Infinite frequency principles of direct inference

Lennart B. Ackermans*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

According to an infinite frequency principle, it is rational, under certain conditions, to set your credence in an outcome to the limiting frequency of that outcome if the experiment were repeated indefinitely. I argue that most infinite frequency principles are undesirable in at least one of the following ways: (1) accepting the principle would lead you to accept bets with sure losses, (2) the principle gives no guidance in the case of deterministic experiments like coin tosses and (3) the principle relies on a metaphysical property, ‘chanciness’, whose necessary and sufficient conditions are unknown. I show that a frequency principle that is based on the principal principle suffers from problems related to the definition of ‘chance’ or ‘chanciness’, which could lead to all three of the above problems. I introduce a version of the infinite frequency principle that does not rely on a notion of chance or chanciness and does not suffer from any of these problems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164
JournalSynthese
Volume200
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement No 715530.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

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