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Causality and Explanation$
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Wesley C. Salmon

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195108644

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195108647.001.0001

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Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Science

Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Science

Chapter:
(p.25) 2 Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Science
Source:
Causality and Explanation
Author(s):

Wesley C. Salmon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195108647.003.0003

Clarifies these two concepts that figure so prominently not only in discussions of free will but also in theories of scientific explanation. The question of the status of scientific explanation in an indeterministic world arises repeatedly in subsequent chapters of this book. Even if we do not yet have the final word on the truth or falsity of indeterminism, we need to take account of its possibility in framing philosophical theories of scientific explanations. This essay presents the “received philosophical opinion” on determinism, criticized by John Earman as confused and mistaken, and suggests ways to correct the most egregious errors of the received view.

Keywords:   determinism, explanation, free will, indeterminism

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