Laws, causation and dynamics at different levels

Interface Focus 2 (1):101-114 (2012)

Authors
Jeremy Butterfield
Cambridge University
Abstract
I have two main aims. The first is general, and more philosophical. The second is specific, and more closely related to physics. The first aim is to state my general views about laws and causation at different ”levels’. The main task is to understand how the higher levels sustain notions of law and causation that ”ride free’ of reductions to the lower level or levels. I endeavour to relate my views to those of other symposiasts. The second aim is to give a framework for describing dynamics at different levels, emphasizing how the various levels’ dynamics can mesh or fail to mesh. This framework is essentially that of elementary dynamical systems theory. The main idea will be, for simplicity, to work with just two levels, dubbed ”micro’ and ”macro’, which are related by coarse-graining. I use this framework to describe, in part, the first four of Ellis’ five types of top-down causation.
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References found in this work BETA

The Multiple Realizability Argument Against Reductionism.Elliott Sober - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):542-564.
The Structure of Science.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):275-275.
Epiphenomenalism - the Do's and the Don 'Ts'.Lawrence A. Shapiro & Elliott Sober - 2007 - In G. Wolters & Peter K. Machamer (eds.), Studies in Causality: Historical and Contemporary. University of Pittsburgh Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Emergent Chance.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):119-152.
Local Reduction in Physics.Joshua Rosaler - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50:54-69.
On Under-Determination in Cosmology.Jeremy Butterfield - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 46 (1):57-69.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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