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Marij Van Strien
Bergische Universität Wuppertal
  1. 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.
    The recent discovery of an indeterministic system in classical mechanics, the Norton dome, has shown that answering the question whether classical mechanics is deterministic can be a complicated matter. In this paper I show that indeterministic systems similar to the Norton dome were already known in the nineteenth century: I discuss four nineteenth century authors who wrote about such systems, namely Poisson, Duhamel, Boussinesq and Bertrand. However, I argue that their discussion of such systems was very different from the contemporary (...)
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  2. On the Origins and Foundations of Laplacian Determinism.Marij van Strien - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45:24-31.
    In this paper I examine the foundations of Laplace's famous statement of determinism in 1814, and argue that rather than derived from his mechanics, this statement is based on general philosophical principles, namely the principle of sufficient reason and the law of continuity. It is usually supposed that Laplace's statement is based on the fact that each system in classical mechanics has an equation of motion which has a unique solution. But Laplace never proved this result, and in fact he (...)
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  3.  22
    Vital Instability: Life and Free Will in Physics and Physiology, 1860–1880.Marij van Strien - 2015 - Annals of Science 72 (3):381-400.
    During the period 1860-1880, a number of physicists and mathematicians, including Maxwell, Stewart, Cournot and Boussinesq, used theories formulated in terms of physics to argue that the mind, the soul or a vital principle could have an impact on the body. This paper shows that what was primarily at stake for these authors was a concern about the irreducibility of life and the mind to physics, and that their theories can be regarded primarily as reactions to the law of conservation (...)
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  4.  47
    Pluralism and Anarchism in Quantum Physics: Paul Feyerabend's Writings on Quantum Physics in Relation to His General Philosophy of Science.Marij van Strien - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 80:72-81.
    This paper aims to show that the development of Feyerabend’s philosophical ideas in the 1950s and 1960s largely took place in the context of debates on quantum mechanics. In particular, he developed his influential arguments for pluralism in science in discussions with the quantum physicist David Bohm, who had developed an alternative approach to quantum physics which (in Feyerabend’s perception) was met with a dogmatic dismissal by some of the leading quantum physicists. I argue that Feyerabend’s arguments for theoretical pluralism (...)
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  5.  14
    Bohm's Theory of Quantum Mechanics and the Notion of Classicality.Marij van Strien - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 71:72-86.
    When David Bohm published his alternative theory of quantum mechanics in 1952, it was not received well; a recurring criticism was that it formed a reactionary attempt to return to classical physics. In response, Bohm emphasized the progressiveness of his approach, and even turned the accusation of classicality around by arguing that he wanted to move beyond classical elements still inherent in orthodox quantum mechanics. In later years, he moved more and more towards speculative and mystical directions. This paper aims (...)
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  6.  21
    Continuity in Nature and in Mathematics: Du Châtelet and Boscovich.Marij Van Strien - 2017 - In Michela Massimi, Jan-Willem Romeijn & Gerhard Schurz (eds.), EPSA15 Selected Papers. Springer. pp. 71-82.
    In the mid-eighteenth century, it was usually taken for granted that all curves described by a single mathematical function were continuous, which meant that they had a shape without bends and a well-defined derivative. In this paper I discuss arguments for this claim made by two authors, Emilie du Châtelet and Roger Boscovich. I show that according to them, the claim follows from the law of continuity, which also applies to natural processes, so that natural processes and mathematical functions have (...)
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  7.  81
    The Nineteenth Century Conflict Between Mechanism and Irreversibility.Marij van Strien - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):191-205.
    The reversibility problem (better known as the reversibility objection) is usually taken to be an internal problem in the kinetic theory of gases, namely the problem of how to account for the second law of thermodynamics within this theory. Historically, it is seen as an objection that was raised against Boltzmann's kinetic theory of gases, which led Boltzmann to a statistical approach to the kinetic theory, culminating in the development of statistical mechanics. In this paper, I show that in the (...)
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  8.  56
    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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  9.  42
    Continuity in Nature and in Mathematics: Boltzmann and Poincaré.Marij van Strien - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3275-3295.
    The development of rigorous foundations of differential calculus in the course of the nineteenth century led to concerns among physicists about its applicability in physics. Through this development, differential calculus was made independent of empirical and intuitive notions of continuity, and based instead on strictly mathematical conditions of continuity. However, for Boltzmann and Poincaré, the applicability of mathematics in physics depended on whether there is a basis in physics, intuition or experience for the fundamental axioms of mathematics—and this meant that (...)
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  10.  32
    María de Paz and Robert DiSalle, Eds. Poincaré, Philosopher of Science. Dordrecht: Springer, 2014. Pp. Xiv+191. $179.00. [REVIEW]Marij van Strien - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):183-187.