Harre and Madden's multifarious account of natural necessity

Philosophy of Science 49 (4):616-632 (1982)
In this paper, I critically examine Harre and Madden's attempt, largely as it occurs in their Causal Powers, to secure for causes and laws of nature a kind of necessity which although consistent with commonsensical empiricism and anti-idealistic philosophy of science nevertheless runs counter to the humean-positivistic tradition, which denies the existence of any distinctively "natural" or causal necessity. In the course of the paper, I reveal the multifarious nature of their account and show that each part of that account, commonsensical or ontological, is inadequate. I indicate as well how the multifarious nature of the account allows and even encourages an evasive shifting about in the face of adversity, which shifting no doubt contributes to whatever illusion of adequacy is present in their treatment.
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DOI 10.1086/289081
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