Journal Article

An Interesting Fallacy Concerning Dynamical Supertasks

Jon Pérez Laraudogoitia

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 56, issue 2, pages 321-334
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axi119
An Interesting Fallacy Concerning Dynamical Supertasks

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Recently, Alper, Bridger, Earman and Norton have all proposed examples of dynamic systems that, in their view, are incompatible with classical (Newtonian) mechanics. In the first section of the present paper I shall show that their arguments are all undermined by the same fallacy. The second section proves that their conclusions of incompatibility are indeed false, and that what we are really looking at are new forms of indeterminist evolution of the same kind as that found recently in the literature on supertasks. In the third section of the paper, I argue that one of these new forms of evolution is particularly interesting, and that analysis of it leads to a new vision of the relation between interaction by contact and impenetrability.

Introduction

The fallacy

Understanding some physical supertasks

A philosophically interesting implication: contact and impenetrability

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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