Objective Probability, and Conditional Reasoning Seminar: Paul Humphreys on Propensities and Statistical Models, 21 Oct

Monday 20 October 2014


Tuesday 21 October 2014, 17:15-19:00
Objective Probability, and Conditional Reasoning Seminar: Room 243, Senate House, WC1
Propensities and Statistical Models
Paul Humphreys (Virginia)

Most attempts to provide a propensity interpretation for probability theory have given interpretations directly to the theory itself. I shall argue that this is a poor strategy. Contemporary probability theory, holists notwithstanding, is a purely mathematical theory connected via statistical models to data and the systems that generate them. Propensities, or more accurately the natural structures and processes giving rise to propensities, concern these models rather than probability theory itself.  Details of how to map aspects of propensities on to the assumptions generating the statistical models will be provided. Finally, I shall address how this approach relates to some recent literature on why propensities cannot be probabilities.

Full Series 2014/15: http://philosophy.sas.ac.uk/about/probabilities-propensities-and-conditionals-seminar-2014-15

Admission Free. All welcome.