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The Freedom of the Will$
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J. R. Lucas

Print publication date: 1970

Print ISBN-13: 9780198243434

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198243434.001.0001

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Reformulation of Physical Determinism

Reformulation of Physical Determinism

(p.90) §17 Reformulation of Physical Determinism
The Freedom of the Will


Oxford University Press

Hempel's account of a regularity explanation needs amplification. The usual symbolism of formal logic presents some difficulties, as it is unable to distinguish ‘accidental’ universal statements about ‘closed’ classes from ‘essential’ universal statements about ‘open’ classes. A second, logicians' difficulty is that some alleged law might be redundant because tautologous. A third difficulty is an ambiguity in the application of the ‘determinist’ and ‘determined’. A fourth difficulty comes from continuity. The account given by Hempel is a discrete one. The initial conditions either do or do not hold. These difficulties can be overcome. And it is worth surmounting them in order to face others of an altogether more formidable kind.

Keywords:   Hempel, regularity explanation, physical determinism

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