Absence of Contingency in the Newtonian Universe
Author: McAllister, James W.
Source: Foundations of Science, Volume 9, Number 2, June 2004 , pp. 191-210(20)
Abstract:I argue that, contrary to the standard view, the Newtonian universe contains no contingency. I do this by arguing (i) that no contingency is introduced into the Newtonian universe by the initial conditions of physical systems in the universe, and (ii) that the claim that the Newtonian universe as a whole has contingent properties leads to incoherence. This result suggests that Newtonian physics is either inconsistent or incomplete, since the laws of Newtonian physics are too weak to determine all the properties of the Newtonian universe uniquely.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Faculty of Philosophy, University of Leiden, P.O. Box 9515, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands firstname.lastname@example.org, Email: email@example.com
Publication date: June 1, 2004