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The Humean tradition

Philosophical Review 99 (2):185-219 (1990)

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  1. Contingentism in Metaphysics.Kristie Miller - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):965-977.
    In a lot of domains in metaphysics the tacit assumption has been that whichever metaphysical principles turn out to be true, these will be necessarily true. Let us call necessitarianism about some domain the thesis that the right metaphysics of that domain is necessary. Necessitarianism has flourished. In the philosophy of maths we find it held that if mathematical objects exist, then they do of necessity. Mathematical Platonists affirm the necessary existence of mathematical objects (see for instance Hale and Wright (...)
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  • Lewis, Carroll, and Seeing Through the Looking Glass.John Roberts - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (3):426 – 438.
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  • What is the Significance of the Intuition That Laws of Nature Govern?1.Susan Schneider - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):307-324.
    Recently, proponents of Humean Supervenience have challenged the plausibility of the intuition that the laws of nature ‘govern’, or guide, the evolution of events in the universe. Certain influential thought experiments authored by John Carroll, Michael Tooley, and others, rely strongly on such intuitions. These thought experiments are generally regarded as playing a central role in the lawhood debate, suggesting that the Mill-Ramsey-Lewis view of the laws of nature, and the related doctrine of the Humean Supervenience of laws, are false. (...)
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  • The Actual and the Possible.Rebecca Hanrahan - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Research 42:223-242.
    We can safely infer that a proposition is possible if p is the case. But, I argue, this inference from the actual to the possible is merely explicative in nature, though we employ it at times as if it were ampliative. To make this inference ampliative, we need to include an inference to the best explanation. Specifically, we can draw a substantive conclusion as to whether p is possible from the fact that p is the case, if via our best (...)
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  • Property-Level Causation?John W. Carroll - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 63 (3):245 - 270.
  • Mill and Lewis on Laws, Experimentation, and Systematization.Jessica Pfeifer - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):172-181.
    Mill appears to be committed to two incompatible accounts of laws. While he seems to defend a Humean account of laws similar to Ramsey’s and Lewis’s, he also appears to rely on modal notions to distinguish lawful relations from accidental regularities. This paper will show that Mill’s two accounts of laws are in fact equivalent. This equivalence results from a proper understanding of the necessity involved in laws and a proper understanding of systematization. This equivalence reveals the true source of (...)
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  • Laws of Nature and Natural Laws.Daryn Lehoux - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (4):527-549.
    The relationship between conceptions of law and conceptions of nature is a complex one, and proceeds on what appear to be two distinct fronts. On the one hand, we frequently talk of nature as being lawlike or as obeying laws. On the other hand there are schools of philosophy that seek to justify ethics generally, or legal theory specifically, in conceptions of nature. Questions about the historical origins and development of claims that nature is lawlike are generally treated as entirely (...)
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  • Leibniz on the Laws of Nature and the Best Deductive System.Joshua L. Watson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (4):577-584.
    Many philosophers who do not analyze laws of nature as the axioms and theorems of the best deductive systems nevertheless believe that membership in those systems is evidence for being a law. This raises the question, “If the best systems analysis fails, what explains the fact that being a member of the best systems is evidence for being a law?” In this essay I answer this question on behalf of Leibniz. I argue that although Leibniz’s philosophy of laws is inconsistent (...)
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  • Laws, Explanation, Governing, and Generation.Barry Ward - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):537 – 552.
    Advocates and opponents of Humean Supervenience (HS) have neglected a crucial feature of nomic explanation: laws can explain by generating descriptions of possibilities. Dretske and Armstrong have opposed HS by arguing that laws construed as Humean regularities cannot explain, but their arguments fail precisely because they neglect to consider this generating role of laws. Humeans have dismissed the intuitive violations of HS manifested by John Carroll's Mirror Worlds as erroneous, but distinguishing the laws' generating role from the non-Humean notion that (...)
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  • The Dispositionalist Deity: How God Creates Laws and Why Theists Should Care.Ben Page - 2015 - Zygon 50 (1):113-137.
    How does God govern the world? For many theists “laws of nature” play a vital role. But what are these laws, metaphysically speaking? I shall argue that laws of nature are not external to the objects they govern, but instead should be thought of as reducible to internal features of properties. Recent work in metaphysics and philosophy of science has revived a dispositionalist conception of nature, according to which nature is not passive, but active and dynamic. Disposition theorists see particulars (...)
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