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Why Bohm was never a determinist

Van Strien, Marij (2023) Why Bohm was never a determinist. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics has generally been received as an attempt to restore the determinism of classical physics. However, although this interpretation, as Bohm initially proposed it in 1952, does indeed have the feature of being deterministic, for Bohm this was never the main point. In fact, in other publications and in correspondence from this period, he argued that the assumption that nature is deterministic is unjustified and should be abandoned. Whereas it has been argued before that Bohm’s commitment to determinism was connected to his interest in Marxism, I argue for the opposite: Bohm found resources in Marxist philosophy for developing a nondeterministic notion of causality, which is based on the idea of infinite complexity and an infinite number of levels of nature. From ca. 1954 onwards, Bohm’s conception of causality further weakened, as he developed the idea of a dialectical relation between causality and chance.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Van Strien, Marijmarijvanstrien@gmail.com
Keywords: David Bohm Determinism Causality Emergence Dialectical materialism Interpretations of quantum mechanics
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Marij Van Strien
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2023 16:38
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2023 16:38
Item ID: 22557
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 5 July 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22557

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