A Critique of Humean and Anti-Humean Metaphysics of Cause and Law - final version

Metaphysicians play an important role in our understanding of the universe. In recent years, physicists have focussed on finding accurate mathematical formalisms of the evolution of our physical system - if a metaphysician can uncover the metaphysical underpinnings of these formalisms; that is, why these formalisms seem to consistently map the universe, then our understanding of the world and the things in it is greatly enhanced. Science, then, plays a very important role in our project, as the best scientific formalisms provide us with what we, as metaphysicians, should be trying to interpret. In this thesis I examine existing metaphysical views of what a law is (both from a conceptual and from a metaphysical perspective), to show how closely causation is linked to laws, and to provide a priori arguments for and against each of these positions. Ultimately, I aim to provide an analysis of a number of metaphysics of natural laws and causation, apply these accounts to our best scientific theories, and see how these metaphysics fit in with our concepts of cause and law. Although I do not attempt a definitive metaphysical account myself, I conclude that any successful metaphysic will be a broadly Humean one, and furthermore that given the concepts of cause and law that shall be agreed upon, Humean theories allow for there to be causal sequences and laws (in line with our concepts) in the world.
Keywords Humeanism  Dispositional Essentialism  Laws of Nature  Causation  Necessitation
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Benjamin Smart, A Critique of Humean and Anti-Humean Metaphysics of Cause and Law - final version
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

231 ( #4,645 of 1,724,889 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

53 ( #21,223 of 1,724,889 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.