• TiredThinker
    497
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JnKzt6Xq-w4

    I still don't quite follow what superdeterminism is. Anyone else know what makes it different from normal determinism? Also what is a good definition of free will? Apparently there is very little clarity on that.
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k
    As an (self-styled) Epicurean-Spinozist, ergo compatibilist, I'm not troubled by "superdeterminism". Maybe this article, TiredThinker, you'll find useful:
    Does Quantum Mechanics Rule Out Free Will?
    Superdeterminism, a radical quantum hypothesis, says our “choices” are illusory

    March 10, 2022

    A conjecture called superdeterminism, outlined decades ago, is a response to several peculiarities of quantum mechanics: the apparent randomness of quantum events; their apparent dependence on human observation, or measurement; and the apparent ability of a measurement in one place to determine, instantly, the outcome of a measurement elsewhere, an effect called nonlocality.

    Einstein, who derided nonlocality as “spooky action at a distance,” insisted that quantum mechanics must be incomplete; there must be hidden variables that the theory overlooks. Superdeterminism is a radical hidden-variables theory proposed by physicist John Bell. He is renowned for a 1964 theorem, now named after him, that dramatically exposes the nonlocality of quantum mechanics.

    Bell said in a BBC interview in 1985 that the puzzle of nonlocality vanishes if you assume that “the world is superdeterministic, with not just inanimate nature running on behind-the-scenes clockwork, but with our behavior, including our belief that we are free to choose to do one experiment rather than another, absolutely predetermined.”

    [ ... ]
    — John Horgan, SciAm_Opinion
    And the rest of the article is here:
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-quantum-mechanics-rule-out-free-will/
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    Good article, thanks for sharing. :up:



    It's another variety of determinism. The difference being that this "superdeterminism" claims to show that even QM is deterministic in some sense.

    I think appealing to physics for human choices is to fantastically stretch the scope of physics. By this logic, these people should be psychologists and solve all people's problems.
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k
    I think appealing to physics for human choices is to fantastically stretch the scope of physics.Manuel
    :up:
  • TiredThinker
    497
    It says Einstein didn't believe in free will or at least had doubts? I thought he was a religion person talking about "God not playing dice" and what not. Isn't it a main tenant of Abraham religions that everyone chooses and thus can be reasonably punished or rewarded?

    It says superdeterminism assumes variables that will make it make sense as deterministic, but hasn't specified what those variables could possibly be?
  • noAxioms
    1k
    Maybe this article, TiredThinker, you'll find useful:180 Proof
    Or maybe not. I might question some of it.

    their apparent dependence on human observation — John Horgan, SciAm_Opinion
    This has never been demonstrated. No experiment behaves differently with a human observer than the same experiment without one. In fact, almost all quantum experiments are performed without human observation, and it is only well after the fact that the humans become aware of the results in analysis of the data.

    or measurement; and the apparent ability of a measurement in one place to determine, instantly, the outcome of a measurement elsewhere, an effect called nonlocality.
    This nonlocality also has never been demonstrated, else all the local interpretations (about half of the interpretations) would have been falsified.

    Superdeterminism is a radical hidden-variables theory proposed by physicist John Bell. He is renowned for a 1964 theorem, now named after him, that dramatically exposes the nonlocality of quantum mechanics.
    This totally misrepresents Bell's theorem, which proves that locality and counterfactual definiteness cannot both be true. It does not demonstrate that either is false, Superdeterminism is a loophole in the proof, suggesting that there are very much experiments that would show both to be true, but we (and any device) lack the free will (or even randomness) to perform them.
    Bell does not suggest a preference for superdeterminism, only that it cannot be eliminated as a possibility. There are plenty of perfectly sane interpretations that preserve locality and also free will.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    As I understand it, from the Wikipedia article, superdeterminism is simply the position that a hidden-variable theory is viable if there's no free will, free will as indicated by the experimenters' liberty to choose what to measure, which experiments to perform. I'm fuzzy on the details though; rather unfortunate.
  • Gnomon
    2.5k
    Bell said in a BBC interview in 1985 that the puzzle of nonlocality vanishes if you assume that “the world is superdeterministic, with not just inanimate nature running on behind-the-scenes clockwork, but with our behavior, including our belief that we are free to choose to do one experiment rather than another, absolutely predetermined.” — John Horgan, SciAm_Opinion
    I just read, in Stephen Nadler's A Book Forged in Hell, about Spinoza's concept of divine determinism, as evidenced by reliable (consistent ; unvarying) natural laws. "Spinoza's cosmos is, in other words, a strictly deterministic, even necessitarian one. Everything, without exception, is causally determined to be such as it is . . . " To me, that sounds like "superdeterminism", or perhaps super-natural-determinism. But since Spinoza's day, empirical Science has found that, ironically, on the most fundamental scale, nature seems to be random & acausal*1. Fortunately, on the macro level of reality, the aimless vectors of quantum chaos cancel-out to present the superficial appearance of an unbroken chain of cause & effect*2. Which allows us to predict future events, at least statistically & locally.

    So, the universe appears to unfold in an orderly manner, but with some room for creative disorder. If so, the "behind-the scenes clock" may not be absolutely deterministic, but occasionally skips a beat, -- allowing for the obvious creativity of Evolution. If Change was rigidly regular, nothing new (random mutations) would ever emerge from the chaotic swirling of atoms. In fact, the result of haphazard mutation & systematic selection is the syncopated rhythm of reality. This emergent order from random events permits us to depend on stable locality at the human eye-level, even though the underlying quantum field is non-local.

    Hence, the symphony of nature has many parts. In the quantum section, causality is randomized, allowing for jazz-like free-style within the limits of Probability. Meanwhile, the macro instruments follow the causal conductor to play a harmonious melody, that appeals to our sense of order. Translated into philosophical jargon, such freedom within determinism is "compatible". Such flexibility is the only way to have both determined Destiny, and freedom of choice, resulting in Order within Chaos*3. As an example, imagine mountain climbers planning to ascend to the top of Mt. Everest, The ultimate goal is predetermined as the highest point. But there are many alternative paths to the top, hence options to choose from. The end of the world may be determined, but there are many ways to get there. :smile:


    *1. Acausal :
    Albert Einstein, also a founder of quantum physics, strenuously objected to the notion of acausality in the theory. He famously argued that “God does not play dice.” Einstein felt that if something in the universe appears to act randomly, it’s only because our understanding of it is not deep enough. He felt that there is always a cause.
    http://www.quantumphysicslady.org/glossary/acausal/
    Note -- Einstein's "God" is the First & Final Cause, but in-between there is freedom of choice for sentient & rational agents

    *2. Quantum Mischief Rewrites the Laws of Cause and Effect :
    Spurred on by quantum experiments that scramble the ordering of causes and their effects, some physicists are figuring out how to abandon causality altogether.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/quantum-mischief-rewrites-the-laws-of-cause-and-effect-20210311/

    *3. The Order in Chaos Theory :
    Freud believed that human experiences emerge from past experiences based on linear cause and effect. The Chaos Theory negates this belief as it dictates that nature is created out of a sum of many tiny pulsating objects that we now know as patterns. . . . This is justified by the Uncertainty Principle, which rejects accuracy in all its form. This is the reason why systems are called complex because they are unsolvable by either the human mind or any super computer.
    https://medium.com/@universalintelligencespace/the-order-in-chaos-theory-192e2d67154a

    Freedom within Determinism :
    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwTerminology.html

    ONE OF MANY PATHS TO THE DESTINATION
    mt-everest-camp-05.jpg
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k
    IIRC, Spinoza points out in Ethica that attributions of chance (or "free will") are a result / symptom of inadequate knowledge of causes. Classical observations are limited with respect to quantum phenomena, no? Einstein contends that QT is incomplete – Rovelli, Smolin, Bohm et al concur (though, as it turns out, so is GR). "Superdeterminism" is merely a proposed speculative fix. The jury is still out (and may never come in). Btw, Spinoza's metaphysical understanding, I think, only pertains to the non-planck scale nature – physical laws – of Newton-Einstein.

    Stephen Nadler's A Book Forged in Hell
    Excellent book on Spinoza's first (minor) masterwork. :fire:
  • Marchesk
    4.6k
    In fact, almost all quantum experiments are performed without human observation, and it is only well after the fact that the humans become aware of the results in analysis of the data.noAxioms

    Wouldn't that just mean the results could be in a superpositioned state until some human makes an observation? That's the basis of Schrodinger's criticism of the Copenhagen Interpretation, but how would we rule it out?
  • noAxioms
    1k
    Wouldn't that just mean the results could be in a superpositioned state until some human makes an observation?Marchesk
    Sure. This is the basis for the Wigner interpretation, which Wigner himself abandoned because it necessarily leads to solipsism.
    If you read my entire comment, I said that human observation being the thing that causes collapse "has never been demonstrated". I didn't say it has been demonstrated to be false. The Wigner interpretation remains valid despite the solipsism. It has to be one specific human causing the collapses, and not any other.

    That's the basis of Schrodinger's criticism of the Copenhagen Interpretation, but how would we rule it out?
    Sort of I guess. Superposition by definition means that the two states measurably interfere with each other, but there's no way you're going to get a live-cat system to interfere with a dead-cat system. They've done it with macroscopic objects (large enough to see unaided), but there's no way to prevent decoherence of a cat in a box no matter how technologically advanced your box is.
  • jgill
    2.3k
    Superposition by definition means that the two states measurably interfere with each other . . .noAxioms

    It doesn't seem so outlandish if one sticks to the mathematics: solutions of Schrodinger's equations are linear combinations of one another. One of these crops up upon measurement.
  • magritte
    460
    Einstein didn't believe in free will or at least had doubts? I thought he was a religion person talking about "God not playing dice" and what not.TiredThinker

    Einstein's God was Nature, or the logical creator of nature, like Plato's God was the god of logic Zeus.

    free will as indicated by the experimenters' liberty to choose what to measure, which experiments to performAgent Smith

    That sounds about right to me. Scientists freely determine the bounds and setup of controlled observation and analysis. In between, the experiment proceeds in the physical world in real time independent of humans. Experimental details are indeterminate to start until analysis succeeds in sifting planned or fortuitous often statistical information from the data. So the simplified question becomes what small part of nature can be described by any logic.

    What would nature do in our absence, could there possibly be any conditions for either determinism or free will?
  • litewave
    679
    If time doesn't flow and the future already happened, is reality superdeterministic?
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    That sounds about right to me. Scientists freely determine the bounds and setup of controlled observation and analysis. In between, the experiment proceeds in the physical world in real time independent of humans. Experimental details are indeterminate to start until analysis succeeds in sifting planned or fortuitous often statistical information from the data. So the simplified question becomes what small part of nature can be described by any logic.

    What would nature do in our absence, could there possibly be any conditions for either determinism or free will?
    magritte

    In this case I merely paraphrased Wikipedia! :lol:
  • magritte
    460
    What would nature do in our absence, could there possibly be any conditions for either determinism or free will? — magritte
    In this case I merely paraphrased Wikipedia! :lol:
    Agent Smith

    No matter. :cool: I just posed a question to think about. Philosophy is all about missing questions not 'truth'. It's aporia.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    No matter. :cool: I just posed a question to think about. Philosophy is all about missing questions not 'truth'. It's aporia.magritte

    Aporia is somehow supposed to induce/lead up to ataraxia. No clues as to how and why (Wikipedia's not helpful on that front).
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