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Reviving frequentism

Hubert, Mario (2021) Reviving frequentism. Synthese . ISSN 0039-7857. (In Press)

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Philosophers now seem to agree that frequentism is an untenable strategy to explain the meaning of probabilities. Nevertheless, I want to revive frequentism, and I will do so by grounding probabilities on typicality in the same way as the thermodynamic arrow of time can be grounded on typicality within statistical mechanics. This account, which I will call typicality frequentism, will evade the major criticisms raised against previous forms of frequentism. In this theory, probabilities arise within a physical theory from statistical behavior of almost all initial conditions. The main advantage of typicality frequentism is that it shows which kinds of probabilities (that also have empirical relevance) can be derived from physics. Although one cannot recover all probability talk in this account, this is rather a virtue than a vice, because it shows which types of probabilities can in fact arise from physics and which types need to be explained in different ways, thereby opening the path for a pluralistic account of probabilities.

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Hubert, Mario0000-0002-1170-6020
Additional Information:© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature 2021. Received: 17 August 2020 / Accepted: 4 January 2021. I wish to thank Frederick Eberhardt, Christopher Hitchcock, and Charles Sebens for their helpful and detailed comments on previous drafts of this paper. I also wish to thank David Albert, Jeffrey Barrett, Detlef Dürr, Sheldon Goldstein, Dustin Lazarovici, Barry Loewer, Tim Maudlin, Isaac Wilhelm, and Nino Zanghì for many invaluable hours of discussions. I also thank the members of the Caltech Philosophy of Physics Reading Group, in particular Joshua Eisentahl and James Woodward. I want to thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments, which significantly improved the paper. Especially one of the anonymous reviewers spent considerable time and effort in the review process; I particularly thank this reviewer.
Subject Keywords:Frequentism; Probability; Typicality; Arrow of time
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210129-135703612
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Official Citation:Hubert, M. Reviving frequentism. Synthese (2021).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107814
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Feb 2021 15:29
Last Modified:01 Feb 2021 15:29

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