Version of Record online: 20 AUG 2010
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 45, Issue 2, pages 269–299, June 2011
How to Cite
Eagle, A. (2011), Deterministic Chance. Noûs, 45: 269–299. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00771.x
- Issue online: 25 MAY 2011
- Version of Record online: 20 AUG 2010
I sketch a new constraint on chance, which connects chance ascriptions closely with ascriptions of ability, and more specifically with ‘can’-claims. This connection between chance and ability has some claim to be a platitude; moreover, it exposes the debate over deterministic chance to the extensive literature on (in)compatibilism about free will. The upshot is that a prima facie case for the tenability of deterministic chance can be made. But the main thrust of the paper is to draw attention to the connection between the truth conditions of sentences involving ‘can’ and ‘chance’, and argue for the context sensitivity of each term. Awareness of this context sensitivity has consequences for the evaluation of particular philosophical arguments for (in)compatibilism when they are presented in particular contexts.