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  1. Donata Romizi: Dem wissenschaftlichen Determinismus auf der Spur: Von der klassischen Mechanik zur Entstehung der Quantenphysik. Karl Alber: Freiburg/München 2019, 504 pp., € 69.00 (hardcover), ISBN: 9783495491034. [REVIEW]Fynn Ole Engler - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (3):483-485.
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  • Entropy - A Guide for the Perplexed.Roman Frigg & Charlotte Werndl - 2011 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-142.
    Entropy is ubiquitous in physics, and it plays important roles in numerous other disciplines ranging from logic and statistics to biology and economics. However, a closer look reveals a complicated picture: entropy is defined differently in different contexts, and even within the same domain different notions of entropy are at work. Some of these are defined in terms of probabilities, others are not. The aim of this chapter is to arrive at an understanding of some of the most important notions (...)
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  • Continuity, Causality and Determinism in Mathematical Physics: From the Late 18th Until the Early 20th Century.Marij van Strien - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Ghent
    It is commonly thought that before the introduction of quantum mechanics, determinism was a straightforward consequence of the laws of mechanics. However, around the nineteenth century, many physicists, for various reasons, did not regard determinism as a provable feature of physics. This is not to say that physicists in this period were not committed to determinism; there were some physicists who argued for fundamental indeterminism, but most were committed to determinism in some sense. However, for them, determinism was often not (...)
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  • Laplace’s Demon Tries on Aristotle’s Cloak: On Two Approaches to Determinism.Tomasz Placek - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):11-30.
    The paper describes two approaches to determinism: one focuses on the features of global objects, such as possible worlds or models of a theory, whereas the other’s concern is the possible behaviour of individual objects. It then gives an outline of an individuals-based analysis of the determinism of theories. Finally, a general relativistic spacetime with non-isometric extensions is described and used to illustrate a conflict between the two approaches: this spacetime is indeterministic by the first approach but deterministic by the (...)
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  • Nonprobabilistic Chance?Seamus Bradley - unknown
    "Chance" crops up all over philosophy, and in many other areas. It is often assumed -- without argument -- that chances are probabilities. I explore the extent to which this assumption is really sanctioned by what we understand by the concept of chance.
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  • Reconsidering Relativistic Causality.Jeremy Butterfield - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (3):295 – 328.
    I discuss the idea of relativistic causality, i.e., the requirement that causal processes or signals can propagate only within the light-cone. After briefly locating this requirement in the philosophy of causation, my main aim is to draw philosophers' attention to the fact that it is subtle, indeed problematic, in relativistic quantum physics: there are scenarios in which it seems to fail. I set aside two such scenarios, which are familiar to philosophers of physics: the pilot-wave approach, and the Newton-Wigner representation. (...)
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  • Towards a Formal Ontology of Information. Selected Ideas of K. Turek.Roman Krzanowski - 2016 - Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce 61:23-52.
    There are many ontologies of the world or of specific phenomena such as time, matter, space, and quantum mechanics1. However, ontologies of information are rather rare. One of the reasons behind this is that information is most frequently associated with communication and computing, and not with ‘the furniture of the world’. But what would be the nature of an ontology of information? For it to be of significant import it should be amenable to formalization in a logico-grammatical formalism. A candidate (...)
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  • On Time Chez Dummett.Jeremy Butterfield - 2012 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (1):77-102.
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  • Chance and Determinism.Roman Frigg - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy.
    Determinism and chance seem to be irreconcilable opposites: either something is chancy or it is deterministic but not both. Yet there are processes which appear to square the circle by being chancy and deterministic at once, and the appearance is backed by well-confirmed scientific theories such as statistical mechanics which also seem to provide us with chances for deterministic processes. Is this possible, and if so how? In this essay I discuss this question for probabilities as they occur in the (...)
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  • Probability and Randomness.Antony Eagle - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 440-459.
    Early work on the frequency theory of probability made extensive use of the notion of randomness, conceived of as a property possessed by disorderly collections of outcomes. Growing out of this work, a rich mathematical literature on algorithmic randomness and Kolmogorov complexity developed through the twentieth century, but largely lost contact with the philosophical literature on physical probability. The present chapter begins with a clarification of the notions of randomness and probability, conceiving of the former as a property of a (...)
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  • Free Will in a Quantum World?Valia Allori - 2019 - In J. De Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Quanta and Mind: Essays on the Connection between Quantum Mechanics and the Consciousness. Synthese Library.
    In this paper, I argue that Conway and Kochen’s Free Will Theorem (1,2) to the conclusion that quantum mechanics and relativity entail freedom for the particles, does not change the situation in favor of a libertarian position as they would like. In fact, the theorem more or less implicitly assumes that people are free, and thus it begs the question. Moreover, it does not prove neither that if people are free, so are particles, nor that the property people possess when (...)
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  • Does the Dome Defeat the Material Theory of Induction?William Peden - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    According to John D. Norton's Material Theory of Induction, all inductive inferences are justified by local facts, rather than their formal features or some grand principles of nature's uniformity. Recently, Richard Dawid (2015) has offered a challenge to this theory: in an adaptation of Norton's own celebrated "Dome" thought experiment, it seems that there are certain inductions that are intuitively reasonable, but which do not have any local facts that could serve to justify them in accordance with Norton's requirements. Dawid's (...)
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  • Probabilistic Reasoning in Cosmology.Yann Benétreau-Dupin - 2015 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario
    Cosmology raises novel philosophical questions regarding the use of probabilities in inference. This work aims at identifying and assessing lines of arguments and problematic principles in probabilistic reasoning in cosmology. -/- The first, second, and third papers deal with the intersection of two distinct problems: accounting for selection effects, and representing ignorance or indifference in probabilistic inferences. These two problems meet in the cosmology literature when anthropic considerations are used to predict cosmological parameters by conditionalizing the distribution of, e.g., the (...)
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  • Physical Theories are Prescriptions, not Descriptions.Shahin Kaveh - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-29.
    Virtually all philosophers of science have construed fundamental theories as descriptions of entities, properties, and/or structures. Call this the “descriptive-ontological” view. I argue that this view is incorrect, at least insofar as physical theories are concerned. I propose a novel construal of theories that I call the “prescriptive-dynamical” view. The central tenet of this view, roughly put, is that the essential content of fundamental physical theories is a prescription for interfacing with natural systems and translating local data into compact theoretical (...)
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  • A Simple and Interesting Classical Mechanical Supertask.Jon Laraudogoitia - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    This paper presents three interesting consequences that follow from admitting an ontology of rigid bodies in classical mechanics. First, it shows that some of the most characteristic properties of supertasks based on binary collisions between particles, such as the possibility of indeterminism or the non-conservation of energy, persist in the presence of gravitational interaction. This makes them gravitational supertasks radically different from those that have appeared in the literature to date. Second, Sect. 6 proves that the role of gravitation in (...)
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  • Time and Determinism.Thomas Müller - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (6):729-740.
    This paper gives an overview of logico-philosophical issues of time and determinism. After a brief review of historical roots and 20th century developments, three current research areas are discussed: the definition of determinism, space-time indeterminism, and the temporality of individual things and their possibilities.
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  • Indeterminism is a Modal Notion: Branching Spacetimes and Earman’s Pruning. [REVIEW]T. Placek - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):441-469.
    The paper defends an Aristotelian notion of indeterminism, as rigorously formulated in the framework of branching space-times (BST) of Belnap (1992), against the model-theoretic characterization of indeterminism that Montague (1962) introduced into the philosophy of science. It delineates BST branching against the background provided by Earman's (2008) distinction between individual vs. ensemble branching. It describes a construction of physically-motivated BST models, in which histories are isomorphic to Minkowski spacetime. Finally it responds to criticism leveled against BST by addressing some semantical (...)
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  • Infinite Idealizations in Science: An Introduction.Samuel C. Fletcher, Patricia Palacios, Laura Ruetsche & Elay Shech - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):1657-1669.
    We offer a framework for organizing the literature regarding the debates revolving around infinite idealizations in science, and a short summary of the contributions to this special issue.
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  • Galileo's Refutation of the Speed-Distance Law of Fall Rehabilitated.John D. Norton & Bryan W. Roberts - 2010 - Centaurus 54 (2):148-164.
    Galileo's refutation of the speed-distance law of fall in his Two New Sciences is routinely dismissed as a moment of confused argumentation. We urge that Galileo's argument correctly identified why the speed-distance law is untenable, failing only in its very last step. Using an ingenious combination of scaling and self-similarity arguments, Galileo found correctly that bodies, falling from rest according to this law, fall all distances in equal times. What he failed to recognize in the last step is that this (...)
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  • A Primer on Energy Conditions.Erik Curiel - 2017 - In Dennis Lehmkuhl, Gregor Schiemann & Erhard Scholz (eds.), Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories. Birkhäuser. pp. 43-104.
    An energy condition, in the context of a wide class of spacetime theories, is, crudely speaking, a relation one demands the stress-energy tensor of matter satisfy in order to try to capture the idea that "energy should be positive". The remarkable fact I will discuss in this paper is that such simple, general, almost trivial seeming propositions have profound and far-reaching import for our understanding of the structure of relativistic spacetimes. It is therefore especially surprising when one also learns that (...)
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  • Minimal Approximations and Norton’s Dome.Samuel Fletcher - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):1749-1760.
    In this note, I apply Norton’s (Philos Sci 79(2):207–232, 2012) distinction between idealizations and approximations to argue that the epistemic and inferential advantages often taken to accrue to minimal models (Batterman in Br J Philos Sci 53:21–38, 2002) could apply equally to approximations, including “infinite” ones for which there is no consistent model. This shows that the strategy of capturing essential features through minimality extends beyond models, even though the techniques for justifying this extended strategy remain similar. As an application (...)
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  • Correction to John D. Norton “How to Build an Infinite Lottery Machine”.John D. Norton & Alexander R. Pruss - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):143-144.
    An infinite lottery machine is used as a foil for testing the reach of inductive inference, since inferences concerning it require novel extensions of probability. Its use is defensible if there is some sense in which the lottery is physically possible, even if exotic physics is needed. I argue that exotic physics is needed and describe several proposals that fail and at least one that succeeds well enough.
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  • Theory Eliminativism as a Methodological Tool.Peter Vickers - unknown
    Disagreements about the definition, nature, structure, ontology, and content of scientific theories are at least partly responsible for disagreements in other debates in the philosophy of science. I argue that available theories of theories and conceptual analyses of *theory* are ineffectual options for overcoming this difficulty. Directing my attention to debates about the properties of particular, named theories, I introduce ‘theory eliminativism’ as a certain type of debate-reformulation. As a methodological tool it has the potential to be a highly effective (...)
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  • What Counts as a Newtonian System? The View From Norton’s Dome.Samuel Craig Fletcher - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):275-297.
    If the force on a particle fails to satisfy a Lipschitz condition at a point, it relaxes one of the conditions necessary for a locally unique solution to the particle’s equation of motion. I examine the most discussed example of this failure of determinism in classical mechanics—that of Norton’s dome—and the range of current objections against it. Finding there are many different conceptions of classical mechanics appropriate and useful for different purposes, I argue that no single conception is preferred. Instead (...)
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  • Scientific Theory Eliminativism.Peter Vickers - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):111-126.
    The philosopher of science faces overwhelming disagreement in the literature on the definition, nature, structure, ontology, and content of scientific theories. These disagreements are at least partly responsible for disagreements in many of the debates in the discipline which put weight on the concept scientific theory. I argue that available theories of theories and conceptual analyses of theory are ineffectual options for addressing this difficulty: they do not move debates forward in a significant way. Directing my attention to debates about (...)
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  • The Bare Necessities.Shamik Dasgupta - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):115-160.
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  • Plantinga on Providence and Physics.Hans Halvorson - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 5 (3):19--30.
    Discussion of Alvin Plantinga's book, "Where the Conflict Really Lies".
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  • Mentaculus Laws and Metaphysics.Heather Demarest - 2019 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 23 (3):387--399.
    The laws of nature are central to our understanding of the world. And while there is often broad agreement about the technical formulations of the laws, there can be sharp disagreement about the metaphysical nature of the laws. For instance, the Newtonian laws of nature can be stated and analyzed by appealing to a set of possible worlds. Yet, some philosophers argue the worlds are mere notational devices, while others take them to be robust, concrete entities in their own right. (...)
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  • Classical Mechanics Is Lagrangian; It Is Not Hamiltonian.Erik Curiel - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):269-321.
    One can (for the most part) formulate a model of a classical system in either the Lagrangian or the Hamiltonian framework. Though it is often thought that those two formulations are equivalent in all important ways, this is not true: the underlying geometrical structures one uses to formulate each theory are not isomorphic. This raises the question of whether one of the two is a more natural framework for the representation of classical systems. In the event, the answer is yes: (...)
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  • Determinism and the Mystery of the Missing Physics.Mark Wilson - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):173-193.
    This article surveys the difficulties in establishing determinism for classical physics within the context of several distinct foundational approaches to the discipline. It explains that such problems commonly emerge due to a deeper problem of ‘missing physics'. The Problems of Formalism Norton's Example Three Species of Classical Mechanics 3.1 Mass point physics 3.2 The physics of perfect constraints 3.3 Continuum mechanics Conclusion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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  • Inertia and Determinism.Jason Zimba - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):417-428.
    Suppose all of the particles in the universe should happen to come to rest at the same time, in positions so arranged that all of the forces on every particle balance to zero at that time. What would happen next? Or rather, what does Newtonian mechanics say will happen next? Preface Inertia and Stasis 2.1 Stating the Law of Inertia more precisely 2.2 The stasis scenario Indeterministic Examples 3.1 Abstract example 3.2 Second example Non-Lipschitz Forces and Determinism Beyond the Stasis (...)
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  • Defining Determinism.Thomas Müller & Tomasz Placek - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):215-252.
    The article puts forward a branching-style framework for the analysis of determinism and indeterminism of scientific theories, starting from the core idea that an indeterministic system is one whose present allows for more than one alternative possible future. We describe how a definition of determinism stated in terms of branching models supplements and improves current treatments of determinism of theories of physics. In these treatments, we identify three main approaches: one based on the study of equations, one based on mappings (...)
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  • Similarity, Topology, and Physical Significance in Relativity Theory.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):365-389.
    Stephen Hawking, among others, has proposed that the topological stability of a property of space-time is a necessary condition for it to be physically significant. What counts as stable, however, depends crucially on the choice of topology. Some physicists have thus suggested that one should find a canonical topology, a single ‘right’ topology for every inquiry. While certain such choices might be initially motivated, some little-discussed examples of Robert Geroch and some propositions of my own show that the main candidates—and (...)
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  • On the Borderline Between Science and Philosophy: A Debate on Determinism in France Around 1880.Stefano Bordoni - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 49:27-35.
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  • Some Surprising Instabilities in Idealized Dynamical Systems.Jon Pérez Laraudogoitia - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):3007-3026.
    This paper shows that, in Newtonian mechanics, unstable three-dimensional rigid bodies must exist. Laraudogoitia recently provided examples of one- and two-dimensional homogeneous unstable rigid bodies, conjecturing the instability would persist for three-dimensional bodies in four-dimensional space. My result proves that, if one admits non homogeneous balls or hollow spheres, then the conjecture is true without having to resort to tetra-dimensionality. Furthermore, I show that instability also holds for at least certain simple classes of elastic bodies. Altogether, the laws of classical (...)
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  • Psa 2018.Philsci-Archive -Preprint Volume- - unknown
    These preprints were automatically compiled into a PDF from the collection of papers deposited in PhilSci-Archive in conjunction with the PSA 2018.
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  • On Classical Motion.C. D. McCoy - 2018 - Philosophers' Imprint 18.
    The impetus theory of motion states that to be in motion is to have a non-zero velocity. The at-at theory of motion states that to be in motion is to be at different places at different times, which in classical physics is naturally understood as the reduction of velocities to position developments. I first defend the at-at theory against the criticism raised by Arntzenius that it renders determinism impossible. I then develop a novel impetus theory of motion that reduces positions (...)
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  • Causal Fundamentalism in Physics.Henrik Zinkernagel - unknown
    Norton (2003 and 2006) has recently argued that causation is merely a useful folk concept and that it fails to hold for some simple systems even in the supposed paradigm case of a causal physical theory – namely Newtonian mechanics. The purpose of this article is to argue against this devaluation of causality in physics. My main argument is that Norton’s alleged counterexample to causality (and determinism) within standard Newtonian physics fails to obey what I shall call the causal core (...)
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  • Causation, Realism, Determinism, and Probability in the Science and Philosophy of Max Born.Thomas Bunce - unknown
    In this thesis I will examine the philosophy of the physicist Max Born. As well as his scientific work, Born wrote on a number of philosophical topics: causation, realism, determinism, and probability. They appear as an interest throughout his career, but he particularly concentrates on them from the 1940s onwards. Born is a significant figure in the development of quantum mechanics whose philosophical work has been left largely unexamined. It is the aim of this thesis to elucidate and to critically (...)
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  • Rehabilitated.John D. Norton - unknown
    Galileo's refutation of the speed-distance law of fall in his Two New Sciences is routinely dismissed as a moment of confused argumentation. We urge that Galileo's argument correctly identified why the speed-distance law is untenable, failing only in its very last step. Using an ingenious combination of scaling and self-similarity arguments, Galileo found correctly that bodies, falling from rest according to this law, fall all distances in equal times. What he failed to recognize in the last step is that this (...)
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  • Imprecise Probabilities.Seamus Bradley - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Czy możemy wykazać istnienie zjawisk całkowicie przypadkowych?Marek Kuś - 2018 - Philosophical Problems in Science 65:111-143.
    I show how classical and quantum physics approach the problem of randomness and probability. Contrary to popular opinions, neither we can prove that classical mechanics is a deterministic theory, nor that quantum mechanics is a nondeterministic one. In other words it is not possible to show that randomness in classical mechanics has a purely epistemic character and that of quantum mechanics an ontic one. Nevertheless, recent developments of quantum theory and increasing experimental possibilities to check its predictions call for returning (...)
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  • What Is a Physically Reasonable Space-Time?John Manchak - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (3):410-420.
    Cosmologists often use certain global properties to exclude "physically unreasonable" cosmological models from serious consideration. But, on what grounds should these properties be regarded as "physically unreasonable" if we cannot rule out, even with a robust type of inductive reasoning, the possibility of the properties obtaining in our own universe?
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  • Did the Universe Have a Chance?C. D. McCoy - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1262-1272.
    In a world awash in statistical patterns, should we conclude that the universe’s evolution or genesis is somehow subject to chance? I draw attention to alternatives that must be acknowledged if we are to have an adequate assessment of what chance the universe might have had.
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  • There Are No Universal Rules for Induction.John D. Norton - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):765-777.
    In a material theory of induction, inductive inferences are warranted by facts that prevail locally. This approach, it is urged, is preferable to formal theories of induction in which the good inductive inferences are delineated as those conforming to some universal schema. An inductive inference problem concerning indeterministic, non-probabilistic systems in physics is posed and it is argued that Bayesians cannot responsibly analyze it, thereby demonstrating that the probability calculus is not the universal logic of induction.
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  • An Empirical Approach to Symmetry and Probability.Jill North - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (1):27-40.
    We often use symmetries to infer outcomes’ probabilities, as when we infer that each side of a fair coin is equally likely to come up on a given toss. Why are these inferences successful? I argue against answering this with an a priori indifference principle. Reasons to reject that principle are familiar, yet instructive. They point to a new, empirical explanation for the success of our probabilistic predictions. This has implications for indifference reasoning in general. I argue that a priori (...)
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  • Can the World Be Shown to Be Indeterministic After All?Christian Wuthrich - 2010 - In Claus Beisbart & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Probabilities in Physics. Oxford University Press. pp. 365--389.
    This essay considers and evaluates recent results and arguments from classical chaotic systems theory and non-relativistic quantum mechanics that pertain to the question of whether our world is deterministic or indeterministic. While the classical results are inconclusive, quantum mechanics is often assumed to establish indeterminism insofar as the measurement process involves an ineliminable stochastic element, even though the dynamics between two measurements is considered fully deterministic. While this latter claim concerning the Schrödinger evolution must be qualified, the former fully depends (...)
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  • Induction Without Probabilities.John D. Norton - 2006
    A simple indeterministic system is displayed and it is urged that we cannot responsibly infer inductively over it if we presume that the probability calculus is the appropriate logic of induction. The example illustrates the general thesis of a material theory of induction, that the logic appropriate to a particular domain is determined by the facts that prevail there.
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  • Bohmian Mechanics: A Panacea for What Ails Quantum Mechanics, or a Different and Problematic Theory?Aristidis Arageorgis & John Earman - unknown
    The popular impression of Bohmian mechanics is that it is standard quantum mechanics with the addition of some extra gadgets---exact particle positions and a guiding equation for particle trajectories---the advantages being that the gadgets pave the way for a resolution of the measurement problem that eschews state vector reduction while restoring the determinism lost in standard quantum mechanics. In fact, the Bohmian mechanics departs in significant ways from standard quantum mechanics. By itself this is not a basis for criticism; indeed, (...)
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  • Interactive Causes: Revising the Markov Condition.Gerhard Schurz - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):456-479.
    This article suggests a revision of the theory of causal nets. In section 1 we introduce an axiomatization of TCN based on a realistic understanding. It is shown that the causal Markov condition entails three independent principles. In section 2 we analyze indeterministic decay as the major counterexample to one of these principles: screening off by common causes. We call SCC-violating common causes interactive causes. In section 3 we develop a revised version of TCN, called TCN*, which accounts for interactive (...)
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