skip to primary navigationskip to content

chance

D H Mellor The Matter of Chance

Articles by | Books written by | edited by | D. H. Mellor


Cover of The Matter of Chance

The Matter of Chance

D. H. Mellor

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971, pp. xiii+190
ISBN:9780521615983
A free PDF file of the book is available here.


This book develops an account of objective chances as properties of events (e.g. of coin tosses) defined by the degrees of belief (e.g. that the coin will land heads) which embody knowledge of those chances. The chances manifest propensities: dispositional properties of objects (e.g. a coin's bias). The account is applied to theories of radioactive decay and of how human death risk increases with age, and is used to show how knowledge of propensities underlies apparently a priori derivations of classical chance distributions. Finally it shows how propensities entail indeterminism and are consistent with a Humean view of laws of nature.


Preface
Introduction

1 The limits of personalism

2 Measuring partial belief

3 Frequencies and trials

4 Propensity

5 Half lives and the force of mortality

6 Imprecision and inexactness

7 Connectivity and classical propensities

8 Determinism and laws of nature

References
Index


Updated 10 September 2019