, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 55–71 | Cite as

Anvil or Onion? Determinism as a Layered Concept

  • Robert C. Bishop


Kellert (In the Wake of Chars, University of Chicago press, Chicago, 1993) has argued that Laplacean determinism in classical physics is actually a layered concept, where various properties or layers composing this form of determinism can be peeled away. Here, I argue that a layered conception of determinism is inappropriate and that we should think in terms of different deterministic models applicable to different kinds of systems. The upshot of this analysis is that the notion of state is more closely tied to the kind of system being investigated than is usually considered in discussions of determinism. So when investigating determinism corresponding changes to the appropriate notion of state – and, perhaps, the state space itself – also need to be considered.


State Space Deterministic Model Classical Physic Layered Concept 
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© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Junior Research fellowsUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany
  2. 2.Faculity of PhilosophyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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