Finite frequentism in a big world

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Tosh, Nick
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The view that chances are relative frequencies of occurrence within actual, finite reference classes has long been written off. I argue that it ought to be reconsidered. Focussing on non-deterministic chance, I defend a version of finite frequentism in which reference classmates are required to have qualitatively identical pasts. While my analysis can evade or resist several standard objections, it has a counterintuitive consequence: non-trivial chances entail the existence of light cones that are perfect intrinsic duplicates. In mitigation, I argue that our scientific knowledge is consistent with the hypothesis that there are many such duplicates in the actual world. Moreover, my analysis has some striking advantages: it is simple, it is metaphysically undemanding, and it makes possible a satisfying explanation of the chance–credence connection.