“Laplace Meets Gödel

Jenann IsmaelJohns Hopkins University

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
1:00pm–2:30pm (East Coast time)

[Registration Form] (Abstract and Video Below)

• The Foundations of Physics @Harvard series is co-sponsored by the Department of Philosophy
• This is a free Zoom event (no registration fee)
• The meeting ID and password will be shared with those who register
• Each talk will be 1 hour, followed by a 5-minute break and then 25 minutes for questions
You can find more events in this series in the navigation panel on the left
• You can visit the YouTube channel here

Questions or comments: Jacob Barandes, firstname_lastname(at)harvard.edu (organizer)

Video (YouTube)


Open Discussion and Q&A


There’s an understanding of what determinism entails illustrated by the familiar image that Laplace gave us of a demon that can predict everything that will happen in the universe from knowledge of initial conditions. I’ll argue that there are both specific and general reasons that there could never be a Laplacian demon in the world: not for classical mechanics, not for any theory. I’ll draw some lessons for physics.