Autonomous Chances and the Conflicts Problem

In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Asymmetries in Chance and Time. Oxford University Press. pp. 45-67 (2014)
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Abstract
In recent work, Callender and Cohen (2009) and Hoefer (2007) have proposed variants of the account of chance proposed by Lewis (1994). One of the ways in which these accounts diverge from Lewis’s is that they allow special sciences and the macroscopic realm to have chances that are autonomous from those of physics and the microscopic realm. A worry for these proposals is that autonomous chances may place incompatible constraints on rational belief. I examine this worry, and attempt to determine (i) what kinds of conflicts would be problematic, and (ii) whether these proposals lead to problematic conflicts. After working through a pair of cases, I conclude that these proposals do give rise to problematic conflicts.
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First archival date: 2013-05-13
Latest version: 3 (2014-06-03)
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