Ontic Probabilities in Physics - Are Humean Chances a Serious Contender?

Beisbart, Claus (17 February 2017). Ontic Probabilities in Physics - Are Humean Chances a Serious Contender? (Unpublished). In: Grandia Natural Philosophy Workshop. Grandia bei Lugano. 17.2.2017.

Some of our best physical theories, notably quantum mechanics and statistical physics,
are probabilistic. A question thus is what the probabilities from the theories mean.
Since the theories provide a very successful account of the world, it is attractive to say
that their probabilities mirror real-world (“ontic”) probabilities independent of human
observers. The aim of this talk is to assess a view of such probabilities that has lately
attracted much attention under the label “Humean chances”.

The talk first clarifies what a philosophical view, or interpretation, of probabilities is
supposed to achieve and lists the most important views of ontic probabilities. I then
explain the Humean account as championed by David Lewis and Barry Loewer, among
others, and discuss it critically in view of applications to physics, in particular to statistical
physics. The main question is whether the account succeeds as a view about ontic
probabilities. The talk is also meant to give an in-depth introduction into important
issues in the metaphysics of probability.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy > Theoretical Philosophy

UniBE Contributor:

Beisbart, Claus

Subjects:

100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 110 Metaphysics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Claus Beisbart

Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2017 10:16

Last Modified:

08 Nov 2017 10:16

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/101590

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