The Only Probability is Verbal Probability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In 1977 van Fraassen showed convincingly, and in detail, how one can
give a dissentive answer to the question “[a]re there necessities in nature?”. In
this paper, I follow his lead and show in a similar fashion and detail, how it is 5
possible to give a dissentive answer to: Are there probabilities in nature? This is
achieved by giving a partial analysis – with the aid of Kaplanian pragmatics – of
objective chance in terms of that credence that is reasonable where prevailing
laws and conditions exhaust one’s evidence. This template belongs firmly within
the established Bayesian program of analysing objective chance as ultimate 10
belief. Its contribution to that program is the same as van Fraassen’s contribution
to the empiricist program of analysing physical necessity; namely, it demonstrates the logical possibility of such an analysis.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy


  • objective probability, physical necessity, van Fraassen, empiricism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-84
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch