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Type: Book chapter
Title: Probability and randomness
Author: Eagle, A.
Citation: The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy, 2016 / Hájek, A., Hitchcock, C. (ed./s), Ch.21, pp.440-459
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publisher Place: Oxford
Issue Date: 2016
ISBN: 0199607613
Editor: Hájek, A.
Hitchcock, C.
Statement of
Antony Eagle
Abstract: Early work on the frequency theory of probability made extensive use of the notion of randomness, conceived of as a property possessed by disorderly collections of outcomes. Growing out of this work, a rich mathematical literature on algorithmic randomness and Kolmogorov complexity developed through the twentieth century, but largely lost contact with the philosophical literature on physical probability. The present chapter begins with a clarification of the notions of randomness and probability, conceiving of the former as a property of a sequence of outcomes, and the latter as a property of the process generating those outcomes. A discussion follows of the nature and limits of the relationship between the two notions, with largely negative verdicts on the prospects for any reduction of one to the other, although the existence of an apparently random sequence of outcomes is good evidence for the involvement of a genuinely chancy process.
Keywords: Algorithmic randomness; Kolmogorov complexity; random sequence; probability; chance process; frequentism; reduction
Rights: Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199607617.013.22
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Philosophy publications

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