In Luc Bovens, Carl Hoefer & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), Nancy Cartwright's Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 291--302 (2008)

Authors
Christoph Schmidt-Petri
London School of Economics (PhD)
Abstract
This paper examines the relation between Cartwright's concept of 'capacities' and Mill's concept of 'tendencies' and argues that they are not equivalent. Cartwright's concept of 'capacities' and her motivation to adopt it as a central notion in her philosophy of science are described. It is argued that the Millian concept of 'tendencies' is distinct because Mill restricts its use to a set of special cases. These are the cases in which causes combine 'mechanically'. Hence for Mill 'tendencies' do not merely describe the operation of causes, but also and perhaps even primarily how they combine. This does not hold of Cartwrightian capacities which are meant to have unlimited applicability. Mill also explicitly denies the realism of 'capacities' in a sense which overlaps with Cartwright's. Her attempt to derive empirist credentials for her notion of capacity from Mill is therefore unsuccessful.
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement.Nancy Cartwright - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Cement of the Universe: A Study of Causation.John Leslie Mackie - 1974 - Oxford, England: Oxford, Clarendon Press.
The Cement of the Universe.John Earman & J. L. Mackie - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (3):390.
Do the Laws of Physics State the Facts?Nancy Cartwright - 1980 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1/2):75.

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Citations of this work BETA

Humeanism, Best System Laws, and Emergence.Olivier Sartenaer - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (4):719-738.
Can Economics Can Be a Separate Science?Lukas Beck - 2017 - Rerum Causae 9 (2):17-36.

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