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Questions tagged [probability]

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Disproving the Gambler's Paradox [closed]

A certain slot machine for Philosophers is rigged to pay out, on average, once every 10 games. It costs 1 dollar to play, and the machine pays out 12 dollars if you win. On average, then, you will be ...
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51 views

What is frequentism?

I am studying for an exam and I ran into frequentism. Honestly, I don't understand anything about that. Is frequentism related to probability only? Why are probabilities understood as frequencies? I ...
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What is Quine's perspective on probability?

I am curious about what Quine's perspective on probability may be and if we can say that the quinean viewpoint on modality can be considered similar to his viewpoint on probability. Is probability ...
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83 views

Is it problematic to use indeterministic models for deterministic processes

The title basically says it all. My question is whether it is problematic that deterministic processes such as coin tosses are modelled as indeterministic random processes by Frequentist statisticians....
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Why cannot the following theory be refuted by logic but is rejected because of lack of empirical support?

The following statements are taken from a book: The man in the street, and also the philosopher K. Marbe, believe that after a run of seventeen heads tail becomes more probable. This argument has ...
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1answer
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Combining causal and identity relations

Suppose I have the causal relation C causes E, and the symmetric identity relation E is (E1 ^ E2 ^ E3), which have the following probability functions: E = bC and E = E1 * E2 * E3 where E, C, E1, E2 ...
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4answers
156 views

Drawing from a box that contains all the Natural numbers

This question is basically about the fact that there exists no uniform distribution over the set of all Natural numbers. Imagine a situation in which we would draw from an urn that contains one ball ...
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4answers
118 views

Observing a zero probability event

I am not a philosopher. Just curious. From a philosophical point of view, if one observes an event with zero probability, does this immediately lead to a contradiction? For example, if you have a ...
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3answers
52 views

Probabilty of a coin head on nth toss after a few coind head tosses? [closed]

Suppose, you have been flipping a fair coin and got coin head 5 times in a row. Now, what is the probability of getting 6th? On the one hand, it is said that probability is 1/2. On the other hand, ...
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Questioning determinism (example)

Questioning the world's deterministic behaviour, I shall present an example which seems to defy any certainty about the recurrence of events and is (obviously) a result of faulty logic, but I would ...
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1answer
63 views

Please explain Good's solution to why we should make new observations

IJ Good's paper (1967) gives a solution to Ayer's problem on why we should make new observations. I'm trying to follow the steps in his solution. His assumptions are that: There are r mutually ...
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1answer
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Is the criterium of admissibility a valid requirement for probability interpretations?

One argument that is often raised against hypothetical frequentism, as e.g. developed by Reichenbach or Von Mises is that limiting relative frequencies can violate the axiom of countable additivity (...
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A paradox: Being ethical in a chaotic world

I want to be an ethical person, in the sense that I want to do what's best for the humanity. There might be ethical laws that if everybody stick to, the world would be a better place. But I'm a very ...
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3answers
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Is it a problem for Frequentism that infinite sequences do not exist?

Hypothetical frequentists defined probability as limiting long run frequencies of hypothetical random infinite sequences, such as an infinite sequence of coin tosses. One argument against this ...
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1answer
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Does the propensity interpretation of probability rely on the principle of indifference?

According to the late Popper, among others, probability is the propensity of a set of conditions to produce certain long run relative frequencies. Therefore if we say that a certain set of conditions ...
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1answer
52 views

Frequentist notion of probability

The or rather one of the Frequentist interpretations of probability claims that the statement "The next coin toss )that is executed under conditions X) has a probability of 90% to land heads" simply ...
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1answer
80 views

In a Many Worlds scenario, where everything is possible, what is the point of choice?

If the Many Worlds theory (an infinite number of alternate realities where any and all possibilities are realized) is real, and we were able to travel to alternate realities where we could see how ...
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1answer
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Is the “measurement problem” really about Quantum Mechanics?

Philosophers (Popper in particular) have long debated the interpretation of probability as applied to the world. Their concerns echo those of physics (frequency, preparation, ensembles, ). It would ...
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3answers
96 views

Being transcendental and contingency of constants of nature

Given an arbitrarily chosen constant of nature (say, the speed of light c), we can confidently say that the fact that it is equal to 299 792 458 meters per second is a contingent fact about our ...
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2answers
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Updating Credences in the case of prolonged lack of evidence that confirms the belief

Let's assume that there is a proposition P, and we have started updating our credence about it at time t0 until some time t100. Our final credence for P ended up being .7 (at t100) . But let's say ...
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1answer
67 views

Probabilistic(random) within a bound deterministic region?

I had a discussion with a professor, who came with this thought: When you randomly sample from a Normal distribution of fixed mean and variance, how can you claim that the sample is random when ...
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3answers
263 views

Is it certain that aliens exist in an infinite universe?

Suppose we have an urn that contains infinitely many balls with different colours. Black balls are very common, and white ones uncommon. We do not know exactly how uncommon white balls are. However, ...
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Is there a term for the position “no determinism but no free will”?

Often when free will is discussed, there are three main positions espoused: Libertarian: The universe is not deterministic and there is free will Hard-determinism: The universe is deterministic and ...
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Is getting 100 Heads in a row from a fair coin a miracle or not?

Suppose a man continues to toss coin until he gets 100 heads in a row. Suppose the outcomes of all tosses 9999901th toss to 10 millionth toss are all heads and 100 heads in a row didn't happen before ...
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Are more parsimonious theories harder to falsify?

Occam's razor states that, everything else being equal, the theory with the least number of assumptions is more likely to be true. This has been formalized as Solomonoff's theory of inductive ...
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5answers
202 views

Are there probability distributions that are analytically derived?

Consider the simplest example, flipping a coin. Is the relationship between the symmetry of the coin and the 50-50 probability synthetic or analytic?
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Is this a valid argument (using probability and uncertainties)?

If A, then B (probability of 0.6 that this is true) If B, then C (probability of 0.6 that this is true) A, Therefore C. I'm not sure whether C is probably true if A is true, or if the probability ...
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At what degree of certainty are we incredulous? [closed]

At what degree of certainty are we incredulous? I'm asking because I'm not incredulous about something I recognize I cannot prove, and want to put a degree of certainty on it.
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240 views

How do we account under natural law for humans' ability to produce arbitrarily-improbable results?

I'm testing the assertion that human beings (leaving out other life forms for simplicity) can and do cause effects, that is, changes in the physical world, which a) have arbitrarily-low probability ...
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2answers
183 views

What defines “lack of evidence” and is it irrational to believe in something without evidence?

It is commonly accepted that the lack of evidence for a particular proposition makes belief in said proposition irrational. However, imagine the following proposition, P: An object exists for ...
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Have I found a paradox, or is the universe digital? Or am I just plain wrong? [closed]

If the universe is analog, there must exist an infinite number of positions. This raises an interesting question. Let me boil it down to something familiar: a table and an ashtray. I'll let the ...
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5answers
195 views

Can there only be one success in an infinite amount of trials?

The premise is basically that there is an infinite amount of trials and a trial could either be a success or a failure. In this trial set, is it actually possible for there to be one and only one ...
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0answers
117 views

How do you have to rate the probability of an existential claim?

If the prior probability of every universal hypothesis is zero how would you have to rate the probability of the statement that unicorns (at least one) exist? Probability of an event = number of ...
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370 views

Does Probability come before Scientific Method?

I am interested in the following epistemological problem. Usually, Probability is seen as a mathematical theory that we use to describe the physical world. Precisely, following the Scientific Method ...
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107 views

Is 'interpretation' in quantum mechanics the same as 'interpretation' in probability? [closed]

I heard all 'interpretations' of quantum mechanics give exactly the same answer to every measurement so they are all equally correct. Is that the same 'interpretations' as in probability? Context: ...
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5answers
327 views

How do you prove probability? [closed]

I have this thought that has bugged me for a couple of days and could not find any answers on the internet. I thought this would be the best place to consult. How does one go about proving ...
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2answers
243 views

What is the name of this logical fallacy involving probabilities of two unrelated events?

I've often heard that you have better chances of winning the lottery than you do where X is some unhappy event. Occasionally, I hear people who have actually experienced X say they should buy a ...
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2answers
264 views

Philosophical implications of central limit theorem (CLT)

Central limit theorem (CLT) establishes that, for the most commonly studied scenarios, when independent random variables are added, their sum tends toward a normal distribution (commonly known as ...
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Time dynamics of probability (from a game theoretic point of view)

Many commenters on this question about a property of a random 2x2 matrix seem to assume that there is no such thing as a random 2x2 matrix. We are talking here about a matrix with integer or rational ...
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Is it a fallacy to argue that if something is much much more likely to occur then it is in fact the case?

Is it OK to argue that what is hugely more likely to occur is in fact the case? There seems to be a class of paradox that relies on the idea that what we think is the case is in fact much much less ...
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Emergent Complexity In Probability Distributions

I originally posted this in Physics SE but was told it's more appropriate here... In quantum mechanics we describe waves of probability or probability distributions. Does this have to or should it be ...
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1answer
79 views

Possibility of an event leads to a finite probability of the event occurring [closed]

If there is evidence of the possibility that an event will occur, is there a finite probability that the event will occur?
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2answers
425 views

Is it possible to know anything?

I am very sure this apple in front of me exists. I could be hallucinating however, so lets say: I am 98% certain the apple exists. I am confident that (1) is a fair assessment, but I can't really be ...
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3answers
628 views

Is there a middle ground between determinism and libertarianism?

Is it possible that we live in a universe where some things are truly deterministic and other truly random and the difference between those two things is how their particles are arranged? For example,...
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198 views

Do premises in modus tollendo tollens arguments require greater certainty than others?

In a standard syllogism, the two premises of the argument are independent of each other, so all extrinsic warrant being equal, the argument will prove the conclusion to be probable if and only if... ...
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1answer
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Is there a name for the following gambling fallacy?

I'm writing a paper on the game of blackjack and I'm trying to make a point about how a common player's attitude is a logical/statistical fallacy in the following situation: When any common person ...
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1answer
128 views

Probability and logic

Is probability theory (using Kolmogorov's axioms) an extension of the propositional calculus, or an extension of first order logic?
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2answers
110 views

Why is probability used to make decisions?

If I am offered two bets to choose one from, and either wins $100 or losses $100, I would want to know the chances of winning in order to decide which one to pick. For example, if one bet has a 90% ...
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Hilbert's Sixth Problem: Is Kolmogorov's solution the last word?

The demand for axiomatization of probability was put forward by Hilbert at the very beginning of the past century: it was the sixth problem in his famous twenty three problems he deemed of high ...
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How does Bernoulli's theorem make an inference from chance to frequencies and not vice versa?

I am currently working on an assignment of mine about Frequentism and Bayesianism. In my studies I've found this source: http://statweb.stanford.edu/~cgates/PERSI/Courses/Phil166-266//IV-Frequency2013....