Chance and Context

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Standard

Chance and Context. / Wilson, Alastair; Handfield , Toby .

Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. ed. / Alastair Wilson. Oxford University Press, 2014. p. 19-44.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Harvard

Wilson, A & Handfield , T 2014, Chance and Context. in A Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press, pp. 19-44. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673421.003.0001

APA

Wilson, A., & Handfield , T. (2014). Chance and Context. In A. Wilson (Ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry (pp. 19-44). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673421.003.0001

Vancouver

Wilson A, Handfield T. Chance and Context. In Wilson A, editor, Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press. 2014. p. 19-44 https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673421.003.0001

Author

Wilson, Alastair ; Handfield , Toby . / Chance and Context. Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. editor / Alastair Wilson. Oxford University Press, 2014. pp. 19-44

Bibtex

@inbook{692e9c2a2b8e4b80ae2cda6bee6bf809,
title = "Chance and Context",
abstract = "The most familiar philosophical conception of objective chance renders determinism incompatible with non-trivial chances. This conception – associated in particular with the work of David Lewis – is not a good fit with our use of the word {\textquoteleft}chance{\textquoteright} and its cognates in ordinary discourse. In this paper we show how a generalized framework for chance can reconcile determinism with non-trivial chances, and provide for a more charitable interpretation of ordinary chance-talk. According to our proposal, variation in an admissible {\textquoteleft}evidence base{\textquoteright} generates a spectrum of different chance functions. Successive coarse-grainings of the evidence base generates a partial ordering of chance functions, with finer trumping coarser if known. We suggest that chance-attributions in ordinary discourse express different chance functions in different contexts, and we sketch a potential contextual mechanism for making particular chance functions salient. The mechanism involves the idea that admissible evidence is available evidence: propositions that could be known. A consequence is that attributions of objective chances inherit the relatively familiar context-sensitivity associated with the modal {\textquoteleft}could{\textquoteright}. We show how this context-dependency undermines certain arguments for the incompatibility of chance with determinism.",
author = "Alastair Wilson and Toby Handfield",
year = "2014",
month = sep,
day = "4",
doi = "10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673421.003.0001",
language = "English",
isbn = "9780199673421",
pages = "19--44",
editor = "Alastair Wilson",
booktitle = "Chance and Temporal Asymmetry",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

RIS

TY - CHAP

T1 - Chance and Context

AU - Wilson, Alastair

AU - Handfield , Toby

PY - 2014/9/4

Y1 - 2014/9/4

N2 - The most familiar philosophical conception of objective chance renders determinism incompatible with non-trivial chances. This conception – associated in particular with the work of David Lewis – is not a good fit with our use of the word ‘chance’ and its cognates in ordinary discourse. In this paper we show how a generalized framework for chance can reconcile determinism with non-trivial chances, and provide for a more charitable interpretation of ordinary chance-talk. According to our proposal, variation in an admissible ‘evidence base’ generates a spectrum of different chance functions. Successive coarse-grainings of the evidence base generates a partial ordering of chance functions, with finer trumping coarser if known. We suggest that chance-attributions in ordinary discourse express different chance functions in different contexts, and we sketch a potential contextual mechanism for making particular chance functions salient. The mechanism involves the idea that admissible evidence is available evidence: propositions that could be known. A consequence is that attributions of objective chances inherit the relatively familiar context-sensitivity associated with the modal ‘could’. We show how this context-dependency undermines certain arguments for the incompatibility of chance with determinism.

AB - The most familiar philosophical conception of objective chance renders determinism incompatible with non-trivial chances. This conception – associated in particular with the work of David Lewis – is not a good fit with our use of the word ‘chance’ and its cognates in ordinary discourse. In this paper we show how a generalized framework for chance can reconcile determinism with non-trivial chances, and provide for a more charitable interpretation of ordinary chance-talk. According to our proposal, variation in an admissible ‘evidence base’ generates a spectrum of different chance functions. Successive coarse-grainings of the evidence base generates a partial ordering of chance functions, with finer trumping coarser if known. We suggest that chance-attributions in ordinary discourse express different chance functions in different contexts, and we sketch a potential contextual mechanism for making particular chance functions salient. The mechanism involves the idea that admissible evidence is available evidence: propositions that could be known. A consequence is that attributions of objective chances inherit the relatively familiar context-sensitivity associated with the modal ‘could’. We show how this context-dependency undermines certain arguments for the incompatibility of chance with determinism.

U2 - 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673421.003.0001

DO - 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673421.003.0001

M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

SN - 9780199673421

SP - 19

EP - 44

BT - Chance and Temporal Asymmetry

A2 - Wilson, Alastair

PB - Oxford University Press

ER -