Scientific Determinism

The relationship between science and determinism may be traced to the 17th century in the beginning of the scientific revolution. During this period, science was considered as a deterministic field as it provided a law of universal causation as it posits, every event has a cause. Such a conception of determinism however is problematic as it bases the theoretical formulations created through the scientific method on vague concepts. As Crocker (1998) argues the formulations of determinism based on causation and predictability fall short of philosophical standards of truth and coherence since causation and predictability, construct scientific theories and scientific claims outside the sphere of the theory itself. In order to remedy this, a different version of scientific determinism is necessary, one that is independent of the spheres outside scientific theories. Scientific determinism, in this sense, refers to the following.

(A) doctrine that the state of any closed physical system at any given future instant of time can be predicted, even from within the system, with any specified degree of precision, by deducing the prediction from theories in conjunction with initial conditions whose required degree of precision can always be calculatedif the prediction task is given.

This definition of determinism places premium on a system of thoughts ability to stand on its own since it is not dependent on the conditions in nature but merely provides a perspective on how the events in nature can to be perceived. Such a conception of determinism thereby provides a definition of the concept that may account for a chaotic view of nature.


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