David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Luc Bovens, Carl Hoefer & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Nancy Cartwright's Philosophy of Science. Routledge 291--302 (2008)
This paper examines the relation between Cartwright's concept of 'capacities' and Mill's concept of 'tendencies' and argues that they are not equivalent. Cartwright's concept of 'capacities' and her motivation to adopt it as a central notion in her philosophy of science are described. It is argued that the Millian concept of 'tendencies' is distinct because Mill restricts its use to a set of special cases. These are the cases in which causes combine 'mechanically'. Hence for Mill 'tendencies' do not merely describe the operation of causes, but also and perhaps even primarily how they combine. This does not hold of Cartwrightian capacities which are meant to have unlimited applicability. Mill also explicitly denies the realism of 'capacities' in a sense which overlaps with Cartwright's. Her attempt to derive empirist credentials for her notion of capacity from Mill is therefore unsuccessful.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nancy Cartwright (1988). A Case Study in Realism: Why Econometrics is Committed to Capacities. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:190 - 197.
Christoph Schmidt-Petri (2006). On an Interpretation of Mill's Qualitative Utilitarianism. Prolegomena 5 (2):165-177.
David Spurrett (2001). Cartwright on Laws and Composition. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 15 (3):253 – 268.
Dan Mcarthur (2006). Contra Cartwright: Structural Realism, Ontological Pluralism and Fundamentalism About Laws. Synthese 151 (2):233 - 255.
Gurol Irzik (1992). Cartwright, Capacities, and Probabilities. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:239 - 250.
Margaret Morrison (1994). Causes and Contexts: The Foundations of Laser Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):127-151.
Ville Kilkku (2004). The Significance of Tendencies and Intentions in the Moral Philosophy of J. S. Mill. Utilitas 16 (1):80-95.
Nancy Cartwright (1989). Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement. Oxford University Press.
Stuart S. Glennan (1997). Capacities, Universality, and Singularity. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):605-626.
Added to index2009-07-15
Total downloads189 ( #10,108 of 1,727,284 )
Recent downloads (6 months)46 ( #25,024 of 1,727,284 )
How can I increase my downloads?