Related concepts and fundamentals:
Determinism is the philosophical theory that all events, including
moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing
Determinism is usually understood to preclude free will
because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do. The
theory holds that the universe is utterly rational because complete
knowledge of any given situation assures that unerring knowledge of
its future is also possible. Some philosophers suggest variants
around this basic definition. Deterministic theories throughout the
history of philosophy have sprung from diverse and sometimes
overlapping motives and considerations. The opposite of determinism is
some kind of indeterminism (otherwise called nondeterminism).
Determinism is often contrasted with free will.
Determinism often is taken to mean causal determinism, which in
physics is known as cause-and-effect. It is the concept that events
within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any
state (of an object or event) is completely determined by prior
states. This meaning can be distinguished from other varieties of
determinism mentioned below.
Other debates often concern the scope of determined systems, with some
maintaining that the entire universe is a single determinate system
and others identifying other more limited determinate systems (or
multiverse). Numerous historical debates involve many philosophical
positions and varieties of determinism. They include debates
concerning determinism and free will, technically denoted as
compatibilistic (allowing the two to coexist) and incompatibilistic
(denying their coexistence is a possibility).
Determinism should not
be confused with self-determination of human actions by reasons,
motives, and desires.
Determinism rarely requires that perfect
prediction be practically possible.
2 Philosophical connections
2.1 With nature/nurture controversy
2.2 With particular factors
2.3 With free will
2.4 With the soul
2.5 With ethics and morality
3.1 Western tradition
3.2 Eastern tradition
4 Modern scientific perspective
4.1 Generative processes
4.2 Compatibility with the existence of science
4.3 Mathematical models
Quantum mechanics and classical physics
4.4.1 Day-to-day physics
4.4.2 Quantum realm
4.4.3 Other matters of quantum determinism
5 See also
5.1 Types of determinism
7 Further reading
8 External links
"Determinism" may commonly refer to any of the following viewpoints:
Many philosophical theories of determinism frame themselves with the
idea that reality follows a sort of predetermined path
Causal determinism is "the idea that every event is necessitated by
antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature".
However, causal determinism is a broad enough term to consider that
"one's deliberations, choices, and actions will often be necessary
links in the causal chain that brings something about. In other words,
even though our deliberations, choices, and actions are themselves
determined like everything else, it is still the case, according to
causal determinism, that the occurrence or existence of yet other
things depends upon our deliberating, choosing and acting in a certain
way". Causal determinism proposes that there is an unbroken chain
of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe.
The relation between events may not be specified, nor the origin of
that universe. Causal determinists believe that there is nothing in
the universe that is uncaused or self-caused. Historical determinism
(a sort of path dependence) can also be synonymous with causal
determinism. Causal determinism has also been considered more
generally as the idea that everything that happens or exists is caused
by antecedent conditions. In the case of nomological determinism,
these conditions are considered events also, implying that the future
is determined completely by preceding events—a combination of prior
states of the universe and the laws of nature. Yet they can also be
considered metaphysical of origin (such as in the case of theological
Nomological determinism is the most common form of causal
determinism. It is the notion that the past and the present dictate
the future entirely and necessarily by rigid natural laws, that every
occurrence results inevitably from prior events.
Quantum mechanics and
various interpretations thereof pose a serious challenge to this view.
Nomological determinism is sometimes illustrated by the thought
experiment of Laplace's demon. Nomological determinism is sometimes
called 'scientific' determinism, although that is a misnomer. Physical
determinism is generally used synonymously with nomological
determinism (its opposite being physical indeterminism).
Necessitarianism is closely related to the causal determinism
described above. It is a metaphysical principle that denies all mere
possibility; there is exactly one way for the world to be. Leucippus
claimed there were no uncaused events, and that everything occurs for
a reason and by necessity.
Predeterminism is the idea that all events are determined in
advance. The concept of predeterminism is often argued by
invoking causal determinism, implying that there is an unbroken chain
of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe. In
the case of predeterminism, this chain of events has been
pre-established, and human actions cannot interfere with the outcomes
of this pre-established chain.
Predeterminism can be used to mean such
pre-established causal determinism, in which case it is categorised as
a specific type of determinism. It can also be used
interchangeably with causal determinism—in the context of its
capacity to determine future events. Despite this,
predeterminism is often considered as independent of causal
determinism. The term predeterminism is also frequently used
in the context of biology and hereditary, in which case it represents
a form of biological determinism.
Fatalism is normally distinguished from "determinism", as a form
of teleological determinism.
Fatalism is the idea that everything is
fated to happen, so that humans have no control over their future.
Fate has arbitrary power, and need not follow any causal or otherwise
deterministic laws. Types of fatalism include hard theological
determinism and the idea of predestination, where there is a
determines all that humans will do. This may be accomplished either by
knowing their actions in advance, via some form of omniscience or
by decreeing their actions in advance.
Theological determinism is a form of determinism which states that all
events that happen are pre-ordained, or predestined to happen, by a
monotheistic deity, or that they are destined to occur given its
omniscience. Two forms of theological determinism exist, here
referenced as strong and weak theological determinism. The first
one, strong theological determinism, is based on the concept of a
creator deity dictating all events in history: "everything that
happens has been predestined to happen by an omniscient, omnipotent
divinity". The second form, weak theological determinism, is based
on the concept of divine foreknowledge—"because God's omniscience is
God knows about the future will inevitably happen, which
means, consequently, that the future is already fixed". There
exist slight variations on the above categorisation. Some claim that
theological determinism requires predestination of all events and
outcomes by the divinity (i.e. they do not classify the weaker version
as 'theological determinism' unless libertarian free will is assumed
to be denied as a consequence), or that the weaker version does not
constitute 'theological determinism' at all. With respect to free
will, "theological determinism is the thesis that
God exists and has
infallible knowledge of all true propositions including propositions
about our future actions", more minimal criteria designed to
encapsulate all forms of theological determinism. Theological
determinism can also be seen as a form of causal determinism, in which
the antecedent conditions are the nature and will of God.
Logical determinism or Determinateness is the notion that all
propositions, whether about the past, present, or future, are either
true or false. Note that one can support causal determinism without
necessarily supporting logical determinism and vice versa (depending
on one's views on the nature of time, but also randomness). The
problem of free will is especially salient now with logical
determinism: how can choices be free, given that propositions about
the future already have a truth value in the present (i.e. it is
already determined as either true or false)? This is referred to as
the problem of future contingents.
Adequate determinism focuses on the fact that, even without a full
understanding of microscopic physics, we can predict the distribution
of 1000 coin tosses
Often synonymous with logical determinism are the ideas behind
spatio-temporal determinism or eternalism: the view of special
relativity. J. J. C. Smart, a proponent of this view, uses the term
"tenselessness" to describe the simultaneous existence of past,
present, and future. In physics, the "block universe" of Hermann
Albert Einstein assumes that time is a fourth dimension
(like the three spatial dimensions). In other words, all the other
parts of time are real, like the city blocks up and down a street,
although the order in which they appear depends on the driver (see
Adequate determinism is the idea that quantum indeterminacy can be
ignored for most macroscopic events. This is because of quantum
decoherence. Random quantum events "average out" in the limit of large
numbers of particles (where the laws of quantum mechanics
asymptotically approach the laws of classical mechanics). Stephen
Hawking explains a similar idea: he says that the microscopic world of
quantum mechanics is one of determined probabilities. That is, quantum
effects rarely alter the predictions of classical mechanics, which are
quite accurate (albeit still not perfectly certain) at larger
scales. Something as large as an animal cell, then, would be
"adequately determined" (even in light of quantum indeterminacy).
The many-worlds interpretation accepts the linear causal sets of
sequential events with adequate consistency yet also suggests constant
forking of causal chains creating "multiple universes" to account for
multiple outcomes from single events. Meaning the causal set of
events leading to the present are all valid yet appear as a singular
linear time stream within a much broader unseen conic probability
field of other outcomes that "split off" from the locally observed
timeline. Under this model causal sets are still "consistent" yet not
exclusive to singular iterated outcomes. The interpretation side steps
the exclusive retrospective causal chain problem of "could not have
done otherwise" by suggesting "the other outcome does exist" in a set
of parallel universe time streams that split off when the action
occurred. This theory is sometimes described with the example of agent
based choices but more involved models argue that recursive causal
splitting occurs with all particle wave functions at play. This
model is highly contested with multiple objections from the scientific
With nature/nurture controversy
Nature and nurture
Nature and nurture interact in humans. A scientist looking at a
sculpture after some time does not ask whether we are seeing the
effects of the starting materials or of environmental influences.
Although some of the above forms of determinism concern human
behaviors and cognition, others frame themselves as an answer to the
debate on nature and nurture. They will suggest that one factor will
entirely determine behavior. As scientific understanding has grown,
however, the strongest versions of these theories have been widely
rejected as a single-cause fallacy.
In other words, the modern deterministic theories attempt to explain
how the interaction of both nature and nurture is entirely
predictable. The concept of heritability has been helpful in making
Biological determinism, sometimes called genetic determinism, is the
idea that each of human behaviors, beliefs, and desires are fixed by
human genetic nature.
Behaviorism involves the idea that all behavior can be traced to
specific causes—either environmental or reflexive. John B. Watson
B. F. Skinner
B. F. Skinner developed this nurture-focused determinism.
Cultural determinism or social determinism is the nurture-focused
theory that the culture in which we are raised determines who we are.
Environmental determinism, also known as climatic or geographical
determinism, proposes that the physical environment, rather than
social conditions, determines culture. Supporters of environmental
determinism often[quantify] also support Behavioral determinism. Key
proponents of this notion have included Ellen Churchill Semple,
Thomas Griffith Taylor
Thomas Griffith Taylor and possibly Jared
Diamond, although his status as an environmental determinist is
With particular factors
A technological determinist might suggest that technology like the
mobile phone is the greatest factor shaping human civilization.
Other 'deterministic' theories actually seek only to highlight the
importance of a particular factor in predicting the future. These
theories often use the factor as a sort of guide or constraint on the
future. They need not suppose that complete knowledge of that one
factor would allow us to make perfect predictions.
Psychological determinism can mean that humans must act according to
reason, but it can also be synonymous with some sort of Psychological
egoism. The latter is the view that humans will always act according
to their perceived best interest.
Linguistic determinism claims that our language determines (at least
limits) the things we can think and say and thus know. The
Sapir–Whorf hypothesis argues that individuals experience the world
based on the grammatical structures they habitually use.
Economic determinism is the theory which attributes primacy to the
economic structure over politics in the development of human history.
It is associated with the dialectical materialism of Karl Marx.
Technological determinism is a reductionist theory that presumes that
a society's technology drives the development of its social structure
and cultural values.
With free will
Main article: Free will
A table showing the different positions related to free will and
Philosophers have debated both the truth of determinism, and the truth
of free will. This creates the four possible positions in the figure.
Compatibilism refers to the view that free will is, in some sense,
compatible with determinism. The three incompatibilist positions, on
the other hand, deny this possibility. The hard incompatibilists hold
that both determinism and free will do not exist, the libertarianists
that determinism does not hold, and free will might exist, and the
hard determinists that determinism does hold and free will does not
The standard argument against free will, according to philosopher J.
J. C. Smart focuses on the implications of determinism for 'free
will'. However, he suggests free will is denied whether
determinism is true or not. On one hand, if determinism is true, all
our actions are predicted and we are assumed not to be free; on the
other hand, if determinism is false, our actions are presumed to be
random and as such we do not seem free because we had no part in
controlling what happened.
In his book, The Moral Landscape, author and neuroscientist Sam Harris
also argues against free will. He offers one thought experiment where
a mad scientist represents determinism. In Harris' example, the mad
scientist uses a machine to control all the desires, and thus all the
behavior, of a particular human. Harris believes that it is no longer
as tempting, in this case, to say the victim has "free will". Harris
says nothing changes if the machine controls desires at random - the
victim still seems to lack free will. Harris then argues that we are
also the victims of such unpredictable desires (but due to the
unconscious machinations of our brain, rather than those of a mad
scientist). Based on this introspection, he writes "This discloses the
real mystery of free will: if our experience is compatible with its
utter absence, how can we say that we see any evidence for it in the
first place?" adding that "Whether they are predictable or not, we
do not cause our causes." That is, he believes there is compelling
evidence of absence of free will.
Some research (funded by the John Templeton Foundation) suggested that
reducing a person's belief in free will is dangerous, making them less
helpful and more aggressive. This could occur because the
individual's sense of self-efficacy suffers.
With the soul
Some determinists argue that materialism does not present a complete
understanding of the universe, because while it can describe
determinate interactions among material things, it ignores the minds
or souls of conscious beings.
A number of positions can be delineated:
Immaterial souls are all that exist (Idealism).
Immaterial souls exist and exert a non-deterministic causal influence
on bodies. (Traditional free-will, interactionist dualism).
Immaterial souls exist, but are part of deterministic framework.
Immaterial souls exist, but exert no causal influence, free or
determined (epiphenomenalism, occasionalism)
Immaterial souls do not exist — there is no mind-body dichotomy, and
there is a Materialistic explanation for intuitions to the contrary.
With ethics and morality
Another topic of debate is the implication that
Determinism has on
Hard determinism (a belief in determinism, and not free
will) is particularly criticized for seeming to make traditional moral
judgments impossible. Some philosophers, however, find this an
Philosopher and incompatibilist
Peter van Inwagen introduces this
thesis as such:
Free Will is Required for Moral Judgments
The moral judgment that you shouldn't have done X implies that you
should have done something else instead
That you should have done something else instead implies that there
was something else for you to do
That there was something else for you to do implies that you could
have done something else
That you could have done something else implies that you have free
If you don't have free will to have done other than X we cannot make
the moral judgment that you shouldn't have done X.
However, a compatibilist might have an issue with Inwagen's process
because one can not change the past like his arguments center around.
A compatibilist who centers around plans for the future might posit:
The moral judgment that you should not have done X implies that you
can do something else instead
That you can do something else instead implies that there is something
else for you to do
That there is something else for you to do implies that you can do
That you can do something else implies that you have free will for
planning future recourse
If you have free will to do other than X we can make the moral
judgment that you should do other than X, and punishing you as a
responsible party for having done X that you know you should not have
done can help you remember to not do X in the future.
Determinism has been established by the Greek philosophers, during the
7th and 6th century BC he 6th century BC by the Presocratics
Leucippus and mainly by the
Stoics with the universal
causal determinism and Aristotle. Some of the main philosophers who
have dealt with this issue are Marcus Aurelius, Omar Khayyám, Thomas
Hobbes, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, David Hume, Baron d'Holbach
(Paul Heinrich Dietrich), Pierre-Simon Laplace, Arthur Schopenhauer,
William James, Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Ralph
Waldo Emerson and, more recently, John Searle, Sam Harris, Ted
Honderich, and Daniel Dennett.
Mecca Chiesa notes that the probabilistic or selectionistic
B.F. Skinner comprised a wholly separate conception of
determinism that was not mechanistic at all. Mechanistic determinism
assumes that every event has an unbroken chain of prior occurrences,
but a selectionistic or probabilistic model does not.
In the West, some elements of determinism have been expressed in
Greece from the 6th century BC by the Presocratics Heraclitus and
Leucippus. The first full-fledged notion of determinism appears to
originate with the Stoics, as part of their theory of universal causal
determinism. The resulting philosophical debates, which involved
the confluence of elements of Aristotelian
Ethics with Stoic
psychology, led in the 1st-3rd centuries CE in the works of Alexander
of Aphrodisias to the first recorded Western debate over determinism
and freedom, an issue that is known in theology as the paradox of
free will. The writings of
Epictetus as well as
Middle Platonist and
early Christian thought were instrumental in this development. The
Moses Maimonides said of the deterministic
implications of an omniscient god: "Does
God know or does He not
know that a certain individual will be good or bad? If thou sayest 'He
knows', then it necessarily follows that [that] man is compelled to
God knew beforehand he would act, otherwise God's knowledge
would be imperfect.…"
Determinism in the West is often associated with Newtonian physics,
which depicts the physical matter of the universe as operating
according to a set of fixed, knowable laws. The "billiard ball"
hypothesis, a product of Newtonian physics, argues that once the
initial conditions of the universe have been established, the rest of
the history of the universe follows inevitably. If it were actually
possible to have complete knowledge of physical matter and all of the
laws governing that matter at any one time, then it would be
theoretically possible to compute the time and place of every event
that will ever occur (Laplace's demon). In this sense, the basic
particles of the universe operate in the same fashion as the rolling
balls on a billiard table, moving and striking each other in
predictable ways to produce predictable results.
Whether or not it is all-encompassing in so doing, Newtonian mechanics
deals only with caused events, e.g.: If an object begins in a known
position and is hit dead on by an object with some known velocity,
then it will be pushed straight toward another predictable point. If
it goes somewhere else, the Newtonians argue, one must question one's
measurements of the original position of the object, the exact
direction of the striking object, gravitational or other fields that
were inadvertently ignored, etc. Then, they maintain, repeated
experiments and improvements in accuracy will always bring one's
observations closer to the theoretically predicted results. When
dealing with situations on an ordinary human scale, Newtonian physics
has been so enormously successful that it has no competition. But it
fails spectacularly as velocities become some substantial fraction of
the speed of light and when interactions at the atomic scale are
studied. Before the discovery of quantum effects and other challenges
to Newtonian physics, "uncertainty" was always a term that applied to
the accuracy of human knowledge about causes and effects, and not to
the causes and effects themselves.
Newtonian mechanics as well as any following physical theories are
results of observations and experiments, and so they describe "how it
all works" within a tolerance. However, old western scientists
believed if there are any logical connections found between an
observed cause and effect, there must be also some absolute natural
Belief in perfect natural laws driving everything,
instead of just describing what we should expect, led to searching for
a set of universal simple laws that rule the world. This movement
significantly encouraged deterministic views in western
philosophy, as well as the related theological views of Classical
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The idea that the entire universe is a deterministic system has been
articulated in both Eastern and non-Eastern religion, philosophy, and
I Ching and Philosophical Taoism, the ebb and flow of favorable and
unfavorable conditions suggests the path of least resistance is
effortless (see wu wei).
In the philosophical schools of India, the concept of precise and
continual effect of laws of
Karma on the existence of all sentient
beings is analogous to western deterministic concept.
Karma is the
concept of "action" or "deed" in Indian religions. It is understood as
that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect (i.e., the
cycle called saṃsāra) originating in ancient India and treated in
Hindu, Jain, Sikh and Buddhist philosophies.
Karma is considered
predetermined and deterministic in the universe, and in combination
with the decisions (free will) of living beings, accumulates to
determine futuristic situations that the living being encounters. See
Karma in Hinduism.
Modern scientific perspective
Main article: Emergence
Although it was once thought by scientists that any indeterminism in
quantum mechanics occurred at too small a scale to influence
biological or neurological systems, there is indication that nervous
systems are influenced by quantum indeterminism due to chaos
theory. It is unclear what implications this has for
the problem of free will given various possible reactions to the
problem in the first place. Many biologists don't grant
Christof Koch argues against it, and in favour of
libertarian free will, by making arguments based on generative
processes (emergence). Other proponents of emergentist or
generative philosophy, cognitive sciences and evolutionary psychology,
argue that a certain form of determinism (not necessarily causal) is
true. They suggest instead that an illusion of free
will is experienced due to the generation of infinite behaviour from
the interaction of finite-deterministic set of rules and parameters.
Thus the unpredictability of the emerging behaviour from deterministic
processes leads to a perception of free will, even though free will as
an ontological entity does not exist. Certain
experiments looking at the neuroscience of free will can be said to
support this possibility.
In Conway's Game of Life, the interaction of just four simple rules
creates patterns that seem somehow "alive".
As an illustration, the strategy board-games chess and Go have
rigorous rules in which no information (such as cards' face-values) is
hidden from either player and no random events (such as dice-rolling)
happen within the game. Yet, chess and especially Go with its
extremely simple deterministic rules, can still have an extremely
large number of unpredictable moves. When chess is simplified to 7 or
fewer pieces, however, there are endgame tables available which
dictate which moves to play to achieve a perfect game. The implication
of this is that given a less complex environment (with the original 32
pieces reduced to 7 or fewer pieces), a perfectly predictable game of
chess is possible to achieve. In this scenario, the winning player
would be able to announce a checkmate happening in at most a given
number of moves assuming a perfect defense by the losing player, or
fewer moves if the defending player chooses sub-optimal moves as the
game progresses into its inevitable, predicted conclusion. By this
analogy, it is suggested, the experience of free will emerges from the
interaction of finite rules and deterministic parameters that generate
nearly infinite and practically unpredictable behavioural responses.
In theory, if all these events could be accounted for, and there were
a known way to evaluate these events, the seemingly unpredictable
behaviour would become predictable. Another hands-on
example of generative processes is John Horton Conway's playable Game
of Life. Nassim Taleb is wary of such models, and coined the term
Compatibility with the existence of science
Certain philosophers of science argue that while causal determinism in
which everything including the brain/mind is subject to the laws of
causality is compatible with minds capable of science, fatalism and
predestination is not. These philosophers make the distinction that
causal determinism means that each step is determined by the step
before and therefore allows sensory input from observational data to
determine what conclusions the brain reaches, while fatalism in which
the steps between do not connect an initial cause to the results would
make it impossible for observational data to correct false hypotheses.
This is often combined with the argument that if the brain had fixed
views and the arguments were mere after-constructs with no causal
effect on the conclusions, science would have been impossible and the
use of arguments would have been a meaningless waste of energy with no
persuasive effect on brains with fixed views.
Many mathematical models of physical systems are deterministic. This
is true of most models involving differential equations (notably,
those measuring rate of change over time).
Mathematical models that
are not deterministic because they involve randomness are called
stochastic. Because of sensitive dependence on initial conditions,
some deterministic models may appear to behave non-deterministically;
in such cases, a deterministic interpretation of the model may not be
useful due to numerical instability and a finite amount of precision
in measurement. Such considerations can motivate the consideration of
a stochastic model even though the underlying system is governed by
Quantum mechanics and classical physics
Further information: Macroscopic quantum phenomena
Since the beginning of the 20th century, quantum mechanics—the
physics of the extremely small—has revealed previously concealed
aspects of events. Before that, Newtonian physics—the physics of
everyday life—dominated. Taken in isolation (rather than as an
approximation to quantum mechanics),
Newtonian physics depicts a
universe in which objects move in perfectly determined ways. At the
scale where humans exist and interact with the universe, Newtonian
mechanics remain useful, and make relatively accurate predictions
(e.g. calculating the trajectory of a bullet). But whereas in theory,
absolute knowledge of the forces accelerating a bullet would produce
an absolutely accurate prediction of its path, modern quantum
mechanics casts reasonable doubt on this main thesis of determinism.
Relevant is the fact that certainty is never absolute in practice (and
not just because of David Hume's problem of induction). The equations
Newtonian mechanics can exhibit sensitive dependence on initial
conditions. This is an example of the butterfly effect, which is one
of the subjects of chaos theory. The idea is that something even as
small as a butterfly could cause a chain reaction leading to a
hurricane years later. Consequently, even a very small error in
knowledge of initial conditions can result in arbitrarily large
deviations from predicted behavior.
Chaos theory thus explains why it
may be practically impossible to predict real life, whether
determinism is true or false. On the other hand, the issue may not be
so much about human abilities to predict or attain certainty as much
as it is the nature of reality itself. For that, a closer, scientific
look at nature is necessary.
Quantum physics works differently in many ways from Newtonian physics.
Aaron D. O'Connell
Aaron D. O'Connell explains that understanding our universe,
at such small scales as atoms, requires a different logic than
day-to-day life does. O'Connell does not deny that it is all
interconnected: the scale of human existence ultimately does emerge
from the quantum scale. O'Connell argues that we must simply use
different models and constructs when dealing with the quantum
Quantum mechanics is the product of a careful application
of the scientific method, logic and empiricism. The Heisenberg
uncertainty principle is frequently confused with the observer effect.
The uncertainty principle actually describes how precisely we may
measure the position and momentum of a particle at the same time —
if we increase the accuracy in measuring one quantity, we are forced
to lose accuracy in measuring the other. "These uncertainty relations
give us that measure of freedom from the limitations of classical
concepts which is necessary for a consistent description of atomic
Although it is not possible to predict the trajectory of any one
particle, they all obey determined probabilities which do permit some
This is where statistical mechanics come into play, and where
physicists begin to require rather unintuitive mental models: A
particle's path simply cannot be exactly specified in its full quantum
description. "Path" is a classical, practical attribute in our every
day life, but one which quantum particles do not meaningfully possess.
The probabilities discovered in quantum mechanics do nevertheless
arise from measurement (of the perceived path of the particle). As
Stephen Hawking explains, the result is not traditional determinism,
but rather determined probabilities. In some cases, a quantum
particle may indeed trace an exact path, and the probability of
finding the particles in that path is one (certain to be true). In
fact, as far as prediction goes, the quantum development is at least
as predictable as the classical motion, but the key is that it
describes wave functions that cannot be easily expressed in ordinary
language. As far as the thesis of determinism is concerned, these
probabilities, at least, are quite determined. These findings from
quantum mechanics have found many applications, and allow us to build
transistors and lasers. Put another way: personal computers, Blu-ray
players and the internet all work because humankind discovered the
determined probabilities of the quantum world. None of that should
be taken to imply that other aspects of quantum mechanics are not
still up for debate.
On the topic of predictable probabilities, the double-slit experiments
are a popular example. Photons are fired one-by-one through a
double-slit apparatus at a distant screen. Curiously, they do not
arrive at any single point, nor even the two points lined up with the
slits (the way you might expect of bullets fired by a fixed gun at a
distant target). Instead, the light arrives in varying concentrations
at widely separated points, and the distribution of its collisions
with the target can be calculated reliably. In that sense the behavior
of light in this apparatus is deterministic, but there is no way to
predict where in the resulting interference pattern any individual
photon will make its contribution (although, there may be ways to use
weak measurement to acquire more information without violating the
Some (including Albert Einstein) argue that our inability to predict
any more than probabilities is simply due to ignorance. The idea
is that, beyond the conditions and laws we can observe or deduce,
there are also hidden factors or "hidden variables" that determine
absolutely in which order photons reach the detector screen. They
argue that the course of the universe is absolutely determined, but
that humans are screened from knowledge of the determinative factors.
So, they say, it only appears that things proceed in a merely
probabilistically determinative way. In actuality, they proceed in an
absolutely deterministic way.
John S. Bell
John S. Bell criticized Einstein's work in his famous Bell's Theorem
which proved that quantum mechanics can make statistical predictions
which would be violated if local hidden variables really existed.
There have been a number of experiments to verify such predictions,
and so far they do not appear to be violated. Better and better tests
continue to verify the result, including the 2015 "Loophole Free Test"
that plugged all known sources of error and the 2017 "Cosmic Bell
Test" that based the experiment cosmic data streaming from different
directions toward the Earth, precluding the possibility the sources of
data could have had prior interactions. However, it is possible to
augment quantum mechanics with non-local hidden variables to achieve a
deterministic theory that is in agreement with experiment. An
example is the
Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics. Bohm's
Interpretation, though, violates special relativity and it is highly
controversial whether or not it can be reconciled without giving up on
More advanced variations on these arguments include Quantum
contextuality, by Bell,
Simon B. Kochen and
Ernst Specker in which
argues that hidden variable theories cannot be "sensible," which here
means that the values of the hidden variables inherently depend on the
devices used to measure them.
This debate is relevant because it is easy to imagine specific
situations in which the arrival of an electron at a screen at a
certain point and time would trigger one event, whereas its arrival at
another point would trigger an entirely different event (e.g. see
Schrödinger's cat - a thought experiment used as part of a deeper
Thus, quantum physics casts reasonable doubt on the traditional
determinism of classical,
Newtonian physics in so far as reality does
not seem to be absolutely determined. This was the subject of the
Bohr–Einstein debates between Einstein and
Niels Bohr and
there is still no consensus.
Adequate determinism (see Varieties, above) is the reason that Stephen
Hawking calls Libertarian free will "just an illusion". see Free
will for further discussions on this topic.
Other matters of quantum determinism
This section is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay
that states a editor's personal feelings about a topic.
Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style.
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Chaotic radioactivity is the next explanatory challenge for physicists
All uranium found on earth is thought to have been synthesized during
a supernova explosion that occurred roughly 5 billion years ago. Even
before the laws of quantum mechanics were developed to their present
level, the radioactivity of such elements has posed a challenge to
determinism due to its unpredictability. One gram of uranium-238, a
commonly occurring radioactive substance, contains some 2.5 x 1021
atoms. Each of these atoms are identical and indistinguishable
according to all tests known to modern science. Yet about 12600 times
a second, one of the atoms in that gram will decay, giving off an
alpha particle. The challenge for determinism is to explain why and
when decay occurs, since it does not seem to depend on external
stimulus. Indeed, no extant theory of physics makes testable
predictions of exactly when any given atom will decay. At best
scientists can discover determined probabilities in the form of the
element's half life.
The time dependent
Schrödinger equation gives the first time
derivative of the quantum state. That is, it explicitly and uniquely
predicts the development of the wave function with time.
displaystyle ihbar frac partial psi (x,t) partial t =- frac
hbar ^ 2 2m frac partial ^ 2 psi (x,t) partial x^ 2 +V(x)psi
So if the wave function itself is reality (rather than probability of
classical coordinates), then the unitary evolution of the wave
function in quantum mechanics, can be said to be deterministic. But
the unitary evolution of the wave function is not the entirety of
Asserting that quantum mechanics is deterministic by treating the wave
function itself as reality might be thought to imply a single wave
function for the entire universe, starting at the origin of the
universe. Such a "wave function of everything" would carry the
probabilities of not just the world we know, but every other possible
world that could have evolved. For example, large voids in the
distributions of galaxies are believed by many cosmologists to have
originated in quantum fluctuations during the big bang. (See cosmic
inflation, primordial fluctuations and large-scale structure of the
However, neither the posited "reality", nor the proven &
extraordinary accuracy of the wave function & quantum mechanics at
small scales can imply or reasonably suggest the existence of a single
wave function for the entire universe.
Quantum mechanics breaks down
wherever gravity becomes significant, because nothing in the wave
function, or in quantum mechanics, predicts anything at all about
gravity. And this is obviously of great importance on larger scales.
Gravity is thought of as a large-scale force, with a longer reach than
any other. But gravity becomes significant even at masses that are
tiny compared to the mass of the universe.
A wave function the size of the universe might successfully model a
universe with no gravity. Our universe, with gravity, is vastly
different from that which is predicted by quantum mechanics alone. To
forget this is a colossal error.
Objective collapse theories, which involve a dynamic (and
non-deterministic) collapse of the wave function (e.g.
Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber theory, Penrose interpretation, or causal
fermion systems) avoid these absurdities. The theory of causal fermion
systems for example, is able to unify quantum mechanics, general
relativity and quantum field theory, via a more fundamental theory
which is non-linear, but gives rise to the linear behaviour of the
wave function and also gives rise to the non-linear,
non-deterministic, wave-function collapse. These theories suggest that
a deeper understanding of the theory underlying quantum mechanics
shows the universe is indeed non-deterministic at a fundamental level.
Interpretation of quantum mechanics
Neuroscience of free will
Notes from Underground
Philosophical interpretation of classical physics
Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory
Types of determinism
Determinism Encyclopedia Britannica
^ A list of a dozen varieties of determinism is provided in Bob Doyle
(2011). Free Will: The Scandal in Philosophy. I-Phi Press.
pp. 145–146 ff. ISBN 0983580200.
^ For example, see Richard Langdon Franklin (1968). Freewill and
determinism: a study of rival conceptions of man. Routledge & K.
^ a b Hoefer, Carl (Apr 1, 2008). "Causal Determinism". In Edward N.
Zalta, ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Winter 2009
edition). CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
^ a b c Eshleman, Andrew (Nov 18, 2009). "Moral Responsibility". In
Edward N. Zalta, ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of
2009 ed.). CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link)
^ a b Arguments for Incompatibilism (Stanford Encyclopedia of
Laplace posited that an omniscient observer knowing with infinite
precision all the positions and velocities of every particle in the
universe could predict the future entirely. For a discussion, see
Robert C. Solomon; Kathleen M. Higgins (2009). "
Free will and
determinism". The Big Questions: A Short Introduction to Philosophy
(8th ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 232. ISBN 0495595152.
Another view of determinism is discussed by Ernest Nagel (1999). "§V:
Alternative descriptions of physical state". The Structure of Science:
Problems in the
Logic of Scientific Explanation (2nd ed.). Hackett.
pp. 285–292. ISBN 0915144719. a theory is deterministic
if, and only if, given its state variables for some initial period,
the theory logically determines a unique set of values for those
variables for any other period.
^ Leucippus, Fragment 569 - from Fr. 2 Actius I, 25, 4
^ a b c McKewan, Jaclyn (2009). "Evolution, Chemical". In H. James
Birx". Predeterminism. Encyclopedia of Time: Science, Philosophy,
Theology, & Culture. SAGE Publications, Inc. pp. 1035–1036.
doi:10.4135/9781412963961.n191. ISBN 9781412941648.
^ "Predeterminism". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries. April
2010. Retrieved 20 December 2012. . See also "Predeterminism".
Collins English Dictionary. Collins. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
^ "Some Varieties of
Free Will and Determinism".
Ethics. philosophy.lander.edu. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
Predeterminism: the philosophical and theological view that combines
God with determinism. On this doctrine events throughout eternity have
been foreordained by some supernatural power in a causal
^ See for example Hooft, G. (2001). "How does god play dice?
(Pre-)determinism at the Planck scale". arXiv:hep-th/0104219 .
Predeterminism is here defined by the assumption that the
experimenter's 'free will' in deciding what to measure (such as his
choice to measure the x- or the y-component of an electron's spin), is
in fact limited by deterministic laws, hence not free at all ,
and Sukumar, CV (1996). "A new paradigm for science and architecture".
City. Taylor & Francis. 1 (1–2): 181–183.
Theory provided a beautiful
description of the behaviour of isolated atoms and nuclei and small
aggregates of elementary particles. Modern science recognized that
predisposition rather than predeterminism is what is widely prevalent
^ Borst, C. (1992). "Leibniz and the compatibilist account of free
will". Studia leibnitiana: 49–58. JSTOR 40694201. Leibniz
presents a clear case of a philosopher who does not think that
predeterminism requires universal causal determinism
^ Far Western
Philosophy of Education Society (1971). Proceedings of
the Annual Meeting of the Far Western
Philosophy of Education Society.
Philosophy of Education Society. p. 12. Retrieved 20
December 2012. "Determinism" is, in essence, the position which holds
that all behavior is caused by prior behavior. "Predeterminism" is the
position which holds that all behavior is caused by conditions which
predate behavior altogether (such impersonal boundaries as "the human
conditions", instincts, the will of God, inherent knowledge, fate, and
^ "Predeterminism". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster,
Incorporated. Retrieved 20 December 2012. See for example
Ormond, A.T. (1894). "Freedom and psycho-genesis". Psychological
Review. Macmillan & Company. 1 (3): 217–229.
doi:10.1037/h0065249. The problem of predeterminism is one that
involves the factors of heredity and environment, and the point to be
debated here is the relation of the present self that chooses to these
predetermining agencies , and Garris, M.D.; et al. (1992). "A
Platform for Evolving Genetic Automata for Text Segmentation (GNATS)".
Science of Artificial Neural Networks. Science of Artificial Neural
Networks. Citeseer. 1710: 714–724. doi:10.1117/12.140132. However,
predeterminism is not completely avoided. If the codes within the
genotype are not designed properly, then the organisms being evolved
will be fundamentally handicapped.
^ SEP, Causal Determinism
^ Fischer, John Martin (1989) God, Foreknowledge and Freedom.
Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
^ Watt, Montgomery (1948) Free-Will and
Predestination in Early Islam.
London:Luzac & Co.
^ Anne Lockyer Jordan; Anne Lockyer Jordan Neil Lockyer Edwin Tate;
Neil Lockyer; Edwin Tate (25 June 2004).
Philosophy of Religion for A
Level OCR Edition. Nelson Thornes. p. 211.
ISBN 978-0-7487-8078-5. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
^ A. Pabl Iannone (2001). "determinism". Dictionary of World
Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. p. 194.
ISBN 978-0-415-17995-9. Retrieved 22 December 2012. theological
determinism, or the doctrine of predestination: the view that
everything which happens has been predestined to happen by an
omniscient, omnipotent divinity. A weaker version holds that, though
not predestined to happen, everything that happens has been eternally
known by virtue of the divine foreknowledge of an omniscient divinity.
If this divinity is also omnipotent, as in the case of the
Judeo-Christian religions, this weaker version is hard to distinguish
from the previous one because, though able to prevent what happens and
knowing that it is going to happen,
God lets it happen. To this,
advocates of free will reply that
God permits it to happen in order to
make room for the free will of humans.
^ Wentzel Van Huyssteen (2003). "theological determinism".
Encyclopedia of science and religion. 1. Macmillan Reference.
p. 217. ISBN 978-0-02-865705-9. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
Theological determinism constitutes a fifth kind of determinism. There
are two types of theological determinism, both compatible with
scientific and metaphysical determinism. In the first,
everything that happens, either in one all-determining single act at
the initial creation of the universe or through continuous divine
interactions with the world. Either way, the consequence is that
everything that happens becomes God's action, and determinism is
closely linked to divine action and God's omnipotence. According to
the second type of theological determinism,
God has perfect knowledge
of everything in the universe because
God is omniscient. And, as some
God is outside of time,
God has the capacity of knowing
past, present, and future in one instance. This means that
what will happen in the future. And because God's omniscience is
God knows about the future will inevitably happen, which
means, consequently, that the future is already fixed.
^ Raymond J. VanArragon (21 October 2010). Key Terms in
Religion. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 21.
ISBN 978-1-4411-3867-5. Retrieved 22 December 2012. Theological
determinism, on the other hand, claims that all events are determined
by God. On this view,
God decree that everything will go thus-and-so
and ensure that everything goes that way, so that ultimately
the cause of everything that happens and everything that happens is
part of God's plan. We might think of
God here as the all-powerful
movie director who writes script and causes everything to go accord
with it. We should note, as an aside, that there is some debate over
what would be sufficient for theological determinism to be true. Some
people claim that God's merely knowing what will happen determines
that it will, while others believe that
God must not only know but
must also cause those events to occur in order for their occurrence to
^ Vihvelin, Kadri (2011). "Arguments for Incompatibilism". In Edward
N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Spring 2011
Information Philosopher website, "Adequate Determinism", from
the site: "We are happy to agree with scientists and philosophers who
feel that quantum effects are for the most part negligible in the
macroscopic world. We particularly agree that they are negligible when
considering the causally determined will and the causally determined
actions set in motion by decisions of that will."
^ Grand Design (2010), page 32: "the molecular basis of biology shows
that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and
chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the
planets.", and page 72: "Quantum physics might seem to undermine the
idea that nature is governed by laws, but that is not the case.
Instead it leads us to accept a new form of determinism: Given the
state of a system at some time, the laws of nature determine the
probabilities of various futures and pasts rather than determining the
future and past with certainty." (emphasis in original, discussing a
Many worlds interpretation)
^ Kent, Adrian. "One world versus many: the inadequacy of Everettian
accounts of evolution, probability, and scientific confirmation." Many
worlds (2010): 307–354.
^ Vaidman, Lev. "
Many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics."
^ de Melo-Martín I (2005). "Firing up the nature/nurture controversy:
bioethics and genetic determinism". J Med Ethics. 31 (9): 526–30.
doi:10.1136/jme.2004.008417. PMC 1734214 .
^ Andrew, Sluyter (2003). "Neo-Environmental Determinism, Intellectual
Damage Control, and Nature/Society Science". Antipode. 35 (4):
^ J. J. C. Smart, "Free-Will, Praise and Blame,"Mind, July 1961,
^ Sam Harris,
The Moral Landscape
The Moral Landscape (2010), pg.216, note102
^ Sam Harris,
The Moral Landscape
The Moral Landscape (2010), pg.217, note109
^ Baumeister, RF; Masicampo, EJ; Dewall, CN (2009). "Prosocial
benefits of feeling free: disbelief in free will increases aggression
and reduces helpfulness". Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 35 (2): 260–8.
doi:10.1177/0146167208327217. PMID 19141628.
^ By 'soul' in the context of (1) is meant an autonomous immaterial
agent that has the power to control the body but not to be controlled
by the body (this theory of determinism thus conceives of conscious
agents in dualistic terms). Therefore the soul stands to the
activities of the individual agent's body as does the creator of the
universe to the universe. The creator of the universe put in motion a
deterministic system of material entities that would, if left to
themselves, carry out the chain of events determined by ordinary
causation. But the creator also provided for souls that could exert a
causal force analogous to the primordial causal force and alter
outcomes in the physical universe via the acts of their bodies. Thus,
it emerges that no events in the physical universe are uncaused. Some
are caused entirely by the original creative act and the way it plays
itself out through time, and some are caused by the acts of created
souls. But those created souls were not created by means of physical
processes involving ordinary causation. They are another order of
being entirely, gifted with the power to modify the original creation.
However, determinism is not necessarily limited to matter; it can
encompass energy as well. The question of how these immaterial
entities can act upon material entities is deeply involved in what is
generally known as the mind-body problem. It is a significant problem
which philosophers have not reached agreement about
Free Will (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
^ van Inwagen, Peter (2009). The Powers of Rational Beings: Freedom of
the Will. Oxford.
^ Chiesa, Mecca (2004) Radical Behaviorism: The
Philosophy & The
^ Ringen, J. D. (1993). "Adaptation, teleology, and selection by
consequences". Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 60 (1): 3–15.
doi:10.1901/jeab.1993.60-3. PMC 1322142 .
^ Stobaeus Eclogae I 5 (Heraclitus)
^ Stobaeus Eclogae I 4 (Leucippus)
Determinism and Freedom in Stoic
1998) chapter 1.
Susanne Bobzien The Inadvertent Conception and Late Birth of the
Free-Will Problem (Phronesis 43, 1998).
Michael Frede A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought
Moses Maimonides was not arguing against the existence of
God, but rather for the incompatibility between the full exercise by
God of his omniscience and genuine human free will, his argument is
considered by some as affected by Modal Fallacy. See, in particular,
the article by Prof. Norman Swartz for Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy, Foreknowledge and
Free Will and specifically Section 6:
The Modal Fallacy
^ The Eight Chapters of Maimonides on
Ethics (Semonah Perakhim),
edited, annotated, and translated with an Introduction by Joseph I.
Gorfinkle, pp. 99–100. (New York: AMS Press), 1966.
^ Swartz, Norman (2003) The
Concept of Physical
Law / Chapter 10: Free
Determinism ( https://www.sfu.ca/philosophy/physical-law/)
^ Lewis, E.R.; MacGregor, R.J. (2006). "On Indeterminism, Chaos, and
Small Number Particle Systems in the Brain" (PDF). Journal of
Integrative Neuroscience. 5 (2): 223–247.
^ Koch, Christof (September 2009). "Free Will, Physics, Biology and
the Brain". In Murphy, Nancy; Ellis, George; O'Connor, Timothy.
Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will. New York, USA:
Springer. ISBN 978-3-642-03204-2.
^ a b c Kenrick, D. T.; Li, N. P.; Butner, J. (2003). "Dynamical
evolutionary psychology: Individual decision rules and emergent social
norms" (PDF). Psychological Review. 110 (1): 3–28.
doi:10.1037/0033-295x.110.1.3. PMID 12529056.
^ a b c Nowak A., Vallacher R.R., Tesser A., Borkowski W., (2000)
"Society of Self: The emergence of collective properties in
self-structure", Psychological Review 107.
^ a b c Epstein J.M. and Axtell R. (1996) Growing Artificial Societies
- Social Science from the Bottom. Cambridge MA, MIT Press.
^ a b c Epstein J.M. (1999) Agent Based Models and Generative Social
Science. Complexity, IV (5)
^ John Conway's Game of Life
^ Karl Popper: Conjectures and refutations
^ Werndl, Charlotte (2009). "Are Deterministic Descriptions and
Indeterministic Descriptions Observationally Equivalent?". Studies in
Philosophy of Modern Physics. 40 (3): 232–242.
^ Werndl, Charlotte (2009). Deterministic Versus Indeterministic
Descriptions: Not That Different After All?. In: A. Hieke and H.
Leitgeb (eds), Reduction, Abstraction, Analysis, Proceedings of the
31st International Ludwig Wittgenstein-Symposium. Ontos, 63-78.
^ J. Glimm, D. Sharp,
Stochastic Differential Equations: Selected
Applications in Continuum Physics, in: R.A. Carmona, B. Rozovskii
Stochastic Partial Differential Equations: Six Perspectives,
American Mathematical Society (October 1998)
^ "Struggling with quantum logic: Q&A with Aaron O'Connell
^ Heisenberg, Werner (1949). Physikalische Prinzipien der
Quantentheorie [Physical Principles of Quantum Theory]. Leipzig:
Hirzel/University of Chicago Press. p. 4.
^ a b Grand Design (2010), page 32: "the molecular basis of biology
shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics
and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the
planets...so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and
that free will is just an illusion", and page 72: "Quantum physics
might seem to undermine the idea that nature is governed by laws, but
that is not the case. Instead it leads us to accept a new form of
determinism: Given the state of a system at some time, the laws of
nature determine the probabilities of various futures and pasts rather
than determining the future and past with certainty." (discussing a
Many worlds interpretation)
^ Scientific American, "What is Quantum Mechanics Good For?"
Albert Einstein insisted that, "I am convinced
God does not play
dice" in a private letter to Max Born, 4 December 1926, Albert
Einstein Archives reel 8, item 180
^ Jabs, Arthur (2016). "A conjecture concerning determinism,
reduction, and measurement in quantum mechanics". Quantum Studies:
Mathematics and Foundations. 3 (4): 279–292.
^ Bishop, Robert C. (2011). "Chaos, Indeterminism, and Free Will". In
Kane, Robert. The Oxford Handbook of
Free Will (Second ed.). Oxford,
New York: Oxford University Press. p. 90.
ISBN 9780195399691. OCLC 653483691. The key question is
whether to understand the nature of this probability as epistemic or
ontic. Along epistemic lines, one possibility is that there is some
additional factor (i.e., a hidden mechanism) such that once we
discover and understand this factor, we would be able to predict the
observed behavior of the quantum stoplight with certainty (physicists
call this approach a "hidden variable theory"; see, e.g., Bell 1987,
1–13, 29–39; Bohm 1952a, 1952b; Bohm and Hiley 1993; Bub 1997,
40–114, Holland 1993; see also the preceding essay in this volume by
Hodgson). Or perhaps there is an interaction with the broader
environment (e.g., neighboring buildings, trees) that we have not
taken into account in our observations that explains how these
probabilities arise (physicists call this approach decoherence or
consistent histories15). Under either of these approaches, we would
interpret the observed indeterminism in the behavior of stoplights as
an expression of our ignorance about the actual workings. Under an
ignorance interpretation, indeterminism would not be a fundamental
feature of quantum stoplights, but merely epistemic in nature due to
our lack of knowledge about the system. Quantum stoplights would turn
to be deterministic after all.
^ Baggott, Jim E. (2004). "Complementarity and Entanglement". Beyond
Measure: Modern Physics, Philosophy, and the Meaning of Quantum
Theory. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 203.
ISBN 0-19-852536-2. OCLC 52486237. So, was Einstein wrong?
In the sense that the EPR paper argued in favour of an objective
reality for each quantum particle in an entangled pair independent of
the other and of the measuring device, the answer must be yes. But if
we take a wider view and ask instead if Einstein was wrong to hold to
the realist's belief that the physics of the universe should be
objective and deterministic, we must acknowledge that we cannot answer
such a question. It is in the nature of theoretical science that there
can be no such thing as certainty. A theory is only 'true' for as long
as the majority of the scientific community maintain a consensus view
that the theory is the one best able to explain the observations. And
the story of quantum theory is not over yet.
Daniel Dennett (2003) Freedom Evolves. Viking Penguin.
John Earman (2007) "Aspects of
Determinism in Modern Physics" in
Butterfield, J., and Earman, J., eds.,
Philosophy of Physics, Part B.
North Holland: 1369-1434.
George Ellis (2005) "Physics and the Real World", Physics Today.
Epstein, J.M. (1999). "Agent Based Models and Generative Social
Science". Complexity. IV (5): 5. Bibcode:1999Cmplx...4e..41E.
-------- and Axtell R. (1996) Growing Artificial Societies — Social
Science from the Bottom. MIT Press.
Kenrick, D. T.; Li, N. P.; Butner, J. (2003). "Dynamical evolutionary
psychology: Individual decision rules and emergent social norms"
(PDF). Psychological Review. 110 (1): 3–28.
doi:10.1037/0033-295x.110.1.3. PMID 12529056.
Albert Messiah, Quantum Mechanics, English translation by G. M. Temmer
of Mécanique Quantique, 1966, John Wiley and Sons, vol. I, chapter
IV, section III.
Ernest Nagel (March 3, 1960). "
Determinism in history".
Phenomenological Research, number 8. International Phenomenological
Society. 20 (3): 291–317. doi:10.2307/2105051.
JSTOR 2105051. (Online version found here)
John T Roberts (2006). "Determinism". In Sahotra Sarkar; Jessica
Philosophy of Science: A-M. Taylor & Francis.
pp. 197 ff. ISBN 0415977096.
Nowak A., Vallacher R.R., Tesser A., Borkowski W., (2000) "Society of
Self: The emergence of collective properties in self-structure",
Psychological Review 107.
George Musser, "Is the Cosmos Random? (Einstein's assertion that God
does not play dice with the universe has been misinterpreted)",
Scientific American, vol. 313, no. 3 (September 2015),
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Rhetoric of science
Sociology of scientific knowledge
Sociology of scientific ignorance
Philosophers of science by era
William of Ockham
Hugh of Saint Victor
John Stuart Mill
Charles Sanders Peirce
Alfred North Whitehead
C. D. Broad
Carl Gustav Hempel
W. V. O. Quine
Bas van Fraassen