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Propensities and pragmatism

Suárez, Mauricio (2013) Propensities and pragmatism. The Journal of Philosophy, 110 (2). pp. 61-92. ISSN 0022-362X

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Abstract (for The Review of Metaphysics): This paper outlines a genuinely pragmatist conception of propensity, and defends it against common objections to the propensity interpretation of probability, prominently Humphreys’ paradox. The paper reviews the paradox and identifies one of its key assumptions, the identity thesis, according to which propensities are probabilities (under a suitable interpretation of Kolmogorov’s axioms). The identity thesis is also involved in empiricist propensity interpretations deriving from Popper’s influential original proposal, and makes such interpretations untenable. As an alternative, I urge a return to Charles Peirce’s original insights on probabilistic dispositions, and offer a reconstructed version of his pragmatist conception, which rejects the identity thesis.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Journal of Philosophy, Inc
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2016 17:24
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 02:18

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