Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Modalities Fraassen Vs Modalities I 178
Probability Theory: Theorem: if any of a class of mutually exclusive events has a probability >0, then there is only a countable number of them. Problem: then modality comes into play: the probabilities are about what would be the case if...
Virtual Ensemble/Fraassen: of measurements: so we can the class of events in which Pmw(E) is a proportion. This is a polite way to put it. (FraassenVsModalities). That would be a class of things that do not exist, of possible events. ((s)> empty class, empty set).
Problem: we then have the general problem of giving an empirical interpretation.
I 183
ReichenbachVsModality/Fraassen: his approach of strict frequency is precisely an avoidance of modality. Infinite/Fraassen: let’s assume instead the pure case of the actual very long series. (To avoid modality): But how are we to interpret probability then?
Reichenbach: we should only focus on the actual results (of a long series).
I 187
rH /Probability/Venn: Venn already suggested equating them in the 19th century. PeirceVsVenn: although probability statements are about frequencies, they involve modality, a "would be".

Fr I
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980