[hist-analytic] Uncertainty and Indeterminacy

Baynesr at comcast.net Baynesr at comcast.net
Mon Jan 17 16:54:27 EST 2011

Consider a physical system that loses information. Suppose we say this creates uncertainty; such as as to where we began. I claim that this is not to say such a system is indeterministic. But this depends on what you take to be indeterministic and what you take to be uncertain. Suppose that we think of an indeterministic system as differing from a system possessing uncertainty in the following respect: In the case of uncertainty we may know "which way the arrows go" but we don't know where they began: still, there are no causally "branching" event nodes. 

But now suppose we join two systems possessing such uncertainties with an event that "begins" two such uncertain systems. Such an event will in this case be binary branching; that is, we've added a new "quantity." namely an indeterministic state. So my claim is that two uncertain systems, in the sense described, can be joined but only by creating an indeterministic system. Thus, indeterminacy - in my sense and in this instance - results from joining two systems possessing uncertainty (uncertainty, perhaps, being described as a system where information is lost). An indeterministic system is one where the information is just not there. Not sure of all this, though. I need to take a look at some more physics before applying it to problems in phil. of mind. 

Steve Bayne 
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