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Can Capacities Rescue Us From Ceteris paribus Laws?

In B. Gnassounou & M. Kistler (eds.), Dispositions in Philosophy and Science. Ashgate (2007)

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  1. Five Sources of Contingency for Dispositionalism.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Metaphysica 21 (1):9-30.
    Law dispositionalism is the doctrine according to which laws of nature are grounded on powers/dispositions. In this article, I shall examine how certain laws of nature can turn out to be contingent on this view. First of all, I shall distinguish between two versions of law dispositionalism (i.e., a weak and a strong one) and I shall also single out two further theses that may be conjoined with it (i.e., strong and weak dispositional essentialism). I shall then define four different (...)
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  • Forces and Causation.Olivier Massin - manuscript
    This paper defends the view that Newtonian forces are real symmetrical and non-causal relations. In the first part, I argue that Newtonian forces are real; in the second part, that they are relations; in the third part, that they are symmetrical relations; in the fourth part, that they are not causal relations, (but causal relata) by which I mean that they are not species of causation. The overall picture is anti-humean to the extent that it defends the existence of forces, (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Forces.Olivier Massin - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (4):555-589.
    This paper defends the view that Newtonian forces are real, symmetrical and non-causal relations. First, I argue that Newtonian forces are real; second, that they are relations; third, that they are symmetrical relations; fourth, that they are not species of causation. The overall picture is anti-Humean to the extent that it defends the existence of forces as external relations irreducible to spatio-temporal ones, but is still compatible with Humean approaches to causation (and others) since it denies that forces are a (...)
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  • Can Capacities Rescue Us From Cp Laws.Markus Schrenk - 2007 - In B. Gnassounou & M. Kistler (eds.), Dispositions in Philosophy and Science. Ashgate. pp. 221--247.
    Many philosophers of science think that most laws of nature (even those of fundamental physics) are so called ceteris paribus laws, i.e. roughly speaking, laws with exceptions. Yet, the ceteris paribus clause of these laws is problematic. Amongst the more infamous difficulties is the danger that ‘For all x: Fx then Gx, ceteris paribus’ may state no more than a tautology: ‘For all x: Fx then Gx, unless not’. One of the major attempts to avoid this problem (and others concerning (...)
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  • Special Sciences, Conspiracy and the Better Best System Account of Lawhood.Jonathan Cohen & Craig Callender - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):427 - 447.
    An important obstacle to lawhood in the special sciences is the worry that such laws would require metaphysically extravagant conspiracies among fundamental particles. How, short of conspiracy, is this possible? In this paper we'll review a number of strategies that allow for the projectibility of special science generalizations without positing outlandish conspiracies: non-Humean pluralism, classical MRL theories of laws, and Albert and Loewer's theory. After arguing that none of the above fully succeed, we consider the conspiracy problem through the lens (...)
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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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  • Ceteris Paribus Laws.Alexander Reutlinger, Gerhard Schurz, Andreas Hüttemann & Siegfried Jaag - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Laws of nature take center stage in philosophy of science. Laws are usually believed to stand in a tight conceptual relation to many important key concepts such as causation, explanation, confirmation, determinism, counterfactuals etc. Traditionally, philosophers of science have focused on physical laws, which were taken to be at least true, universal statements that support counterfactual claims. But, although this claim about laws might be true with respect to physics, laws in the special sciences (such as biology, psychology, economics etc.) (...)
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  • Ceteris Paribus Laws and Minutis Rectis Laws.Luke Fenton-Glynn - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):274-305.
    Special science generalizations admit of exceptions. Among the class of non-exceptionless special science generalizations, I distinguish minutis rectis generalizations from the more familiar category of ceteris paribus generalizations. I argue that the challenges involved in showing that mr generalizations can play the law role are underappreciated, and quite different from those involved in showing that cp generalizations can do so. I outline a strategy for meeting the challenges posed by mr generalizations.
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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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