An Objectivist’s Guide to Objective Chance

Publication Year:
2017
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13166
Author(s):
McCoy, C.D.
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preprint description
Several philosophers have developed accounts to dissolve the apparent conflict between deterministic laws of nature and objective chances. These philosophers advocate the compatibility of determinism and chance. I argue that determinism and chance are incompatible and criticize the various notions of “deterministic chance” supplied by the compatibilists. Many of the compatibilists are strongly motivated by scientific theories where objective probabilities are combined with deterministic laws, the most salient of which is classical statistical mechanics. I show that, properly interpreted, statistical mechanics is either an indeterministic theory or else its probabilities are not chances, just as incompatibilism demands