Indeterminacy, Indeterminism, and Quantum Mechanics

Wesley C. Salmon

in Causality and Explanation

Published in print May 1998 | ISBN: 9780195108644
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833627 | DOI:
Indeterminacy, Indeterminism, and Quantum Mechanics

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Uses a historical approach to explore the extent to which quantum theory mandates indeterminism. Drawing on important examples in the history of physics, it discusses explicitly the crucial distinction – often overlooked in the philosophical literature – between indeterminacy of physical quantities and causal indeterminism. It pursues at a more sophisticated level, issues raised in Ch. 2 concerning determinism and indeterminism in modern science. It concludes that quantum indeterminacy is an objective feature of the world, but that the jury is still out regarding quantum indeterminism.

Keywords: determinism; indeterminacy; indeterminism; quantum mechanics

Chapter.  9750 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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