Mary Shepherd on Causal Necessity

Metaphysica 17 (1):87-108 (2016)
Authors
Jeremy Fantl
University of Calgary
Abstract
Lady Mary Shepherd’s critique of Hume’s account of causation, his worries about knowledge of matters of fact, and the contention that it is possible for the course of nature to spontaneously change relies primarily on three premises, two of which – that objects are merely bundles of qualities and that the qualities of an object are individuated by the causal powers contributed by those qualities – anticipate contemporary metaphysical views in ways that she should be getting credit for. The remaining premise – that it is impossible for an object to begin to exist uncaused – seems more old fashioned. I argue that Shepherd can do without her old-fashioned premise and that she provides the materials for arguing that her remaining premises demonstrate a stronger anti-Humeanism than is maintained even by the contemporary representatives of those views, even though she may have to concede more to Humeanism than she would like.
Keywords Mary Shepherd  Hume  causation  bundle view  causal view of properties  causal necessity  scientific essentialism
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DOI 10.1515/mp-2016-0007
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Is Shepherd's Pen Mightier Than Berkeley's Word?Samuel C. Rickless - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):317-330.

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