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  1. Randomness? What Randomness?Klaas Landsman - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (2):61-104.
    This is a review of the issue of randomness in quantum mechanics, with special emphasis on its ambiguity; for example, randomness has different antipodal relationships to determinism, computability, and compressibility. Following a philosophical discussion of randomness in general, I argue that deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics are strictly speaking incompatible with the Born rule. I also stress the role of outliers, i.e. measurement outcomes that are not 1-random. Although these occur with low probability, their very existence implies that the no-signaling (...)
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  • What Are the New Implications of Chaos for Unpredictability?Charlotte Werndl - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):195-220.
    From the beginning of chaos research until today, the unpredictability of chaos has been a central theme. It is widely believed and claimed by philosophers, mathematicians and physicists alike that chaos has a new implication for unpredictability, meaning that chaotic systems are unpredictable in a way that other deterministic systems are not. Hence, one might expect that the question ‘What are the new implications of chaos for unpredictability?’ has already been answered in a satisfactory way. However, this is not the (...)
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  • Did God Know It? God’s Relation to a World of Chance and Randomness.Benedikt Paul Göcke - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):233-254.
    A common type of argument against the existence of God is to argue that certain essential features associated with the existence of God are inconsistent with certain other features to be found in the actual world. for an analysis of the different ways to deploy the term “God” in philosophical and theological discourse and for an analysis of the logical form of arguments for and against the existence of God.) A recent example of this type of argument against the existence (...)
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  • The Machine Scenario: A Computational Perspective on Alternative Representations of Indeterminism.Vincent Grandjean & Matteo Pascucci - forthcoming - Minds and Machines:1-16.
    In philosophical logic and metaphysics there is a long-standing debate around the most appropriate structures to represent indeterministic scenarios concerning the future. We reconstruct here such a debate in a computational setting, focusing on the fundamental difference between moment-based and history-based structures. Our presentation is centered around two versions of an indeterministic scenario in which a programmer wants a machine to perform a given task at some point after a specified time. One of the two versions includes an assumption about (...)
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  • Why Be Random?Thomas Icard - forthcoming - Mind:fzz065.
    When does it make sense to act randomly? A persuasive argument from Bayesian decision theory legitimizes randomization essentially only in tie-breaking situations. Rational behaviour in humans, non-human animals, and artificial agents, however, often seems indeterminate, even random. Moreover, rationales for randomized acts have been offered in a number of disciplines, including game theory, experimental design, and machine learning. A common way of accommodating some of these observations is by appeal to a decision-maker’s bounded computational resources. Making this suggestion both precise (...)
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  • On Bertrand's Paradox.Sorin Bangu - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):30-35.
    The Principle of Indifference is a central element of the ‘classical’ conception of probability, but, for all its strong intuitive appeal, it is widely believed that it faces a devastating objection: the so-called (by Poincare´) ‘Bertrand paradoxes’ (in essence, cases in which the same probability question receives different answers). The puzzle has fascinated many since its discovery, and a series of clever solutions (followed promptly by equally clever rebuttals) have been proposed. However, despite the long-standing interest in this problem, an (...)
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  • Probability and Randomness.Antony Eagle - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 440-459.
    Early work on the frequency theory of probability made extensive use of the notion of randomness, conceived of as a property possessed by disorderly collections of outcomes. Growing out of this work, a rich mathematical literature on algorithmic randomness and Kolmogorov complexity developed through the twentieth century, but largely lost contact with the philosophical literature on physical probability. The present chapter begins with a clarification of the notions of randomness and probability, conceiving of the former as a property of a (...)
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  • Chances, Counterfactuals, and Similarity.Robert Williams - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):385-420.
    John Hawthorne in a recent paper takes issue with Lewisian accounts of counterfactuals, when relevant laws of nature are chancy. I respond to his arguments on behalf of the Lewisian, and conclude that while some can be rebutted, the case against the original Lewisian account is strong.I develop a neo-Lewisian account of what makes for closeness of worlds. I argue that my revised version avoids Hawthorne’s challenges. I argue that this is closer to the spirit of Lewis’s first (non-chancy) proposal (...)
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  • The Metaphysical Character of the Criticisms Raised Against the Use of Probability for Dealing with Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence.Carlotta Piscopo & Mauro Birattari - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (2):273-288.
    In artificial intelligence (AI), a number of criticisms were raised against the use of probability for dealing with uncertainty. All these criticisms, except what in this article we call the non-adequacy claim, have been eventually confuted. The non-adequacy claim is an exception because, unlike the other criticisms, it is exquisitely philosophical and, possibly for this reason, it was not discussed in the technical literature. A lack of clarity and understanding of this claim had a major impact on AI. Indeed, mostly (...)
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  • Epistemological Limits to Scientific Prediction: The Problem of Uncertainty.Amanda Guillan - 2014 - Open Journal of Philosophy 4 (4):510-517.
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  • Nonprobabilistic Chance?Seamus Bradley - unknown
    "Chance" crops up all over philosophy, and in many other areas. It is often assumed -- without argument -- that chances are probabilities. I explore the extent to which this assumption is really sanctioned by what we understand by the concept of chance.
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  • Determinism.Charlotte Werndl - 2016 - In Meghan Griffith, Kevin Timpe & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
    This article focuses on three recent discussions on determinism in the philosophy of science. First, determinism and predictability will be discussed. Then, second, the paper turns to the topic of determinism, indeterminism, observational equivalence and randomness. Finally, third, there will be a discussion about deterministic probabilities. The paper will end with a conclusion.
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  • Chances, Counterfactuals, and Similarity.J. Robert G. Williams - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):385-420.
    John Hawthorne in a recent paper takes issue with Lewisian accounts of counterfactuals, when relevant laws of nature are chancy. I respond to his arguments on behalf of the Lewisian, and conclude that while some can be rebutted, the case against the original Lewisian account is strong. I develop a neo-Lewisian account of what makes for closeness of worlds. I argue that my revised version avoids Hawthorne's challenges. I argue that this is closer to the spirit of Lewis's first (non-chancy) (...)
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  • On the Observational Equivalence of Continuous-Time Deterministic and Indeterministic Descriptions.Werndl Charlotte - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):193-225.
    On the observational equivalence of continuous-time deterministic and indeterministic descriptions Content Type Journal Article Pages 193-225 DOI 10.1007/s13194-010-0011-5 Authors Charlotte Werndl, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE UK Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912 Journal Volume Volume 1 Journal Issue Volume 1, Number 2.
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  • Randomness: Off with its Heads.Aleksandar Aksentijevic - 2017 - Mind and Society 16 (1-2):1-15.
    Although widely investigated and used in psychology, the concept of randomness is beset with philosophical and practical difficulties. In this paper, I propose a resolution to a long-standing problem in psychological research by arguing that the inability to comprehend and produce random behavior is not caused by a defect on the part of the observer but is a consequence of conceptual confusion. Randomness describes a state of high complexity which defies analysis and understanding. The well-known biases in predictive behavior are (...)
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  • Initial Conditions as Exogenous Factors in Spatial Explanation.Clint Ballinger - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
    This dissertation shows how initial conditions play a special role in the explanation of contingent and irregular outcomes, including, in the form of geographic context, the special case of uneven development in the social sciences. The dissertation develops a general theory of this role, recognizes its empirical limitations in the social sciences, and considers how it might be applied to the question of uneven development. The primary purpose of the dissertation is to identify and correct theoretical problems in the study (...)
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  • Recognizing Strong Random Reals.Daniel Osherson - 2008 - Review of Symbolic Logic 1 (1):56-63.
    1. Characterizing randomness. Consider a physical process that, if suitably idealized, generates an indefinite sequence of independent random bits. One such process might be radioactive decay of a lump of uranium whose mass is kept at just the level needed to ensure that the probability is one-half that no alpha particle is emitted in the nth microsecond of the experiment. Let us think of the bits as drawn from {0, 1} and denote the resulting sequence by x with coordinates x0, (...)
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  • Causation, Randomness, and Pseudo-Randomness in John Venn's Logic of Chance.Byron E. Wall - 2005 - History and Philosophy of Logic 26 (4):299-319.
    In 1866, the young John Venn published The Logic of Chance, motivated largely by the desire to correct what he saw as deep fallacies in the reasoning of historical determinists such as Henry Buckle and in the optimistic heralding of a true social science by Adolphe Quetelet. Venn accepted the inevitable determinism implied by the physical sciences, but denied that the stable social statistics cited by Buckle and Quetelet implied a similar determinism in human actions. Venn maintained that probability statements (...)
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  • Chance Versus Randomness.Antony Eagle - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article explores the connection between objective chance and the randomness of a sequence of outcomes. Discussion is focussed around the claim that something happens by chance iff it is random. This claim is subject to many objections. Attempts to save it by providing alternative theories of chance and randomness, involving indeterminism, unpredictability, and reductionism about chance, are canvassed. The article is largely expository, with particular attention being paid to the details of algorithmic randomness, a topic relatively unfamiliar to philosophers.
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