lecture24 - Lecture 24 Probability Patrick Maher Philosophy...

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Lecture 24 Probability Patrick Maher Philosophy 102 Spring 2009
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Kinds of probability Example You know that a coin is either two-headed or two-tailed but you have no information about which it is. The coin is about to be tossed. What is the probability that it will land heads? There are two natural answers: 1/2 Either 0 or 1 but I don’t know which. Terminology Inductive probability: The meaning of “probability” in which “1/2” is the natural answer. Physical probability: The meaning of “probability” in which “0 or 1” is the natural answer.
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Properties of inductive probability 1 An inductive probability is a probability of some proposition (called the hypothesis ) given some proposition (called the evidence ). Example: Hypothesis = the coin lands heads on this toss; evidence = the coin is either two-headed or two-tailed and is about to be tossed. 2 In ordinary language the evidence often isn’t stated. Then it is usually the evidence possessed by the speaker or the scientific community. Example: “Humans probably evolved in Africa” means “the inductive probability that humans evolved in Africa, given the evidence now available, is high.” 3 Many inductive probabilities don’t have numeric values.
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Properties of physical probability 1 An experiment here means an action or event such as tossing a coin, weighing an object, etc. 2
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2009 for the course PHIL 102 taught by Professor Weinberg during the Spring '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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lecture24 - Lecture 24 Probability Patrick Maher Philosophy...

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