Forms of Physical Determination

Science and Society 66 (2):228 - 255 (2002)

Four forms of physical determination are presently known in physics: classical or mechanical determination, related to classical mechanics; dynamical determination, related to the relativistic theories of electromagnetism and gravitation; classical statistical determination, related to classical statistical theories; and quantum statistical determination, related to modern microphysics. The concept of interaction is a fundamental ontological category, a moment of which is the causal relation; interaction is also local, taking place at finite velocities. Following the evolution of physical theories, it is possible to attest to the historicity of the concept of interaction and, accordingly, of the categories of interaction and determination. According to the Copenhagen School, causality and locality are incompatible with quantum mechanics. On the contrary, according to the point of view developed here, realism, causality and locality are simultaneously compatible in the domain of microphysics.
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