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  1. Causation.D. Lewis - 1973 - In Philosophical Papers Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-213.
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  • What is a Law of Nature?David M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    First published in 1985, D. M. Armstrong's original work on what laws of nature are has continued to be influential in the areas of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Presenting a definitive attack on the sceptical Humean view, that laws are no more than a regularity of coincidence between stances of properties, Armstrong establishes his own theory and defends it concisely and systematically against objections. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Marc (...)
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  • Truth and Truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
    Truths are determined not by what we believe, but by the way the world is. Or so realists about truth believe. Philosophers call such theories correspondence theories of truth. Truthmaking theory, which now has many adherents among contemporary philosophers, is the most recent development of a realist theory of truth, and in this book D. M. Armstrong offers the first full-length study of this theory. He examines its applications to different sorts of truth, including contingent truths, modal truths, truths about (...)
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  • The Character of Physical Law.Richard Feynman - 1965 - MIT Press.
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  • Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    Scientific Essentialism defends the view that the fundamental laws of nature depend on the essential properties of the things on which they are said to operate, and are therefore not independent of them. These laws are not imposed upon the world by God, the forces of nature or anything else, but rather are immanent in the world. Ellis argues that ours is a dynamic world consisting of more or less transient objects which are constantly interacting with each other, and whose (...)
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  • The Nature of Laws.Michael Tooley - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):667-98.
    This paper is concerned with the question of the truth conditions of nomological statements. My fundamental thesis is that it is possible to set out an acceptable, noncircular account of the truth conditions of laws and nomological statements if and only if relations among universals - that is, among properties and relations, construed realistically - are taken as the truth-makers for such statements. My discussion will be restricted to strictly universal, nonstatistical laws. The reason for this limitation is not that (...)
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  • A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.
    In this important study D. M. Armstrong offers a comprehensive system of analytical metaphysics that synthesises but also develops his thinking over the last twenty years. Armstrong's analysis, which acknowledges the 'logical atomism' of Russell and Wittgenstein, makes facts the fundamental constituents of the world, examining properties, relations, numbers, classes, possibility and necessity, dispositions, causes and laws. All these, it is argued, find their place and can be understood inside a scheme of states of affairs. This is a comprehensive and (...)
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  • On the Notion of Cause.Bertrand Russell - 1913 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 13:1-26.
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  • The Character of Physical Law.Alex C. Michalos - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (2):194-194.
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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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  • Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 182 (3):327-329.
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  • How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
    In this sequence of philosophical essays about natural science, the author argues that fundamental explanatory laws, the deepest and most admired successes of modern physics, do not in fact describe regularities that exist in nature. Cartwright draws from many real-life examples to propound a novel distinction: that theoretical entities, and the complex and localized laws that describe them, can be interpreted realistically, but the simple unifying laws of basic theory cannot.
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  • Laws of Nature, Exceptions and Tropes.Max Kistler - 2003 - Philosophia Scientiae 7 (2):189-219.
    I propose a realist theory of laws formulated in terms of tropes that avoids both the problems of the "best-systems-analysis" and the "inference problem" of realism of universals. I analyze the concept of an exceptional situation, characterized as a situation in which a particular object satisfies the antecedent but not the consequent of the regularity associated with a law, without thereby falsifying that law. To take this possibility into account, the properties linked by a law must be conceived as dispositional (...)
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  • Disposition‐Manifestations and Reference‐Frames.Alastair Wilson - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (4):591-601.
    Dispositions can combine as vector sums. Recent authors on dispositions, such as George Molnar and Stephen Mumford, have responded to this feature of dispositions by introducing a distinction between effects and contributions to effects, and by identifying disposition-manifestations with the latter. But some have been sceptical of the reality or knowability of component vectors; Jennifer McKitrick (forthcoming) presses these concerns against the conception of manifestations as contributions to effects. In this paper, I aim to respond to McKitrick's arguments and to (...)
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  • Newtonian Forces.J. Wilson - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):173-205.
    Newtonian forces are pushes and pulls, possessing magnitude and direction, that are exerted (in the first instance) by objects, and which cause (in particular) motions. I defend Newtonian forces against the four best reasons for denying or doubting their existence. A running theme in my defense of forces will be the suggestion that Newtonian Mechanics is a special science, and as such has certain prima facie ontological rights and privileges, that may be maintained against various challenges.
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  • What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a study of a crucial and controversial topic in metaphysics and the philosophy of science: the status of the laws of nature. D. M. Armstrong works out clearly and in comprehensive detail a largely original view that laws are relations between properties or universals. The theory is continuous with the views on universals and more generally with the scientific realism that Professor Armstrong has advanced in earlier publications. He begins here by mounting an attack on the orthodox and (...)
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  • Instantiation as Partial Identity.Donald L. M. Baxter - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (4):449 – 464.
    Construing the instantiation of a universal by a particular in terms of my theory of aspects resolves the basic mystery of this "non-relational tie", and gives theoretical unity to the four characteristics of instantiation discerned by Armstrong. Taking aspects as distinct in a way akin to Scotus's formal distinction, I suggest that instantiation is the sharing of an aspect by a universal and a particular--a kind of partial identity. This approach allows me to address Plato's multiple location and One over (...)
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  • Scientific Essentialism.H. Beebee - 2004 - Mind 113 (450):334-340.
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  • Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysicians speak of laws of nature in terms of necessity and universality; scientists, in terms of symmetry and invariance. In this book van Fraassen argues that no metaphysical account of laws can succeed. He analyzes and rejects the arguments that there are laws of nature, or that we must believe there are, and argues that we should disregard the idea of law as an adequate clue to science. After exploring what this means for general epistemology, the author develops the empiricist (...)
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  • Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Professional philosophers and advanced students working in metaphysics and the philosophy of science will find this book both provocative and stimulating.
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  • What is a Law of Nature?Mark Wilson - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (3):435-441.
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  • A World of States of Affairs.[author unknown] - 1997 - Philosophy 74 (287):130-134.
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  • Spoils to the Vector - How to Model Causes If You Are a Realist About Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2011 - The Monist 94 (1):54-80.
    A standard way of representing causation is with neuron diagrams. This has become popular since the influential work of David Lewis. But it should not be assumed that such representations are metaphysically neutral and amenable to any theory of causation. On the contrary, this way of representing causation already makes several Humean assumptions about what causation is, and which suit Lewis’s programme of Humean Supervenience. An alternative of a vector diagram is better suited for a powers ontology. Causation should be (...)
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  • Metaphysics of Causation.John Bigelow & Robert Pargetter - 1990 - Erkenntnis 33 (1):89 - 119.
    The world contains not only causes and effects, but also causal relations holding between causes and effects. Because causal relations enter into the structure of the world, their presence has various modal and probabilistic consequences. Causation and “necessary and sufficient conditions” do often go hand in hand. Causation, however, is a robust ingredient within the world itself, whereas modalities and probabilities supervene on the nature of the world as a whole, and on the resulting relations between one possible world and (...)
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  • Forces.John Bigelow, Brian Ellis & Robert Pargetter - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):614-630.
    Traditionally, forces are causes of a special sort. Forces have been conceived to be the direct or immediate causes of things. Other sorts of causes act indirectly by producing forces which are transmitted in various ways to produce various effects. However, forces are supposed to act directly without the mediation of anything else. But forces, so conceived, appear to be occult. They are mysterious, because we have no clear conception of what they are, as opposed to what they are postulated (...)
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  • Powers.George Molnar - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    George Molnar came to see that the solution to a number of the problems of contemporary philosophy lay in the development of an alternative to Hume's metaphysics. This alternative would have real causal powers at its centre. Molnar set about developing a thorough account of powers that might persuade those who remained, perhaps unknowingly, in the grip of Humean assumptions. He succeeded in producing something both highly focused and at the same time wide-ranging. He showed both that the notion of (...)
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  • Causal Realism and the Laws of Nature.Richard Corry - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (3):261-276.
    This paper proposes a revision of our understanding of causation that is designed to address what Hartry Field has suggested is the central problem in the metaphysics of causation today: reconciling Bertrand Russell’s arguments that the concept of causation can play no role in the advanced sciences with Nancy Cartwright’s arguments that causal concepts are essential to a scientific understanding of the world. The paper shows that Russell’s main argument is, ironically, very similar to an argument that Cartwright has put (...)
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  • All Else Being Equal.Peter Lipton - 1999 - Philosophy 74 (2):155-168.
    Most laws are ceteris paribus (cp) laws: they say not that all Fs are G but only that All Fs are G all else being equal. Most philosophical accounts of laws, however, have focused on strict laws. This paper considers how some of the standard philosophical problems about laws change when we switch attention from strict to cp laws and what special problems these laws raise. It is argued that some cp laws do not simply reflect the complexity of the (...)
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  • Laws and Dispositions.Andreas Hüttemann - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (1):121-135.
    Laws are supposed to tell us how physical systems actually behave. The analysis of an important part of physical practice--abstraction--shows, however, that laws describe the behavior of physical systems under very special circumstances, namely when they are isolated. Nevertheless, laws are applied in cases of non-isolation as well. This practice requires an explanation. It is argued that one has to assume that physical systems have dispositions. I take these to be innocuous from an empiricist's standpoint because they can--at least in (...)
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  • On the notion of cause.B. Russell - 1912 - Scientia 7 (13):317.
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  • Causal Explanation and the Reality of Natural Component Forces.Lewis Creary - 1981 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 62 (2):148-157.
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