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Causation, physics, and fit

Synthese 194 (6):1945–1965 (2017)

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  1. Making Best Systems Best for Us.Christian Loew & Siegfried Jaag - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2525-2550.
    Humean reductionism about laws of nature appears to leave a central aspect of scientific practice unmotivated: If the world’s fundamental structure is exhausted by the actual distribution of non-modal properties and the laws of nature are merely efficient summaries of this distribution, then why does science posit laws that cover a wide range of non-actual circumstances? In this paper, we develop a new version of the Humean best systems account of laws based on the idea that laws need to organize (...)
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  • Making Best Systems Best for Us.Siegfried Jaag & Christian Loew - 2018 - Synthese:1-26.
    Humean reductionism about laws of nature appears to leave a central aspect of scientific practice unmotivated: If the world’s fundamental structure is exhausted by the actual distribution of non-modal properties and the laws of nature are merely efficient summaries of this distribution, then why does science posit laws that cover a wide range of non-actual circumstances? In this paper, we develop a new version of the Humean best systems account of laws based on the idea that laws need to organize (...)
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  • Universal History and the Emergence of Species Being.Brown Haines - manuscript
    This paper seeks to recover the function of universal history, which was to place particulars into relation with universals. By the 20th century universal history was largely discredited because of an idealism that served to lend epistemic coherence to the overwhelming complexity arising from universal history's comprehensive scope. Idealism also attempted to account for history's being "open"--for the human ability to transcend circumstance. The paper attempts to recover these virtues without the idealism by defining universal history not by its scope (...)
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  • A Psychological Approach to Causal Understanding and the Temporal Asymmetry.Elena Popa - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-18.
    This article provides a conceptual account of causal understanding by connecting current psychological research on time and causality with philosophical debates on the causal asymmetry. I argue that causal relations are viewed as asymmetric because they are understood in temporal terms. I investigate evidence from causal learning and reasoning in both children and adults: causal perception, the temporal priority principle, and the use of temporal cues for causal inference. While this account does not suffice for correct inferences of causal structure, (...)
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