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Remote possibilities in branching time structures

Wenmackers, Sylvia (2024) Remote possibilities in branching time structures. [Preprint]


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To analyse contingent propositions, this paper investigates how branching time structures can be combined with probability theory. In particular, it considers assigning infinitesimal probabilities — available in non-Archimedean probability theory — to individual histories. This allows us to introduce the concept of ‘remote possibility’ as a new modal notion between ‘impossibility’ and ‘appreciable possibility’. The proposal is illustrated by applying it to a future contingent and a historical counterfactual concerning an infinite sequence of coin tosses. The latter is a toy model that is used to illustrate the applicability of the proposal to more realistic physical models.

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Item Type: Preprint
Wenmackers, Sylviasylvia.wenmackers@kuleuven.be0000-0002-1041-3533
Additional Information: This version has been accepted for publication in Synthese in May 2024.
Keywords: future contingents; historical counterfactuals; infinitesimals; modality; probability theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Prof. dr. Sylvia Wenmackers
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2024 03:05
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:05
Item ID: 23504
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 31 May 2024

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