The causal argument against component forces

Dialectica 63 (4):525-554 (2010)
Do component forces exist in conjoined circumstances? Cartwright (1980) says no; Creary (1981) says yes. I'm inclined towards Cartwright's side in this matter, but find several problems with her argumentation. My primary aim here is to present a better, distinctly causal, argument against component forces: very roughly, I argue that the joint posit of component and resultant forces in conjoined circumstances gives rise to a threat of causal overdetermination, avoidance of which best proceeds via eliminativism about component forces. A secondary aim is to show that rejecting component forces does not require, pace Cartwright, rejecting certain attractive theses about what laws of nature express and the role such laws play in scientific explanations.
Keywords forces  Newtonian mechanics  causal exclusion  component forces  resultant forces
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2009.01216.x
 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: 19,981
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 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Dwayne Moore (2012). A Non-Reductive Model of Component Forces and Resultant Force. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):359-380.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

184 ( #17,991 of 1,792,926 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #49,064 of 1,792,926 )

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.