Is there really a Determinism/Indeterminism Dichotomy?

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sciborg2

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« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2019, 08:27:46 pm »
And Coleridge beat us both:

“Long indeed will man strive to satisfy the inward queries with the phrase, 'laws of nature'. But though the individual may rest content with the seeming metaphor, the race cannot. If a law of nature be a mere generalization, it is included...as an an act of the mind. But if it be other and more, and yet manifestable only in and to an intelligent spirit, it must in act and substance be itself {mental}; for things utterly heterogeneous can have no intercommunion.”
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sciborg2

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« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2019, 10:31:53 pm »
I know William James wrote about this, how indeterminism is just inner-cause but need to dig around to find the quote again...

Here are the quotes:

What does determinism profess?  It professes that those parts of the universe already laid down absolutely appoint and decree what the other parts shall be.  The future has no ambiguous possibilities hidden in its womb;  the part we call the present is compatible with only one totality.  Any other future complement than the one fixed from eternity is impossible.  The whole is in each and every part, and welds it with the rest into an absolute unity, an iron block, in which there can be no equivocation or shadow of turning.

Indeterminism, on the contrary, says that the parts have a certain amount of loose play on one another, so that the laying down of one of them does not necessarily determine what the others shall be.  It admits that  possibilities  may  be  in  excess  of  actualities,  and  that  things  not yet revealed to our knowledge may really in themselves be ambiguous.

Of two alternative futures which we conceive, both may now be really possible; and the one become impossible only at the very moment when the other excludes it by becoming real itself.  Indeterminism thus denies the world to be one unbending unit of fact.  It says there is a certain ultimate pluralism in it.
—William James


Chance is a purely negative and relative term, giving us no information about that of which it is predicated, except that it happens to be disconnected with something else—not controlled, secured, or necessitated by other things in advance of its own actual presence.  What I say is  that  it tells us nothing about what a thing may  be in  itself to call  it  “chance.”   All  you  mean  by  calling  it  “chance”  is  that  this  is not guaranteed, that it may also fall out otherwise.  For the system of other things has no positive hold on the chance-thing.  Its origin is in a certain fashion negative:  it escapes, and says, Hands off! coming, when it comes, as a free gift, or not at all. This  negativeness,  however,  and  this  opacity  of  the  chance-thing when  thus  considered ab  extra,  or  from  the  point  of  view  of  previous things or distant things, do not preclude its having any amount of positiveness and luminosity from within, and at its own place and moment.

All that its chance-character asserts about it is that there is something in it really of its own, something that is not the unconditional property of  the  whole.   If  the  whole  wants  this  property,  the  whole  must  wait till  it  can  get  it,  if  it  be  a  matter  of  chance.   That  the  universe  may actually be a sort of joint-stock society of this sort, in which the sharers have  both limited liabilities and limited powers,  is  of course a simple and conceivable notion.
 —William James
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Callan S.

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« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2019, 11:23:49 pm »
But what ensures A should always be the result? Why doesn't some event B sometimes end up as the result instead of A? The usual explanation seems to be that there are brute facts that are called "natural laws". Yet why don't the "laws" change? What keeps them in place? "Meta-laws"?

LTTP, but: The actual practice of science is that it never proves anything - it only builds up evidence. It's men that decide to commit to a conclusion, which is somewhere that the angel that is science doth fear to tread. What gives the illusion of keeping the laws in place is human arrogance in treating our committing to an idea a 'natural law' and pitch it to each other as a definite fact, rather than a gamble (albeit a gamble based on a lot of evidence)

sciborg2

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« Reply #48 on: Today at 08:11:00 pm »
But what ensures A should always be the result? Why doesn't some event B sometimes end up as the result instead of A? The usual explanation seems to be that there are brute facts that are called "natural laws". Yet why don't the "laws" change? What keeps them in place? "Meta-laws"?

LTTP, but: The actual practice of science is that it never proves anything - it only builds up evidence. It's men that decide to commit to a conclusion, which is somewhere that the angel that is science doth fear to tread. What gives the illusion of keeping the laws in place is human arrogance in treating our committing to an idea a 'natural law' and pitch it to each other as a definite fact, rather than a gamble (albeit a gamble based on a lot of evidence)

Yeah this is how I see it, but this obscures mysteries that I think are a deeper problem for ontologies that presume some kind of bottom-up constituting of reality (so Monadism, Physicalism, Bottom Up Panpsychism).

If the Law is in Matter, rather than imposing Itself from the Outside...how is this harmony communicated between the bottom level entities?
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