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What are the new implications of chaos for unpredictability?

Werndl, Charlotte (2009) What are the new implications of chaos for unpredictability? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 60 (1). pp. 195-220. ISSN 0007-0882

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Identification Number: 10.1093/bjps/axn053


From the beginning of chaos research until today, the unpredictability of chaos has been a central theme. It is widely believed and claimed by philosophers, mathematicians and physicists alike that chaos has a new implication for unpredictability, meaning that chaotic systems are unpredictable in a way that other deterministic systems are not. Hence, one might expect that the question ‘What are the new implications of chaos for unpredictability?’ has already been answered in a satisfactory way. However, this is not the case. I will critically evaluate the existing answers and argue that they do not fit the bill. Then I will approach this question by showing that chaos can be defined via mixing, which has never before been explicitly argued for. Based on this insight, I will propose that the sought-after new implication of chaos for unpredictability is the following: for predicting any event, all sufficiently past events are approximately probabilistically irrelevant.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2011 13:51
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 06:27

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