The Difference Between Causality and Determinism

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salima
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 07:53 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;115851 wrote:
Why would I have been joking? What he said is false, and he should have known it. This is a philosophy forum. It is also something easy to look up. But, you are right. I have a way with two things. And one of them is with words.


:lol:hey, that's really good too!
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 08:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;115851 wrote:
Why would I have been joking? What he said is false, and he should have known it. This is a philosophy forum. It is also something easy to look up. But, you are right. I have a way with two things. And one of them is with words.


I am not as dumb as you presume I am, it is easy to look up cause or determine in the dictionary no expertise required there.

I also do not forgive you for not forgiving me

Determinism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 08:32 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;115856 wrote:
I am not as dumb as you presume I am, it is easy to look up cause or determine in the dictionary no expertise required there.

I also do not forgive you for not forgiving me

Determinism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I did not say you were dumb. And I forgive you for not forgiving me.
 
ACB
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 08:49 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;115820 wrote:
1. Yes there is more than one possible future.
2. I don't know [whether the state of the present completely informs the future]. But certainly, according to the best evidence, not in the case of micro-events. In the case of macro-events, I don't know if it completely "informs" the future. But it certainly largely does.


There seem to be two conceivable ways in which the indeterminacy of micro-events could influence macro-events:

1. A situation could be artificiallynaturally affect the initial conditions and hence the subsequent events.

So, as I see it, the present cannot completely inform the future, even in the case of macro-events.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 09:32 am
@ACB,
ACB;115868 wrote:
There seem to be two conceivable ways in which the indeterminacy of micro-events could influence macro-events:

1. A situation could be artificiallynaturally affect the initial conditions and hence the subsequent events.

So, as I see it, the present cannot completely inform the future, even in the case of macro-events.


Yes. Only the indeterminacy in micro-events might be so negligible with regard to macro-events that it would make no difference in macro-events so far as the problem of free will is concerned.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 10:16 am
@kennethamy,
...Someone cares to explain entangled particles ?

...I went through Quantum Physics reading for some time and I steel disagree with the interpretations that come out of it...the problem is not just in what you observe, but rather and mostly in how you interpret it...

Reality is not uncertain...it just happens. and this should suffice to get it !

...Indeed to much "BULLSHIT"...

I also would like to have a decent definition of these two concepts, Free will and Randomness...one that makes sense. Laughing

Best regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 10:20 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;115861 wrote:
I did not say you were dumb. And I forgive you for not forgiving me.


And I forgive you for my not forgiving you for not forgiving me, I think? :perplexed:Smile
 
prothero
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 02:36 pm
@ACB,
ACB;115868 wrote:
There seem to be two conceivable ways in which the indeterminacy of micro-events could influence macro-events:

1. A situation could be artificiallynaturally affect the initial conditions and hence the subsequent events.

So, as I see it, the present cannot completely inform the future, even in the case of macro-events.
Schrodinger's cat was designed precisely to show how indeterminancy on the micro scale could be conceivably magnified to indeterminicy on the macro scale.

Sensitive Dependence on Initial conditions is of course one of the features of chaotic systems and the unpredictablity and new properties which arise in complex systems even when based on deterministic principles. I would say the world as a whole certainly would quality as a chaotic system.
 
ACB
 
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2009 04:57 pm
@prothero,
prothero;115934 wrote:
Sensitive Dependence on Initial conditions is of course one of the features of chaotic systems and the unpredictablity and new properties which arise in complex systems even when based on deterministic principles. I would say the world as a whole certainly would quality as a chaotic system.


But a distinction must be made between deterministic chaos (which is purely due to imperfect knowledge) and quantum chaos (which involves real unpredictabililty). In the case of deterministic chaos, one could say that the future is theoretically, but not practically, predictable.
 
prothero
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 12:38 pm
@ACB,
[QUOTE=ACB;115957] But a distinction must be made between deterministic chaos (which is purely due to imperfect knowledge) . [/QUOTE] I think the chaotic behavior of systems based on non linear theoretically deterministic equations is deeper than just epistemological. I do not pretend to have the mathematical background or recent science education to feel confident about that assertion. I just think the chaos that arises even from three body problems in physics or from the interaction of various gravitational fields on planetary orbits is deeper than just epistemological. Paradoxes and some degree of freedom (unpredictability) seems to be built into nature (the universe) much to my delight: but much to the chagrin of others. Fractals (which seem to be the basis of much of nature's geometry) have randomness built into the iterative and repetitive equations.

[QUOTE=ACB;115957] quantum chaos (which involves real unpredictabililty). . [/QUOTE] There are of course deterministic interpretations of quantum theory particularly Bohm's version. As a practical matter chaos arises in these systems as well.

[QUOTE=ACB;115957] In the case of deterministic chaos, one could say that the future is theoretically, but not practically, predictable. [/QUOTE] Again I think chaos theory goes deeper than just lack of epistemological or empirical information. I think the randomness and unpredictability that is generated is inherent in the equations and in the system (as much ontological as epistemological).
 
ACB
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 01:07 pm
@prothero,
Thank you. But you earlier stated:

prothero;115610 wrote:
Determinism generally is the notion that given a specified state of the world at time t, and given that the laws of nature are fixed, the course of future events is fixed as a matter of natural law. (There is only one possible future which is determined by the current state of the world and the laws of nature). Any earlier complete state of the world entails any later state of the world in all its details. The present could also be used to specify the conditions of the past. Determinism is a bidirectional in time notion.


If deterministic systems can generate 'ontological' (i.e. real) randomness, doesn't that contradict your definition of determinism above? How can a system be said to be deterministic if it allows any degree of randomness?
 
prothero
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 01:34 pm
@ACB,
ACB;116098 wrote:
If deterministic systems can generate 'ontological' (i.e. real) randomness, doesn't that contradict your definition of determinism above? How can a system be said to be deterministic if it allows any degree of randomness?

Well, I think determinism is false.
Causality is true but determinism is false, hence my reason for indicating they are not the same concept. The ontology of nature is ordered possiblities not determinism. Degrees of unpredictablity and hence a form of freedom, novelty and creativity is inherent in nature. I only define determinism that way to reject it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 01:42 pm
@prothero,
prothero;116100 wrote:
Well, I think determinism is false.
Causality is true but determinism is false, hence my reason for indicating they are not the same concept. The ontology of nature is ordered possiblities not determinism. Degrees of unpredictablity and hence a form of freedom, novelty and creativity is inherent in nature. I only define determinism that way to reject it.


No one claims that causation and determinism are the same concept. But determinism is defined in terms of causation. I don't know what it would be for causation to be true (or false). Everyone allows that that there are causes. don't they. So what would it mean for causation to be false? Determinism is the theory that every event has a cause, and every cause is an event. That seems to be false on the micro-level.
 
ACB
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 02:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116104 wrote:
No one claims that causation and determinism are the same concept. But determinism is defined in terms of causation.


Yes. Determinism implies causation, but not vice versa. I don't see the point in treating them as mutually exclusive.

kennethamy;116104 wrote:
I don't know what it would be for causation to be true (or false). Everyone allows that that there are causes, don't they. So what would it mean for causation to be false?


Well, one could imagine a totally chaotic, surreal world in which wholly unpredictable events happened all the time, with no regularities.

kennethamy;116104 wrote:
Determinism is the theory that every event has a cause, and every cause is an event. That seems to be false on the micro-level.


I understand prothero to be saying that it is false on the macro-level as well. If I follow him correctly, he is saying that (a) not all randomness arises from quantum indeterminacy, and (b) the term "deterministic laws" is a misnomer.
 
prothero
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 03:37 pm
@ACB,
[QUOTE=ACB;116112] Yes. Determinism implies causation, but not vice versa. I don't see the point in treating them as mutually exclusive. . [/QUOTE] Yes determinism implies causation but causation does not imply determinism. It is an error to define determinism entirely in terms of causation. It is also not the typical philosophical use or definition of the term. One needs terms like invariably or necessarily or inevitably in defining the relationship between determinism and causality.

[QUOTE=ACB;116112] Well, one could imagine a totally chaotic, surreal world in which wholly unpredictable events happened all the time, with no regularities. . [/QUOTE] Yes and one should spend some time contemplating why the world is not that way.


[QUOTE=ACB;116112] I understand prothero to be saying that it is false on the macro-level as well. If I follow him correctly, he is saying that (a) not all randomness arises from quantum indeterminacy, and (b) the term "deterministic laws" is a misnomer. [/QUOTE]

I definitely think determinism is false on virtually all levels of the "real" world. The deterministic world is an imaginary world not a real world. The laws of nature at their most fundamental level are habits, regularities, or causal but not deterministic (in the classical sense). There are many possibilities for the future (particularly for the human future) and freedom, novelty, and creativity are "real" not "illusions". Freedom in a completely unpredictable world would be useless so what we have are ordered possibilities. Even the lowly electron has "ordered possibilities" .
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 03:47 pm
@ACB,
ACB;116112 wrote:

I understand prothero to be saying that it is false on the macro-level as well. If I follow him correctly, he is saying that (a) not all randomness arises from quantum indeterminacy, and (b) the term "deterministic laws" is a misnomer.


I don't know why randomness is so sought after. It has nothing much to do with human freedom. At least, not the kind of freedom that anyone would want to have.

Degrees of unpredictablity and hence a form of freedom.

But, what "form of freedom" is that?
 
ACB
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 05:58 pm
@prothero,
prothero;116137 wrote:
I definitely think determinism is false on virtually all levels of the "real" world. The deterministic world is an imaginary world not a real world. The laws of nature at their most fundamental level are habits, regularities, or causal but not deterministic (in the classical sense). There are many possibilities for the future (particularly for the human future) and freedom, novelty, and creativity are "real" not "illusions". Freedom in a completely unpredictable world would be useless so what we have are ordered possibilities. Even the lowly electron has "ordered possibilities".


Since either pure determinism or pure randomness would rule out free will, I don't see how a mixture of determinism and randomness will do the trick. If I act partly like a clock hand and partly like a roulette ball, how am I free?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 06:27 pm
@ACB,
ACB;116170 wrote:
Since either pure determinism or pure randomness would rule out free will, I don't see how a mixture of determinism and randomness will do the trick. If I act partly like a clock hand and partly like a roulette ball, how am I free?


Why would determinism (pure) rule out free will? Why could you not do what you want to do? Clock hands do not have wants, so far as I know. People do.
 
salima
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 06:57 pm
@prothero,
isnt it our limited free will that is the cause for certain things to happen? and the fact that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt makes it partly random...

i would think a cause could also be a condition rather than always an event..unless you want to go into what events caused the conditions to be such that a particular effect resulted.
 
ACB
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 07:21 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;116174 wrote:
Why would determinism (pure) rule out free will? Why could you not do what you want to do? Clock hands do not have wants, so far as I know. People do.


Yes, you could do what you want to do. So you would have "will". But how could it be "free"? Isn't lack of freedom the very essence of determinism? I think you are using the term "free will" to mean simply "will".

In any case, I thought we were agreed that pure determinism does not exist. So are you saying that there is partial determinism, and that we have free will to the extent that it applies? That would be counter-intuitive. I am sure many people think we have free will to the extent that determinism does not apply.
 
 

 
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