Does anything hold the universe together?

Synthese 149 (3):509-533 (2006)
According to ‘regularity theories’ of causation, the obtaining of causal relations depends on no more than the obtaining of certain kinds of regularity. Regularity theorists are thus anti-realists about necessary connections in nature. Regularity theories of one form or another have constituted the dominant view in analytic Philosophy for a long time, but have recently come in for some robust criticism, notably from Galen Strawson. Strawson’s criticisms are natural criticisms to make, but have not so far provoked much response from regularity theorists. The paper considers and rebuts Strawson’s objections. For example, Strawson claims that if there were no necessary connections in nature, we ought continually to find the regularity of the Universe surprising. I argue that the fact that the Universe is regular is something we take ourselves (fallibly) to know, and hence, in the light of this knowledge, its continued orderliness is not at all surprising.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.2307/20118748
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References found in this work BETA
John W. Carroll, Laws of Nature. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Galen Strawson (1987). Realism and Causation. Philosophical Quarterly 37 (148):253-277.

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Citations of this work BETA
Jaakko Kuorikoski (2014). How to Be a Humean Interventionist. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):333-351.

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