What does "twist of probability" mean? Here it is in context:

"Some contemporary philosophers give us a modern teleological argument with a twist of probability."

I think that means there some probability in the argument. Correct me please if am wrong.

  • Because the "standard" expression is twist of fate, the cited usage will strike many as "odd". My guess is either the writer is a non-native speaker, or he simply didn't notice the implications of what he was writing because that standard idiom never crossed his mind at the time (and if it had been pointed out he'd probably have rephrased). He's actually riffing off the idiomatic construction with a twist of X (probably from an original X = lemon, as added to a drink), but it's a bit awkward in context. – FumbleFingers Sep 15 '17 at 14:11
  • 1
    ...note that in the "standard" fate version, a twist means an unexpected deviation from expectations, but in the version actually being used, twist refers to a small amount (originally, a segment of lemon squeezed/twisted to release a few drops of juice into a drink). – FumbleFingers Sep 15 '17 at 14:16

"Some contemporary philosopher give us a modern teleological argument with a twist of probability."

With the context you have provided, I assume the meaning of the sentence is:

A few contemporary philosophers tend to give teleological argument, based on facts and figures backed by probability of their theories and views being valid, as well as the probability of certain events that supports the possible validity of their statements.

A 'teleological argument' is not something that can be proven, at the moment, but can be assumed to be true, or false. So a hint of probability will always play a key role in these statements.

By the phrase "twist of probability", the author implies it as 'a hint of probability'.


"Twist of probability" is not itself a common idiom. I believe the writer is making an analogy to the use of the word twist as a cocktail garnish, which is used to refer to an unusual or surprising addition to something. You are probably correct that they simply mean that the argument includes ideas from the study of probability

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.