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Imprecise Chance and the Best System Analysis

Fenton - Glynn, L; (2019) Imprecise Chance and the Best System Analysis. Philosophers' Imprint , 19 (23) pp. 1-44. Green open access

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Abstract

Much recent philosophical attention has been devoted to the prospects of the Best System Analysis (BSA) of chance for yielding high-level chances, including statistical mechanical and special science chances. But a foundational worry about the BSA lurks: there don’t appear to be uniquely correct measures of the degree to which a system exhibits theoretical virtues, such as simplicity, strength, and fit. Nor does there appear to be a uniquely correct exchange rate at which the theoretical virtues trade off against one another in the determination of an overall best system. I argue that there’s no robustly best system for our world – no system that comes out best under every reasonable measure of the theoretical virtues and exchange rate between them – but rather a set of ‘tied-for-best’ systems: a set of very good systems, none of which is robustly best. Among the tied-for-best systems are systems that entail differing high-level probabilities. I argue that the advocate of the BSA should conclude that the high-level chances for our world are imprecise.

Type: Article
Title: Imprecise Chance and the Best System Analysis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.3521354.0019.023
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019, Philosophers’ Imprint. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License (www.philosophersimprint.org/019023/).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078143
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