Deep thought

“Too often we long for Newton’s simple, clockwork universe, whose unambiguous, tidy formulas can resolve once and for all our uncertainty.  The answer to the question, ‘When will the eclipse occur?’ can be determined with astounding precision:  ‘At 3:45 p.m. on December 11, 4022.’  We yearn for a metaphysics and an epistemology that will provide similar certitude when answering the question, ‘Was it first- or second-degree murder, or manslaughter?’  For centuries, the theories of of philosophers and scientists encouraged such yearnings.  They are blameless, however. . ., for not having understood that such a wish can be granted only to closed, linear systems, that is, to a determinist universe of cookie-cutter automata:  ‘answered prayers’ indeed.”

Alicia Juarrero, Dynamics in Action

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