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Determinism is the philosophical position that for every event, including human action, there exist conditions that could cause no other event. "There are many determinisms, depending upon what pre-conditions are considered to be determinative of an event."[1] Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have sprung from diverse and sometimes overlapping motives and considerations. Some forms of determinism can be empirically tested with ideas from physics and the philosophy of physics. The opposite of determinism is some kind of indeterminism (otherwise called nondeterminism). Other debates often concern the scope of determined systems, with some maintaining that the entire universe is a single determinate system and others identifying other more limited determinate systems (or multiverse). Varieties[edit] Below appear some of the more common viewpoints meant by, or confused with "determinism". Philosophical connections[edit] With nature/nurture controversy[edit]

Related:  Free Will & DeterminismThe problems with philosophy1. Einstein's dice and schrödinger's cat

Free will Though it is a commonly held intuition that we have free will,[3] it has been widely debated throughout history not only whether that is true, but even how to define the concept of free will.[4] How exactly must the will be free, what exactly must the will be free from, in order for us to have free will? Historically, the constraint of dominant concern has been determinism of some variety (such as logical, nomological, or theological), so the two most prominent common positions are named incompatibilist or compatibilist for the relation they hold to exist between free will and determinism. In Western philosophy[edit] The underlying issue is: Do we have some control over our actions, and if so, what sort of control, and to what extent?

Time Time is what a clock is used to measure. Information about time tells the durations of events, and when they occur, and which events happen before which others, so time has a very significant role in the universe's organization. Nevertheless, despite 2,500 years of investigation into the nature of time, there are many unresolved issues. Consider this one issue upon which philosophers are deeply divided: What sort of ontological differences are there among the present, the past and the future? There are three competing theories. Presentists argue that necessarily only present objects and present experiences are real, and we conscious beings recognize this in the special vividness of our present experience compared to our dim memories of past experiences and our expectations of future experiences.

Hard determinism Hard determinists believe people are like highly complex clocks - in that they are both molecular machines[citation needed] Hard determinism (or metaphysical determinism) is a view on free will which holds that determinism is true, and that it is incompatible with free will, and, therefore, that free will does not exist. Although hard determinism generally refers to nomological determinism,[1] it can also be a position taken with respect to other forms of determinism that necessitate the future in its entirety.[2] Hard determinism is contrasted with soft determinism, which is a compatibilist form of determinism, holding that free will may exist despite determinism.[3] It is also contrasted with metaphysical libertarianism, the other major form of incompatibilism which holds that free will exists and determinism is false. Overview[edit] Unlike “law fundamentalists”, some philosophers are “law pluralists”: they question what it means to have a law of physics.

Time Travel Time travel is commonly defined with David Lewis’ definition: An object time travels if and only if the difference between its departure and arrival times as measured in the surrounding world does not equal the duration of the journey undergone by the object. For example, Jane is a time traveler if she travels away from home in her spaceship for one hour as measured by her own clock on the ship but travels two hours as measured by the clock back home, assuming both clocks are functioning properly. Before the twentieth century, scientists and philosophers rarely investigated time travel, but now it is an exciting and deeply studied topic. There are investigations into travel to the future and travel to the past, although travel to the past is more problematical and receives more attention. There are also investigations of the logical possibility of time travel, the physical possibility of time travel, and the technological practicality of time travel.

Do You Believe In Free Will? Maybe You Should, Even If You Don't Is free will real, or is just one of our happy illusions? As it turns out, the answer might not matter as much as our belief in the answer does. A recent study showed that, when people’s belief in free will was experimentally reduced, pre-conscious motor preparation, or that activity that precedes action, in the brain was delayed by more than one second relative to those who believed in free will – an eternity in brain time. Finding free will in the brain J. J. C. Smart John Jamieson Carswell "Jack" Smart AC (16 September 1920 – 6 October 2012[1]) was an Australian philosopher and academic, and was appointed as an Emeritus Professor by the Australian National University. He worked in the fields of metaphysics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and political philosophy. He wrote multiple entries for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.[2][3] Career[edit] He arrived in Australia in August 1950 to take up the Chair of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, which he occupied from 1950 until 1972.

You Do Not Choose What You Choose From the Free Press: A belief in free will touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion. Minkowski space Hermann Minkowski (1864–1909) found that the theory of special relativity, introduced by his former student Albert Einstein, could be best understood as a four-dimensional space, since known as the Minkowski spacetime. Minkowski space is closely associated with Einstein's theory of special relativity and is the most common mathematical structure on which special relativity is formulated. While the individual components in Euclidean space and time may differ due to length contraction and time dilation, in Minkowski spacetime, all frames of reference will agree on the total distance in spacetime between events.[nb 1] Because it treats time differently than it treats the 3 spatial dimensions, Minkowski space differs from four-dimensional Euclidean space. Spacetime is equipped with an indefinite non-degenerate bilinear form, variously called the Minkowski metric,[2] the Minkowski norm squared or Minkowski inner product depending on the context. History[edit]

Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.