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New research avenues for probability in science

The role of probability in the empirical sciences is receiving more and more attention. An EU initiative explored the philosophy of science, logic and the foundations of probability and statistics.
New research avenues for probability in science
Research on objective probability – a more accurate way to determine probabilities than observations based on subjective measures or evaluations – is picking up steam. With wide-reaching effects and potential applications, researchers, statisticians and scientists are increasingly studying the foundations and functions of probability within philosophy of science and the logic and probability of conditionals. They are also employing related concepts of propensity.

By focusing on objective probability, the EU-funded PROBPROPCOND (Probabilities, propensities, and conditionals: Implications for logic and empirical science) project aimed to develop a framework to map the conceptual and empirical connections between probabilities, propensities and conditionals.

PROBPROPCOND looked into Humphreys' Paradox, which challenges the propensity interpretation of probability and argues against propensity analyses of probability. It investigated why propensities cannot be probabilities and attempted to come up with a solution.

Other key work concerned the development of an account of propensities in statistical modelling. Researchers developed a novel research line that defends a three-tier account of probabilistic modelling.

The PROBPROPCOND team examined Adams' Thesis (the claim that the assertibility of an indicative conditional equals the corresponding conditional probability). However, no conclusive evidence was found that could potentially help in formulating new propensity concepts.

Project partners also performed an extensive literature review on chance in metaphysics, namely David Lewis' Principal Principle that links subjective degree of belief to objective chance. Results showed that propensities can be defined with respect to conditionals.

PROBPROPCOND shed light on several current issues in logic and the philosophy of logic, probability and statistics, and in the conceptual foundations of the empirical sciences.

Related information


Logic, objective probability, conditionals, PROBPROPCOND, propensities
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