A Superluminal and Local-Causal Physical Ontology
Chapter 5. Laplacean Causalism in Quantum Physics
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The lack of clear distinction and/or the prevalence of confusion between the epistemological and ontological aspects of causation in QM (and Cosmology), and the persistent confusion between causality and determinism (discussed in passing in Chapter 4) – these may be said to have been active in and inherited from Laplacean deterministic causalism. Pierre Simon de Laplace’s variety of determinism, as presented in his A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (Ch. II), has held that an imaginary all-knowing mind, endowed with infinite powers of calculation and understanding of the present physical (mechanical) dispositions of every particle in the universe, can rationally predict the future and retrodict the past of all particles and their combinations in the universe.105
(1) Here the idea of the cognitively all-powerful “determiner-being” in question does not predispose one to religious faith because, “[b]elief in a fully determined universe was … a faith for being naturalistic rather than religious.”106 The fact that “determined universe” here means ‘epistemologically considered, epistemically finitely determinable mechanistically running universe’ is clear from the use of the term ‘determinism’ in the quote that follows next. Mechanistic forces in a finite chunk of matter are finite in the mechanistic world view, and no mechanist physicist seems to have thought very much into the possibility of an infinite universe. This facilitates epistemological determination of the forces and causes of the mechanistic processes in a finite number of scientific manoeuvres in each case.
(2) Nor is such determinism a belief in unlimited cognitive capacity...
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