What is meant by a deterministic universe

Causality and Determinism in Science and Everyday Life



1. causality

2. Coincidence

3. Epistemic determinism
3.1 Differentiation between nomic and causal determinism
3.1.1 Causal determinism
3.1.2 Nomic determinism
3.2 Predictive and Post-Dictive Determinism
3.3 Total causal determinism

4. Ontic determinism

5. Epistemic indeterminism

6. Ontic indeterminism

7. Determinism and indeterminism in everyday life

8. Literature


Every day we as humans inevitably become involved in processes and events, both as subjects and as objects of courses of action. In such cases, we often ask ourselves if we cannot precisely identify a reason or a cause for an occurrence: Why is that so? More precisely formulated this question would be: Which one?root causecan this process be traced back to? With this everyday and often incidental search for answers, we have entered a basic conceptual model of philosophy, which says that nothing in the world happens without a cause immediately preceding the actual event. This theory is called Causality theory[1].

In the course of a consciously presupposed causality, we humans do not seem to have any new orientation possibilities in everyday life. Whenever we act as agents, we always try, consciously or unconsciously, to predict the consequences of our actions in order to avoid dangers for ourselves and others as far as possible.[2] by trying to draw conclusions from the knowledge of the causes before the effects occur. That this way of thinking is almost always crowned with success, i.e. we succeed in most cases in avoiding possible threats in everyday life, is due to the Experiencethat we have done in the course of our life so far, e.g. that one must not put one's hand on the hot stove top, as this leads to pain and at the same time is associated with damage to the palm of the hand in the form of burns. Now, however, not everyone believed their parents as a child when they warned against reaching for the stove and so the (painful) experience often had to take the place of "believing the parents", with the result that the Fact "hot stove => pain" has burned into our brain irrevocably, in the truest sense of the word. We also know from a kind of "casual"[3] Recognition that objects on planet earth cannot float freely in the air and that, for example, a raw hen's egg does not survive a fall of, say 1.50 m, on a hard stone floor, or the lime shell cannot survive the force of the impact cannot withstand and breaks. The reason for this breaking of the egg shell is to be found in the force of gravity, which Isaac Newton already over 300 years ago mathematically broken down and made calculable with his law of gravitation. This reached the provisional end point of a development in the empirical sciences that had decisively shaped the Age of Enlightenment. Of course, for example, the earth orbited the sun before this fact was discovered and not the other way around, including the law of

Gravity was already in effect before Newton's formulation, after all people, animals and objects did not fly through the air in earlier times. But these regularities had not yet been theorized and abstractly recorded and broken down using formulas. With their help, it has now become possible, with regard to the theory of causality and with the help of the newly developed mathematical-physical formulas, to set up exact calculations about events before they actually occurred, e.g. about the impact speed of bodies and objects. In other words, this means that, from a previously determined initial condition, which directly affects thisroot causethe followingeffectcould be determined by calculation. An exact, even if limited in time, prediction of the future became possible. What was new about it was not the predetermination itself, because very old civilizations had already succeeded in predicting solar eclipses, for example, but the form and scope of the possible applications of these new predictions.

The peoples in Mesopotamia (Euphrates and Tigris), for example, had worked out their temporal predictions from the knowledge, gained through lengthy observations, that solar eclipses are apparently subject to a regular cycle. From this knowledge, the regular occurrence of this phenomenon could be predicted relatively exactly.

Until the advent of empiricism in the natural sciences, researchers had predicted events, if at all, with knowledge based on experience. For phenomena whose causes were obscure, a belief-based theory became thePredestination, taken to help. It was always used when it came to inexplicable processes and / or their unknown causes: By referring to a divine, direct influence, the impression was created that God himself frequently and definitely intervenes in life and holds all the threads of nature and thus also of human existence, firmly in hand. All occurrences are therefore predetermined and willed by God.

When, at the beginning of the Enlightenment in the 17th century, it slowly became clear that the planetary movement, for example, was by no means due to uninterrupted divine interventions, but rather to the mutual effect of gravitational forces between the individual planets, this was a decisive milestone that led to the decline of the ecclesiastical teaching of predestination. The idea that was already present in the Middle Ages that every cause also has an effect and every event has a reason was given a new impetus.

In the course of this enlightenment development, new terms were used in philosophy

coined, among others that of thedeterminism. First of all, it says that all natural processes that are subject to causality are predetermined and can therefore also be predicted on the basis of their known causes and laws.

This assertion is quite applicable to Newton's physical knowledge, but Newton did not decipher the entire nature, but only a small part. Since the advance of the natural sciences towards the verifiability of natural events, a lot has happened in the classical disciplines of physics. Many other laws were discovered and strengthened the supporters of a deterministic world view in their opinion. But after the initial great success in the discovery of natural laws, this development slowed down and the complete decoding of a so-called "world formula" remained despite many efforts, including the German physicist Werner Karl Heisenberg,[4] until today. With the help of such a formula, the followers of determinism believe, it should be possible to precisely predict the future of the entire universe.

But is the idea of ​​such exact predictions based on empirical knowledge limited only to classical physics and other natural sciences, or can such theories also relate to the human psyche? Does a person always act the same under certain conditions? Would he commit the same act tomorrow, without today's experience, or is his behavior more likelycoincidentally?

In the following, in an attempt to clarify this question, the terms causality and chance are explained, knowledge of which is a prerequisite for understanding a possible determinism. After breaking up the concept of determinism into its most important areas for everyday life and explaining the same, the second main part of this work explains the theory of indeterminism, which actually only exists as an antipole to determinism. Here, the differences between the variants of both views should be understandable and, as in the first main part, explained in more detail using everyday examples that are as comprehensible as possible.

Finally, against this expanded background knowledge, the question is investigated whether determinism is limited to mere natural events or whether it can also be applied to the thinking and acting of humans. What would be the consequences of a positive or negative assessment of this question?

1. causality

When an apple on an apple tree is ripe enough, then the stile detaches from the branch and it falls to the ground. So the reason for the apple to loosen from the branch is its degree of ripeness. In most of the known cases, actions and events in nature, like the one just described, proceed according to a cause-and-effect principle, which is simply shortenedcausality is called. Causes are physical states, conditions or events that represent a coherent sequence of states and, in their function as an effect, can in turn be the cause of further reactions. In the previous example, the ripe apple does not stay somewhere in the air after it has been detached from the trunk, but is caught by gravity and falls to the ground. From this it can be deduced that causalities in the world never actually appear in isolation, but always in one way or another "Causal chain"connect: The reason for the state of ripeness of the apple at this point in time can be derived from the weather - that is, from the ripening conditions - in the previous summer. The ripe apple that has fallen to the ground can in turn serve as food for a living being or become a new apple tree itself, etc.

Laboratory experiments in empirical natural sciences such as chemistry or physics that are expressly aimed at singularity also only represent deliberately emphasized parts of causal chains. Here, too, such cause-effect chains cannot be avoided or excluded. If, for example, a chemical reaction, such as the dissolving of sodium in water, generates heat, then the test result sought by the chemist has been achieved and the test is empirically satisfactory for him, but a causal relationship continues to run, by itself the cooling of the object, which warms the environment again and thus changes its original state, etc.

So it remains to be noted that in (empirical) nature simple, isolated causal events do not normally occur and the individual antecedents - consequent processes, at least in the macro area of ​​science, take place in forms that are largely comprehensible for us.

A distinction is usually made between two causality variants: On the one handthe weak principle of causalitywhich says that the same causes follow the same effects, and on the other hand thatstrong principle of causality, according to which similar causes also have similar effects.

Classical physics always assumed the latter, but today we know that in certain systems only the weak principle applies. Even slight deviations from the initial conditions can result in different final states.

A prerequisite for the recording of existing regularities, e.g. the existence of natural laws, in causal processes is that experiments can be repeated as often as desired and that the observation of processes can be used to deduce their regularity (s). Once these are known and formulated, test results can also be calculated theoretically without an associated experiment. In the classical natural sciences, laws or regularities are usually given by mathematical equations and can therefore be checked for their verifiability. "Only through regularities can we distinguish miracles (or coincidences) from events caused."[5] But what are coincidences and can they be differentiated or excluded from other natural events?

2. Coincidence

In everyday language, coincidence or coincidentally mostly used to name an event that one had not expected and could not have expected immediately before it occurred. The effect of what happened deviates completely from the cause that preceded it and comes, so to speak surprised. One can say that "chance understood as opposed to causally determined and predictable or calculable events"[6] because it "does not necessarily follow from a given set of conditions".[7] One speaks of coincidence when, for example, unknown factors occur in a causal relationship with which the causes causing the effects cannot, or only insufficiently, be explained. In a causal relationship, chance appears only as the initial cause of a chain, never as an effect. If several causal chains overlap, an effect caused by this coincidence can in turn act as the cause and the beginning of a new causal chain. If these chains had not crossed, it is entirely conceivable that, beyond this point, they would have continued to follow the causal principle without any chance changing this cause / effect structure and thus ending it. A distinction between the terms surprise and coincidence lies mainly in the different use of the same, because both describe a fundamentally similar form of event. While chance is a term used and scientifically recognized in empirical natural research and philosophy, which can also be defined more precisely within causal relationships, surprise is mostly used in everyday, unscientific areas, such as a "surprising birthday present" In this case, the surprise is a kind of planned coincidence and only apparently coincidental for the recipient, but not for the giver. In the case of a real coincidental occurrence, this cannot be precisely predicted, but it is not entirely unexpected, which can be quite possible in the event of a surprising event . Furthermore iscoincidencea neutral term, without an appreciative or degrading character, whilesurprisemostly implies a positive aspect.

As an example of a random event that occurs when several causal chains intersect, consider the raw egg that fell on the floor. The event of falling presupposes several things, namely the letting go of the egg, the gravity of the same, the place of the event which first had to be visited (in this example because of the stone floor), etc. After the impact on the stone floor, alone falls from a purely visual point of view that the destroyed egg is very different from the one that was intact immediately before the impact. Nevertheless, the fall of the egg and its inevitable impact remain predictable and the destruction of the lime shell is therefore not really accidental. The shape and expansion of the yolk and protein mixture after it has been hit on the ground is a matter of chance and the outline of an egg puddle never coincides with that of another egg, even if both had the same mass and were dropped from the same height at the same time .[8]

But this is only one possible variant, because when coincidences occur, as already mentioned above, it is possible that the cause of an event is not even known and / or the question of its existence remains purely speculative. Such an example of such a coincidence would be when you meet your neighbor from your home town in a strange city somewhere in the world without having previously made an appointment with him. The reasons that lead to such a meeting are not exactly known and cannot be mathematically understood, which would be the first prerequisite for the possible existence of regularity. (The case that a local travel agency has lured the citizens of this place to that part of the world with a special offer is excluded here.) In summary, it can be said that coincidence is an "uncertainty in the causal determination of an event", when unknown or diverse factors determine what happens "[9] In a causal chain, chance cannot appear except at the beginning. So you can't say: "So, I am now creating a real coincidence through my behavior." If this were possible, then the desired event, which is supposed to be called "coincidental", would already have been determined in advance and thus precisely no more than coincidental, rather than determined. But what is meant bydeterminismand which types can be distinguished?

3. Epistemic determinism

In the following, the term determinism and its various variants will be explained in more detail.In Sections 3.1.1 up to and including 3.2, epistemic determinism is examined in more detail and divided into various facets. "Epistemic" means, in simplified terms, "relating to our knowledge", i.e. generally "our knowledge." This term includes all the things that we can perceive as a subject in our environment and nature, which includes laws, Designations and properties of objects with one. These are the things and processes that are "experienced" by us. With the addition epistemic "a deter-minism is described which has its historical origin" in classical mechanics and the natural philosophy connected with it "[10]Has. Thus, everyday situations are consciously used as examples for illustration.

3.1 Differentiation between causal and nomic determinism

3.1.1 Causal determinism

The coincidence, as an effect occurring in a causal relation, can be excluded according to the definition in point 2 and thus, with regard to the causal principle, there is a possibility of predicting future events. If a cause can only be followed by a definite effect, it is possible to determine these effects from the causes. A definition of determinism is accordingly that the coming state t2 is already determined by the respective state at time t1. The reverse is also true (see point 3.2). This idea is known in philosophy as "total causal determinism". The French mathematician Laplace gives an easily understandable definition of this determinism version: "We must therefore consider the present state of the universe as consider the effect of its previous state and, on the other hand, the cause of what will follow. "[11]

Here the terms -cause and effect- are explicitly mentioned, which makes it clear why here by onecausalDeterminism is spoken of. This is because a possible existence of determinism functions on the basis of causality, and a universally applicable causal theory structure must be assumed as a necessary condition. However, it does not seem to make much sense to speak of causes and effects if these are not subject to laws.[12]So a further breakdown becomes necessary, because in contrast to thenomicDeterminism will be thecausalDeterminism does not explicitly mention regularities, although they are "implicitly assumed"[13]become.

3.1.2 Nomic determinism

The emphasis is on causal determinism, as in 3.1.1. described on the cause and effect relation. Laws or functions are necessary for a deterministic causal principle, but are not emphasized, but simply assumed. So the question remains whether the laws apply to all states and effects, or whether exceptions can occur in which a randomly occurring event can bring this thought model to collapse.

Therefore, another form of determinism is required that can completely exclude precisely that case of chance: with thenomic determinismthis requirement is met, because its focus does not represent the causal constellation, but it "refers explicitly to (mathematically formulated) laws."[14]There is actually no real extensional difference, especially in practice, between the two determinism variants, since both models cannot be viewed independently of one another. It is not possible in the empirical natural sciences to rely only on regularities and thereby completely disregard the causal principle. Likewise, reverse thinking is not possible. Causal determinism begins where the nomic has its weaknesses, e.g. in the case of an unclear antecedent - consequence relation, and the nomic formulation emphasizes the absolute validity of regularities in all cases and, as already indicated above, finally excludes accidental causes. "The different perspectives must not hide the fact that nomic and causal determinism are each two sides of the same coin."[15]

Nevertheless, an explicit distinction between these two variants of determinism initially seems intuitively superfluous. That this is by no means the case is shown by a glance at the theory ofsingular causes. It says that it is possible "to speak of causes without having to refer to regularities."[16]In such a case, the selected cause would not necessarily be part of a causal chain, but could have occurred as a singular phenomenon without any regularities. But it is very possible that this in turn would be the beginning or the original cause of a new causal chain.

For example, there is such a moment in the belief in the Christian worldview of the creation of the world. The phrase "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."[17]leaves open what and from what motives God created the world and allows the association that it was created out of "nothing". But what he has triggered, we all know and see today when we see the earth and its Consider living beings. That all of this is supposed to have been created out of "nothing" seems extremely implausible to us today. From an empirical point of view, such a history of creation must be questioned and remains pure speculation. Therefore, for the validity of a universal determinism, such a scenario must be ruled out with absolute certainty, which has been done with the express emphasis on the nomic sub-area.

A distinction within a causal determinism was already indicated in Chapter 3.1.1, which is to be elaborated even more clearly in the following subsection.

3.2 Predictive and Post-Dictive Determinism

If, as indicated in point 3.1.1, the future effect of a cause should already be determined, it would be quite conceivable that the reverse is also true, namely that the cause can be deduced from the effect. This possibility of structuring is accomplished by placing betweenpredictive causal determinism, with which the consequence can be determined from the antecedent, on the one hand and thepostdictive causal determinismon the other hand, for which the reciprocal behavior applies. If these two variants are checked with regard to their influence on the course of the world, there are two fundamentally different possibilities of the same. "If a postdictive determinism were to apply, convergences of different world courses would be impossible, but branches are not excluded, while with predictive determinism convergences are possible and branches are excluded."[18]

The following diagram should clarify how this is meant:

Postdictive causal determinism Predictive causal determinism past future past future It is not possible to assume several differently sequential time courses in one direction in each case due to the determinacy. However, the opposite cannot be ruled out in either case.

As an example of a predictive determinism one can cite the example of the falling egg already used in the introduction. The prerequisite is that you start from an exactly specified height from which the egg will be dropped. The mass of the egg must also be determined before the test is carried out in order to be able to calculate the impact speed. Since the egg is accelerated linearly by gravity, corresponding statements can be made before the actual impact. The postdictive variant is attempted, for example, when reconstructing traffic accidents. Here the primary goal of the investigating police is to determine the exact cause of the event as far as possible by taking into account all comprehensible factors such as braking distance and the condition of the road. This practical application can only be used as aAttempt,to achieve post-dictive determinism, since all influences can never be grasped.

In some areas of nature these two different theories of determinism come together and a new variant emerges.

3.3 Total causal determinism

If both types of determinism coincide, one speaks oftotal causaldeterminism. This means that both the past cause and the triggering moment can be reconstructed from an event, and the future state of the causal chain can be determined.

Examples in which the theory of total causal / nomic determinism is applied can be found, for example, in the physical discipline of mechanics. For Günter Koch, "the classic ideal" is "the billiard ball that collides with another at rest" and "its impulse partly on this ball"[19]transmits. Both balls will change their trajectory and speed due to the collision. If the forces acting on both spheres could be reversed at a point in time, "before they are subjected to further interactions with other objects"[20]the exact same process would take place in reverse order. It was impossible to distinguish whether an event of this kind captured with the camera, shown as a film, would be played backwards or forwards. In this example, the cause and effect relationship is represented in such a way that the impact of one ball must ultimately be seen as the cause of the change in direction (effect) that occurs after the two balls collide. The nomic aspect of the causal relation in the form of a mechanical equation, with the help of which the direction and speed of both balls can be calculated prior to the collision, is also used in this example. In simple terms, both the previous cause t0 and the coming sequence t2 can be calculated from a state t1, since the course of the mechanical equation used is linear. If one turns to the applicability of this determinism in nature, one encounters two further variants of equations when leaving the linear plane, the converging and the diverging. These two systems, which are far more numerous in the world than the linear ones, turn out to be significantly more difficult to grasp in terms of total causal determinism. Postdictive determinism, in particular, quickly loses its applicability to non-linear events.

In addition to the epistemic processes described so far, there are still areas on our earth that cannot be grasped with our senses. Can determinism still be theorized in such a disaggregated world?

4. Ontic determinism

In addition to the already mentioned possibilities of differentiating and determining deterministic processes, further classifications are also useful with regard to the areas outside of an epistemic world. In addition to the epistemic there is also a so-calledonticWorld that tries to explain "being in itself" in more detail. Ontic describes a way of looking at nature in which we have already grasped things but not yet rationally developed them. We know that they are there, although they are ours withdraw sensory perception.[21]

In principle, the same distinctions are possible with ontic determinism as with epistemic determinism, so it can be divided into oneontic determinism of the future, thepastand, both taken together, in thetotal ontic determinism.[22]

The questions are, however, different. While the epistemic variant can only be based on subjectively correct experiences from which a possible predictability can be derived, ontic determinism is about "how nature really is."[23]It follows that the regularities on which the three above-mentioned distinctions of this theory are inevitably based, the laws of nature, must be understood as real laws, regardless of the possibility of being able to grasp and reproduce them on the basis of a scientific investigation. If such "true" rules apply to this world, which is subject to ontic determinism, and thus also to the universe, then "only one possible, namely the actual course of history"[24] existent. “If the world were to be recreated at some point in time and brought into a state in which it was before, then what has already occurred once would have to repeat itself down to the tiniest detail. Objective coincidence, however moderate, is impossible. "[25]

In contrast to epistemic determinism, which is limited in its application to certain parts of nature and is only valid there, ontic determinism goes much further in its scope. Its application would by no means be subject to any limits. Even the attempt to describe only details in the universe would have a universal scope and would include all processes. However, with this interpretation of the term it becomes clear that ontic determinism, if it is to go beyond a purely hypothetical level, would have to resort to epistemic knowledge, which serve to strengthen theory, for its justification and justification, since these are comprehensible and unambiguous for us. Reliable knowledge is only possible from this area. Everything else remains purely hypothetical and thus speculation in our view of the world today, which is still shaped by the spirit of the Enlightenment. This very easily puts one in danger of arriving at a supernatural worldview with worldly knowledge. One cannot justify the ontic level with epistemic arguments. This already suggests itself with the definition of the term "ontic" when the focus is to be directed to an applicable "benefit" in this sub-area.

Up to now there has always been talk of a predictable future, which is supposed to be possible on the basis of natural laws or so-called "real" laws in the metaphysical realm. The reverse case is also conceivable, namely that nothing is fixed at all and even on the contrary, everything is absolute happens arbitrarily.This notion is called indeterminism.

5. Epistemic indeterminism

Indeterminism in its function as the opposite of determinism posits the existence of a on the level of causalityreal coincidenceahead. If this is available, one can speak of a probabilistic process which, although it does not allow precise predictions about the future or the past, may be a probable one. So if random events occur frequently or unpredictably in a chain, one speaks of indeterminism. An effect allows absolutely no or very many conclusions about its cause and vice versa.

As an example of indeterminism, ourExperienceact. It is never possible to predict in advance what lessons one will draw for oneself from an action or any process. Almost everyone, at least in the industrialized countries, has suffered a painful fall on a bicycle, but as a consequence of this event very few people draw the conclusion that they will never ride a bicycle again, even though this was the case with the similar "stove top experience" described in the introduction should actually be transferable.[26]

The classic example of aepistemically indeterminateThe event represents the throwing of a coin. We are all familiar with the epistemic factors, the material from which the coin is minted, the weight and finally even the rules of the procedure for throwing: The coin (e.g. made of copper) is placed on the thumb and forefinger and "flicked" upwards. Despite this precise knowledge of the conditions, it is impossible for us to predict which side the coin will fall on.

Another example of empirical indeterminism is found when playing chess against a chess computer. The rules of the game are known and entered into the computer. So he will not commit any rule violations in the course of the game because he has been programmed accordingly. Nevertheless, due to the knowledge about the type and functionality of the program, no statements can be made about future moves of the computer, provided that it is a "good" computer with enough processor capacity, such as the legendary computer "Deep Blue", who defeated the then Russian world chess champion Kasparov in 1997 in a world-shattering game.

6. Ontic indeterminism

The determinism debate took a decisive turn in our 20th century with the advent of quantum physics. Whereas in classical macrophysics a general determinism had been assumed, it became clear with the advance into the micro area that the assumption of predominant determinism has become untenable.

Even before the discovery of quantum physics, inaccuracies in the evaluation of experiments had arisen due to the ever more refined and more precise measurement techniques, even in the macro area of ​​epistemic natural sciences, which was previously believed to be deterministic, since one was now able to access many more digits after the decimal point had to calculate and found that the exact same values ​​could never be determined for one and the same experiment under the same conditions. Against this background, a similarly drastic process of rethinking began in philosophy as it did 300 years earlier with the emergence of epistemic natural sciences. This newly developed with the help of quantum mechanics, instead of previously deterministic, now suddenly "probabilistic interpretation of the microprocesses"[27], was able to cover a very wide scope and thus provided a new understanding of, among other things, radioactive decay and the scattering of light.[28]The corollary to these discoveries was that it was very easy to succumb to the temptation to apply these new epistemic insights to the ontic realm.

Here, however, one inevitably encounters difficulties that have already been indicated under point 4. The question of whether the new findings from quantum physics lead to a possibly ontically indeterminate universe, in contrast to the previous assumption of a determined world based on classical physics, is still a frequently discussed and unsolved topic in our time.

7. Determinism and indeterminism in everyday life

After all these breakdowns and distinctions of a possible determinacy or indeterminacy of causal processes in nature and in the ontic realm of the world, the question remains what this should mean in concrete terms for humans and to what extent these views influence our thinking and thus also ours everyday coexistence.

Through the spirit of the Enlightenment, which was largely nourished by the successful development in physics, people grew not only in their epistemic knowledge but also in their trust in their reason. This thinking culminated in the belief that "in the fundamental unlimitedness of the capacity for knowledge" and "the view that in the course of time all secrets could be torn from nature"[29]was very pronounced. With this thought, however, an avalanche of discussion was set off in the humanities, since the freedom of the human spirit suddenly apparently no longer existed or was guaranteed. For if events in nature proceed according to a deterministic principle, then this would have the consequence that man's actions and his ability to think are also subject to the same law, since he undoubtedly itself represents a part of nature.

So do we think and act according to a regularity which, through its unconsciously predetermined thought patterns, apparently takes away our intellectual freedom and thus makes us unfree? Anyone would spontaneously reject this claim, since thoughts are free, as an old saying goes. The issue is not that easy to clarify, because a fundamental problem with the question of psychological determinacy is first of all the fact that it is not possible to clearly and objectively define freedom. For knowing what the term freedom in itself actually means presupposes the recognition of its opposite, bondage. In addition, "determinations of the will that are not subjectively perceived as compulsion ... the feeling of freedom unclouded"[30]to let. So, purely theoretically, a person could spend their entire life in whatever kind of bondage and, due to a lack of other knowledge, consider this state to be freedom. A similar thought can already be found in the ancient philosophy of Plato's allegory of the cave, in which the people, tied up in a cave, the shadows on the cave wall in front of them, caused by a light source behind their backs, for therealHold the world, but these outlines only represent a shadowy image of reality.

From these considerations it can be deduced that in the case of such an existing and so-calledpsychologicalDeterminism Subjective freedom of will exists, but objective freedom does not exist, but this should not further disturb the normal individual in his or her feelings of freedom.

If thinking and thus also acting for future events is already determined, then from an objective point of view man would not be responsible for his actions, since he, compulsively, so to speak, does things and cannot really decide freely. This assumption would mean that the meaning and value of punishments would have to be reconsidered and, if necessary, changed. Friedrich Nietzsche was a supporter of this theory ofhard determinism. According to today's understanding of law, however, this principle is not used to judge. The reason for this is to be found in the fact that in the end it does not matter whether chance and the associated indeterminism prevail or not. Because: "Whether a decision to act is made solely on the basis of conscious and unconscious reasons that can be traced back to causes or with the assistance of chance makes absolutely no difference to the freedom of will."[31]According to this definition, the human spirit is always free and therefore responsible for its own actions and accordingly to be called to account.

With the advent of quantum physics and Einstein's theory of relativity, the supporters of indeterminism got a new impetus. Before that, however, "the lack of free will with the validity of physical determinism ... had driven many physicists and philosophers into the arms of indeterminism."[32]That indeterminism, and with it the presence of chance, is supposed to be a guarantee for the existence of free will is just as implausible as the justification of lack of freedom in determinism. Coincidences make the will more unpredictable, but not free.[33]

8. Literature

Hartmann, Johannes,The history book, Frankfurt, 1955, pp.14-17.

Klaus, Georg, Buhr, Manfred, (Ed.) Philosophical Dictionary, Leipzig, 1974.Koch, Günter, Causality, Determinism and Chance in the Scientific Description of Nature, Berlin, 1994.

Kwiatkowski, Gerhard,(Ed.), Student Duden Philosophy, Mannheim 1985.Mittelstraß, Jürgen,(Ed.) Encyclopedia, Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, Mannheim, 1996 Stöckler, Manfred,Moritz Schlick on causality, law and order in nature; in: Rainer Hegselmann; Heinz-Otto Peitgen,(Ed.), Models of Social Dynamics, Vienna 1996, pp. 225-244.


[1] Causa: Latin cause, reason

[2] There are, of course, other reasons than those of averting danger and also the opposite, such as war strategies, in which everything is done to kill the enemy.

[3] "Incidentally" because we grew up with this sensory perception, its effect does not necessarily have to be explained to us first, in contrast to the "stove-top experience";

[4] ,, Since about 1953 Heisenberg has been working on a uniform. Theory of matter ("world formula") about all elementary particles occurring in nature and all of their natural laws. " dtv - Lexikon, Munich 1997

[5] Günter Koch: Causality, Determinism and Chance in the Scientific Description of Nature, Berlin 1994, p. 43

[6] Jürgen Mittelstraß (Ed.), Encyclopedia Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, Volume 1, Mannheim 1996

[7] G. Klaus, M. Buhr (Ed.) Philosophical Dictionary, Leipzig, 1974

[8] Here nobody would describe the shape of the puddle as "surprising", although its shape is more or less "random".

[9] Koch (1994), p.102

[10] Mittelstrasse, 1996

[11] Pierre Simon de Laplace, Philosophical experiment on probabilities, Leipzig, 1886, p. 4

[12] see point 1

[13] Koch, (1994); P. 83

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid. P. 39

[17] Gen. 1.1

[18] Koch, (1994) p. 71

[19] Ibid. Page 88

[20] Ibid. (1994), p. 102

[21] According to: Schüler Duden, The Philosophy; Duden Verlag Mannheim, Leipzig, Vienna, Zurich, 1985

[22] See Sections 3.2 and 3.3

[23] Koch, (1994), p. 142

[24] Ibid. P. 143

[25] Ibid.

[26] The example is not entirely correct and complete, because after all, the process of "riding a bicycle" is beneficial in contrast to "reaching for the stove"

[27] Ibid. P. 181

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid. P. 77

[30] Ibid. P. 15

[31] Ibid. P. 15

[32] Ibid. P. 78

[33] according to ibid. P. 15