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  1. Universality Caused: The Case of Renormalization Group Explanation.Emily Sullivan - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):36.
    Recently, many have argued that there are certain kinds of abstract mathematical explanations that are noncausal. In particular, the irrelevancy approach suggests that abstracting away irrelevant causal details can leave us with a noncausal explanation. In this paper, I argue that the common example of Renormalization Group explanations of universality used to motivate the irrelevancy approach deserves more critical attention. I argue that the reasons given by those who hold up RG as noncausal do not stand up to critical scrutiny. (...)
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  • Discovering Quantum Causal Models.Sally Shrapnel - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):1-25.
    Costa and Shrapnel have recently proposed an interventionist theory of quantum causation. The formalism generalizes the classical methods of Pearl and allows for the discovery of quantum causal structure via localized interventions. Classical causal structure is presented as a special case of this more general framework. I introduce the account and consider whether this formalism provides a causal explanation for the Bell correlations.
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  • The Benacerraf Problem as a Challenge for Ontic Structural Realism†.Majid Davoody Beni - forthcoming - Philosophia Mathematica:nkz022.
    ABSTRACT Benacerraf has presented two problems for the philosophy of mathematics. These are the problem of identification and the problem of representation. This paper aims to reconstruct the latter problem and to unpack its undermining bearing on the version of Ontic Structural Realism that frames scientific representations in terms of abstract structures. I argue that the dichotomy between mathematical structures and physical ones cannot be used to address the Benacerraf problem but strengthens it. I conclude by arguing that versions of (...)
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  • Causation and Time Reversal.Matt Farr - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx025.
    What would it be for a process to happen backwards in time? Would such a process involve different causal relations? It is common to understand the time reversal invariance of a physical theory in causal terms, such that whatever can happen forwards in time (according to the theory) can also happen backwards in time. This has led many to hold that time reversal symmetry is incompatible with the asymmetry of cause and effect. This paper critiques the causal reading of time (...)
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  • Is There A Monist Theory of Causal and Non-Causal Explanations? The Counterfactual Theory of Scientific Explanation.Alexander Reutlinger - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):733-745.
    The goal of this paper is to develop a counterfactual theory of explanation. The CTE provides a monist framework for causal and non-causal explanations, according to which both causal and non-causal explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I argue that the CTE is applicable to two paradigmatic examples of non-causal explanations: Euler’s explanation and renormalization group explanations of universality.
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  • Physics and Causation.Thomas Blanchard - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (5):256-266.
    More than a century ago, Russell launched a forceful attack on causation, arguing not only that modern physics has no need for causal notions but also that our belief in causation is a relic of a pre-scientific view of the world. He thereby initiated a debate about the relations between physics and causation that remains very much alive today. While virtually everybody nowadays rejects Russell's causal eliminativism, many philosophers have been convinced by Russell that the fundamental physical structure of our (...)
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  • Time Reversal.Bryan W. Roberts - forthcoming - In Eleanor Knox & Alistair Wilson (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics.
    This article deals with the question of what time reversal means. It begins with a presentation of the standard account of time reversal, with plenty of examples, followed by a popular non-standard account. I argue that, in spite of recent commentary to the contrary, the standard approach to the meaning of time reversal is the only one that is philosophically and physically viable. The article concludes with a few open research problems about time reversal.
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  • Can Interventionists Be Neo-Russellians? Interventionism, the Open Systems Argument, and the Arrow of Entropy.Alexander Reutlinger - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):273-293.
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume 27, Issue 3, Page 273-293, September 2013.
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  • Are Causal Facts Really Explanatorily Emergent? Ladyman and Ross on Higher-Level Causal Facts and Renormalization Group Explanation.Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2291-2305.
    In their Every Thing Must Go, Ladyman and Ross defend a novel version of Neo- Russellian metaphysics of causation, which falls into three claims: (1) there are no fundamental physical causal facts (orthodox Russellian claim), (2) there are higher-level causal facts of the special sciences, and (3) higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent. While accepting claims (1) and (2), I attack claim (3). Ladyman and Ross argue that higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent, because (a) certain aspects of these higher-level (...)
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  • Microphysical Causation and the Case for Physicalism.Alyssa Ney - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):141-164.
    Physicalism is sometimes portrayed by its critics as a dogma, but there is an empirical argument for the position, one based on the accumulation of diverse microphysical causal explanations in physics, chemistry, and physiology. The canonical statement of this argument was presented in 2001 by David Papineau. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate a tension that arises between this way of understanding the empirical case for physicalism and a view that is becoming practically a received position in philosophy (...)
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