Time and Chance Propensities

Carl Hoefer

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2 Citations (Scopus)


© The several contributors 2011. All rights reserved. Advocates of the propensity interpretation conceive of probabilities as dispositions or tendencies inherent in certain physical situations that cause a particular pattern of outcomes. This chapter argues that the propensity interpretation of probabilities is implicitly connected to the assumption of an unreal future. Thinking that an unreal future is untenable in light of relativity theory, it argues that the intuitive "boost " propensities get by this connection is illegitimate. Once sanitized of the connection, the chapter claims that propensities lose much of their appeal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time
EditorsCraig Callender
Place of PublicationOxford (GB)
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2011

Publication series

NameOxford handbooks


  • Probability
  • Propensity interpretation
  • Relativity theory
  • Unreal future


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