Deterministic chance

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):51–80 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I argue that there are non-trivial objective chances (that is, objective chances other than 0 and 1) even in deterministic worlds. The argument is straightforward. I observe that there are probabilistic special scientific laws even in deterministic worlds. These laws project non-trivial probabilities for the events that they concern. And these probabilities play the chance role and so should be regarded as chances as opposed, for example, to epistemic probabilities or credences. The supposition of non-trivial deterministic chances might seem to land us in contradiction. The fundamental laws of deterministic worlds project trivial probabilities for the very same events that are assigned non-trivial probabilities by the special scientific laws. I argue that any appearance of tension is dissolved by recognition of the level-relativity of chances. There is therefore no obstacle to accepting non-trivial chance-role-playing deterministic probabilities as genuine chances

Author's Profile

Luke Fenton-Glynn
University College London


Added to PP

1,111 (#6,157)

6 months
30 (#47,898)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?