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Workshop on Deterministic Chance

Emergent Chance

Christian List (joint work with Marcus Pivato)

We offer a new argument for the claim that there can be non-degenerate objective chance ("true randomness") 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.

Chance in Explanation

Aidan Lyon

I will identify three distinct roles that "chance" plays in scientific explanations. These roles often go unappreciated by philosophers, and that is a problem because they correspond to three concepts of "chance". I will show that once we distinguish these three concepts, some philosophical disputes involving "chance" become trivial. The currently popular debate over so-called "deterministic chance" is a case in point.

Time table

15:00 Christian List "Emergent Chance"
16:00 Aidan Lyon "Chance in Explanation"
17:00 Discussion
17:30 Drinks and dinner

There are five-minute breaks between all items.

Time & place

January 22nd from 15:00 to 18:00
University of Groningen, Faculty of Philosophy, Oude Boteringestraat 52, room Omega

The Departement of Theoretical Philosophy of the University of Groningen.

This workshop is organized as part of a research project led by Prof Jan-Willem Romeijn

Last modified:05 December 2017 2.59 p.m.