Ernest Nagel on Determinism as a Guiding Principle and Its Compatibility with Quantum Mechanics

In Matthias Neuber & Adam Tamas Tuboly (eds.), Ernest Nagel: Philosophy of Science and the Fight for Clarity. Springer. pp. 149-170 (2021)
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Abstract

According to Ernest Nagel, determinism is central to the scientific enterprise. Faced with the claim that determinism fails in quantum mechanics, Nagel proposed a notion of determinism which does not rely on a fundamental level of description, and can play a role in different scientific disciplines irrespective of their reducibility to physics. Nagel argues that determinism ultimately plays the role of a guiding principle in scientific research. In this way, Nagel argues that determinism has an enduring relevance in all domains of science, from quantum physics to the social sciences.

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Marij Van Strien
Radboud University

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