Scientific article
Open access

Indeterminism in physics and intuitionistic mathematics

ContributorsGisin, Nicolasorcid
Published inSynthese, vol. 199, no. 5-6, p. 13345-13371
Publication date2021-09-03
First online date2021-09-03

Most physics theories are deterministic, with the notable exception of quantum mechanics which, however, comes plagued by the so-called measurement problem. This state of affairs might well be due to the inability of standard mathematics to “speak” of indeterminism, its inability to present us a worldview in which new information is created as time passes. In such a case, scientific determinism would only be an illusion due to the timeless mathematical language scientists use. To investigate this possibility it is necessary to develop an alternative mathematical language that is both powerful enough to allow scientists to compute predictions and compatible with indeterminism and the passage of time. We suggest that intuitionistic mathematics provides such a language and we illustrate it in simple terms.

  • Foundation of mathematics
  • Indeterminism
  • Intuitionism
Citation (ISO format)
GISIN, Nicolas. Indeterminism in physics and intuitionistic mathematics. In: Synthese, 2021, vol. 199, n° 5-6, p. 13345–13371. doi: 10.1007/s11229-021-03378-z
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ISSN of the journal0039-7857

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