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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
William Alston
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Robert Audi
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
Isaiah Berlin
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Max Black
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
Laurence BonJour
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
Michael Burke
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Rudolf Carnap
Carneades
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Herbert Feigl
John Martin Fischer
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Michael Frede
Gottlob Frege
Peter Geach
Edmund Gettier
Carl Ginet
Alvin Goldman
Gorgias
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
Sam Harris
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Baron d'Holbach
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Andrea Lavazza
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Leucippus
Michael Levin
George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
Ruth Barcan Marcus
James Martineau
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
John McTaggart
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
Trenton Merricks
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
C. Lloyd Morgan
Thomas Nagel
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
Karl Popper
Porphyry
Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Michael Rea
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
Richard Rorty
Josiah Royce
Bertrand Russell
Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Jean-Paul Sartre
Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
Arthur Schopenhauer
John Searle
Wilfrid Sellars
Alan Sidelle
Ted Sider
Henry Sidgwick
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
J.J.C.Smart
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
Baruch Spinoza
L. Susan Stebbing
George F. Stout
Galen Strawson
Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Francisco Suárez
Richard Taylor
Kevin Timpe
Mark Twain
Peter Unger
Peter van Inwagen
Manuel Vargas
John Venn
Kadri Vihvelin
Voltaire
G.H. von Wright
David Foster Wallace
R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

Michael Arbib
Bernard Baars
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Bothe
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
S. H. Burbury
Donald Campbell
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
John Cramer
E. P. Culverwell
Charles Darwin
Terrence Deacon
Louis de Broglie
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Paul Ehrenfest
Albert Einstein
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
Joseph Fourier
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A.O.Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Jacques Hadamard
Patrick Haggard
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Martin Heisenberg
John Herschel
Werner Heisenberg
Jesper Hoffmeyer
E. T. Jaynes
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Simon Kochen
Stephen Kosslyn
Ladislav Kovàč
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Benjamin Libet
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
Howard Pattee
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Colin Pittendrigh
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Adolphe Quételet
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Claude Shannon
David Shiang
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
B. F. Skinner
Roger Sperry
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Peter Tse
Heinz von Foerster
John von Neumann
John B. Watson
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
John Wheeler
Wilhelm Wien
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek

Presentations

Biosemiotics
Free Will
Mental Causation
James Symposium
 
Alfred Landé

Alfred Landé joined Einstein, Schrödinger, deBroglie, and others in attacking Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.

But he did not suggest a return to determinism. Rather he defended the idea of chance in the universe as irreducible to hidden causes in principle. After a couple of centuries in which random distributions were regarded as deterministic, Landé invented a demon needed to achieve such deterministic pseudo-random distributions, to show that they were nonsense.

He used the example of a "Galton box," also known as a "quincunx," in which balls fall onto a knife edge - or small bins - and then bounce to the left or to the right at random.(David Little has programmed a Java applet demonstration)

Experience shows that between right- and left-hand aim there is always a small but finite range Δa of aim within which an experimentally adjusted angle a leads neither to all balls dropping to the right nor to all balls dropping to the left but rather to both r- and l-balls occurring at a certain frequency ratio. The latter varies from 100 : 0 to 0 : 100 when the aim is shifted from the right to the left of the small range Δa. Primitive persons and other indeterminists will interpret this as a sign of uncertainty, of blind fate, with one and the same cause capable of being followed by two different effects, r or l. Determinists will say, however: "The distribution of the r- and l-results only appears to be erratic. Actually each individual result has its particular deterministic cause, be it a small deviation of the angle of aim, or a small perturbation of the ball on its flight." (Similarly, although insurance companies count on their frequency tables, each individual "accident" is not an accident but has its particular cause.)

I submit, however, that the hypothesis of (concealed) individual causes behind individual effects r or 1 does not explain the essential point of the observed situation in a deterministic fashion. When the determinist ascribes the present final event r to an r-producing chain ... r r r reaching back into the infinite past, he merely shifts the problem r- and l-events to r- and l-chains and, further, to the beginning of those chains, if they have a beginning. We must ask him now for a deterministic explanation of the strange empirical observation that those chains, or initial conditions, occur again and again at a definite frequency ratio and, furthermore, why even the fluctuations away from the average occur at a rate conforming with the mathematical theory of random as though by a pre-established harmony between fact and theory. It is this pre-established harmony that calls for explanation. Referring to the infinite past, and saying that his harmony has always prevailed, is an evasion rather than a deterministic explanation. A stubborn determinist may defend his cause, however, by means of the following argument: "Once upon a time there was a demon who knew his mathematical random theory and who deliberately went out to deceive the observer. He first initiated two r-chains, then an l-chain, then four r-chains; then realizing that he had given too much preponderance to r-chains, he thereupon started five l-chains in a row, cleverly arranging the whole sequence with averages and fluctuations so that a present-day scientist might be lured away from the true deterministic faith."

There seems indeed to be only the following alternative: Either the observed random-like distributions of final events or chains or initial conditions in games of chance represent a basic and irreducible trait of nature. Or statistical distributions only feign an appearance of random, when in reality there is, or has been, concerted deterministic action. Either a deus ex machina or no deterministic explanation at all. Since deceitful demons have no place in scientific theories, I have reluctantly joined the party of indeterminacy pure and simple. But I concede, that it is a party of renunciation with a purely negative creed. Most of my partisans, including myself, suffer from a guilt complex that draws us toward our old infatuation, determinism. This infatuation may have its roots in a feeling of being ourselves demons who can deliberately start deterministic chains. In other words, it may be that we believe in strict determinism because we feel we have free will - a somewhat paradoxical psychological hypothesis. But as a scientist who observes games of chance, and who is unwilling to admit a deus ex machina (at the beginning of time, if there is a beginning, or a finite time ago), I must concede that the deterministic interpretation fails; and this applies not only to ordinary "games of chance" in which the statistical dispersion is obvious, but in general to those cases where a similar dispersion of effects is revealed only by microphysical instruments.

Empirically it is a most surprising fact, which could not have been foreseen a priori, that there are sequences of events in harmony with mathematical random theory. This empirical discovery was already made by cavemen when they gambled for the best pieces of a slain bear. But when irreducible random is once accepted, then it is a comparatively minor point of dispute whether (a) each new experiment constitutes a new game of chance (as quantum theory maintains), or (b) random was set up once, a long or an infinite time ago, and random distributions observed at present are but the deterministic effects of that one initial "shuffling of the cards" (as classical statistical mechanics maintains).

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