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No Chances in a Deterministic World

McCoy, C.D. (2019) No Chances in a Deterministic World. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Despite the intuitive conflict between deterministic laws of nature and objective chances, philosophers have attempted to develop accounts which allow for the compatibility of determinism and chance. I offer an explicit argument for why this compatibility is not possible and also criticize the various notions of deterministic chance supplied by the compatibilists. Many of them are strongly motivated by the existence of objective probabilities in scientific theories with deterministic laws, the most salient of which is classical statistical mechanics. I show that there is no interpretational difficulty here: statistical mechanics is either an indeterministic theory or else its probabilities are not chances—just as incompatibilism demands.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
McCoy, C.D.casey.mccoy@philosophy.se.se0000-0002-7921-4911
Keywords: chance, probability, determinism
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Dr. Casey McCoy
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 04:53
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2019 04:53
Item ID: 15793
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 14 January 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15793

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