By R.Y. Deshpande
- The first interpretation, more conservative in its outlook and favoured more by traditionally oriented philosophers than by physicists, regards microphysical indeterminacy as a result of the interference of the process of observation with the process observed.
- The second interpretation, more favoured by physicists, regards it as a manifestation of objective indeterminacy in nature.
- The first interpretation leaves the Laplacean determinism intact;
- the second one suggests the objective status of chance in the sense of Boutroux and Pierce, that is, of the "open world" (H. Weyl's term), forever in growth and forever incomplete, in which the future remains genuinely ambiguous and, though influenced by the past, is not predetermined by it.
- While the first interpretation is more congruous with the philosophical tradition glorifying static and immutable Being,
- the second interpretation is viewed with sympathy by the process-oriented thinkers. Thus the discussion concerning the interpretation of this principle is merely the most recent phase of the ancient dialogue between Parmenides and Heraclitus.
There is of course a difference between the two dialogues, one philosophy against philosophy and the other philosophy against science, science not much bothered by the anguish it can cause to philosophy. But then perhaps there is really no "objective indeterminacy in nature"; instead, what is probably happening is that the physicist in his loud triumph of professionalism is simply imposing objective indeterminacy on nature. posted by Debashish on Fri 10 Nov 2006 09:39 AM PST Permanent Link