Title: Determinism and the Paradox of Predictability
Authors: Rummens, Stefan ×
Cuypers, Stefaan #
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: D. Reidel
Series Title: Erkenntnis: an International Journal of Analytic Philosophy vol:72 issue:2 pages:233-249
Abstract: The inference from determinism to predictability, though intuitively plausible, needs to be qualified in an important respect. We need to distinguish between two different kinds of predictability. On the one hand, determinism implies external predictability, that is, the possibility for an external observer, not part of the universe, to predict, in principle, all future states of the universe. Yet, on the other hand, embedded predictability as the possibility for an embedded subsystem in the universe to make such predictions, does not obtain in a deterministic universe. By revitalizing an older result—the paradox of predictability—we demonstrate that, even in a deterministic universe, there are fundamental, non-epistemic limitations on the ability of one subsystem embedded in the universe to predict the future behaviour of other subsystems embedded in the same universe. As an explanation, we put forward the hypothesis that these limitations arise because the predictions themselves are physical events which are part of the law-like causal chain of events in the deterministic universe. While the limitations on embedded predictability cannot in any direct way show evidence of free human agency, we conjecture that, even in a deterministic universe, human agents have a take-it-or-leave-it control over revealed predictions of their future behaviour.
ISSN: 0165-0106
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Centre for Logic and Analytical Philosophy
Centre for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

Files in This Item:

There are no files associated with this item.

Request a copy


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.

© Web of science