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The metaphysics of forces

Dialectica 63 (4):555-589 (2009)

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  1. The Composition of Forces.Olivier Massin - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv048.
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  • The Causal Argument Against Component Forces.Jessica Wilson - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (4):525-554.
    Do component forces exist in conjoined circumstances? Cartwright (1980) says no; Creary (1981) says yes. I'm inclined towards Cartwright's side in this matter, but find several problems with her argumentation. My primary aim here is to present a better, distinctly causal, argument against component forces: very roughly, I argue that the joint posit of component and resultant forces in conjoined circumstances gives rise to a threat of causal overdetermination, avoidance of which best proceeds via eliminativism about component forces. A secondary (...)
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  • Is Genetic Drift a Force?Charles H. Pence - manuscript
    One hotly debated philosophical question in the analysis of evolutionary theory concerns whether or not evolution and the various factors which constitute it may profitably be considered as analogous to “forces” in the traditional, Newtonian sense. Several compelling arguments assert that the force picture is incoherent, due to the peculiar nature of genetic drift. I consider two of those arguments here – that drift lacks a predictable direction, and that drift is constitutive of evolutionary systems – and show that they (...)
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  • The Causal Argument Against Component Forces.Jessica Wilson - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (4):525-554.
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  • The Composition of Forces.Olivier Massin - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3):805-846.
    This paper defends a realist account of the composition of Newtonian forces, dubbed ‘residualism’. According to residualism, the resultant force acting on a body is identical to the component forces acting on it that do not prevent each other from bringing about its acceleration. Several reasons to favor residualism over alternative accounts of the composition of forces are advanced. (i) Residualism reconciles realism about component forces with realism about resultant forces while avoiding any threat of causal overdetermination. (ii) Residualism provides (...)
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  • Hume Versus the Vulgar on Resistance, Nisus, and the Impression of Power.Colin Marshall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):305-319.
    In the first Enquiry, Hume takes the experience of exerting force against a solid body to be a key ingredient of the vulgar idea of power, so that the vulgar take that experience to provide us with an impression of power. Hume provides two arguments against the vulgar on this point: the first concerning our other applications of the idea of power and the second concerning whether that experience yields certainty about distinct events. I argue that, even if we accept (...)
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  • The Essence of Dispositional Essentialism.David Yates - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):93-128.
    Dispositional essentialists argue that physical properties have their causal roles essentially. This is typically taken to mean that physical properties are identical to dispositions. I argue that this is untenable, and that we must instead say that properties bestow dispositions. I explore what it is for a property to have such a role essentially. Dispositional essentialists argue for their view by citing certain epistemological and metaphysical implications, and I appeal to these implications to place desiderata on the concept of essence (...)
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  • A Non-Reductive Model of Component Forces and Resultant Force.Dwayne Moore - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):359-380.
    While there are reasons to believe that both component forces and a resultant force operate on a body in combined circumstances, the threat of overdetermination largely prevents adoption of this view. Accordingly, a lively debate has arisen over which force actually exists and which force is eliminated in combined circumstances, the components or the resultant. In this article I present a non-reductive model of resultant force which ensures the existence of both the resultant force and the component forces without overdetermination. (...)
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  • Can Opposing Dispositions Be Co-Instantiated?Sungho Choi - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):161 - 182.
    Is it possible that one and the same object x has opposing dispositions at the same time? One's first reaction might be that it is evidently impossible. On the assumption that x is incombustible, it seems to follow that it is not combustible. Surprisingly enough, however, it is claimed that there are a number of examples in support of the possibility of simultaneous co-instantiation of opposing dispositions. In this paper, I will bring under scrutiny some of the examples and come (...)
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  • Spin as a Determinable.Johanna Wolff - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):379-386.
    In this paper I aim to answer two questions: Can spin be treated as a determinable? Can a treatment of spin as a determinable be used to understand quantum indeterminacy? In response to the first question I show that the relations among spin number, spin components and spin values cannot be captured by a single determination relation; instead we need to look at spin number and spin value separately. In response to the second question I discuss three ways in which (...)
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