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Profile: Benjamin Smart (University of Birmingham, University of Johannesburg)
  1. Benjamin Smart, A Critique of Humean and Anti-Humean Metaphysics of Cause and Law - Final Version.
    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 (...)
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  2. Benjamin Smart, Hypertemporal Humeanism and the Open Future.
    Take strong open-future Humeanism (OFH) to comprise the following three tenets: (i) that truth supervenes on being (ii) that there is a dynamic present moment, and (iii) that there are no future facts; that is, contingent propositions about the future obtain truth values only when their referents are actualised (Tooley 1997). On the face of it this is a deeply problematic metaphysic - if there are no future facts then prima facie the Humean can neither provide laws of nature, nor (...)
     
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  3. Benjamin T. H. Smart & Karim P. Y. Thebault, Dispositions and the Principle of Least Action Revisited (Preprint - Forthcoming in Analysis).
    Some time ago, Joel Katzav (2004; 2005) and Brian Ellis (2005) debated the compatibility of dispositional essentialism with the principle of least action. Surprisingly, very little has been said on the matter since, even by the most naturalistically inclined metaphysicians. Here we revisit the Katzav-Ellis arguments of 2004-2005. We outline the two problems for the dispositionalist identified by Katzav in his 2004 (we call these the ‘contingent action-quantities’ and ‘explanatory’ objections), and claim they are not as problematic for the dispositional (...)
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  4. Benjamin Smart (2014). On the Classification of Diseases. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):251-269.
    Identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for individuating and classifying diseases is a matter of great importance in the fields of law, ethics, epidemiology, and of course, medicine. In this paper, I first propose a means of achieving this goal, ensuring that no two distinct disease-types could correctly be ascribed to the same disease-token. I then posit a metaphysical ontology of diseases—that is, I give an account of what a disease is. This is essential to providing the most effective means (...)
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  5. Benjamin Smart (2013). Is the Humean Defeated by Induction? Philosophical Studies 162 (2):319-332.
    Many necessitarians about cause and law (Armstrong 1983; Mumford 2004; Bird 2007) have argued that Humeans are unable to justify their inductive inferences, as Humean laws are nothing but the sum of their instances. In this paper I argue against these necessitarian claims. I show that Armstrong is committed to the explanatory value of Humean laws (in the form of universally quantified statements), and that contra Armstrong, brute regularities often do have genuine explanatory value. I finish with a Humean attempt (...)
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  6. Benjamin Th Smart & Michael J. Talibard (2012). Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum, Getting Causes From Powers. Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 32 (5):407-409.
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  7. Benjamin Smart & Stephen Barker (2012). The Ultimate Argument Against Dispositional Monist Accounts of Laws. Analysis 72 (4):714-723.
    Alexander Bird argues that David Armstrong’s necessitarian conception of physical modality and laws of nature generates a vicious regress with respect to necessitation. We show that precisely the same regress afflicts Bird’s dispositional-monist theory, and indeed, related views, such as that of Mumford and Anjum. We argue that dispositional monism is basically Armstrongian necessitarianism modified to allow for a thesis about property identity.
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  8. Benjamin Smart (2009). Regularity Theory and Inductive Scepticism: The Fight Against Armstrong. Lyceum 11.
     
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  9. Benjamin Humphrey Smart (1842/2004). Beginnings of a New School of Metaphysics: A Facsimile Reproduction with an Introduction by Dino Buzzetti ; with Early Reviews of the Book and B.H. Smart's 'a Letter to Dr. Whately'. [REVIEW] Scholars' Fasimiles & Reprints.
  10. Benjamin Humphrey Smart (1842/2004). Beginnings of a New School of Metaphysics: A Facsimile Reproduction with an Introduction by Dino Buzzetti ; with Early Reviews of the Book and B. Scholars' Fasimiles & Reprints.
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