- Oct 6, 2008
- Basic Beliefs
Scientific method depends on testable, empirical, explanations. Determinism lies at the base of the setting, execution, measurement, and findings of experiments. Scientific theory depends on verification/falsification by empirical tests.Have you got a mouse in your pocket? It's not we anything. You have your views with which you are very casual while I'm sticking to a view that is a bit more, uh deterministic. Inventing causal necessity is really a bit much. If this follows that consistently it is determined. No need to insert some intervening variable such as necessary causality or causal necessity.As I've shown his model is clearly not a choice since it doesn't include constraint and opportunity. In fact, deterministic behavior is always limited by opportunity.
He's also correct in his assertion that most think that attributing multiple contexts to human action enables choice. It doesn't anymore than do several forces vectors pushing on a rock from different angles actually fail to impose multiple outcomes. The schemes we develop to justify the notion of choice are inventions outside the scope of empirical scientific law.
We observe people walking toward a restaurant. We call that behavior "walking".
We observe people pulling out a chair and sitting at the table. We call that behavior "sitting".
We observe people browsing the menu for awhile and then placing their order. We call that behavior "choosing".
Because each of these behaviors was objectively observed, we must assume that each behavior is consistent with empirical scientific law.
If someone were to suggest to us that what we objectively observed did not happen, and was some kind of an illusion, then we would naturally claim that the illusion was theirs, and not ours.
Oh, and, of course each of these behaviors was causally necessary from any prior point in time. But then again, all events are always causally necessary from any prior point in time, so it barely deserves mentioning. The logical fact of causal necessity is the grandest of all trivialities.
Determinism is the belief in causal necessity. Causal necessity is the notion that events are reliably caused by prior events. The prior events necessitate the current event. For example, if Babe Ruth hits the ball at the appropriate angle with sufficient force, then the ball will necessarily go over the outfield fence, scoring a home run.
The definition of determinism suggested in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) reads like this: "Determinism: The world is governed by (or is under the sway of) determinism if and only if, given a specified way things are at a time t, the way things go thereafter is fixed as a matter of natural law."
Causal necessity simply asserts that every event is the reliable effect of prior events. The term "natural law" is a metaphor for that reliability. It is AS IF the objects were following a set of rules. But in actuality the rules are derived from observing reliable patterns of behavior in the objects and forces themselves. Neither natural law nor scientific law ever causes anything to happen. Only the objects and forces can actually cause events.
Now if what you propose cannot be operationalized, measured, contrasted empirically it cannot be science. Nor can it be any part of determinism. The next time anyone spouts causal necessity they need empirically demonstrate the theoretical utility of their spout. From the above one needs to operationalize the terms reliable, effect, event. I doubt the general consensus about the definition of Natural Law would stand up to such tests.