What is Conditional Probability? In Defense of Lowe’s Definition(s)

TitleWhat is Conditional Probability? In Defense of Lowe’s Definition(s)
Publication Type Journal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDemir, Hilmi
JournalKilikya Felsefe Dergisi
Pagination1 - 15
Date Published2016
Publication LanguageEnglish
KeywordsKolmogorov, Philosophy of Probability, conditionals, independence, probabilistic

In the standard and traditional view, the concept of conditional probability is defined with what is known as the ratio formula: the probability of B given A is the ratio between the probability of A and B and the probability of A. It is well known that this definition does not match the conceptual and mathematical expectations that we have from conditional probability, especially for the probability values at the limits. Thus, as pointed out by several philosophers such as Popper and Hájek, it is fair to conclude that we have yet to have a satisfactory definition for the concept of conditional probability. E.J. Lowe, in a debate with Dorothy Edgington, proposed two different definitions of conditional probability, and unfortunately his definitions have gone unnoticed in the literature. In this paper, my main aim is to renew interest in Lowe’s definitions. I achieve this aim by showing that E.J. Lowe’s definitions have great potential in providing us with a satisfactory definition of conditional probability.

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