Chance and the Continuum Hypothesis

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):639-60 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper presents and defends an argument that the continuum hypothesis is false, based on considerations about objective chance and an old theorem due to Banach and Kuratowski. More specifically, I argue that the probabilistic inductive methods standardly used in science presuppose that every proposition about the outcome of a chancy process has a certain chance between 0 and 1. I also argue in favour of the standard view that chances are countably additive. Since it is possible to randomly pick out a point on a continuum, for instance using a roulette wheel or by flipping a countable infinity of fair coins, it follows, given the axioms of ZFC, that there are many different cardinalities between countable infinity and the cardinality of the continuum.

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Daniel Hoek
Virginia Tech

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