On Leaving as Little to Chance as Possible
Randomness was one of Mario Bunge’s earliest philosophical interests, and remains as one of his most persistent. Bunge’s view of the nature of randomness has been largely consistent over many decades, despite some evolution. For a long time now, he has seen chance as a purely ontological matter of contingency, something that does not result from either psychological uncertainty or epistemological indeterminacy, and that disappears once the die is cast. He considers the Bayesian school of probability and statistics to be pseudoscientific. Bunge upholds a fairly conventional view that chance is not any part of the purely mathematical theory of probability, and a thoroughly unconventional view that ontologically contingent processes are deterministic, though not classically so. This chapter examines Bunge’s views on probability by investigating what any of the following have to do with each other: chance or randomness, likelihood, the mathematical theory of probability, determinism, independence, belief, psychological uncertainty, and epistemological indeterminacy.
I thank Michael Matthews and Paul McColl for their respective contributions in shepherding the manuscript through its various stages.
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