An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability

Publication Year:
Usage 535
Downloads 535
Repository URL:
North, Jill
preprint description
We often rely on symmetries to infer outcomes’ probabilities, as when we infer that each side of a fair coin is equally likely to come up on a given toss. Why are these inferences successful? I argue against answering this question with an a priori indifference principle. Reasons to reject such a principle are familiar, yet instructive. They point to a new, empirical explanation for the success of our probabilistic predictions. This has implications for indifference reasoning generally. I argue that a priori symmetries need never constrain our probability attributions, even for initial credences.