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Chance and Temporal Asymmetry$
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Alastair Wilson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673421

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673421.001.0001

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From Kolmogorov, to Popper, to Rényi

From Kolmogorov, to Popper, to Rényi

There’s No Escaping Humphreys’ Paradox (When Generalized)

Chapter:
(p.112) 6 From Kolmogorov, to Popper, to Rényi
Source:
Chance and Temporal Asymmetry
Author(s):

Aidan Lyon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673421.003.0006

Humphreys’ Paradox (Humphreys 1985) can be solved if propensity theorists (i) adopt Rényi’s 1955 probability axiom system as the correct axiom system for propensities and (ii) maintain that there are no backwards propensities in the world. A similar move can be used to solve Milne’s Problem (Milne 1985)—another common objection to the propensity interpretation. That’s the good news. However, Humphreys’ Paradox and Milne’s Problem are just two special cases of a much more general problem, and this problem causes trouble even for propensity theorists who accept (i) and (ii). That’s the bad news.

Keywords:   propensity interpretation, Humphreys’, paradox, causation, probability, axioms

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