Comments about "Determinism" in Wikipedia

This document contains comments about the article Determinism in Wikipedia
In the last paragraph I explain my own opinion.




The article starts with the following sentence.
Determinism is the philosophical view that all events are determined completely by previously existing causes.
This sentence, this claim, does not say anything.
Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have sprung from diverse and sometimes overlapping motives and considerations.
Any theory makes only sense if it makes a specific claim, which is dependent about certain circumstances. That means it follows the rule that different causes have different effects.
The opposite of determinism is some kind of indeterminism (otherwise called nondeterminism) or randomness.

1 Varieties

1.1 Causal

Causal determinism, sometimes synonymous with historical determinism (a sort of path dependence), is "the idea that every event is necessitated by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature."
The laws of nature have nothing to do with the behaviour of any physical process. A law is a description of a physical process, like Newton's law is a description of the movement of the planets around the Sun. The law itself (which is created by observations of humans) is not a part of the process itself. The trajectory is stable because of the forces postulated and because many other smaller objects are eliminated by means of collisions in the past.

1.1.1 Nomological

Nomological determinism, generally synonymous with physical determinism (its opposite being physical indeterminism), the most common form of causal determinism, 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.
Also in this case (rigid) natural laws are not involved.
To claim that the concept 'cause and and effect' is a natural law does not makes much sense.

What makes more sense is to claim that the evolution of the whole of the universe is divided into time slices and that the state of each time slice is dictated by the previous time slice and itself dictates the next time slice. You can call that the arrow of time, but the arrow of time does not exist, neither has a direction.

1.1.2 Necessitarianism

1.2 Predeterminism

1.2.1 Biological

1.3 Fatalism

1.4 Theological determinism

1.5 Logical determinism

1.6 Adequate determinism

1.7 Many-worlds

1.8 Philosophical varieties

1.8.1 Determinism in nature/nurture controversy

1.8.2 Determinism and prediction

2 Structural determinism

2.1 With free will

2.2 With the soul

2.3 With ethics and morality

3 History

3.1 Western tradition

3.1.1 Newtonian mechanics

Determinism in the West is often associated with Newtonian mechanics/physics, which depicts the physical matter of the universe as operating according to a set of fixed, knowable laws.
Newton's Law is based on the concept that all matter influences each other. This assumes physical forces, and the whole of these physical forces between objects (masses) is called Newton's Law. Newton (among others) is the inventor of these forces and the inventor of the mathematical law that describes how these forces are calculated. The mathematical law itself is not part of the physical behaviour i.e. the movement of the planets is not governed by any law. The forces are.

3.2 Eastern tradition

3.2.1 Buddhism

4 Modern scientific perspective

4.1 Generative processes

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.
The processes in our brain are influenced by neurotransmitters. To mention quantum indeterminism and the chaos theory does not make much sense. To mention excitation and inhibition of the neurons makes more sense.

4.2 Compatibility with the existence of science

4.3 Mathematical models

4.4 Quantum and classical mechanics

4.4.1 Day-to-day physics

4.4.2 Quantum realm

5. See also

Following is a list with "Comments in Wikipedia" about related subjects

Reflection 1 - Determinism versus indeterminism

When we study the universe in time, one of the main characteristics is that the universe is constantly changing. At all levels. You can define these changes in two types: cyclic and chaotic. One of the most famous examples of a cyclic process (or stable process) is the movement of the planet arounds the sun. One of the most famous examples of a chaotic (or random) process are dust particles. You can also call the first predictable and the second one unpredictable.
The main physical difference between the two types is duration. The duration of the cyclic, stable and predictable process is long. The duration of the chaotic, random or unpredictable processes is short. The question is: if the two concepts deterministic and indeterministic 'add' something?

The question is if every change in the physical behaviour of any object has a cause? Most changes are happening between physical object. Considering the trajectories of the planets around the sun. The postulated reason is a force, in this case gravity. The same is for the constituents of all elementary particles. The reason why they exist are forces involved between these constituents i.e. the electrons, the protons and neutrons.

Reflection 2

Reflection 3


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Created: 11 January 2022

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