In belief systems, determinism, as compared to anti-determinism (indeterminate or non-deterministic), is the view that everything that takes place in the universe is determined or pre-determined; the theory or doctrine that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws. [1]

“If determinism is true, then our acts are the consequences of the laws of nature and events in the remote past. But it is not up to us what went on before we were born, and neither is it up to us what the laws of nature are. Therefore, the consequences of those things (including our present acts) are not up to us.”
— Peter van Inwagen (1983), An Essay on Free Will [2]

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Nichols-Knobe determinism study
See: Nichols-Knobe determinism study (cited by Joshua Greene [5])
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Justice | Punishment
See: Slave stealing parable
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The hmolscience view of determinism, in the view of humans defined specifically as cyclically powered "molecules" (human molecules), is captured well by the following 1999 synopsis on “The ‘Dynamics’ in the Thermodynamics of Binding” by American-born Canadian biophysical chemist Julie Forman-Kay: [3]

“Whether two molecules will bind is [completely] determined by the free energy change (ΔG) of the interaction, composed of both enthalpic and entropic terms.”

This statement, without change—being that this is a universal rule—can be scaled up to the human-human reaction level, to the affect that:

“Whether two people [human molecules] will bind is [completely] determined by the free energy change (ΔG) of the interaction, composed of both enthalpic and entropic terms.”

An analysis first worked out by Goethe, in terms of chemical affinities, the precursor to free energy, in 1796 (see: Goethe timeline), the principles of which he latter had to defend himself against stating that they were in fact "true" no matter who wants to raise objection (see: best book).

In 1936, German-born American physicist Albert Einstein commented the following statement on determinism, in response to a query by a six-year-old child in regards to whether or not he prayed: [4]

“Everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature—and this holds for the actions of people.”

Likewise, a few years earlier, in 1929, Einstein commented the following:

“Everything is determined … by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust—we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”
Determinism (Prigogine view)
Russian-born Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine spent nearly 60 years on the problem of determinism/indeterminism, developing a theory which argued that prior to the bifurcation point things are determined, but that at the bifurcation point, indeterminacy reins, and that this model is what governs chemical systems, evolution, humans, and society.

Prigogine | Incomplete determinism
A few have attempted to construct "blend theories", arguing for both determinism and indeterminism.

The most intricate attempts in this direction is found in the work and theories of Russian-born Belgian chemist and thermodynamicist Ilya Prigogine who spent the better part of nearly 60-years working to formulate a version of nonequilibrium thermodynamics (see: Prigoginean thermodynamics) that would leave room for indeterminism (see: ontic opening).

At the age of twenty (1937), after reading Henri Bergson’s Creative Evolution (1907), he began to devote himself to solving the riddle of the relationship between time, human existence, thermodynamics, and evolution, starting with three articles: “Essay on Physical Philosophy”, “The Problem of Determinism”, and “The Evolution”, on the topics of determinism, quantum mechanics, biological evolution, and time.

Shortly thereafter, in 1941, after completing his his PhD on The Thermodynamics of Irreversible Phenomena, under Theophile de Donder, and would go on to obtained cult status (with "disciples") with the publication of his 1977 Self-Organization in Non-Equilibrium Systems: from Dissipative Structures to Order through Fluctuations (the year he also won the Nobel Prize for his theories); and obtained layperson icon status with his 1984 Order Out of Chaos; went on to published numerous articles, books, and lectures on his theories up until the year of his death (Is the Future Given?, 2003).

The gist of Prigogine's theory, in regards to determinism/indeterminism is that prior to the bifurcation point things are pre-determined, but that at the bifurcation point, indeterminacy reins, and that this model is what governs humans.

In 2003, American physicist and philosopher Robert Doyle launched his site, a collection of biographies and articles on statistical thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and philosophy, with the overall aim to formulating a "two-stage" model of of free will themed on a semi-materialistic theory of information that connects the “creation processes” of the universe with a belief in the existence of human free will; he summarized this in his 2011 book Free Will: the Scandal in Philosophy, which attempts to grapple with the second law, determinism, and the wave function collapse, with an overall siding with free will over that of determinism.

Anti-determinism thermodynamics
In circa 1909, American psychologist William James , noted for his "reserve energy" theory, argued against determinism and physicalism, by stating that the second law was irrelevant to the study of human history; on his deathbed, reviewed his friend American historian Henry Adams’ newly published Letter to American Teachers of History (1910) to object, on what seems to be religious grounds, to the heat death model of societal end.

In 1952, American physicist Jerome Rothstein argued for the equivalence of system “organization” and the information theory version of “negative entropy”; his 1960 lecture “Thermodynamics and Some Undecidable Physical Questions” argued that the second law is violated in the cases of: determinism and free will, the origin of the universe, the fate of the universe, and the discovery or causes of purposes in nature.

In 1976, American engineer and philosopher Arthur Young, in his Reflexive Universe, he attempts to discredit determinism using negentropy ideas and attempts to explain consciousness and the soul in terms of the first law.


The notion of determinism, i.e. that "choices", mediating actions, originate largely from forces external (see: external force) and antecedent in time to those choices, directly contradicts soul weight / karma weight theory of Anunian theology (aka Ra theology), the underlying belief system of over 75 percent of the modern world, i.e. that premise that weight of "good" and or "evil" choices, originating inside of a person (see: internal force), determine one's passage into the afterlife, in the form of resurrection (Abrahamic theologies) or reincarnation (Brahamic theologies).

The following are related quotes:

Spinoza was the first who, with real consistency, applied determinism to human thinking and feeling.”
Albert Einstein (c.1932), commentary on why he declined to contribute to the Spinoza-Festschrift 1632-1932 [6]

1. Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2000.
2. Inwagen, Peter van. (1983). An Essay on Free Will (pg. v). Oxford University Press.
3. Forman-Kay, Julie D. (1999). “The ‘Dynamics’ in the Thermodynamics of Binding.” Nature Structure Biology, 6: 1086-87.
4. Einstein, Albert. (1981). Albert Einstein: the Human Side (pg. 32). Princeton University Press.
5. Greene, Joshua. (2013). Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them (Nichols-Knobe determinism study, pg. 274). Penguin.
6. Naess, Arne. (1983). “Einstein, Spinoza, and God”; in: Old and New Questions in Physics, Cosmology, Philosophy, and Theoretical Biology: Essays in Honor of Wolfgang Yourgrau (editor: Alwyn Merwe) (§B10:683-88; pg. 683). Plenum Press.

External links
‚óŹ Determinism – Wikipedia.

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