The Dome: An Unexpectedly Simple Failure of Determinism

Philosophy of Science 75 (5):786-798 (2008)
Abstract
Newton’s equations of motion tell us that a mass at rest at the apex of a dome with the shape specified here can spontaneously move. It has been suggested that this indeterminism should be discounted since it draws on an incomplete rendering of Newtonian physics, or it is “unphysical,” or it employs illicit idealizations. I analyze and reject each of these reasons. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e‐mail: jdnorton@pitt.edu.
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Jill North (2010). An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):27-40.
Shamik Dasgupta (2011). The Bare Necessities. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):115-160.

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