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a system whose path and/or final state are uniquely determined by the initial state of the system regardless of the way in which the initial state came into being. (Young, p. ll0)

a concept that is central to the theory of mechanism. If a set of variables is state-determined, and we elicit its canonical representation by primary operations, then our knowledge of that system is complete. It is certainly not a complete knowledge of the real "machine" that provides the system, for this is probably inexhaustible; but it is complete knowledge of the system abstracted--complete in the sense that as our predictions are now single-valued and verified, they have reached (a local) finality. If a tipster names a single horse for each race, and if his horse always win, then though he may be an ignorant man in other respects, we would have to admit that his knowledge in this one respect was complete. Because knowledge of the state-determined system is complete and maximal, all the other branches of the theory of mechanism, which treat of what happens in other cases, must be obtainable from this central case as variations on the question: what if my knowledge is incomplete in the following way...? (Ashby, l960, p. 270)

see state-determined

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