Talk:Deterministic system (philosophy)

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I am still working on this article (being changed from Deterministic Universe), so it probably still has inaccuracies and repetition. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.WhiteC 09:40, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Of course, the article won't ever be finished, and changes are still welcome, but the inaccuracies and repetition should have been taken care of now. WhiteC 19:55, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Right now the article probably isn't NPOV because the examples of non-deterministic systems take up much more text than the examples of deterministic systems (trying to explain determinism and quantum physics took up a lot of text). I'll put in some more stuff about classical physics and how most non-alive everyday things are for all practical intents and purposes parts of deterministic systems. WhiteC 15:05, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

OK, explanations of deterministic systems have been elaborated some, and the article should now be close to NPOV. WhiteC 19:55, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Please justify why this article should not be merged with determinism. Incompetnce (talk) 16:50, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Last 2 paragraphs from old article cut out[edit]

I think they might belong in the article on determinism better than here...

"Every interaction in the universe, according to scientific determinism, is driven by physics, whether or not physics is currently capable of fully explicating the dynamics engineering of these actions and reactions. If it were possible to observe all the actions at any given moment in time, all the subsequent reactions could theoretically be predicted using physics. Therefore, if every variable in the universe could be accounted for and all of their reactions predicted, any state of the universe could be predicted, prior or subsequent to that given point in time, by mapping the physics behind the changes.

Many determinists conclude from this that everything in the universe is "predestined" and randomness does not exist. Additionally, if everything that happens in the universe is simply a physics-based product of that before it, free will does not exist either. The unrelenting forces of physics, these deterministic universe proponents postulate, determines everything from the location of the Milky Way in the universe to the neurochemistry forming your "thoughts" as you read this article. In fact, a reader of this article may have had no other choice but to find and read it since the beginning of time. On the present understanding of quantum mechanics, though, the premises of this argument are shaky." WhiteC 14:44, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Before (and why) this was changed from Deterministic Universe[edit]

I see no reason for this article to exist. It should be merged into determinism or at the very least modified to refer entirely to a deterministic system, rather than universe. - Centrx 08:54, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

I agree that this should refer to a deterministic system rather than the entire universe (although the whole universe may be regarded as a system of course). I plan on making this modification within a week unless there are any complaints here.WhiteC 20:59, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I should add that there is nothing inherently wrong with the article, but that the article on determinism is about the same thing. WhiteC 21:35, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

New complications. I have just found a stub Deterministic system which relates to math. So I guess this would have to be renamed Deterministic system (philosophy), and that one has been renamed Deterministic system (mathematics). WhiteC 09:31, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I (WhiteC) am copying in a discussion from the article on Chaos Theory which I think illustrates the need for such an article:

I'm not too good with maths, got interested in chaos theory by chance, I wonder what 'deterministic' means in Systems that exhibit mathematical chaos are deterministic and thus orderly in some sense? Does this just mean that there are strict laws that govern the behaviour of the system? The link goes to a disambig page which links to philosophical determinism and to an article about algorithms (I think that it doesn't mention deterministic algorithms, though). There's also an article called Scientific determinism.. and none of those articles really help! Am I too stupid for this or is there something lacking in those articles about deterministic things? -- Jashiin 17:15, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

'Deterministic' just means that they follow the laws of cause and effect; cause Determines effect. There aren't any mysterious miracles or totally random things going on. In chaotic systems, it can be difficult to find out what the causes are for any given effect (making the system appear 'chaotic' in the everyday sense of the word), but that doesn't mean that there isn't a cause. I hope that helped. (Perhaps one of these articles needs a better introduction.)WhiteC 20:51, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Ah, so thats what it is! Thank you very much :) As for these articles, maybe a little separate article is needed, something like Deterministic (mathematics).. -- Jashiin 20:43, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

By the way, an algorithm in its common meaning is assumed to be deterministic: any output is completely determined by the inputs. Charles Matthews 10:10, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

A deterministic universe ?[edit]

The article mentions a deterministic universe, but says quantum laws aren't derterministic; how can the universe be deterministic whilst the physical laws describing it are not ?

The word "determinism" is used in several different ways. See Scientific determinism. --JWSchmidt 00:21, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Ok, thanks.
I would have to say that the universe cannot be entirely deterministic if the physical laws describing it are not. But opinions differ. Before quantum physics was generally agreed to be non-determistic, determinism was still a pretty fair assumption to make. Determinism may be a good enough rough approximation of how things behave at sizes above atomic. WhiteC 00:17, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

The fundamental ("weak") meaning of determinism is that every event follows from its causes. Just because we cannot identify every cause or predict every effect does not mean that the universe is not deterministic (weak sense). Some people use a stronger definition of determinism that includes predictability ("scientific determinism"). It is clear that not all events can be predicted. Quantum physics is only non-determistic under the "strong" definition. --JWSchmidt 02:23, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm a bit late to the discussion here, but no, that's not true I think, at least not by the traditionally dominant Copenhagen inerpretation. It's not simply that you can't predict whether a given radioactive atom will or will not decay in a certain time frame. It's that there is no difference between the initial states when the atom does or does not decay. So essentially, the difference between decay and non-decay is uncaused. --Trovatore 09:56, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Schroedinger time evolution is fully deterministic however you cash out determinism. It is collapse postulates and the like that are indeterministic. Bohmian mechanics and the Everett interpretation are both fully deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics. Any uncertainty is epistemic (due to lack of knowledge). Incompetnce (talk) 16:43, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Indeterminism in classical physics[edit]

John Earman and John Norton have both recently published articles suggesting examples of indeterminism in Newtonian mechanics. See eg. http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/homepage/research/supertasks.html particularly the article called The Dome. Incompetnce (talk) 16:49, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Hartle Hawking State and Determinism[edit]

I have been reading up on the Hartle Hawking state which mentions that there are "no initial 'boundaries' in time nor space" (Apostrophes mine). I'm left wondering what this means for any conception of determinism as, presumably, you will need an initial surface of some sort upon which to definie the initial conditions of the universe IF you are going to say that the Universe is a deterministic system. Or are there notions of determinism that do not require an initial temporal surface of some sort upon which to define said intial conditions? One could draw an Penrose diagram and say that the boundaries of the diagram (which are infinitely, or at least infinitely far away) are the boundaries upon which the dynamics of the system are defined BUT what would happen to a Penrose diagram of the universe as we rewind to the Big Bang? And would the resultant geometric structure be something upon which initial conditions could be defined?

NOTE: Even WITH the initial boundary upon which to define initial conditions for the dynamic system (ie: the Universe), there is going to have to be some Partial Differential Equation (or something) which governs the evolution of those initial conditions in time - BUT, the mechanism that computes the dynamics from that PDE is not necessarily obvious (presumably, we would require knowing that reality itself IS a computational system of some sort - though whether it is a Turing Machine or not is not necessarily clear - thought the structure of reality is definitely, or strongly appears to be, causal). The possibility that Time somehow emerges from the spatial definitions (see the Hartle-Hawking state article) and hence that time is showhow a resultant of 'enfolded' interactions with other spatial dimensions is an idea that might appear to be deeply confusing (because time seems quite different from space). I am not sure if this is linked to Calabi Yau manifolds and similar ideas.

It is quite possible that the Hartle-Hawking state article could do with additional fleshing out, or re-wording to remove the supposed idea that neither space nort time have any initial boundary (or that there is some initial surface which encapsulates spacetime). I note that the article is distinctly lacking in Mathematical detail.

ASavantDude (talk) 20:47, 30 April 2017 (UTC)