If a single event is undetermined, then indeterminism would be "true" , they say, determinism is false, and this would undermine the very possibility of certain knowledge. Some go to the extreme of saying that indeterminism makes the state of the world totally independent of any earlier states, which is nonsense, but it shows how anxious they are about indeterminism.
The core idea of indeterminism is closely related to the idea of causality. Indeterminism for some philosophers is an event without a cause the ancient causa sui. But we can have an adequate causality without strict determinism, the "hard" determinism which implies complete predictability of events and only one possible future. We can call this " adequate determinism.
An example of an event that is not strictly caused is one that depends on chance, like the flip of a coin. If the outcome is only probable, not certain, then the event can be said to have been caused by the coin flip, but the head or tails result was not predictable. So this causality, which recognizes prior events as causes, is undetermined. Indeterminism is also closely related to the ideas of uncertainty and indeterminacy.
Uncertainty is best known from Werner Heisenberg 's principle in quantum mechanics. It states that the exact position and momentum of an atomic particle can only be known within certain sic limits. The product of the position error and the momentum error is equal to a multiple of Planck's constant.
Indeterminism is important for the question of free will because strict determinism implies just one possible future. Indeterminism means that the future is unpredictable. Indeterminism allows alternative futures and the question becomes how the one actual present is realized from these potential alternatives. The departure from strict causality is very slight compared to the miraculous ideas associated with the " causa sui " self-caused cause of the ancients.
Some hold that if Determinism were true, it would negate human morals and ethics. Some, however, argue that, through an extended period of social development , a confluence of events could have formed to generate the very idea of morals and ethics in our minds a sort of chicken and egg situation. In Buddhism , there is a theory called Dependent Origination or Dependent Arising , which is similar to the Western concept of Determinism. Roughly speaking, it states that phenomena arise together in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect , and that every phenomenon is conditioned by, and depends on, every other phenomena.
According to the ancient Chinese "Yi Jing" or "I Ching" , the "Book of Changes" , a kind of divine will sets the fundamental rules for the working out of the probabilities on which the universe operates, although human wills are also a factor in the ways in which we can deal with the real world situations we encounter. In the West, the Ancient Greek atomists Leucippus and Democritus were the first to anticipate Determinism when they theorized that all processes in the world were due to the mechanical interplay of atoms.
With the advent of Newtonian physics , in the 17th Century, which depicts the physical matter of the universe as operating according to a set of fixed, knowable laws , it began to appear that, once the initial conditions of the universe have been established, then the rest of the history of the universe follows inevitably , rather like billiard balls moving and striking each other in predictable ways to produce predictable results.
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Determinism, in philosophy, theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Determinism is usually understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do.
Determinism definition is - a theory or doctrine that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws. How to use determinism in a sentence.
In philosophical discussion of the relation of mind and body, the most heated debate throughout the history of philosophy, which continues today as strong as ever, has been that of free will versus determinism. Determinism is the philosophical idea that every event or state of affairs, including every human decision and action, is the inevitable and necessary consequence of antecedent states of affairs.
Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, decision and action is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. Unlike hard determinism, the cause of moral choices is settled later and by human character. Responsibility is limited to what a person will choose, given the kind of person he is. Responsibility is limited to what a person will choose, given the kind of person he is.