Does Anything Hold the Universe Together?

Synthese 149 (3):509-533 (2006)

Authors
Helen Beebee
University of Manchester
Abstract
According to ‘regularity theories’ of causation, the obtaining of causal relations depends on no more than the obtaining of certain kinds of regularity. Regularity theorists are thus anti-realists about necessary connections in nature. Regularity theories of one form or another have constituted the dominant view in analytic Philosophy for a long time, but have recently come in for some robust criticism, notably from Galen Strawson. Strawson’s criticisms are natural criticisms to make, but have not so far provoked much response from regularity theorists. The paper considers and rebuts Strawson’s objections. For example, Strawson claims that if there were no necessary connections in nature, we ought continually to find the regularity of the Universe surprising. I argue that the fact that the Universe is regular is something we take ourselves (fallibly) to know, and hence, in the light of this knowledge, its continued orderliness is not at all surprising.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-005-0576-2
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Papers Vol. II.Lewis David - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics.M. Esfeld, D. Lazarovici, Mario Hubert & D. Durr - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):773-796.
The Modal Nature of Structures in Ontic Structural Realism.Michael Esfeld - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194.
The Powerlessness of Necessity.Markus Schrenk - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):725-739.
Dynamic Humeanism.Michael Townsen Hicks - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx006.
Natural Properties, Necessary Connections, and the Problem of Induction.Tyler Hildebrand - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:668-689.

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