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An Interesting Fallacy concerning Dynamical Supertasks
Jon Pérez Laraudogoitia
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Vol. 56, No. 2 (Jun., 2005), pp. 321-334
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Society for the Philosophy of Science
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3541705
Page Count: 14
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Velocity, Newtonianism, Impenetrability, Particle collisions, Gravitational interaction, Mechanical systems, Classical mechanics, Kinetics, Indeterminism, Molecular excitation
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Recently, Alper, Bridger, Earman and Norton have all proposed examples of dynamic systems that, in their view, are incompatible with classical (Newtonian) mechanics. In the first section of the present paper I shall show that their arguments are all undermined by the same fallacy. The second section proves that their conclusions of incompatibility are indeed false, and that what we are really looking at are new forms of indeterminist evolution of the same kind as that found recently in the literature on supertasks. In the third section of the paper, I argue that one of these new forms of evolution is particularly interesting, and that analysis of it leads to a new vision of the relation between interaction by contact and impenetrability.
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science © 2005 The British Society for the Philosophy of Science