Causal realism and the laws of nature

Philosophy of Science 73 (3):261-276 (2006)
This paper proposes a revision of our understanding of causation that is designed to address what Hartry Field has suggested is the central problem in the metaphysics of causation today: reconciling Bertrand Russell’s arguments that the concept of causation can play no role in the advanced sciences with Nancy Cartwright’s arguments that causal concepts are essential to a scientific understanding of the world. The paper shows that Russell’s main argument is, ironically, very similar to an argument that Cartwright has put forward against the truth of universal laws of nature. The paper uses this insight to develop an account of causation that does justice to traditional views yet avoids the arguments of Russell.
Keywords Causation  Laws  Russell  Cartwright  Forces
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DOI 10.1086/515417
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Richard Corry (2013). Emerging From the Causal Drain. Philosophical Studies 165 (1):29-47.
Richard Corry (2011). Can Dispositional Essences Ground the Laws of Nature? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):263 - 275.

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