Reformulation of Physical Determinism


in The Freedom of the Will

Published in print September 1970 | ISBN: 9780198243434
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680687 | DOI:
Reformulation of Physical Determinism

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Hempel's account of a regularity explanation needs amplification. The usual symbolism of formal logic presents some difficulties, as it is unable to distinguish ‘accidental’ universal statements about ‘closed’ classes from ‘essential’ universal statements about ‘open’ classes. A second, logicians' difficulty is that some alleged law might be redundant because tautologous. A third difficulty is an ambiguity in the application of the ‘determinist’ and ‘determined’. A fourth difficulty comes from continuity. The account given by Hempel is a discrete one. The initial conditions either do or do not hold. These difficulties can be overcome. And it is worth surmounting them in order to face others of an altogether more formidable kind.

Keywords: Hempel; regularity explanation; physical determinism

Chapter.  2088 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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