Do Large Probabilities Explain Better?

Published: Philosophy of Science 67, 366–90, 2000

Abstract: It is widely held that the size of a probability makes no difference to the quality of a probabilistic explanation. I argue that explanatory practice in statistical physics belies this claim. The claim has gained currency only because of an impoverished conception of probabilistic processes and an unwarranted assumption that all probabilistic explanations have a single form.

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