Chaos and Stochastic Models in Physics: Ontic and Epistemic Aspects

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Models and Inferences in Science, ISSN: 2192-6255, Vol: 25, Page: 133-146

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Caprara, Sergio; Vulpiani, Angelo
Springer Nature; Springer International Publishing
Arts and Humanities
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book chapter description
There is a persistent confusion about determinism and predictability. In spite of the opinions of some eminent philosophers (e.g., Popper), it is possible to understand that the two concepts are completely unrelated. In few words we can say that determinism is ontic and has to do with how Nature behaves, while predictability is epistemic and is related to what the human beings are able to compute. An analysis of the Lyapunov exponents and the Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy shows how deterministic chaos, although with an epistemic character, is non subjective at all. This should clarify the role and content of stochastic models in the description of the physical world.