Hidden determinism, probability, and time's arrow
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In present-day physics the fundamental dynamical laws are taken as a time-translation-invariant and time-reversal-invariant one-parameter groups of automorphisms of the underlying mathematical structure. In this context-independent and empirically inaccessible description there is no past, present or future, hence no distinction between cause and effect. To get the familiar description in terms of causes and effects, the time-reversal symmetry of the fundamental dynamics has to be broken. Thereby one gets two representations, one satisfying the generally accepted rules of retarded causality (“no effect can precede its cause”). The other one describes the strange rules of advanced causality. For entangled (but not necessarily interacting) quantum systems the arrow of time must have the same direction for all subsystems. But for classical systems, or for classical subsystems of quantum systems, this argument does not hold. As a cosequence, classical systems allow the conceptual possibility of advanced causality in addition to retarded causality. Every mathematically formulated dynamics of statistically reproducible events can be extended to a description in terms of a one-parameter group of automorphisms of an enlarged mathematical structure which describes a fictitious hidden determinism. Consequently, randomness in the sense of mathematical probability theory is only a weak generalization of determinism. The popular ideas that in quantum theory there are gaps in the causal chain which allow the accommodation of the freedom of human action are fantasies which have no basis in present-day quantum mechanics. Quantum events are governed by strict statistical laws. Freedom of action is a constitutive necessity of all experimental science which requires a violation of the statistical predictions of physics. We conclude that the presently adopted first principles of theoretical physics can neither explain the autonomy of the psyche nor account for the freedom of action necessary for experimental science.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
David Wallace, Implications of Quantum Theory in the Foundations of Statistical Mechanics [2001 Online-Only].
Vassilios Karakostas (1996). On the Brussels School's Arrow of Time in Quantum Theory. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):374-400.
David Atkinson (2006). Does Quantum Electrodynamics Have an Arrow of Time?☆. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 37 (3):528-541.
Chuang Liu (1993). The Arrow of Time in Quantum Gravity. Philosophy of Science 60 (4):619-637.
Jan Hilgevoord & David Atkinson (2011). Time in Quantum Mechanics. In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oup Oxford.
Mario Castagnino, Manuel Gadella & Olimpia Lombardi (2005). Time's Arrow and Irreversibility in Time-Asymmetric Quantum Mechanics. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):223 – 243.
F. Rohrlich (2000). Causality and the Arrow of Classical Time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 31 (1):1-13.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #144,795 of 1,098,870 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?