, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 363-381

Propensities and Transcendental Assumptions

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In order to comprehend the world around us and construct explaining theories for this purpose, we need a conception of physical probability, since we come across many (apparently) probabilistic phenomena in our world. But how should we understand objective probability claims? Since pure frequency approaches of probability are not appropriate, we have to use a single case propensity interpretation. Unfortunately, many philosophers believe that this understanding of probability is burdened with significant difficulties. My main aim is to show that we can treat propensity as a theoretical concept that exhibits many similarities to other theoretical concepts, and its difficulties are not insuperable if we make explicit some general presuppositions of scientific practice and apply them to propensities. At least this is true if we formulate the right bridge principle for propensity and rely on further methodological rules in dealing with propensity assertions to make them empirically testable.