What Are the New Implications of Chaos for Unpredictability?

  title={What Are the New Implications of Chaos for Unpredictability?},
  author={Charlotte Werndl},
  journal={The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science},
  pages={195 - 220}
  • C. Werndl
  • Published 1 March 2009
  • Philosophy
  • The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
From the beginning of chaos research until today, the unpredictability of chaos has been a central theme. It is widely believed and claimed by philosophers, mathematicians and physicists alike that chaos has a new implication for unpredictability, meaning that chaotic systems are unpredictable in a way that other deterministic systems are not. Hence, one might expect that the question ‘What are the new implications of chaos for unpredictability?’ has already been answered in a satisfactory way… 

Evidence for the Deterministic or the Indeterministic Description? A Critique of the Literature About Classical Dynamical Systems

It can be shown that certain kinds of classical deterministic and indeterministic descriptions are observationally equivalent. Then the question arises: which description is preferable relative to

Disentangling Complexity from Randomness and Chaos

This study aims to disentangle complexity from randomness and chaos, and to present a definition of complexity that emphasizes its epistemically distinct qualities. I will review existing attempts at

Stable regularities without governing laws ? Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics

Can stable regularities be explained without appealing to governing laws or any other modal notion? In this paper, I consider what I will call a ‘Humean system’—a generic dynamical system without

Determinism and Indeterminism

This article focuses on three themes concerning determinism and indeterminism. The first theme is observational equivalence between deterministic and indeterministic models. Here I discuss several

A Non-Probabilistic Model of Relativised Predictability in Physics

A more refined model that is capable of studying different degrees of “relativised” unpredictability is presented, showing that quantum complementarity guarantees a form of relativised unpredictability that is weaker than that guaranteed by Kochen–Specker-type value indefiniteness.

Stable regularities without governing laws?

  • A. Filomeno
  • Philosophy
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
  • 2019

Dynamic and stochastic systems as a framework for metaphysics and the philosophy of science

This work introduces a general and unified framework for describing such systems and shows how it can be used to examine some familiar philosophical questions, including how can the authors define nomological possibility, necessity, determinism, and indeterminism.

Are deterministic descriptions and indeterministic descriptions observationally equivalent

1 Probability and Randomness

Random outcomes, in ordinary parlance, are those that occur haphazardly, unpredictably, or by chance. Even without further clarification, these glosses suggest an interesting connection between



Kinds of unpredictability in deterministic systems

Several different concepts of predictability are differentiated and their significance and their interrelations are discussed and finally, their relation to the concept of chaos is discussed.

The status of determinism in an uncontrollable world

The modern theory of non-linear dynamical systems [chaos] has certainly taught us a salutary lesson about unpredictability in classical physics. It is less obvious what it should have taught us about

Randomness Is Unpredictability

  • A. Eagle
  • Philosophy
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 2005
The concept of randomness has been unjustly neglected in recent philosophical literature, and when philosophers have thought about it, they have usually acquiesced in views about the concept that are

Chaos, predictability, and idealization in physics

To summarize, the world is spoken of in terms of various idealized descriptions, or theories, which differ not only in being more or less accurate, but also in proposing concepts that are more or more useful.

On the Actual Impact of Deterministic Chaos

It turns out that the various concepts of deterministic chaos do not constitute a ‘new science’, or a “revolutionary” change of the “scientific world picture”, and chaos research provides a sort of toolbox of methods which are certainly useful for a more detailed analysis and understanding of such dynamical systems which are, roughly speaking, endowed with the property of exponential sensitivity on initial conditions.

Chaos and algorithmic complexity

Our aim is to discover whether the notion of algorithmic orbit-complexity can serve to define “chaos” in a dynamical system. We begin with a mostly expository discussion of algorithmic complexity and

Uncertainty dynamics and predictability in chaotic systems

An initial uncertainty in the state of a chaotic system is expected to grow even under a perfect model; the dynamics of this uncertainty during the early stages of its evolution are investigated. A

On Separating Predictability and Determinism

There has been a long-standing debate about the relationshipof predictability and determinism. Some have maintained that determinism impliespredictability while others have maintained that

What Could Be Worse than the Butterfly Effect?

  • R. Bishop
  • Physics
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy
  • 2008
Our understanding of classical mechanics (CM) has undergone significant growth in the latter half of the twentieth century and in the beginning of the twenty-first. This growth has much to do with