Emergent Chance

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Philosophical Review, ISSN: 0031-8108, Vol: 124, Issue: 1, Page: 119-152

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List, Christian; Pivato, Marcus
Duke University Press
Arts and Humanities
article description
We offer a new argument for the claim that there can be non-degenerate objective chance in a deterministic world. Using a formal model of the relationship between different levels of description of a system, we show how objective chance at a higher level can coexist with its absence at a lower level. Unlike previous arguments for the level-specificity of chance, our argument shows, in a precise sense, that higher-level chance does not collapse into epistemic probability, despite higher-level properties supervening on lower-level ones. We show that the distinction between objective chance and epistemic probability can be drawn, and operationalized, at every level of description. There is, therefore, not a single distinction between objective and epistemic probability, but a family of such distinctions.