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  1. Laws and Powers in the Frame of Nature.Stathis Psillos - unknown
    The aim of this paper is to revisit the major arguments of the seventeenth century debate concerning laws and powers. Its primary points are two. First, though the dominant conception of nature was such that there was no room for power in bodies, the very idea that laws govern the behaviour of matter in motion brought with it the following issue, which came under sharp focus in the work of Leibniz: how possibly can passive matter, devoid of power, obey laws? (...)
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  • Scientific Essentialism.Lenny Clapp - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):589-594.
    Scientific Essentialism defends the view that the fundamental laws of nature depend on the essential properties of the things on which they are said to operate, and are therefore not independent of them. These laws are not imposed upon the world by God, the forces of nature, or anything else, but rather are immanent in the world. Ellis argues that ours is a dynamic world consisting of more or less transient objects that are constantly interacting with each other, and whose (...)
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  • Symmetries, Dispositions and Essences.Vassilios Livanios - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):295 - 305.
    Dispositional essentialists ultimately appeal to dispositional essences in order to provide (a) an explanation of the conservation of physical quantities and (b) identity conditions for fundamental physical properties. This paper aims to offer alternative suggestions based on symmetry considerations and exhibits their consequences for the thesis of dispositional essentialism.
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  • Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that emperically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author argues that these phenomena are inextricably (...)
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  • The Dretske–Tooley–Armstrong Theory of Natural Laws and the Inference Problem.Joan Page`S. - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):227-243.
    In this article I intend to show that the inference problem, one of the main objections raised against the anti-Humean theory of natural laws defended by Dretske, Tooley and Armstrong (?DTA theory? for short), can be successfully answered. First, I argue that a proper solution should meet two essential requirements that the proposals made by the DTA theorists do not satisfy. Then I state a solution to the inference problem that assumes a local immanentistic view of universals, a partial definition (...)
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  • Powerful Properties, Powerless Laws.Heather Demarest - 2017 - In Jonathan D. Jacobs (ed.), Causal Powers. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 38-53.
    I argue that the best scientific package is anti-Humean in its ontology, but Humean in its laws. This is because potencies and the best system account of laws complement each other surprisingly well. If there are potencies, then the BSA is the most plausible account of the laws of nature. Conversely, if the BSA is the correct theory of laws, then formulating the laws in terms of potencies rather than categorical properties avoids three serious objections: the mismatch objection, the impoverished (...)
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  • What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a study of a crucial and controversial topic in metaphysics and the philosophy of science: the status of the laws of nature. D. M. Armstrong works out clearly and in comprehensive detail a largely original view that laws are relations between properties or universals. The theory is continuous with the views on universals and more generally with the scientific realism that Professor Armstrong has advanced in earlier publications. He begins here by mounting an attack on the orthodox and (...)
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  • Rethinking Order: After the Laws of Nature.Nancy Cartwright & Keith Ward (eds.) - 2016 - Bloomsbury.
    This book presents a radical new picture of natural order. The Newtonian idea of a cosmos ruled by universal and exceptionless laws has been superseded; replaced by a conception of nature as a realm of diverse powers, potencies, and dispositions, a 'dappled world'. There is order in nature, but it is more local, diverse, piecemeal, open, and emergent than Newton imagined. In each chapter expert authors expound the historical context of the idea of laws of nature, and explore the diverse (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations.Anna Marmodoro (ed.) - 2010 - Routledge.
    This volume is a collection of papers that advance our understanding of the metaphysics of powers — properties such as fragility and electric charge. The metaphysics of powers is a fast developing research field with fundamental questions at the forefront of current research, such as Can there be a world of only powers? What is the manifestation of a power? Are powers and their manifestations related by necessity? What are the prospects for dispositional accounts of causation? The papers focus on (...)
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  • Dispositionalism and the Metaphysics of Science.Travis Dumsday - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.
    Dispositionalism is the view that causal powers are among the irreducible properties of nature. It has long been among the core competing positions in the metaphysics of laws, but its potential implications for other key debates within metaphysics and the philosophy of science have remained under-explored. Travis Dumsday fills this major gap in the literature by establishing new connections between dispositionalism and such topics as substance ontology, ontic structural realism, material composition, emergentism, natural-kind essentialism, perdurantism, time travel, and spacetime substantivalism. (...)
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  • The Identification Problem and the Inference Problem.David M. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (2):421 - 422.
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  • Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.
    John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that emperically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author argues that these phenomena are inextricably (...)
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  • Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.
    John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that emperically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author argues that these phenomena are inextricably (...)
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  • Principles of Philosophy.Rene Descartes - 1988 - Wilder Publications Limited.
    Principles of Philosophy was written in Latin by Rene Descartes. Published in 1644, it was intended to replace Aristotle's philosophy and traditional Scholastic Philosophy. This volume contains a letter of the author to the French translator of the Principles of Philosophy serving for a Preface and a letter to the most serene princess, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Frederick, King of Bohemia, Count Palatine, and Elector of the Sacred Roman Empire. Principes de philosophie, by Claude Picot, under the supervision of Descartes, (...)
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  • Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality.Barbara Vetter - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    Individual objects have potentials: paper has the potential to burn, an acorn has the potential to turn into a tree, some people have the potential to run a mile in less than four minutes. Barbara Vetter provides a systematic investigation into the metaphysics of such potentials, and an account of metaphysical modality based on them. -/- In contemporary philosophy, potentials have been recognized mostly in the form of so-called dispositions: solubility, fragility, and so on. Vetter takes dispositions as her starting (...)
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  • Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Every Thing Must Go aruges that the only kind of metaphysics that can contribute to objective knowledge is one based specifically on contemporary science as it ...
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  • The Nature of Laws.Michael Tooley - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):667-98.
    This paper is concerned with the question of the truth conditions of nomological statements. My fundamental thesis is that it is possible to set out an acceptable, noncircular account of the truth conditions of laws and nomological statements if and only if relations among universals - that is, among properties and relations, construed realistically - are taken as the truth-makers for such statements. My discussion will be restricted to strictly universal, nonstatistical laws. The reason for this limitation is not that (...)
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  • Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    George Molnar came to see that the solution to a number of the problems of contemporary philosophy lay in the development of an alternative to Hume's metaphysics. This alternative would have real causal powers at its centre. Molnar set about developing a thorough account of powers that might persuade those who remained, perhaps unknowingly, in the grip of Humean assumptions. He succeeded in producing something both highly focused and at the same time wide-ranging. He showed both that the notion of (...)
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  • Getting Causes From Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Causation is everywhere in the world: it features in every science and technology. But how much do we understand it? Mumford and Anjum develop a new theory of causation based on an ontology of real powers or dispositions. They provide the first detailed outline of a thoroughly dispositional approach, and explore its surprising features.
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  • Causation: A Realist Approach.Michael Tooley - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
    Tooley here sets out and defends realist accounts of traditional empiricist explanations of causation and laws of nature, arguing that since reductionist accounts of causation are exposed to decisive objections, empiricists must break with that tradition.
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  • Laws and Lawmakers Science, Metaphysics, and the Laws of Nature.Marc Lange - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Laws form counterfactually stable sets -- Natural necessity -- Three payoffs of my account -- A world of subjunctives.
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  • Laws in Nature.Stephen Mumford - 2002 - Routledge.
    This book outlines a major new theory of natural laws. The book begins with the question of whether there are any genuinely law-like phenomena in nature. The discussion addresses questions currently being debated by metaphysicians such as whether the laws of nature are necessary or contingent and whether a property can be identified independently of its causal role.
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  • Powers:A Study in Metaphysics: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar (ed.) - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    George Molnar came to see that the solution to a number of the problems in contemporary philosophy lay in the development of an alternative to Hume's metaphysics, with real causal powers at its center. Molnar's eagerly anticipated book setting out his theory of powers was almost complete when he died, and has been prepared for publication by Stephen Mumford, who provides a context-setting introduction.
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  • The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    A modest proposal concerning laws, counterfactuals, and explanations - - Why be Humean? -- Suggestions from physics for deep metaphysics -- On the passing of time -- Causation, counterfactuals, and the third factor -- The whole ball of wax -- Epilogue : a remark on the method of metaphysics.
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  • Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    Scientific Essentialism defends the view that the fundamental laws of nature depend on the essential properties of the things on which they are said to operate, and are therefore not independent of them. These laws are not imposed upon the world by God, the forces of nature or anything else, but rather are immanent in the world. Ellis argues that ours is a dynamic world consisting of more or less transient objects which are constantly interacting with each other, and whose (...)
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  • Laws of Nature.Fred I. Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.
    It is a traditional empiricist doctrine that natural laws are universal truths. In order to overcome the obvious difficulties with this equation most empiricists qualify it by proposing to equate laws with universal truths that play a certain role, or have a certain function, within the larger scientific enterprise. This view is examined in detail and rejected; it fails to account for a variety of features that laws are acknowledged to have. An alternative view is advanced in which laws are (...)
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  • Nailed to Hume's Cross?John Carroll - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 67--81.
    Some scientists try to discover and report laws of nature. And, they do so with success. There are many principles that were for a long time thought to be laws that turned out to be useful approximations, like Newton’s gravitational principle. There are others that were thought to be laws and still are considered laws, like Einstein’s principle that no signals travel faster than light. Laws of nature are not just important to scientists. They are also of great interest to (...)
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  • The World as One of a Kind: Natural Necessity and Laws of Nature.John Bigelow, Brian Ellis & Caroline Lierse - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (3):371-388.
  • What is the Significance of the Intuition That Laws of Nature Govern?Susan Schneider - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):307-324.
    Recently, proponents of Humean Supervenience have challenged the plausibility of the intuition that the laws of nature ‘govern’, or guide, the evolution of events in the universe. Certain influential thought experiments authored by John Carroll, Michael Tooley, and others, rely strongly on such intuitions. These thought experiments are generally regarded as playing a central role in the lawhood debate, suggesting that the Mill-Ramsey-Lewis view of the laws of nature, and the related doctrine of the Humean Supervenience of laws, are false. (...)
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  • Aristotelian Powers: Without Them, What Would Modern Science Do?Nancy Cartwright & John Pemberton - 2013 - In John Greco & Ruth Groff (eds.), Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: the New Aristotelianism. London, U.K.: Routledge. pp. 93-112.
    The volume brings together for the first time original essays by leading philosophers working on powers in relation to metaphysics, philosophy of natural and social science, philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy. In each area, the concern is to show how a commitment to real causal powers affects discussion at the level in question. In metaphysics, for example, realism about powers is now recognized as providing an alternative to orthodox accounts of causation, modality, properties (...)
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  • Aristotelian Powers: Without Them, What Would Modern Science Do?Nancy Cartwright & John Pemberton - 2013 - In John Greco & Ruth Groff (eds.), Powers and Capacities in Philosophy: the New Aristotelianism. London, U.K.: Routledge. pp. 93-112.
    The volume brings together for the first time original essays by leading philosophers working on powers in relation to metaphysics, philosophy of natural and social science, philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy. In each area, the concern is to show how a commitment to real causal powers affects discussion at the level in question. In metaphysics, for example, realism about powers is now recognized as providing an alternative to orthodox accounts of causation, modality, properties (...)
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  • Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - In James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett & John Collier (eds.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
    This book argues that the only kind of metaphysics that can contribute to objective knowledge is one based specifically on contemporary science as it really is, and not on philosophers' a priori intuitions, common sense, or simplifications of science. In addition to showing how recent metaphysics has drifted away from connection with all other serious scholarly inquiry as a result of not heeding this restriction, this book demonstrates how to build a metaphysics compatible with current fundamental physics, which, when combined (...)
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  • The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation.Steven French - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Steven French articulates and defends the bold claim that there are no objects in the world. He draws on metaphysics and philosophy of science to argue for structural realism--the position that we live in a world of structures--and defends a form of eliminativism about objects that sets laws and symmetry principles at the heart of ontology.
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  • Dispositionality and Symmetry Structures.Vassilis Livanios - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (2):201-217.
    A number of metaphysicians and philosophers of science have raised the issue of the modality of the fundamental structures of the world. Although the debate so far has been largely focused on the inherent causal character of fundamental structures, one aspect of it has naturally taken its place as part of the dispositional/categorical debate. In this paper, I focus on the latter in the case of the fundamental symmetry structures. After putting forward the necessary metaphysical presuppositions for the debate to (...)
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  • Relata-Specificity: A Response to Vallicella.Jan Willem Wieland & Arianna Betti - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (4):509-524.
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  • Powers, Dispositions and Laws of Nature.Max Kistler - 2020 - In Meincke (ed.), Dispositionalism: Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science (Synthese Library). Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 171-188.
    Metaphysics should follow science in postulating laws alongside properties. I defend this claim against the claim that natural properties conceived as powers make laws of nature redundant. Natural properties can be construed in a “thin” or a “thick” way. If one attributes a property in the thin sense to an object, this attribution does not conceptually determine which other properties the object possesses. The thin construal is underlying the scientific strategy for understanding nature piecemeal. Science explains phenomena by cutting reality (...)
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  • Universals, Laws, and Governance.Matthew Tugby - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1147-1163.
    Proponents of the dispositional theory of properties typically claim that their view is not one that offers a realist, governing conception of laws. My first aim is to show that, contrary to this claim, if one commits to dispositionalism then one does not automatically give up on a robust, realist theory of laws. This is because dispositionalism can readily be developed within a Platonic framework of universals. Second, I argue that there are good reasons for realist dispositionalists to favour a (...)
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  • Alexander Bird: Nature’s Metaphysics: Laws and Properties. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-19-922701-3; $ 70.00, £ 29.00 (Hardback); 231 Pages. [REVIEW]Barbara Vetter - 2009 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 12 (1):320-328.
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  • The “Constant” Threat to the Dispositional Essentialist Conception of Laws.Vassilios Livanios - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (1).
    According to the dispositional essentialist account of laws of nature, the latter express the dispositional nature of fundamental natural properties. In this paper I discuss the difficulty that the existence of fundamental constants of nature raises for that account. To this end, I examine a relevant argument against the account and describe how an advocate of the dispositionalist conception may try to undermine it by raising objections to its premises. Then I discuss those objections and show that eventually all fail. (...)
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  • The Ultimate Argument Against Dispositional Monist Accounts of Laws.Stephen Barker & Benjamin Smart - 2012 - Analysis 72 (4):714-722.
    Bird argues that 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 & Anjum. We argue that dispositional monism is basically Armstrongian necessitarianism modified to allow for a thesis about property identity.
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  • Dispositional Monism, Relational Constitution and Quiddities.Stephen Barker - 2009 - Analysis 69 (2):242-250.
    Let us call dispositional monism the view that all natural properties have their identities fixed purely by their dispositional features, that is, by the patterns of stimulus and response in which they participate. DM implies that natural properties are pure powers: things whose natures are fully identified by their roles in determining the potentialities of events to cause or be caused. As pure powers, properties are meant to lack quiddities in Black's sense. A property possesses a quiddity just in case (...)
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  • Tooley’s Account of the Necessary Connection Between Law and Regularity.Tyler Hildebrand - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):33-43.
    Fred Dretske, Michael Tooley, and David Armstrong accept a theory of governing laws of nature according to which laws are atomic states of affairs that necessitate corresponding natural regularities. Some philosophers object to the Dretske/Tooley/Armstrong theory on the grounds that there is no illuminating account of the necessary connection between governing law and natural regularity. In response, Michael Tooley has provided a reductive account of this necessary connection in his book Causation (1987). In this essay, I discuss an improved version (...)
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  • Counterlegals and Necessary Laws.Toby Handfield - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):402 - 419.
    Necessitarian accounts of the laws of nature meet an apparent difficulty: for them, counterlegal conditionals, despite appearing to be substantive, seem to come out as vacuous. I argue that the necessitarian may use the presuppositions of counterlegal discourse to explain this. If the typical presupposition that necessitarianism is false is made explicit in counterlegal utterances, we obtain sentences such as 'If it turns out that the laws of nature are contingent, then if the laws had been otherwise, then such and (...)
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  • Tooley's Solution to the Inference Problem.Theodore R. Sider - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 67 (3):261 - 275.
    In response to various shortcomings of regularity theories of natural law, some philosophers of a realist bent have recently been drawn to the view that a law of nature is a relation between universals. Heading this group are Michael Tooley and D. M. Armstrong.
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  • Dispositional Essentialism and the Laws of Nature.Barbara Vetter - 2012 - In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers, and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge.
  • Laws of Nature.John Carroll - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (4):603-609.
     
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  • The Metaphysics Within Physics. [REVIEW]Tim Maudlin - 2009 - Analysis 69 (2):374-375.
    The basic idea of Maudlin's superb book is methodological: ‘metaphysics, insofar as it is concerned with the natural world, can do no better than to reflect on physics. Physical theories provide us with the best handle we have on what there is, and the philosopher's proper task is the interpretation and elucidation of those theories. In particular, when choosing the fundamental posits of one's ontology, one must look to scientific practice rather than to philosophical prejudice’.The apparently diverse topics covered by (...)
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  • Broken Structuralism: Steven French: The Structure of the World: Metaphysics and Representation. Oxford: OUP, 2014, 416pp, ISBN: 978-0-19-968484-7, ₤50.00 HB.Stathis Psillos - 2016 - Metascience 25 (2):163-171.
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  • Powers: A Study in Metaphysics.George Molnar & Stephen Mumford - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):674-677.
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  • Relata-Specific Relations: A Response to Vallicella.Jan Willem Wieland & Arianna Betti - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (4):509-524.
    According to Vallicella's 'Relations, Monism, and the Vindication of Bradley's Regress' (2002), if relations are to relate their relata, some special operator must do the relating. No other options will do. In this paper we reject Vallicella's conclusion by considering an important option that becomes visible only if we hold onto a precise distinction between the following three feature-pairs of relations: internality/externality, universality/particularity, relata-specificity/relata-unspecificity. The conclusion we reach is that if external relations are to relate their relata, they must be (...)
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