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An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability

North, Jill (2010) An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    We often rely on symmetries to infer outcomes’ probabilities, as when we infer that each side of a fair coin is equally likely to come up on a given toss. Why are these inferences successful? I argue against answering this question with an a priori indifference principle. Reasons to reject such a principle are familiar, yet instructive. They point to a new, empirical explanation for the success of our probabilistic predictions. This has implications for indifference reasoning generally. I argue that a priori symmetries need never constrain our probability attributions, even for initial credences.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Probability; symmetry; indifference.
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Depositing User: Jill North
    Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2010
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:19
    Item ID: 5192
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/5192

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