PhilSci Archive

On the Observational Equivalence of Continuous-Time Deterministic and Indeterministic Descriptions

Charlotte, Werndl (2011) On the Observational Equivalence of Continuous-Time Deterministic and Indeterministic Descriptions. [Published Article or Volume]

[img]
Preview
PDF
CharlotteWerndlEJPSSubmission.pdf

Download (399kB)

Abstract

This paper presents and philosophically assesses three types of results on the observational equivalence of continuous-time measure-theoretic deterministic and indeterministic descriptions. The first results establish observational equivalence to abstract mathematical descriptions. The second results are stronger because they show observational equivalence between deterministic and indeterministic descriptions found in science. Here I also discuss Kolmogorov's contribution. For the third results I introduce two new meanings of 'observational equivalence at every observation level'. Then I show the even stronger result of observational equivalence at every (and not just some) observation level between deterministic and indeterministic descriptions found in science. These results imply the following. Suppose one wants to find out whether a phenomenon is best modeled as deterministic or indeterministic. Then one cannot appeal to differences in the probability distributions of deterministic and indeterministic descriptions found in science to argue that one of the descriptions is preferable because there is no such difference. Finally, I criticise the extant claims of philosophers and mathematicians on observational equivalence.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Charlotte, Werndlc.s.werndl@lse.ac.uk
Keywords: determinism, indeterminism, observational equivalence, ergodic theory, stochastic processes
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Charlotte Werndl
Date Deposited: 31 May 2011 11:28
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2011 17:31
Item ID: 8637
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Official URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/a150675122r426...
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8637

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item