I am ever so grateful to Bill Westmiller, whose comments are in bold:
BW: Long chapter, long commentary. [First half]
BW: A proper understanding of the Uncertainty Principle (UP) sets a limit on how much we can know about fundamental objects ... when all observational methods demonstrably change the status of the object, more cannot be known. I agree with the general propositions, but I think there are categorical exceptions.
TSW: "... best characterized by their enslavement to Aristotelianism."
I don't think it's fair to equate Aristotelianism with absolute certainty. What he does is posit the existence of a mental state (Nous), equivalent to my "unmitigated truth", when humans can arrive at a "common sense" conclusion about reality. He fully appreciates the flaws of induction, but believes humans have the mental capacity to achieve a notional grasp of first principles:
In many ways, it's equivalent to your postulation and defense of "axioms" or "assumptions", which you think the evidence, clear logic, and "common sense" intuition require. What you call “consupponibility” is just logical coherence among the propositions.
TSW: "... either causality is objective and uncertainty is subjective, or causality is subjective and uncertainty is objective."
BW: I think I understand your point, but I don't think it's a valid dichotomy. Causality can be (is) objective and uncertainty (UP) can also be objective: both can be confirmed as objectively true by independent observers of every known instance of either.
TSW: "Indeterminists traditionally have approached the quest with the idea that absolute certainty or absolute knowledge actually could be found."
BW: If you're talking about the infallibility of the Pope, that may have been true ... but is no longer claimed. If you're equating "indeterminism" with "mysticism", then there's plenty of uncertainty about how (and even whether) it actually works, even among its advocates. The "Will of God" cannot be known to us, they claim, so any outcome is indeterminate, uncertain, and unknowable. Other mystics (deists) believe God put everything in motion, with full prescient knowledge of the outcome, as "determined" by Him in establishing the initial conditions. He didn't just rest on the Seventh Day, He went comatose until His ordained "Final Days" of mankind finally arrive and He gets the "friends" that He so dearly craves.
TSW: "If one could not be certain of both the momentum and the position of a particle through time, then one could not be absolutely certain of the relation between cause and effect either."
BW: That depends on the meaning of UP. Contrary to Bertrand Russell, I don't think UP denies that particles *have* a specific momentum and position, only that it's modified by observation. Thus, the inability to measure it *before* it causes an effect does not preclude one from inferring both momentum and position *after* it causes an effect.
TSW: "... Science was forced to admit that causality and uncertainty were indubitably linked and would have to be assumed; there could be no absolute certainty."
BW: That may have been the way Russell saw UP, but philosophers back to Aristotle understood that inductive reasoning from evidence could never establish the *absolute certainty* for any proposition: humans aren't omniscient and observation is never perfect. You don't need infinite causality to establish that point.
BW: Perhaps, but you don't need indeterminism to advocate free will. A topic for later.
BW: Then, Helmholtz didn't understand Newton, who was very circumspect about his assertions. For example:
"That one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum without the mediation of anything else, by and through which their action and force may be conveyed from one another, is to me so great an absurdity that, I believe, no man who has in philosophic matters a competent faculty of thinking could ever fall into it." - Letter to Bentley
"I have not yet been able to discover the cause of these properties of gravity from phenomena and I feign no hypotheses... It is enough that gravity does really exist and acts according to the laws I have explained, and that it abundantly serves to account for all the motions of celestial bodies." - Principia
Words like "abundantly serves to account" don't suggest absolute certainty that his laws were inerrant or universal.
TSW: "If, as Bohm emphasized, causality involved infinity, then the old view of determinism as both objective and subjective had to be discarded.”
BW: Bohm was responding to the EPR proposition [Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen (1935)], concluding that non-locality (information transfer exceeding SOL [speed of light]) was a real feature of nature. That conclusion is still in doubt, long after Einstein's "dice" comment. I won't try to explain why I think EPR is a statistical misconception, but Bohm's assertion is purely casual: it certainly hasn't been proven that all effects have infinite causes. So far, you haven't said that you believe in "non-locality". If you don't, then you need something more than Bohm to justify *infinite* causality.
Next: Uncertainty Part 2