Authors
Samuel C. Fletcher
University of Minnesota
Abstract
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 of arguing for or against determinism, I stress the wide variety of pragmatic considerations that, in a specific context, may lead one usefully and legitimately to adopt one conception over another in which determinism may or may not hold
Keywords Determinism  Classical mechanics  Newtonian mechanics  Pluralism  Pragmatism
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Reprint years 2011, 2012
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0040-8
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References found in this work BETA

Causation as Folk Science.John Norton - 2003 - Philosophers' Imprint 3:1-22.
The Dome: An Unexpectedly Simple Failure of Determinism.John D. Norton - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):786-798.
Causation as Folk Science.John D. Norton - 2003 - In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Philosophers' Imprint. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Similarity, Topology, and Physical Significance in Relativity Theory.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):365-389.
Conceptual Fragmentation and the Rise of Eliminativism.Henry Taylor & Peter Vickers - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):17-40.
The Norton Dome and the Nineteenth Century Foundations of Determinism.Marij van Strien - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):167-185.
Who Let the Demon Out? Laplace and Boscovich on Determinism.Boris Kožnjak - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:42-52.

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