# Questions tagged [probability]

The tag has no usage guidance.

297 questions
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
107 views

### How do I justify unknown probabilities?

The probability of a dice landing on 6 5 times is 1/6^5. The probability of finding a rock that is shaped exactly like me purely by nature is unknown. Yet I know for a fact that the latter should be ...
353 views

### At what point should we suspect unfair game?

In probability theory, there are two primary approaches to interpreting events: the frequentist perspective and the Bayesian perspective. From a frequentist standpoint, each spin of a fair roulette ...
2k views

### What principle protects the objective nature of the prior and the conclusion in Bayes’s theorem?

The Bayesian analysis begins with the "prior": some assumption about the world and the probability that the assumption is true. But the prior seems to be based on nothing. The hypothesis and ...
5k views

### If someone clearly believes that he has witnessed something extraordinary very clearly, why is it more reasonable to believe that they hallucinated?

I'd first like to make the following point: there is definitely a point at which evidence does make it reasonable to believe extraordinary claims. For example, if all of Europe claims to have seen the ...
122 views

### How can we use probabilities non-pragmatically within our finitude?

There is usually the notion the we don't require certainty for knowledge. This usually comes through an assessment of probabilities. This is entailed in induction(which are probabilistic), including ...
79 views

### How do I justify that prior evidence matters?

Suppose we lived in a world where regular interactions with the supernatural was common, so common to the point that it was independently confirmed. Imagine as if we could literally see gods and ...
64 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 ...
31 views

### "Entails" in probability propositions: Why are these claims made by the author true?

I've just began reading "Probability: A Philosophical Introduction" by D.H. Mellor. In chapter 1, section 8, he states: ... the epistemic probability of a proposition conditional on ...
157 views

### Doesn't fallibilism complexify Pascal's wager further?

We can never know whether we have accumulated all the knowledge in the world or not. This is a general statement. For example, a powerful counterargument against the contingency argument might exist ...
1 vote
682 views

### Is an omniscient entity self-refuting?

Consider a thought experiment involving 'something' and three individuals attempting to understand it: one person claims it is a red ball, another asserts it is a simulation, and the third insists it ...
145 views

### 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 ...
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 ...
129 views

### How does determinism or eternal existence affect how “lucky” something is?

Suppose I have a dice with 1 million sides. I then think of a number, say, 700,000. Assume that there is no rigging involved. The dice then lands on 700,000. Let’s assume we live in a world where this ...
1 vote
155 views

### How do you measure the probability of something not known?

The probability of a dice landing on 1 is 1/6. What is the probability of it turning into a butterfly? What is the probability of god existing and him forming the universe? If it makes no sense to ...
219 views

### 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 ...
653 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 ...
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 ...
121 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 ...
516 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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
95 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 ...
139 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 ...
1 vote
159 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 ...
800 views

### How could Occam's razor possibly be used metaphysically?

Occam's razor, or the law of parsimony, states that the simplest explanation for any given data is most likely the correct one. Some have attempted to use Occam's razor in a metaphysical sense, to ...
673 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 ...
155 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....
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 ...
1 vote
81 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 ...
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-...
1 vote
62 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 ...
24k views

### Why don't fair coin tosses add up? Is the 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" has "no memory." At each toss, the ...
147 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 ...
652 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 ...
1 vote
218 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 ...
74 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’ ...
255 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 ...
1 vote
128 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 ...
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(...
76 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, ...
343 views

### Does this Sleeping Beauty problem show conflicting priors?

Let's say that there are three beauties; Michael, Jane, and Jill. They are put to sleep and assigned a random number from {1, 2, 3}. If the coin lands heads then 1 is woken on Monday. If the coin ...
154 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. ...
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 ...
188 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 ...
305 views

### Is the inverse gambler’s fallacy charge against the multiverse accurate?

A common reason for why people came up with the multiverse hypothesis was that they couldn’t fathom that a single universe, if it is all that exists, bears the constants necessary to eventually result ...
2k 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 ...
1 vote
151 views

### How should we evaluate improbable outcomes in a probabilistic system?

Suppose I observe a highly improbable outcome while playing roulette - for example, 50 black results in a row, with a probability of 1/2^50. A mathematician would likely say the probability remains 1/...
11k views

### 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 ...
1 vote
51 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 ...