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The Problem of Causality in an Indeterministic Science

  • Henry Mehlberg
  • Robert S. Cohen
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Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 19-2)

Abstract

In the area of the physical sciences, the claim of strict determinism requires that the value taken on by any measurable, physical quantity for any observable, physical object or system at any time-instant should be accurately predictable on the basis of an appropriate set of quantities whose values at any preassigned, prior instant are accurately known. Loosely speaking, the present determines the future completely. Thus, the observable physical object may consist of two billiard balls on a collision course. The quantity whose value has to be predicted may be the time needed for the collision. The relevant quantities whose present values would suffice to predict the instant of collision may consist of the six spatial coordinates and the six components of the linear momentum of the balls. In conjunction with the laws of Newtonian mechanics, the knowledge of the present positions and momenta will perfectly suffice to predict the exact time of the collision.

Keywords

Quantum State Modal Logic Quantum Electrodynamic Compound System Quantum Mechanical System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Mehlberg
  • Robert S. Cohen

There are no affiliations available

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