David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 119 (1-2):85-111 (1999)
The present paper studies a specific way of addressing the question whether the laws involving the basic constituents of nature are statistical. While most German physicists, above all Planck, treated the issues of determinism and causality within a Kantian framework, the tradition which I call Vienna Indeterminism began from Mach’s reinterpretation of causality as functional dependence. This severed the bond between causality and realism because one could no longer avail oneself of a priori categories as a criterion for empirical reality. Hence, an independent reality criterion had to be sought, a problem which all three physicists to be studied solved in different ways that were mainly conditioned by their different concepts of probability. In order to prevent a dissipation of intuited facts, Mach had to resort to a principle of unique determination as his reality criterion, especially when discussing the Principle of Least Action. Giving theories more independence, Boltzmann understood atomism as property reduction to precisely defined theoretical entities and their interactions. While this served as a relative reality criterion, he also advocated a constructivist one because atomism was already implied by our finitary reasoning power. Finally, Exner contemplated the idea that all apparently deterministic laws are only a macroscopic limit of an irreducible indeterminism, because by adopting the frequency interpretation, observable collectives could be considered as the real basic entities.
|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
Deborah R. Coen (2006). Living Precisely in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 39 (3):493-523.
Deborah R. Coen (2006). Living Precisely in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna. Journal of the History of Biology 39 (3):493 - 523.
Monika Wulz (2012). The Material Memory of History: Edgar Zilsel's Epistemology of Historiography. [REVIEW] Studies in East European Thought 64 (1-2):91-105.
Daan Wegener (2010). De-Anthropomorphizing Energy and Energy Conservation: The Case of Max Planck and Ernst Mach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (2):146-159.
Daan Wegener (2010). De-Anthropomorphizing Energy and Energy Conservation: The Case of Max Planck and Ernst Mach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2):146-159.
Similar books and articles
Manuel Bächtold (2010). Saving Mach's View on Atoms. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 41 (1):1 - 19.
Gustav Jäger, Josef Nabl & Stephan Meyer (1999). Three Assistants on Boltzmann. Synthese 119 (1-2):69-84.
Robert C. Bishop (2006). Determinism and Indeterminism. In Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Second Edition. 29-35.
Robert Deltete (1999). Helm and Boltzmann: Energetics at the Lübeck Naturforscherversammlung. Synthese 119 (1-2):45-68.
Erik C. Banks (2004). The Philosophical Roots of Ernst Mach's Economy of Thought. Synthese 139 (1):23-53.
Juan Ignacio GÓMez Tutor (2004). Die Atomistik Bei Ludwig Boltzmann. Zur Wissenschaftlichen Und Philosophischen Bedeutung Einer Kontroversen Position Am Ende Des 19. Jahrhunderts. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 35 (2):371 - 384.
Philipp Frank (1941). Between Physics and Philosophy. Cambridge, Mass.,Harvard University Press.
John Blackmore (1989). Ernst Mach Leaves 'the Church of Physics'. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 (4):519-540.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads27 ( #137,865 of 1,789,801 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #315,596 of 1,789,801 )
How can I increase my downloads?