David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 113 (3):357-379 (1997)
The notion of (deterministic) chaos is frequently used in an increasing number of scientific (as well as non-scientific) contexts, ranging from mathematics and the physics of dynamical systems to all sorts of complicated time evolutions, e.g., in chemistry, biology, physiology, economy, sociology, and even psychology. Despite (or just because of) these widespread applications, however, there seem to fluctuate around several misunderstandings about the actual impact of deterministic chaos on several problems of philosophical interest, e.g., on matters of prediction and computability, and determinism and the free will. In order to clarify these points a survey of the meaning variance of the concept(s) of deterministic chaos, or the various contexts in which it is applied, is given, and its actual epistemological implications are extracted. In summary, it turns out that the various concepts of deterministic chaos do not constitute a “new science”, or a “revolutionary” change of the “scientific world picture”. Instead, chaos research provides a sort of toolbox of methods which are certainly useful for a more detailed analysis and understanding of such dynamical systems which are, roughly speaking, endowed with the property of exponential sensitivity on initial conditions. Such a property, then, implies merely one, but quantitatively strong type of limitation of long-time computability and predictability, respectively.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy Epistemology Logic Metaphysics Philosophy of Language|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Gerhard Schurz (1995). Kinds of Unpredictability in Deterministic Systems. In P. Weingartner & G. Schurz (eds.), Law and Prediction in the Light of Chaos Research. Springer. 123--41.
Theodor Leiber (1999). Deterministic Chaos and Computational Complexity: The Case of Methodological Complexity Reductions. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 30 (1):87-101.
Roger Jones (1990). Determinism in Deterministic Chaos. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:537 - 549.
Robert W. Batterman (1993). Defining Chaos. Philosophy of Science 60 (1):43-66.
Charlotte Werndl (2009). What Are the New Implications of Chaos for Unpredictability? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):195-220.
Yvon Gauthier (2009). The Construction of Chaos Theory. Foundations of Science 14 (3):153-165.
Jan C. Schmidt (2003). Zwischen Berechenbarkeit Und Nichtberechenbarkeit. Die Thematisierung der Berechenbarkeit in der Aktuellen Physik Komplexer Systeme. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 34 (1):99-131.
Klaus Jürgen Düsberg (1995). Deterministisches Chaos: Einige Wissenschaftstheoretisch Interessante Aspekte. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 26 (1):11 - 24.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads25 ( #80,676 of 1,679,399 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #78,649 of 1,679,399 )
How can I increase my downloads?