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Questions tagged [probability]

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What is the relation between the propensity interpretation of probability and probability in physics?

I would like to know what physicists think about the propensity viewpoint.If this latter one is in line with physics and especially Quantum Mechanics. Otherwise, what is the most coherent ...
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1answer
136 views

Finding desirabilities and probabilities in Jeffrey's Logic of Decision

I'm trying to solve problem 16 (Ch. 5) of Jeffrey's Logic of Decision. The problem says: Suppose that A and B are pairwise incompatible propositions, and suppose that the preference ranking is as ...
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Can we infer the rarity of sapience in the universe by looking at the rarity of the universe itself?

This is similar to the anthropic principle, where we can make certain claims by looking at the conclusion: our existence. We can see that our universe is huge and therefore rare. A smaller universe ...
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1answer
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What's the difference between XY=F and XY=0 in Jeffrey's Logic of Decision?

I'm stuck solving problem 14 in Chapter 5 of Jeffrey's Logic of Decision. The first part of the problem says: Show that in presence of prob is nonnegative (prob X≥0) and prob is normalized (T=1)...
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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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1answer
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If our world is mathematical، Does not this increase the probability of being complex as well?

Tegmark's mathematical universe hypothesis, posits that reality is a mathematical structure. This mathematical nature of the universe, Tegmark argues, has important consequences for the way ...
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509 views

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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0answers
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Would Popper have argued that a coin toss is indeterministic?

I know that Popper was an adovcate of the propensity theory of probability, i.e. probabilities are understood as properties of sets of generating conditions. Furthermore I (think) I have read that ...
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0answers
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Philosophical way to look at classical interpretation of probability

I was thinking about the classical interpretation of probability. They make the assumption that determinism obtains in the natural world. Hence, probability is epistemic. Can I see that as a form of ...
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1answer
141 views

Is there a name for the fallacy: 1/100 chance == 100 times guaranteed success?

Let's say someone is playing a computer game in which the chance for some item to drop is 1 out of 100 each time he kills a monster. The player concludes that if he kills 100 monsters then it is ...
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2answers
115 views

Question about the “catch-all” hypothesis as a response to the “bad lot” objection

In response to van Fraassen's "bad lot" objection, I have seen in multiple papers (and in the response of Lipton, from what I remember) refer to the idea of the use of a 'catch-all' hypothesis which ...
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2answers
465 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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2answers
65 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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1answer
144 views

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
104 views

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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2answers
88 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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0answers
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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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2answers
207 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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4answers
200 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
123 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
57 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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5answers
185 views

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
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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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5answers
208 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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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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2answers
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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
60 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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21answers
18k views

Why don't fair coin tosses “add up”? Or… is “gambler's fallacy” really valid?

I have always been perplexed by a seeming paradox in probability that I'm sure has some simple, well-known explanation. We say that a "fair coin" or whatever has "no memory." At each toss the odds ...
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5answers
205 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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1answer
102 views

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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1answer
84 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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Interpret Bayesian probability as frequentist probability?

It is usually said that the Bayesian probability is a subjective concept, quantifying one's degree of belief in something, while the frequentist probability is the the fraction of certain outcomes ...
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3answers
102 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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4answers
375 views

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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1answer
70 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
329 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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4answers
195 views

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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5answers
286 views

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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0answers
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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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2answers
246 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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0answers
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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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2answers
206 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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5answers
4k views

What is the difference between a probability and a possibility?

I ask this in a fairly naive way. I understand that "probabilities" can be quantified in frequencies, degrees of belief, etc. with some defined "space" of probability.But I know little about modal ...
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12answers
21k views

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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6answers
2k views

Can playing lotteries be rational?

Suppose you have to choose between: a. getting 1$ b. getting a ticket of the lottery L(p) which gives you 1'000'000'000$ with probability p and 0 with probability (1-p), with p such that the expected ...
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0answers
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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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2answers
263 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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3answers
440 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 ...