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Determinism, physical possibility, and laws of nature

Gyenis, Balázs (2014) Determinism, physical possibility, and laws of nature. Erkenntnis. ISSN 0165-0106 (Submitted)

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Abstract

The truth of determinism is determined by what is physically possible, what is physically possible is determined by physical laws, and yet physical laws don’t determine whether determinism is true. The first of these claims follows from definition. The second is the essence of the received view of physical possibility. The third reflects on a split in our understanding of this received view. We point out that philosophers unwittingly state two different formulations of how physical laws determine what is physically possible. It may be the case that determinism fails under one formulation but reigns under the other. Whether this is so depends on our view on the nature of laws as well as on the inter-theoretical relationships among our best physical theo- ries, or so shall we argue. A more honest unpacking of our tongue-in-cheek would be thus: there are different formulations of how physical laws determine what is physically possible and the fate of determinism may depend on the formulation we choose.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > B1 Philosophy (General) / filozófia általában
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BD Speculative Philosophy / rendszeres filozófia > BD1 Metaphysics / metafizika
Depositing User: Dr Balazs Gyenis
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2015 10:24
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2015 10:24
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/19870

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