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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2003-04 >> abstracts

Friday, 19 September 2003
How to Peel an Apple? On modeling continuous action
Thomas Müller, University of Bonn
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: Some things we do we do instantaneously: we throw the switch and turn on the light. Other things, such as peeling an apple, take more time. When we begin to peel an apple, we do not start an automatic process that will see to it that the apple is peeled. Rather, we decide to peel it completely, but we may still change our mind and stop at any moment.How should a model for such continuous action look like? How many indeterministic "choice points" are involved? It seems implausible to assume that we make continuously many decisions, choosing to continue at every moment, but a single decision will not do either.In my talk, I want to shed some light on the problem of continuous action by comparing such action with the dynamics of physical systems. My point will be that some indeterministic models of physical systems seem to exhibit a structure that is quite similar to that of continuous action.

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006