- The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy
- List of Contributors
- Introduction
- Probability for Everyone—Even Philosophers
- Pre-history of Probability
- Probability in 17th- and 18th-century Continental Europe from the Perspective of Jacob Bernoulli’s <i>Art of Conjecturing</i>
- Probability and Its Application in Britain during the 17th and 18th Centuries
- A Brief History of Probability Theory from 1810 to 1940
- The Origins of Modern Statistics: The English Statistical School
- The Origins of Probabilistic Epistemology: Some Leading 20th-century Philosophers of Probability
- Kolmogorov’s Axiomatization and Its Discontents
- Conditional Probability
- The Bayesian Network Story
- Mathematical Alternatives to Standard Probability that Provide Selectable Degrees of Precision
- Probability and Nonclassical Logic
- A Logic of Comparative Support: Qualitative Conditional Probability Relations Representable by Popper Functions
- Imprecise and Indeterminate Probabilities
- Symmetry Arguments in Probability
- Frequentism
- Subjectivism
- Bayesianism vs. Frequentism in Statistical Inference
- The Propensity Interpretation
- Best System Approaches to Chance
- Probability and Randomness
- Chance and Determinism
- Human Understandings of Probability
- Probability Elicitation
- Probabilistic Opinion Pooling
- Quantum Probability: An Introduction
- Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics
- Probability in Biology: The Case of Fitness
- Probability in Epistemology
- Confirmation Theory
- Self-Locating Credences
- Probability in Logic
- Probability in Ethics
- Probability and the Philosophy of Religion
- Probability in Philosophy of Language
- Decision Theory
- Probabilistic Causation
- Name Index
- Subject Index

## Abstract and Keywords

It is natural to think that the most basic questions in ethical theory do not have much to do with probability. Given answers to these questions, we can try to extend them to cases involving probability, though this job might best be handled by more technical disciplines. This chapter is an argument for the opposite view. The major ethical problems to do with probability involve very little mathematics; many topics which seem to have nothing to do with probability are arguably all about probability; and thinking about various problems to do with probability can help solve analogous problems which do not involve probability, sometimes even revealing that popular positions about such problems are incoherent. Among the topics discussed are: interpretations of probability; expected utility theory; utilitarianism; egalitarianism; fairness; the priority view; population size; incommensurability; continuity; nonexpected utility theory; evaluative measurement; decision theory; act consequentialism; rule consequentialism; contractualism; and deontology.

Keywords: ethics, probability, expected utility theory, utilitarianism, egalitarianism, act consequentialism, rule consequentialism, deontology

David McCarthy, Department of Philosophy, Hong Kong University

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- The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy
- List of Contributors
- Introduction
- Probability for Everyone—Even Philosophers
- Pre-history of Probability
- Probability in 17th- and 18th-century Continental Europe from the Perspective of Jacob Bernoulli’s <i>Art of Conjecturing</i>
- Probability and Its Application in Britain during the 17th and 18th Centuries
- A Brief History of Probability Theory from 1810 to 1940
- The Origins of Modern Statistics: The English Statistical School
- The Origins of Probabilistic Epistemology: Some Leading 20th-century Philosophers of Probability
- Kolmogorov’s Axiomatization and Its Discontents
- Conditional Probability
- The Bayesian Network Story
- Mathematical Alternatives to Standard Probability that Provide Selectable Degrees of Precision
- Probability and Nonclassical Logic
- A Logic of Comparative Support: Qualitative Conditional Probability Relations Representable by Popper Functions
- Imprecise and Indeterminate Probabilities
- Symmetry Arguments in Probability
- Frequentism
- Subjectivism
- Bayesianism vs. Frequentism in Statistical Inference
- The Propensity Interpretation
- Best System Approaches to Chance
- Probability and Randomness
- Chance and Determinism
- Human Understandings of Probability
- Probability Elicitation
- Probabilistic Opinion Pooling
- Quantum Probability: An Introduction
- Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics
- Probability in Biology: The Case of Fitness
- Probability in Epistemology
- Confirmation Theory
- Self-Locating Credences
- Probability in Logic
- Probability in Ethics
- Probability and the Philosophy of Religion
- Probability in Philosophy of Language
- Decision Theory
- Probabilistic Causation
- Name Index
- Subject Index