# Free-Will and Determinism

By Allan M. Munn | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
Indeterminism in Man

SUMMARY: The last several chapters have shown that microscopicsized phenomena, as described by Quantum Mechanics in terms of the customary mechanical observables--position, momentum, energy, time, etc.--are indeterministic for individual events. However when large numbers of micro-entities combine to produce some effect, this quantum indeterminism is swallowed up in a statistically predictable behaviour; and, at the macroscopic level, Classical Mechanics, an entirely deterministic theory, has proven itself to be the most successful universal theory of historical time judged by its ability to make verifiable predictions.

As an example of this, take the familiar phenomenon of a cube of sugar dissolving and diffusing throughout a cup of hot coffee. If one wanted to study this event in detail it would be necessary to follow the behaviour of each molecule as it moved through the potential field set up by all the other molecules. The complete analysis of this would require the solution of a set of simultaneous Quantum Mechanical equations, and, in consequence, each of the individual motions would be subject to the usual quantum uncertainty, and only a probabilistic description would be possible. Finally, the macroscopic density of the sugar would be calculated by a complicated statistical summation over all the molecules and all their individual possible locations. Now in fact no one would ever attempt, or need, to handle the problem in this way. The motion of individual molecules is ignored, and the diffusion is described by working directly with the solute density 'ρ'. (This is defined as the number of grams of solute per unit volume of solvent, in this case grams of sugar per cubic centimetre of coffee.) To find 'ρ' as a function of position and time we solve the diffusion equation of classical physics (7.1). In non-mathematical terms this equation states that the rate at which the amount of substance inside a given boundary is changing is equal to the rate of diffusion of outside substance over the boundary

-169-

If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

#### Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.
Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.
Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
• Saved book/article
• Highlights
• Quotes/citations
• Notes
• Bookmarks
Notes

#### Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

#### Cited page

Free-Will and Determinism

Settings

Typeface
Text size
Search within

Look up

#### Look up a word

• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 228

## Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

## Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

## Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.