David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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)|
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
Markus Schrenk (2010). The Powerlessness of Necessity. Noûs 44 (4):725-739.
Stephen Mumford (2005). Laws and Lawlessness. Synthese 144 (3):397?413.
Michael Esfeld (2010). Humean Metaphysics Versus a Metaphysics of Powers. In Gerhard Ernst & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Time, Chance and Reduction: Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics. Cambridge University Press. 119.
Harold W. Noonan (2010). Bird Against the Humeans. Ratio 23 (1):73-86.
Gurol Irzik (1990). Singular Causation and Law. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:537 - 543.
Markus Schrenk (2010). Antidotes for Dispositional Essentialism. In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
Helen Beebee & Alfred R. Mele (2002). Humean Compatibilism. Mind 111 (442):201-223.
Peter Menzies (forthcoming). Critical Notice of Alexander Bird, Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties. Analysis.
Barry Ward (2007). Laws, Explanation, Governing, and Generation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):537 – 552.
Jens Harbecke (2011). Mind in a Humean World. Metaphysica 12 (2):213-229.
John T. Roberts (2008). The Law-Governed Universe. Oxford University Press.
Robin Findlay Hendry & Darrell P. Rowbottom (2009). Dispositional Essentialism and the Necessity of Laws. Analysis 69 (4):668-677.
Added to index2012-03-01
Total downloads188 ( #4,672 of 1,692,471 )
Recent downloads (6 months)38 ( #3,595 of 1,692,471 )
How can I increase my downloads?