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Physicists are increasingly beginning to take seriously the possibility of laws outside the traditional time-evolution paradigm; yet many popular definitions of determinism are still predicated on a time-evolution picture, making them manifestly unsuited to the diverse range of research programmes in modern physics. In this article, we use a constraint-based framework to set out a generalization of determinism which does not presuppose temporal evolution, distinguishing between strong, weak and delocalised holistic determinism. We discuss some interesting consequences of these generalized notions of determinism, and we show that this approach sheds new light on the long-standing debate surrounding the nature of objective chance.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in European Journal for Philosophy of Science, volume 12, in 2022 following peer review. The final publication may differ and is available at Springer via

A free-to-read copy of the final published article is available here.

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Available for download on Friday, December 08, 2023