Single Idea 16274

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / l. Probabilistic explanations]

Full Idea

Suppose you find in a hotel room a pack of cards in exactly standard order. Not surprising - maybe it's a new deck, or someone arranged them. Not so. They got that way by being fairly shuffled. The explanation would make the explanandum more surprising.

Gist of Idea

If the well-ordering of a pack of cards was by shuffling, the explanation would make it more surprising


David Lewis (On the Plurality of Worlds [1986], 2.7)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'On the Plurality of Worlds' [Blackwell 2001], p.133

A Reaction

[compressed] A lovely Lewisian example, that instantly makes big trouble for the (implausible) view that a cause is something which increases the likelihood of a thing.