Elementary classical mechanics and the principle of the composition of causes

Synthese 173 (3):353-373 (2010)
In this paper, I explore whether elementary classical mechanics adheres to the Principle of Composition of Causes as Mill claimed and as certain contemporary authors still seem to believe. Among other things, I provide a proof that if one reads Mill’s description of the principle literally, it does not hold in any general sense. In addition, I explore a separate notion of Composition of Causes and note that it too does not hold in elementary classical mechanics. Among the major morals is that there is no utility to describing classical mechanics in terms of Composition of Causes. This is both because the stated principles do not hold and because when one describes what actually does hold in classical mechanics in terms of the Composition of Causes, one introduces misleading associations that can generate errors just as claimed by Russell
Keywords Composition of Causes  Causal powers  Classical mechanics
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
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
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

View all 15 references / 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

72 ( #66,296 of 1,932,462 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #66,442 of 1,932,462 )

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.