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Objective probability-like things with and without objective indeterminism

E. Szabó, László (2007) Objective probability-like things with and without objective indeterminism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I shall argue that there is no such property of an event as its “probability.” This is why standard interpretations cannot give a sound definition in empirical terms of what “probability” is, and this is why empirical sciences like physics can manage without such a definition. “Probability” is a collective term, the meaning of which varies from context to context: it means different — dimensionless [0,1]-valued — physical quantities characterising the different particular situations. In other words, probability is a reducible concept, supervening on physical quantities characterising the state of affairs corresponding to the event in question. On the other hand, however, these “probability-like” physical quantities correspond to objective features of the physical world, and are objectively related to measurable quantities like relative frequencies of physical events based on finite samples — no matter whether the world is objectively deterministic or indeterministic.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
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E. Szabó, László
Additional Information: Journal reference: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2007) 626
Keywords: probability, interpretation of probability, branching space-time, quantum probability
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
Depositing User: Laszlo E. Szabo
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:16
Item ID: 3956
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3956

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