Mary Shepherd's Metaphysics of Emergence

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Shepherd begins her 1824 Essay upon the Relation of Cause and Effect (ERCE) by arguing for the Causal Maxim: that every beginning of existence requires a cause. She then derives a variety of metaphysical commitments from this: there can be no difference in effects without a difference in their causes; cause and effect are necessarily synchronic; causation requires a union of previous existents; and several others. There is not yet an interpretation of Shepherd’s metaphysics that explains the exact logical connections between these seemingly disparate theses. We can make progress on a systematic understanding of Shepherd’s metaphysical system by considering her concept of cause as a species of the recent concept of metaphysical emergence. I argue that five distinct metaphysical theses in ERCE follow from the Causal Maxim on an emergentist conception of cause, providing a concrete model for a systematic reading of her metaphysics.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MELMSM
Upload history
First archival date: 2021-08-30
Latest version: 2 (2021-08-30)
View other versions
Added to PP index
2021-08-30

Total views
38 ( #60,860 of 65,755 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #22,416 of 65,755 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.