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  1. Calling for explanation: the case of the thermodynamic past state.Dan Baras & Orly Shenker - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-20.
    Philosophers of physics have long debated whether the Past State of low entropy of our universe calls for explanation. What is meant by “calls for explanation”? In this article we analyze this notion, distinguishing between several possible meanings that may be attached to it. Taking the debate around the Past State as a case study, we show how our analysis of what “calling for explanation” might mean can contribute to clarifying the debate and perhaps to settling it, thus demonstrating the (...)
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  • Anchoring Causal Connections in Physical Concepts.Roland Poellinger & Mario Hubert - 2014 - In Maria Clara Galavotti, Dennis Dieks, W. J. Gonzalez, Stephan Hartmann, Thomas Uebel & Marcel Weber (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Science. pp. 501-509.
    In their paper "How Fundamental Physics represents Causality", Andreas Bartels and Daniel Wohlfarth maintain that there is place for causality in General Relativity. Their argument contains two steps: First they show that there are time-asymmetric models in General Relativity, then they claim to derive that two events are causally connected if and only if there is a time-asymmetric energy flow from one event to the other. In our comment we first give a short summary of their paper followed by a (...)
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  • Physics and Causation.Michael Esfeld - 2010 - Foundations of Physics 40 (9-10):1597-1610.
    The paper makes a case for there being causation in the form of causal properties or causal structures in the domain of fundamental physics. That case is built in the first place on an interpretation of quantum theory in terms of state reductions so that there really are both entangled states and classical properties, GRW being the most elaborate physical proposal for such an interpretation. I then argue that the interpretation that goes back to Everett can also be read in (...)
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  • What is Matter? The Fundamental Ontology of Atomism and Structural Realism.Michael Esfeld, Dirk-André Deckert & Andrea Oldofredi - forthcoming - In B. Lower and A. Ijjas (ed.), A guide to the philosophy of Cosmology. Oxford University Press.
    We set out a fundamental ontology of atomism in terms of matter points. While being most parsimonious, this ontology is able to match both classical and quantum mechanics, and it remains a viable option for any future theory of cosmology that goes beyond current quantum physics. The matter points are structurally individuated: all there is to them are the spatial relations in which they stand; neither a commitment to intrinsic properties nor to an absolute space is required. The spatial relations (...)
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  • Panpsychism and Causation: A New Argument and a Solution to the Combination Problem.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2014 - Dissertation, Oslo
    Panpsychism is the view that every concrete and unified thing has some form of phenomenal consciousness or experience. It is an age-old doctrine, which, to the surprise of many, has recently taken on new life. In philosophy of mind, it has been put forth as a simple and radical solution to the mind–body problem (Chalmers 1996, 2003;Strawson 2006; Nagel 1979, 2012). In metaphysics and philosophy of science, it has been put forth as a solution to the problem of accounting for (...)
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  • Conservation Laws and the Philosophy of Mind: Opening the Black Box, Finding a Mirror.J. Brian Pitts - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):673-707.
    Since Leibniz's time, Cartesian mental causation has been criticized for violating the conservation of energy and momentum. Many dualist responses clearly fail. But conservation laws have important neglected features generally undermining the objection. Conservation is _local_, holding first not for the universe, but for everywhere separately. The energy in any volume changes only due to what flows through the boundaries. Constant total energy holds if the global summing-up of local conservation laws converges; it probably doesn't in reality. Energy conservation holds (...)
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  • Three Barriers to Philosophical Progress.Jessica Wilson - 2017 - In Russell Blackford & Damien Broderick (eds.), Philosophy's Future: The Problem of Philosophical Progress. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell. pp. 91--104.
    I argue that the present (if not insuperable) lack of fixed standards in philosophy is associated with three barriers to philosophical progress, pertaining to intra-disciplinary siloing, sociological rather than philosophical determinants of philosophical attention, and the encouraging of bias.
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  • The Argument for Panpsychism From Experience of Causation.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
    In recent literature, panpsychism has been defended by appeal to two main arguments: first, an argument from philosophy of mind, according to which panpsychism is the only view which successfully integrates consciousness into the physical world (Strawson 2006; Chalmers 2013); second, an argument from categorical properties, according to which panpsychism offers the only positive account of the categorical or intrinsic nature of physical reality (Seager 2006; Adams 2007; Alter and Nagasawa 2012). Historically, however, panpsychism has also been defended by appeal (...)
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  • An Action-Related Theory of Causality.Donald Gillies - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):823-842.
    The paper begins with a discussion of Russell's view that the notion of cause is unnecessary for science and can therefore be eliminated. It is argued that this is true for theoretical physics but untrue for medicine, where the notion of cause plays a central role. Medical theories are closely connected with practical action (attempts to cure and prevent disease), whereas theoretical physics is more remote from applications. This suggests the view that causal laws are appropriate in a context where (...)
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  • Hypothetical Metaphysics of Nature.Michael Esfeld - 2007 - In Michael Heidelberger & Gregor Schiemann (eds.), The Significance of the Hypothetical in Natural Science. De Gruyter. pp. 341-364.
    The paper first sketches out a reply to the underdetermination challenge and the incommensurability challenge that rebuts the sceptical conclusions of these challenges and that is sufficient to lay the ground for the project of a metaphysics of nature. That metaphysics is as hypothetical as are our scientific theories. The paper then explains how can one can argue for certain views in the metaphysics of nature based on our current fundamental physical theories, namely the commitments to a tenseless theory of (...)
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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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  • Causation, Exclusion, and the Special Sciences.Panu Raatikainen - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):349-363.
    The issue of downward causation (and mental causation in particular), and the exclusion problem is discussed by taking into account some recent advances in the philosophy of science. The problem is viewed from the perspective of the new interventionist theory of causation developed by Woodward. It is argued that from this viewpoint, a higher-level (e.g., mental) state can sometimes truly be causally relevant, and moreover, that the underlying physical state which realizes it may fail to be such.
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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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  • Do Ordinary Objects Exist? No.Trenton Merricks - forthcoming - In Elizabeth Barnes (ed.), Current Controversies in Metaphysics. Routledge.
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  • Eliminativism, Interventionism and the Overdetermination Argument.Eric Yang - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):321-340.
    In trying to establish the view that there are no non-living macrophysical objects, Trenton Merricks has produced an influential argument—the Overdetermination Argument—against the causal efficacy of composite objects. A serious problem for the Overdetermination Argument is the ambiguity in the notion of overdetermination that is being employed, which is due to the fact that Merricks does not provide any theory of causation to support his claims. Once we adopt a plausible theory of causation, viz. interventionism, problems with the Overdetermination will (...)
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  • The Emergence of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (6):281-308.
    Several philosophers have embraced the view that high-level events—events like Zimbabwe's monetary policy and its hyper-inflation—are causally related if their corresponding low-level, fundamental physical events are causally related. I dub the view which denies this without denying that high-level events are ever causally related causal emergentism. Several extant philosophical theories of causality entail causal emergentism, while others are inconsistent with the thesis. I illustrate this with David Lewis's two theories of causation, one of which entails causal emergentism, the other of (...)
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  • Where is the Theory in Our 'Theories' of Causality?Nancy Cartwright - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (2):55-66.
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  • Causação e Física Clássica: existe possibilidade de conciliação?Túlio Roberto Xavier de Aguiar - 2013 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 16 (3):353-364.
    In this work, I analyze our concept of cause in the face of criticism of Bertrand Russell in his article “On the Notion of Cause”. For Russell, there is an estrangement between the notion of cause and mature science of physics. The word cause (and its correlates) would not be used in physics, thus eliminating the main justification of philosophy for his job—the foundation of science. Thus, the various causal notions and the principle of causality should be abandoned by philosophers (...)
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  • Causal After All : A Model of Mental Causation for Dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    In this dissertation, I develop and defend a model of causation that allows for dualist mental causation in worlds where the physical domain is physically complete. In Part I, I present the dualist ontology that will be assumed throughout the thesis and identify two challenges for models of mental causation within such an ontology: the exclusion worry and the common cause worry. I also argue that a proper response to these challenges requires a thoroughly lightweight account of causation, i.e. an (...)
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  • Causation and Time Reversal.Matt Farr - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):177-204.
    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 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 article critiques the causal reading of time reversal. First, I argue that the (...)
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  • Criminal Responsibility and Neuroscience: No Revolution Yet.Ariane Bigenwald & Valerian Chambon - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • I—The Presidential AddressEquality and Hierarchy.Jonathan Wolff - 2019 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (1):1-23.
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  • In Defence of Error Theory.Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (2):209-230.
    Many contemporary philosophers rate error theories poorly. We identify the arguments these philosophers invoke, and expose their deficiencies. We thereby show that the prospects for error theory have been systematically underestimated. By undermining general arguments against all error theories, we leave it open whether any more particular arguments against particular error theories are more successful. The merits of error theories need to be settled on a case-by-case basis: there is no good general argument against error theories.
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  • Causal Models and the Asymmetry of State Preparation.Mathias Frisch - 2010 - In Mauricio Suarez, Mauro Dorato & Miklos Redei (eds.), EPSA Philosophical Issues in the Sciences · Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer. pp. 75--85.
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  • Does Anything Hold the Universe Together?Helen Beebee - 2006 - Synthese 149 (3):509-533.
    According to ‘regularity theories’ of causation, the obtaining of causal relations depends on no more than the obtaining of certain kinds of regularity. Regularity theorists are thus anti-realists about necessary connections in nature. Regularity theories of one form or another have constituted the dominant view in analytic Philosophy for a long time, but have recently come in for some robust criticism, notably from Galen Strawson. Strawson’s criticisms are natural criticisms to make, but have not so far provoked much response from (...)
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  • Epistemic and Ontic Theories of Explanation and Confirmation.Robert T. Pennock - 1995 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 28:31-45.
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  • Causation as Folk Science.John Norton - 2003 - Philosophers' Imprint 3:1-22.
    I deny that the world is fundamentally causal, deriving the skepticism on non-Humean grounds from our enduring failures to find a contingent, universal principle of causality that holds true of our science. I explain the prevalence and fertility of causal notions in science by arguing that a causal character for many sciences can be recovered, when they are restricted to appropriately hospitable domains. There they conform to loose and varying collections of causal notions that form folk sciences of causation. This (...)
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  • Naive Causality: A Mental Model Theory of Causal Meaning and Reasoning.Eugenia Goldvarg & P. N. Johnson-Laird - 2001 - Cognitive Science 25 (4):565-610.
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  • The Joint Philosophical Program of Russell and Wittgenstein and Its Demise.Nikolay Milkov - 2013 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 2 (1):81-105.
    Between April and November 1912, Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein were engaged in a joint philosophical program. Wittgenstein‘s meeting with Gottlob Frege in December 1912 led, however, to its dissolution – the joint program was abandoned. Section 2 of this paper outlines the key points of that program, identifying what Russell and Wittgenstein each contributed to it. The third section determines precisely those features of their collaborative work that Frege criticized. Finally, building upon the evidence developed in the preceding two (...)
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  • Dispositional Versus Epistemic Causality.Jon Williamson - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (3):259-276.
    I put forward several desiderata that a philosophical theory of causality should satisfy: it should account for the objectivity of causality, it should underpin formalisms for causal reasoning, it should admit a viable epistemology, it should be able to cope with the great variety of causal claims that are made, and it should be ontologically parsimonious. I argue that Nancy Cartwright’s dispositional account of causality goes part way towards meeting these criteria but is lacking in important respects. I go on (...)
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  • Regularity Theories Reassessed.Michael Baumgartner - 2006 - Philosophia 36 (3):327-354.
    For a long time, regularity accounts of causation have virtually vanished from the scene. Problems encountered within other theoretical frameworks have recently induced authors working on causation, laws of nature, or methodologies of causal reasoning – as e.g. May (Kausales Schliessen. Eine Untersuchung über kausale Erklärungen und Theorienbildung. Ph.D. thesis, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, 1999), Ragin (Fuzzy-set social science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), Graßhoff and May (Causal regularities. In W. Spohn, M. Ledwig, & M. Esfeld (Eds.), Current issues in (...)
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  • Von Neumann’s Impossibility Proof: Mathematics in the Service of Rhetorics.Dennis Dieks - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 60:136-148.
    According to what has become a standard history of quantum mechanics, von Neumann in 1932 succeeded in convincing the physics community that he had proved that hidden variables were impossible as a matter of principle. Subsequently, leading proponents of the Copenhagen interpretation emphatically confirmed that von Neumann's proof showed the completeness of quantum mechanics. Then, the story continues, Bell in 1966 finally exposed the proof as seriously and obviously wrong; this rehabilitated hidden variables and made serious foundational research possible. It (...)
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  • A Defence of Absurd Theories in Economics.Ole Røgeberg & Morten Nordberg - 2005 - Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (4):543-562.
    Theories that involve plainly false and even bizarre assumptions could have an important role in bundling empirical facts and allowing these to be understood, handled and used as modules in the construction of mechanisms by economists with human cognitive limits. Absurd theories would be subcomponents used in a valid explanatory strategy as long as the mechanisms only derive the implications of the facts summarised. This provides a defence and explanation of parts of current practise, but also imposes hard limits on (...)
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  • The Rational Role of Experience.David Bourget - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):467-493.
    If there is content that we reason on, cognitive content, it is in the head and accessible to reasoning mechanisms. This paper discusses the phenomenal theory of cognitive content, according to which cognitive contents are the contents of phenomenal consciousness. I begin by distinguishing cognitive content from the closely associated notion of narrow content. I then argue, drawing on prior work, that the phenomenal theory can plausibly account for the cognitive contents of many relatively simple mental states. My main focus (...)
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  • Against Modularity, the Causal Markov Condition, and Any Link Between the Two: Comments on Hausman and Woodward.Nancy Cartwright - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (3):411-453.
    In their rich and intricate paper ‘Independence, Invariance, and the Causal Markov Condition’, Daniel Hausman and James Woodward ([1999]) put forward two independent theses, which they label ‘level invariance’ and ‘manipulability’, and they claim that, given a specific set of assumptions, manipulability implies the causal Markov condition. These claims are interesting and important, and this paper is devoted to commenting on them. With respect to level invariance, I argue that Hausman and Woodward's discussion is confusing because, as I point out, (...)
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  • Analysing Causation.Morgan Jennifer Margaret - unknown
    This thesis will survey several prominent approaches to analysing causation, discuss their differences and similarities, and look at a number of problems which are common to all of them. I will be arguing for the following claims about how we should approach the process of analysing causation. Firstly, I will be arguing that a reductive analysis is desirable, since if we can reductively analyse causation in terms of something empirically accessible, we can explain how it is possible to know anything (...)
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  • Physical Causation and Difference-Making.Alyssa Ney - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):737-764.
    This paper examines the relationship between physical theories of causation and theories of difference-making. It is plausible to think that such theories are compatible with one another as they are aimed at different targets: the former, an empirical account of actual causal relations; the latter, an account that will capture the truth of most of our ordinary causal claims. The question then becomes: what is the relationship between physical causation and difference-making? Is one kind of causal fact more fundamental than (...)
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  • The Time-Asymmetry of Causation.Huw Price & Brad Weslake - 2008 - In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press.
    One of the most striking features of causation is that causes typically precede their effects – the causal arrow is strongly aligned with the temporal arrow. Why should this be so? We offer an opinionated guide to this problem, and to the solutions currently on offer. We conclude that the most promising strategy is to begin with the de facto asymmetry of human deliberation, characterised in epistemic terms, and to build out from there. More than any rival, this subjectivist approach (...)
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  • Philosophy of the Physical Sciences.Chris Smeenk & Hoefer Carl - 2015 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The authors survey some debates about the nature and structure of physical theories and about the connections between our physical theories and naturalized metaphysics. The discussion is organized around an “ideal view” of physical theories and criticisms that can be raised against it. This view includes controversial commitments regarding the best analysis of physical modalities and intertheory relations. The authors consider the case in favor of taking laws as the primary modal notion, discussing objections related to alleged violations of the (...)
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  • Quelques remarques sur une extension abusive du concept de causalité en cosmologie.Trelut Eric - 2013 - In Michel Bastit (ed.), Etudes de cosmologie philosophique. Paris, France:
    "L'énigme majeure est la cause efficace" insiste Jean Largeault (1985). En effet, la physique contemporaine géométrise les phénomènes de la nature en transformant les causes efficientes en causalité formelle. Cependant elle nous invite aussi à accorder le structurel etle physique, le formel et le dynamique. Il convient donc de s'interroger sur le fondement du pouvoir créateur des mathématiques ou de leur caractère générateur en physique. Selon Charles de Koninck, la fécondité des mathématiques parait comme une intériorisation de la figure philosophique (...)
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  • Thoughtful Brutes.Tomas Hribek - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19:70-82.
    Donald Davidson and John Searle famously differ, among other things, on the issue of animal thoughts. Davidson seems to be a latter-day Cartesian, denying any propositional thought to subhuman animals, while Searle seems to follow Hume in claiming that if we have thoughts, then animals do, too. Davidson’s argument centers on the idea that language is necessary for thought, which Searle rejects. The paper argues two things. Firstly, Searle eventually argues that much of a more complex thought does depend on (...)
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  • From Being Ontologically Serious to Serious Ontology.Michael Esfeld - 2006 - In John Heil: Symposium on His Ontological Point of View. Ontos. pp. 191--206.
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  • Causality and Free Will.Juraj Hvorecký - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19:64-69.
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  • Causation, Realism, Determinism, and Probability in the Science and Philosophy of Max Born.Thomas Bunce - unknown
    In this thesis I will examine the philosophy of the physicist Max Born. As well as his scientific work, Born wrote on a number of philosophical topics: causation, realism, determinism, and probability. They appear as an interest throughout his career, but he particularly concentrates on them from the 1940s onwards. Born is a significant figure in the development of quantum mechanics whose philosophical work has been left largely unexamined. It is the aim of this thesis to elucidate and to critically (...)
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  • Counterfactuals, Irreversible Laws and The Direction of Time.Terrance A. Tomkow - manuscript
    The principle of Information Conservation or Determinism is a governing assumption of physical theory. Determinism has counterfactual consequences. It entails that if the present were different, then the future would be different. But determinism is temporally symmetric: it entails that if the present were different, the past would also have to be different. This runs contrary to our commonsense intuition that what has happened in the future depends on the past in a way the past does not depend on the (...)
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  • Indispensability, Causation and Explanation.Sorin Bangu - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (2):219-232.
    When considering mathematical realism, some scientific realists reject it, and express sympathy for the opposite view, mathematical nominalism; moreover, many justify this option by invoking the causal inertness of mathematical objects. The main aim of this note is to show that the scientific realists’ endorsement of this causal mathematical nominalism is in tension with another position some of them also accept, the doctrine of methodological naturalism. By highlighting this conflict, I intend to tip the balance in favor of a rival (...)
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  • The Functions of Russell’s No Class Theory.Kevin C. Klement - 2010 - Review of Symbolic Logic 3 (4):633-664.
    §1. Introduction. Although Whitehead and Russell’s Principia Mathematica (hereafter, PM ), published almost precisely a century ago, is widely heralded as a watershed moment in the history of mathematical logic, in many ways it is still not well understood. Complaints abound to the effect that the presentation is imprecise and obscure, especially with regard to the precise details of the ramified theory of types, and the philosophical explanation and motivation underlying it, all of which was primarily Russell’s responsibility. This has (...)
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  • Saunders and Wallace Reply.Simon Saunders & David Wallace - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):315-317.
    A reply to a comment by Paul Tappenden (BJPS 59 (2008) pp. 307-314) on S. Saunders and D. Wallace, "Branching and Uncertainty" (BJPS 59 (2008) pp. 298-306).
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  • Does Dispositionalism Entail Panpsychism?Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2018 - Topoi:1-16.
    According to recent arguments for panpsychism, all (or most) physical properties are dispositional, dispositions require categorical grounds, and the only categorical properties we know are phenomenal properties. Therefore, phenomenal properties can be posited as the categorical grounds of all (or most) physical properties – in order to solve the mind–body problem and/or in order avoid noumenalism about the grounds of the physical world. One challenge to this case comes from dispositionalism, which agrees that all physical properties are dispositional, but denies (...)
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  • Explanations of Meaningful Actions.C. Mantzavinos - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (2):224-238.
    There is a long tradition in philosophy and the social sciences that emphasizes the meaningfulness of human action. This tradition doubts or even negates the possibility of causal explanations of human action precisely on the basis that human actions have meaning. This article provides an argument in favor of methodological naturalism in the social sciences. It grants the main argument of the Interpretivists, that is, that human actions are meaningful, but it shows how a transformation of a "nexus of meaning" (...)
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