The Dome: An Unexpectedly Simple Failure of Determinism

Philosophy of Science 75 (5):786-798 (2008)

Authors
John D. Norton
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
Newton’s equations of motion tell us that a mass at rest at the apex of a dome with the shape specified here can spontaneously move. It has been suggested that this indeterminism should be discounted since it draws on an incomplete rendering of Newtonian physics, or it is “unphysical,” or it employs illicit idealizations. I analyze and reject each of these reasons. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e‐mail: jdnorton@pitt.edu.
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DOI 10.1086/594524
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References found in this work BETA

Causation as Folk Science.John Norton - 2003 - Philosophers' Imprint 3:1-22.
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.Isaac Newton - 2007 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.
Causation as Folk Science.John D. Norton - 2003 - In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Philosophers' Imprint. Oxford University Press.

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