Chapter

Indeterminism and Probability

Bas C. van Fraassen

in Quantum Mechanics

Published in print September 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239802
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597466 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198239807.003.0003

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 Indeterminism and Probability

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Pure indeterminism is simply the denial of determinism; a theory may augment this with models in which the uncertain events have definite probabilities. De Finetti's representation theorem, which pertains to permutation symmetry, and ergodic theory (for abstract dynamical systems) provide illustrations of classical probabilistic theories. A number of features generally discussed in connection with quantum mechanics are already found in classical probability models. These include symmetry constraints and a general form for dynamical equations (analogous to Schroedinger's equation) as well as the sort of holism involved in ’non‐local’ correlations.

Keywords: De Finetti; dynamical system; ergodic theory; holism; indeterminism; non‐locality; permutation symmetry; probability; representation theorem; Schroedinger's Equation

Chapter.  11208 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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