Justifying Lewis’s kinematics of chance

Patryk Dziurosz-Serafinowicz


In his ‘A Subjectivist’s Guide to Objective Chance’, Lewis argued that a particular kinematical model for chances (physical probabilities) follows from his principal principle. According to this model, any later chance function is equal to an earlier chance function conditional on the complete intervening history of non-modal facts. This article first investigates the conditions that any kinematical model for chance needs to satisfy to count as Lewis’s kinematics of chance. Second, it presents Lewis’s justification for his kinematics of chance and explains why it is bound to be problematic. Third, it gives an alternative justification for Lewis’s kinematics of chance that does not appeal to the principal principle. Instead, this justification appeals to a well-supported requirement for chance, according to which any prior chance function must be a convex combination of the possible posterior chance functions. It is shown that under a plausible assumption, Lewis’s kinematics of chance is equivalent to this requirement. Finally, by focusing on this requirement, it is explained why the so-called self-undermining chances fail to obey Lewis’s kinematics of chance.
Publication typeIn press (online first, early view)
Author Patryk Dziurosz-Serafinowicz (FSS / IPSJ / DLPSE)
Patryk Dziurosz-Serafinowicz,,
- Division of Logic, Philosophy of Science and Epistemology
Journal seriesBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, e-ISSN 1464-3537, (N/A 200 pkt)
Issue year2019
Noonline first
Publication size in sheets1.3
ASJC Classification1202 History; 1207 History and Philosophy of Science; 1211 Philosophy
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)200
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 200.0, 28-01-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.791; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 1.768 (2) - 2018=1.934 (5)
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