PhilSci Archive

Determinism and Indeterminism

Werndl, Charlotte (2015) Determinism and Indeterminism. [Preprint]

[img] PDF
PaperDeterminismIndeterminismOxfordFinal.pdf

Download (1MB)

Abstract

This article focuses on three themes concerning determinism and indeterminism. The first theme is observational equivalence between deterministic and indeterministic models. Here I discuss several results about observational equivalence and present an argument on how to choose between deterministic and indeterministic models involving indirect evidence. The second theme is whether Newtonian physics is indeterministic. I argue that the answer depends on what one takes Newtonian mechanics to be, and I highlight how contemporary debates on this issue differ from those in the nineteenth century. The third major theme is how the method of arbitrary functions can be used to make sense of deterministic probabilities. I discuss various ways of interpreting the initial probability distributions and argue that they are best understood as physical, biological etc. quantities characterising the particular situation at hand. Also, I emphasise that the method of arbitrary functions deserves more attention than it has received so far.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Werndl, Charlottecharlotte.werndl@sbg.ac.at
Keywords: determinism, indeterminism, observational equivalence, indirect evidence, Newtonian physics, method of arbitrary functions, probability
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Depositing User: Charlotte Werndl
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2015 13:05
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2015 13:05
Item ID: 11678
Official URL: http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
General Issues > Theory/Observation
Date: 2015
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11678

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item