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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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Is the Past a Matter of Chance?

Is the Past a Matter of Chance?

(p.126) 7 Is the Past a Matter of Chance?
Chance and Temporal Asymmetry

Antony Eagle

Oxford University Press

This chapter is a defence of the thesis that at every time t, the only outcomes which are a matter of chance (i.e. have non-trivial chances, strictly between zero and one), are future outcomes: those which occur later than t. Two arguments are offered; one from the expert role of chance, the other from the pragmatics of ability ascriptions and their connection with chances. Responses are also made to some objections.

Keywords:   chance, time, epistemic deference, ability, statistical mechanics

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