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For the meaning in physics, quantum indeterminacy.
For the meaning in music, see aleatoric music.
For the meaning in philosophy, see Indeterminacy (Philosophy).

Indeterminacy means that given a prior event, it is a matter of chance which next event will happen.

Kinds of indeterminacyEdit

Quantum indeterminacy is usually mentioned when one is concerned with the predictability or nonpredictability of events. For example, predictability explicitly arises in the earlier physical theory now known as classical mechanics, which lead to a philosophical position of Scientific determinism. Some philosophers have tried to identify the basic types of indeterminacy that underly the inability of humans to predict the future. Five types of indeterminacy are:

  • quantum indeterminacy, built into the structure of physical reality.
  • indeterminacy due to chaos as described in chaos theory ("Sensitive dependence on initial conditions").
  • indeterminacy caused by limited powers of observation and integration of the facts.
  • limitations due to the nature of human memory and thought processes.
  • limitations due to human capacity to define (linguistic indeterminacy).

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