PhilSci Archive

Dynamic and stochastic systems as a framework for metaphysics and the philosophy of science

List, Christian and Pivato, Marcus (2019) Dynamic and stochastic systems as a framework for metaphysics and the philosophy of science. [Preprint]

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
Text
ListPivato2019.pdf

Download (845kB) | Preview

Abstract

Scientists often think of the world (or some part of it) as a dynamical system, a stochastic process, or a generalization of such a system. Prominent examples of systems are (i) the system of planets orbiting the sun or any other classical mechanical system, (ii) a hydrogen atom or any other quantum-mechanical system, and (iii) the earth’s atmosphere or any other statistical mechanical system. We introduce a general and unified framework for describing such systems and show how it can be used to examine some familiar philosophical questions, including the following: how can we define nomological possibility, necessity, determinism, and indeterminism; what are symmetries and laws; what regularities must a system display to make scientific inference possible; how might principles of parsimony such as Occam’s Razor help when we make such inferences; what is the role of space and time in a system; and might they be emergent features? Our framework is intended to serve as a toolbox for the formal analysis of systems that is applicable in several areas of philosophy.


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

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
List, Christianc.list@lse.ac.uk
Pivato, Marcusmarcuspivato@gmail.com
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Synthese
Keywords: Dynamical systems, stochastic processes, nomological possibility and necessity, determinism, indeterminism, laws, symmetries, regularities, scientific inference, ergodicity, Occam's Razor, space, time, formal metaphysics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Christian List
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2019 13:01
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2019 13:01
Item ID: 14928
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 26 April 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14928

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item