## On the calculating power of Laplace’s demon (Part I) (2006)

### BibTeX

@MISC{Longley06onthe,

author = {John Longley},

title = {On the calculating power of Laplace’s demon (Part I)},

year = {2006}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

We discuss several ways of making precise the informal concept of physical determinism, drawing on ideas from mathematical logic and computability theory. We outline a programme of investigating these notions of determinism in detail for specific, precisely articulated physical theories. We make a start on our programme by proposing a general logical framework for describing physical theories, and analysing several possible formulations of a simple Newtonian theory from the point of view of determinism. Our emphasis throughout is on clarifying the precise physical and metaphysical assumptions that typically underlie a claim that some physical theory is ‘deterministic’. A sequel paper is planned, in which we shall apply similar methods to the analysis of other physical theories. Along the way, we discuss some possible repercussions of this kind of investigation for both physics and logic. 1

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