Temporal Logic pp 155-169 | Cite as

The Theory of Processes

Part of the LEP Library of Exact Philosophy book series (LEP, volume 3)


Some relatively unproblematic examples of processes are: the baking of a cake, the drying up of a pool of water, the flowering of a cherry tree, the reciting of Hiawatha, and a performance of Beethoven’s 9th. The consideration of examples of this sort leads to the recognition that a process embodies a temporally sequential, coordinated series of stages linked together in a cohesive unit. The stages at issue here can be viewed as the transient states within an ongoing system of changes, or rather of state-types since they, as well as the entire process at issue, must be repeatable, in principle at any rate. Thus while John’s growing up from his babyhood to his adulthood is indeed to be viewed as process, this is so because it is a concrete instance of the generic phenomenon of a boy’s growing up from infancy to adulthood. In accordance with this line of thought a process may thus be defined as: A programmed sequence (temporal sequence) of repeatable state-types. A process, in short, is a generic history.


Characteristic Matrix Process Family Transition Diagram Deterministic Process Cherry Tree 
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  1. 3.
    See W. Feller, An Introduction to Probability Theory and its Applications, vol. 1 (New York, 1950), chapters 15 and 16;Google Scholar
  2. J. G. Kemeny and J. L. Snell, Finite Markov Chains (New York, 1960), chapter 2.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    For two especially important examples see P. and T. Ehrenfest, Über zwei bekannte Einwände gegen das Boltzmannsche H-Theorem, Physikalische Zeitschrift, vol. 8 (1907), pp. 311–314;Google Scholar
  4. Ming Chen Wang and G. E. Uhlenbeck, On the Theory of Brownian Motion, II, Reviews of Modern Physics, vol. 17 (1945), pp. 323–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PittsburghUSA

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