UNSPECIFIED. (1991) SINGLE-CASE PROBABILITIES. FOUNDATIONS OF PHYSICS, 21 (12). pp. 1501-1516. ISSN 0015-9018Full text not available from this repository.
The propensity interpretation of probability, bred by Popper in 1957 (K. R. Popper, in Observation and Interpretation in the Philosophy of Physics, S. Korner, ed. (Butterworth, London, 1957, and Dover, New York, 1962), p. 65; reprinted in Popper Selections, D. W. Miller, ed. (Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1985), p. 199) from pure frequency stock, is the only extant objectivist account that provides any proper understanding of single-case probabilities as well as of probabilities in ensembles and in the long run. In Sec. 1 of this paper I recall salient points of the frequency interpretations of von Mises and of Popper himself, and in Sec. 2 I filter out from Popper's numerous expositions of the propensity interpretation its most interesting and fertile strain. I then go on to assess it. First I defend it, in Sec. 3, against recent criticisms (P. Humphreys, Philos. Rev. 94, 557 (1985); P. Milne, Erkenntnis 25, 129 (1986)) to the effect that conditional [or relative] probabilities, unlike absolute probabilities, can only rarely be made sense of as propensities. I then challenge its predominance, in Sec. 4, by outlining a rival theory: an irreproachably objectivist theory of probability, fully applicable to the single case, that interprets physical probabilities as instantaneous frequencies.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QC Physics|
|Journal or Publication Title:||FOUNDATIONS OF PHYSICS|
|Publisher:||PLENUM PUBL CORP|
|Official Date:||December 1991|
|Number of Pages:||16|
|Page Range:||pp. 1501-1516|
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