Questions tagged [probability]

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What is 'Ability to Do Otherwise'?

Many times in discussions elsewhere and in answers here, certain distinctions and claims hinge on Ability to Do Otherwise. However, whether those distinctions are meaningful or claims likely or able ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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How likely is the simplest explanation of something the correct one?

When assuming how something is the way it is, you choose the simplest explanation. But what is the chance of this actually being the explanation? For example, say a cucumber randomly appeared on the ...
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Does logic give us a single definitive and universal answer for comparing the odds of unlikely events?

As an amateur who has interest in logic and mathematics I've been reading about the concept of different probability perceptions. I'd like to have your opinions over the subject below. When it comes ...
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Does even fixed probability imply no free will?

If we have 1000000 identical ppl and we tell them to choose left or right, roughly 50% will choose each direction. Same thing if repeated million times. Then are they really free? The only definition ...
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Quantum vs classic dangerous decisions under many-worlds interpretation

Consider the following scenario: You are a military truck driver tasked with delivering supplies. The destination is close to enemy territory. To not be predictable, each truck randomizes the route ...
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Graham Priest's "escape from Hell" puzzle

The gist of the puzzle is that every day, the Devil offers to flip a coin to see if you escape; one loss and you're guaranteed to be stuck forever, but each day the probability of a winning toss ...
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A "combining logic" moment in Kant

In "Ethical Theories and Moral Guidance", Pekka Väyrynen goes over proposals and arguments concerning the knowability of moral claims. Kant's relevant proposal (in the second Critique) is: ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Backwards Bayesian argument for alien visitation?

Let A = the hypothesis that aliens are visiting Earth Let E = evidence that aliens are visiting Earth The posterior probability that aliens are visiting Earth, given some evidence, P(A|E), can be ...
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there any rigorous definition of just one single random choice?

The theory of probability uses random variables, which avoids the need to define what one single random choice means. Yet in everyday conversations about probability, even professional probabilists ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Have the indispensability arguments been examined for probability theory?

Indispensability arguments are widely known in the philosophy of mathematics, the idea being (roughly) that we should commit to the existence of those mathematical entities that are indispensable for ...
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1 vote
3 answers
207 views

What is the philosopher's take on information and thermodynamic entropy?

So there are various interpretations of probability. Frequentism is the likelihood of events of say for example if I roll a dice the likelihood of of getting a 5 is 1/6 if repeated over and over. ...
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12 votes
5 answers
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Is the notion of "Complex System" a philosophy of science? Is it the opposite of Reductionism? Is it related to Holism?

I have tried to come to terms with the notion of "complex systems" of which I heard in one of the lessons at school though without too much depth. I grasp that a complex system is such that ...
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If something is Possible is it therefore Necessary?

Does anybody agree on this: “Given an infinite time Y, every possible event X needs to happen, right?” From a mathematical point of view it seems OK to me, although depending on the idea we have of ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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Books and papers on the philosophy of probability

I am interested in reading books and papers regarding the philosophy of probability. I want to know what the correct philosophical interpretation of probability is, and also other topics regarding ...
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Why does Nick Bostrom's simulation argument use "close to zero" rather than just "zero"?

Edited to make the question clearer Nick Bostrom’s Simulation Argument can effectively be reduced to just two options: Either (1) close to zero civilisations reach a post-human stage and run many ...
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What are lottery propositions?

I've been reading up on the notion of lottery propositions. It seems like there are two notions of knowledge one can subscribe to in relation to probability: either you're skeptical and think you only ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Heisenberg, Copenhagen and probability in QM

My question is about The Copenhagen interpretation of QM. I am confused about what entities this interpretation of QM presupposes. Heisenberg says that quantum states represent the knowledge an ...
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What type of subjective probability is adopted by Quine?

I am wondering what type of subjective probability is adopted by Quine. Is Quine sympathetic towards de Finetti's probability or Bayes'ones?
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Does Aumann's agreement theorem extend to moral propositions?

Aumann's agreement theorem says: two perfectly rational agents with the same prior estimate of an event's probability and common knowledge of one another's posterior estimates cannot come to ...
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3 answers
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Does everything have a infinitesimal amount of uncertainty?

Suppose a soldier has to fight unarmed against 200 opponents. Most people would say that the soldier is certainly dead. However, quantum mechanics dictates that there is always some degree of ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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Does many-worlds rule out trial and error?

Suppose that the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics were true. Would that rule out trial and error as something that actually happens in reality? Let's take biology as a case study. ...
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0 answers
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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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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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0 votes
3 answers
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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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6 votes
5 answers
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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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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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1 answer
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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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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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2 votes
1 answer
134 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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4 answers
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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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1 answer
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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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-1 votes
1 answer
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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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-1 votes
1 answer
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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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0 votes
1 answer
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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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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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0 votes
0 answers
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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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0 votes
1 answer
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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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0 votes
1 answer
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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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-1 votes
2 answers
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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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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0 votes
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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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2 votes
3 answers
268 views

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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-1 votes
1 answer
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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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2 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
177 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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1 answer
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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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5 votes
2 answers
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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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