In the edition of Feb/Mar 2016 of the Philosophy Now Magazine says:
Under Feel Free to Differ it says:
[...] Determinism itself comes in different flavours. Hard determinism of the most absolute sort is the theory that the entire history of the universe was already fixed from its very beginning by the setting of the laws of nature and the original states of the matter in it. This is no longer tenable due to the intrinsic indeterminacy – the random behaviour – at the heart of matter that is explored in quantum physics. But physics does apparently allow a somewhat less absolute determinism – the idea that the behaviour of the world is determined by previous physical activities, but with some randomness as to what the particular outcomes will be. So a quantum determinist could defend an indeterministic determinism!
I might be reading this wrong, but I am understanding that quantum physics might have an effect in the causality chain.
Under Free Will is an Illusion, but Freedom Isn't it says
In quantum physics the so-called probability amplitude evolves according to deterministic laws but the transformation from many possible outcomes to one actual outcome takes place purely by chance. The statistical distribution for such chance events follows strict rules, but the outcome of an individual chance event is unpredictable and cannot be controlled by will. Thus any decision is either the predictable result of earlier causes (which may include quantum chance events) and is not free from determinism, or is itself a quantum chance event and is not willed. Either way, the free will we commonly take for granted is absent. What then is the freedom to choose that we so cherish and which politicians like to invoke at every opportunity?
I am neither a scientist or a profesional philosopher, but I would like to gain a better understanding of how quantum physics is supposed to affect the account of determinism and free will. Frequently I read philosophy articles like those above which imply there is some sort causal effect, but I have never read a clear explanation of what that is, at least not one that I can clearly understand.
Suppose I am at home, I open the fridge and I am about to choose between chocolate or strawberry ice cream. I can assume that there is a chain of events, cause and effects, that come all the way from the Big Bang until this moment. At this point the state of the universe, everything in it, is the result of that causal chain of events. The universe is about to move from the state in which I conceive my alternatives (choosing between chocolate or strawberry ice cream), to the state in which I realized I have made a choice (I chose and picked the strawberry envase from the fridge).
At making this choice I experienced that I could have chosen otherwise If had wanted to do so. I feel that I chose strawberry even when I like chocolate better because I know that chocolate is not good for my health and so it was an apparently reasoned and free choice.
Now suppose that we were able to rewind the universe back to the Big Bang and repeat all this chain of events to the very moment before I made my choice, being the universe in the same exact state as before, I would always end up choosing strawberry ice cream, regardless of my believe or experience that I could have done otherwise. This is my understanding of determinism.
But if the chain of events were slightly different, for example, in an alternative universe where I would have a preference for strawberry instead of chocolate, or if chocolate was not bad for my health, I may actually end up choosing differently, but I would also be predetermined by the state of the universe in that alternate reality.
Now if I rewinded the universe back to the Big Bang and replay it again, could quantum mechanics alter the final state of the universe up to the point where I apparently made my choice between chocolate or strawberry such that I could in this replay choose otherwise?
In other words, is possible that if I am at the exact same state of choosing between chocolate and icecream, if we rewind back to that moment over and over n times, in some occasions I may choose strawberry but in others I may choose chocolate?
Is that the way we could expect to interpret the quantum physics model in how things work in the universe?
Can somebody please enlighten me about how quantum physics discoveries affect the account of determinism and free will in this regard?