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Comments on Laraudogoitia's 'Classical Particle Dynamics, Indeterminism and a Supertask'

Earman, J and Norton, JD (1998) Comments on Laraudogoitia's 'Classical Particle Dynamics, Indeterminism and a Supertask'. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 49 (1). 123 - 133. ISSN 0007-0882

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We discuss two supertasks invented recently by Laraudogoitia [1996, 1997], Both involve an infinite number of particle collisions within a finite amount of time and both compromise determinism. We point out that the sources of the indeterminism are rather different in the two cases - one involves unbounded particle velocities, the other involves particles with no lower bound to their sizes - and consequently that the implications for determinism are rather different - one form of indeterminism affects Newtonian but not relativistic physics, while the other form is insensitive to the classical vs relativistic distinction. We also note some interesting linkages among supertasks, indeterminism and foundations problems in the general theory of relativity.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Earman, Jjearman@pitt.eduJEARMAN
Norton, JDjdnorton@pitt.eduJDNORTON
Centers: University Centers > Center for Philosophy of Science
Date: 1 January 1998
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Volume: 49
Number: 1
Page Range: 123 - 133
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1093/bjps/49.1.123
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0007-0882
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2012 13:32
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2023 15:46


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