I propose a non-Humean theory of causation with “tendencies” as causal connections. Not, however, as “necessary connexions”: causes are not sufficient, they do not necessitate their effects. The theory is designed to be, not an analysis of the concept of causation, but a description of what is the case in typical cases of causa-tion. I therefore call it a metaphysical theory of causation, as opposed to a semantic one.
This paper argues that there are true synthetic modal claims and that modal questions in philosophy are to be interpreted not in terms of logical necessity but in terms of synthetic necessity. I begin by sketching the debate about modality between logical empiricism and phenome-nology. Logical empiricism taught us to equate analyticity and neces-sity. The now common view is that analytic statements are necessary in the narrow sense but that there is also necessity in a wider sense. I argue against (...) this that we should distinguish analyticity and necessity more strictly. (shrink)
The claim of this article is that no event can determine a later event and that in this sense there cannot be sufficient causes. Therefore the causal structure of the world does not exclude free will, even if there are no chance processes.
This article presents Roman Ingarden’s theory of causation, as developed in volume III of The Controversy about the Existence of the World, and defends analternative which uses some important insights of Ingarden. It rejects Ingarden’s claim that a cause is simultaneous with its effect and that a cause necessitates its effect. It uses Ingarden’s notion of ‘inclinations’ and accepts Ingarden’s claim that an event cannot necessitate a later event.
Materialists who do not deny the existence of mental phenomena usually claim that the mental supervenes on the physical, i.e. that there cannot be a change in the mental life of a man without there being a change in the man's body. This modal claim is usually understood in terms of logical necessity. I argue that this is a mistake, resulting from assumptions inherited from logical empiricism, and that it should be understood in terms of synthetic necessity.
This article spells out the reasons for calling God a substance and argues that theism nevertheless does not require substance ontology. It is compatible with an alternative ontology which I call stuff ontology.
Some argue for materialism claiming that a physical event cannot have a non-physical cause, or by claiming the 'Principle of Causal Closure' to be true. This I call a 'Sweeping Naturalistic Argument'. This article argues against this. It describes what it would be for a material event to have an immaterial cause.
This article argues that there is a great divide between semantics and metaphysics. Much of what is called metaphysics today is still stuck in the linguistic turn. This is illustrated by showing how Fraser MacBride misunderstands David Armstrong's theory of modality.
Trope ontology is exposed and confronted with the question where one trope ends and another begins. It is argued that tropes do not have determinate boundaries, it is arbitrary how tropes are carved up. An ontology, which I call field ontology, is proposed which takes this into account. The material world consists of a certain number of fields, each of which is extended over all of space. It is shown how field ontology can also tackle the problem of determinable properties (...) and the problem of completeness of things. (shrink)