Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||This book is written by someone who holds that physics and the metaphysics of cause and law broadly strive to achieve a common goal: to undstand what our physical system is constituted by, and both how, and why it evolves in the way that it does. It seems to me that the primary tools of the scientist are empirical evidence, mathematics, and although this is perhaps less appreciated, imagination - these are fundamental to any great scientific breakthrough. For us, the metaphysicians, imagination, science, and a priori reasoning form the foundation of our enquiries. I believe that for the metaphysician, reasoning without due consideration of science will inevitably lead to unjustified, and probably false conclusions. In this thesis I provide an analysis of a number of metaphysics of cause and law, as well as a conceptual analysis of both, to show how closely a consistent account of causation must be linked with laws of nature. I then attempt to give metaphysics explanations of our best scientific theories(in particular, least action principles and the general theory of relativity) in terms of the metaphysical views discussed, in order to judge their compatibility with science. I conclude that any successful metaphysic will be a broadly Humean one.|
|Keywords||Causation Laws of Nature Humeanism Armstrong Dispositionalism Categoricalism Properties Best Systems Analysis|
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