of fact? It is certainly true that we might feel strongly about other minds existing based on what we ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
145 views

Does significance testing contain a logical flaw or not?

This question was sparked from a comment Conifold had made. Link to comment here: Is probabilistic modus tollens a fallacy? He says, and I quote, “The valid form used in significance testing is: If P ...
user avatar
3 votes
12 answers
3k views

Can we fully expunge the notion of probability from philosophy?

Can one reason about things without involving this concept altogether? Although the answer to this is trivially yes since the theory came about only 400 years ago, my question is moreso whether one ...
user avatar
2 votes
6 answers
190 views

What is the probability of events that don’t seem clearly defined?

It makes sense to talk about the probability of a series of coin tosses but what about seeing a TV on a wall, or seeing a person riding a bicycle on the street? If one were to compare an event such as ...
user avatar
14 votes
15 answers
8k views

Isn’t everything absurdly improbable?

Isn’t every event by definition improbable in the sense that each event precedes an infinite series of causes that could have (theoretically atleast) been different? We think of someone winning five ...
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