Benjamin Smart University of Birmingham, University of Johannesburg
About me
Born in Jersey (Channel Islands not the USA!); an avid golf, cricket and Birmingham city fan; recently worked at the University of Birmingham as a teaching fellow, and later a visiting lecturer; and currently work at the University of Johannesburg as a postdoctoral fellow. My interests largely lie in the philosophy of science (most recently the philosophy of medicine/epidemiology), and the metaphysics of laws and causation.
My works
3 items found.
  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. S. Barker & B. Smart (2012). The Ultimate Argument Against Dispositional Monist Accounts of Laws. Analysis 72 (4):714-722.
    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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