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Profile: Alexander Reutlinger (Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München)
  1. Andreas Hüttemann & Alexander Reutlinger (forthcoming). Against the Statistical Account of Special Science Laws. In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Recent Progress in Philosophy of Science: Perspectives and Foundational Problems. The Third European Philosophy of Science Association Proceedings. Springer.
    John Earman and John T. Roberts advocate a challenging and radical claim regarding the semantics of laws in the special sciences: the statistical account. According to this account, a typical special science law “asserts a certain precisely defined statistical relation among well-defined variables” (Earman and Roberts 1999) and this statistical relation does not require being hedged by ceteris paribus conditions. In this paper, we raise two objections against the attempt to cash out the content of special science generalizations in statistical (...)
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  2. Alexander Reutlinger (forthcoming). Are Causal Facts Really Explanatorily Emergent? Ladyman and Ross on Higher-Level Causal Facts and Renormalization Group Explanation. Synthese.
    In their Every Thing Must Go, Ladyman and Ross defend a novel version of Neo- Russellian metaphysics of causation, which falls into three claims: (1) there are no fundamental physical causal facts (orthodox Russellian claim), (2) there are higher-level causal facts of the special sciences, and (3) higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent. While accepting claims (1) and (2), I attack claim (3). Ladyman and Ross argue that higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent, because (a) certain aspects of these higher-level (...)
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  3. Alexander Reutlinger (forthcoming). Why Is There Universal Macro-Behavior? Renormalization Group Explanation As Non-Causal Explanation. Philosophy of Science.
    Renormalization group (RG) methods are an established strategy to explain how it is possible that microscopically different systems exhibit virtually the same macro behavior when undergoing phase-transitions. I argue – in agreement with Robert Batterman – that RG explanations are non-causal explanations. However, Batterman misidentifies the reason why RG explanations are non-causal: it is not the case that an explanation is non- causal if it ignores causal details. I propose an alternative argument, according to which RG explanations are non-causal explanations (...)
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  4. Marius Backmann & Alexander Reutlinger (2014). Better Best Systems – Too Good To Be True. Dialectica 68 (3):375-390.
    Craig Callender, Jonathan Cohen and Markus Schrenk have recently argued for an amended version of the best system account of laws – the better best system account (BBSA). This account of lawhood is supposed to account for laws in the special sciences, among other desiderata. Unlike David Lewis's original best system account of laws, the BBSA does not rely on a privileged class of natural predicates, in terms of which the best system is formulated. According to the BBSA, a contingently (...)
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  5. Alexander Reutlinger (2014). Can Interventionists Be Neo-Russellians? Interventionism, the Open Systems Argument, and the Arrow of Entropy. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):273-293.
  6. Alexander Reutlinger (2014). Do Statistical Laws Solve the 'Problem of Provisos'? Erkenntnis 79 (10):1759-1773.
    In their influential paper “Ceteris Paribus, There is No Problem of Provisos”, Earman and Roberts (Synthese 118:439–478, 1999) propose to interpret the non-strict generalizations of the special sciences as statistical generalizations about correlations. I call this view the “statistical account”. Earman and Roberts claim that statistical generalizations are not qualified by “non-lazy” ceteris paribus conditions. The statistical account is an attractive view, since it looks exactly like what everybody wants: it is a simple and intelligible theory of special science laws (...)
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  7. Alexander Reutlinger & Matthias Unterhuber (2014). Thinking About Non-Universal Laws. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1703-1713.
    What are ceteris paribus laws? Which disciplines appeal to cp laws and which semantics, metaphysical underpinning, and epistemological dimensions do cp law statements have? Firstly, we give a short overview of the recent discussion on cp laws, which addresses these questions. Secondly, we suggest that given the rich and diverse literature on cp laws a broad conception of cp laws should be endorsed which takes into account the different ways in which laws can be non-universal . Finally, we provide an (...)
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  8. Matt Farr & Alexander Reutlinger (2013). A Relic of a Bygone Age? Causation, Time Symmetry and the Directionality Argument. Erkenntnis 78 (2):215-235.
    Bertrand Russell famously argued that causation is not part of the fundamental physical description of the world, describing the notion of cause as “a relic of a bygone age” (Russell in Proc Aristot Soc 13:1–26, 1913). This paper assesses one of Russell’s arguments for this conclusion: the ‘Directionality Argument’, which holds that the time symmetry of fundamental physics is inconsistent with the time asymmetry of causation. We claim that the coherence and success of the Directionality Argument crucially depends on the (...)
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  9. Matt Farr & Alexander Reutlinger, A Relic of a Bygone Age? (Forthcoming).
    Bertrand Russell famously argued that causation is not part of the fundamental physical description of the world, describing the notion of cause as “a relic of a bygone age” (Russell in Proc Aristot Soc 13:1–26, 1913). This paper assesses one of Russell’s arguments for this conclusion: the ‘Directionality Argument’, which holds that the time symmetry of fundamental physics is inconsistent with the time asymmetry of causation. We claim that the coherence and success of the Directionality Argument crucially depends on the (...)
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  10. Alexander Reutlinger, A Theory of Causation in the Social and Biological Sciences.
    What exactly do social scientists and biologists say when they make causal claims? This question is one of the central puzzles in philosophy of science. Alexander Reutlinger sets out to answer this question. He aims to provide a theory of causation in the special sciences (that is, a theory causation in the social sciences, the biological sciences and other higher-level sciences). According one recent prominent view, causation is that causation is intimately tied to manipulability and the possibility of intervene. Reutlinger's (...)
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  11. Alexander Reutlinger, Can Interventionists Be Neo-Russellians? (Forthcoming).
    Several proponents of the interventionist theory of causation have recently argued for a neo-Russellian account of causation. The paper discusses two strategies for interventionists to be neo-Russellians. Firstly, I argue that the open systems argument – the main argument for a neo-Russellian account advocated by interventionists – fails. Secondly, I explore and discuss an alternative for interventionists who wish to be neo-Russellians: the statistical mechanical account. Although the latter account is an attractive alternative, it is argued that interventionists are not (...)
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  12. Alexander Reutlinger (2013). Metaphysics as a Constraint on Science. Metascience 22 (2):297-301.
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  13. Alexander Reutlinger (2012). Getting Rid of Interventions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (4):787-795.
    According to James Woodward’s influential interventionist account of causation, X is a cause of Y iff, roughly, there is a possible intervention on X that changes Y. Woodward requires that interventions be merely logically possible. I will argue for two claims against this modal character of interventions: First, merely logically possible interventions are dispensable for the semantic project of providing an account of the meaning of causal statements. If interventions are indeed dispensable, the interventionist theory collapses into (some sort of) (...)
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  14. Alexander Reutlinger (2012). Lawful Patterns in an Orderless Universe. Metascience 21 (3):653-656.
    Lawful patterns in an orderless universe Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9615-4 Authors Alexander Reutlinger, Department of Philosophy, University of Cologne, Richard-Strauss-Str. 2, 50931 Koln, Germany Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  15. Andreas Hüttemann, Alexander Reutlinger & Gerhard Schurz, Ceteris Paribus Laws. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Laws of nature take center stage in philosophy of science. Laws are usually believed to stand in a tight conceptual relation to many important key concepts such as causation, explanation, confirmation, determinism, counterfactuals etc. Traditionally, philosophers of science have focused on physical laws, which were taken to be at least true, universal statements that support counterfactual claims. But, although this claim about laws might be true with respect to physics, laws in the special sciences (such as biology, psychology, economics etc.) (...)
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  16. Alexander Reutlinger (2011). A Theory of Non-Universal Laws. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
    Laws in the special sciences are usually regarded to be non-universal. A theory of laws in the special sciences faces two challenges. (I) According to Lange's dilemma, laws in the special sciences are either false or trivially true. (II) They have to meet the ?requirement of relevance?, which is a way to require the non-accidentality of special science laws. I argue that both challenges can be met if one distinguishes four dimensions of (non-) universality. The upshot is that I argue (...)
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  17. Alexander Reutlinger (2011). Is Non-Reductive Conceptual Analysis a Meta-Philosophical Problem for Theories of Causation? Logique Et Analyse 54 (216).
     
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  18. Alexander Reutlinger (2011). Laws and Lawmakers: Science, Metaphysics, and the Laws of Nature – Marc Lange. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):415-418.
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  19. Alexander Reutlinger (2011). What's Wrong with the Pragmatic-Ontic Account of Mechanistic Explanation? In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. 141--152.
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  20. Alexander Reutlinger (2009). Markus Schrenk the Metaphysics of Ceteris Paribus Laws. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):229-233.
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